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Upper Ridgeway Farm, Thursley Surrey

Upper Ridgeway Farm, Thursley, Surrey
Upper Ridgeway is a medieval timber-framed hall house. The earliest mention of the place is in a tax assessment of 1331 and the first specific reference to the farm itself can be found in the records of the Bishop of Winchester in 1522. The property was held from the Manor of Farnham, which was one of the bishop’s many manors, and the ownership of the farm can be traced from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries.

More detailed information survives about of some of the owners and occupiers that give an insight into the way they lived at the farm. The will and the inventory drawn up after Henry Boxfold's death in 1573 lists his belongings, details his farming interests and reveals that he had been living in what was, by then, his son’s house. During the nineteenth century, Upper Ridgeway was the home of John Keen who came to the farm in 1828. He worked the farm all his adult life and died there in 1893 aged 95 years. His account book survives that shows how he was running his business during his early years at the farm.

Upper Ridgeway is still farmed today and its area remains substantially the same as it was in the sixteenth century.

Peperharow Road, Godalming

161 Peperharow Road, Godalming, Surrey
Peperharow Road was developed in the later nineteenth century and was to become a largely middle-class preserve with spacious villas, many of which were erected to house schoolmasters from Charterhouse School. However, there were also some small terraced cottages built at the far western end of the road that were to house manual workers and servants who worked at the school and elsewhere.

The railway linking Godalming to London opened in 1849 and, over the next few decades, the town began to expand. The British Land Company laid out the road on the land of Deanery Farm in 1865 and periodically sold off small groups of building plots to individual private buyers. The plot on which number 161 came to be built was amongst the first to be sold by the company in August of that year and the terrace was complete and occupied by 1871.

The first occupants of the house were masons who were building the new Charterhouse School which was to move from London in 1875. Around the turn of the century, it become the home of William and Jane Truckle whose family were to remain at the house until 2005.

The Red Lion, Godalming

Red Lion, Godalming, Surrey
There has been an inn on the site of the Red Lion since the early years of the reign of Henry VIII. The prosperity of the inns in Godalming was based on the coaching traffic between London to Portsmouth and, being around the halfway mark, the town had its array of hostelries. At the back of the Red Lion there survives a first-floor gallery, a smaller version of the galleried yards of the London coaching inns. The coaching trade was killed by the railway in the mid nineteenth century and, for decades afterwards, the town inns were in the doldrums. About 1894 a new landlord, Thomas Myatt, came to the inn and he capitalised on trade brought by cyclists. Business thrived and the visitors' book from that period is full of sketches and complimentary comments about the quality of Myatt's inn and its fare.

Apple Tree Cottage, Elstead

Apple Tree Cottage, Elstead, Surrey
Apple Tree Cottage is a timber framed smoke-bay house that was built in 1591. The records of the manor of Farnham reveal that its first owner was Henry Wheeler who owned the house for nearly forty years. It remained in the same family until 1785 when William Wheeler fell upon hard times and sold the house to a builder. He divided it into two cottages and built a terrace of low-grade cottages in the back garden. Throughout the nineteenth century these were a part of the nearby farm and were the homes of agricultural workers. In 1939, the property was sold, the cottages in the garden were demolished and Apple Tree Cottage made one home once more.

Sir Roger Tichborne pub, Alfold Bars, Sussex

Sir Roger Tichborne, Alfold Bars, Sussex
The oldest part of the Sir Roger Tichborne, the pub at Alfold Bars, West Sussex, is a wing of a once much larger medieval house that was demolished during the late sixteenth century. The house has changed considerably since that time and it assumed its present appearance in the early nineteenth century when it was enlarged to accommodate the growing family of Robert Strudwick. He was a wheelwright and the property, the ancient name of which was Hipp and Waters, had been the heart of a wheel-making business since at least 1700. In 1873, the owner of the house, Charles Covey, bought a licence to sell beer and he named his new enterprise the Sir Roger Tichborne after a sensational court case of the time.

© Philip Gorton 2023