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Guildford History Chronology

Chronological order of events mentioned in the Tour

43 AD
  • Roman way of life increasingly adopted in Britain (see Town Bridge)
500
  • Saxons form small community by "Gyldeforda" (Town Bridge)
7th century
(600s)
9th century
(800s)
  • Centre of town was what is now bordered by Friary Street, North Street, Castle Street and St Mary's Church
885
1050
1066
  • Norman Conquest
  • Keep motte and original wooden keep built soon after (see Castle)
1150
1255
  • De-la-Puille family acquire land in the area (now known as "Pewley Hill") from Richard Testard.
1256
  • Castle Arch built - i.e. Royal Palace probably built around the same time (certainly 13th century)
1275
  • Dominican Friary founded (on site of current Friary shopping centre)
14th century
(1300s)
1300
1509
  • Robert Beckingham dies, leaving a will that would eventually provide money to fund a free school in Guildford after his wife's death
1510
  • Elizabeth Beckingham, wife of Robert Beckingham dies
1512
1538
1552
1557 to 1586
1562
1579
17th century
(1600s)
  • Ruined Friary bought by Earl of Annandale and replaced by fine house (surviving until at least 1818)
  • Guildford has good reputation for its inns (see The Angel Hotel)
1600
  • George Abbot becomes Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University (see Abbot's Hospital)
1603 to 1625
1609
1611
1619
1627
  • Henry Smith establishes Poyle Charity (see Pewley Hill.
  • Poyle Charity Estate owns town mills and uses profits for the town's poor.
1650
  • Castle Keep being used as a cock-pit
1651
  • Act passed authorising River Wey to be made navigable from Thames to Guildford
1653
  • Barge traffic starts operating (Guildford part of Wey Navigation complete)
1660
1683
  • Façade of Guildhall built onto the front of an Elizabethan hall
18th Century
  • Russell family worked here as artists and booksellers
1701
  • Water-powered pump installed by the mills to provide the town with piped water (see also "Orlando")
  • First reservoir built (now "Orlando")
1726
1740
  • Bad "improvements" to medieval church led to tower collapse (Holy Trinity)
1751
1750s
  • John Russell climbed Holy Trinity tower being built and told off!
1760
1763
1764
1765
  • William Haydon opened Guildford's first modern bank (see Lloyds TSB)
1771
  • Present mill buildings erected
1794
  • "Guildford penny" introduced, tolling loads carried on the Wey Navigation (see Toll House)
  • E.Filmer sets up iron foundry on what is now the site of the Yvonne Arnaud theatre
early 19th century
(1800s)
  • What is now the "George Abbot" pub built (Old Portsmouth Road realigned)
1818
  • Tunsgate arch (and now demolished assize courts) build by public subscription
1825
1830
1850s
  • Mill buildings western extension added
1853
  • Second reservoir built, functioning until 1973 (see "Orlando")
1855-81
1861
1866
  • Guildford Corporation purchases "water works" and new reservoir built on top of Pewley Hill (see "Orlando")
1868
1876
1882
1885
  • Constitutional Hall was built
  • Castle grounds bought by Guildford Corporation from Lord Grantley
1888
1891
  • Battersea Polytechnic Institute founded (see University)
1894
  • Flour mills at Millmead until this date
1898
1890 - 1958
1900
  • Medieval town bridge destroyed by flood sweeping timber from timber yard against its piers.
  • Replaced by iron bridge.
1905
1913
1927
  • First Bishop of Guildford appointed (see Cathedral)
  • Electricity generating station in Woodbridge Road supersedes Guildford Electricity Works (see The Electric Theatre)
1932
1933
  • Cathedral Building started
  • First Guildford by-pass built (old A3)
1935
  • Assize courts removed from Tunsgate to create through road
1936
  • Cathedral foundation stone laid by Archbishop
1941
1950
  • Commercial traffic on Wey ceased completely (see Millmead Lock)
1955
1956
  • White Lion demolished to build Woolworth's (later White Lion Walk)
1957
  • Battersea Polytechnic Institute renamed Battersea College of Advanced Technology (see University)
  • Guildford Corporation buys "Guildford House" (now art gallery)
1960s
1961
1965
1966
1968
1969
  • Last working barge leaves the Wey Navigation (see Millmead Lock)
1970
1973
  • Use of "Second" reservoir ceased (see "Orlando")
1983
1985
  • Town bridge rebuilt using original stonework and cast iron components.
1997
2002
  • Guildford's application for city status unsuccessful, losing out to Preston, the only English town being formally recognised as a city as part of the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations (see Cathedral)
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