Our history

The town's strategic position has been an attraction for people over the ages.
In the 900s, Gyldeforda was an Anglo-Saxon market town, with its own mint, stoutly defended by a defensive ditch.

In 1066, William the Conqueror, aware of Guildford's geographic importance, quickly established a castle to oversee the town as the main trading centre for the area.
Guildford Castle Keep
The Kings Chamber
King John and his heirs developed the castle with sumptuous accommodation during the 1200s.
Guildford Blue woollen cloth becomes the main activity of the town. The Guildhall is built by merchants in the 1500s, and enlarged in the 1600s.
The Guildhall
George Abbot
In the 1600s, two Abbot brothers, George and Morris, achieved the highest offices: in the royal court and East India Co. respectively.
In the 1700s, coaching inns dominated the High Street, enjoyed by celebrity visitors e.g. Jane Austen.
The Angel Hotel
The Chestnuts - home of Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll's family and many others move to the town in the 1800s.
The town gains a cathedral and a university in the 1900s. Alan Turing lived in Guildford as a boy; his mother and wider family made their home here.
Alan Turing bank-note concept