Guildford Heritage

Guildford Heritage Guildford Heritage Guildford Borough Council Heritage Service cares for a portfolio of heritage sites in and around Guildford town centre.

These include:

Guildford House Gallery
Guildford Museum
Guildford Castle
Wanborough Barn

Guildford House Gallery and Guildford Museum are open all year round and both offer a varied programme of temporary exhibitions and events. The Guildhall is open on Tuesdays and Thursday for tours. Guildford Castle welcomes visitors from March to October and offers fantastic panormaic vi

ews of Guildford and the surrounding countryside from it's rooftop viewing platform - not to be missed!


Have you visited Guildford House Gallery to see the Borough's collection of John Russell paintings.

Limited time left to see this wonderful collection of pastels

John Russell Portraits
17 November - 23 February 2013

Guildford born John Russell was Britain's leading 18th century pastellist, Royal Academician and painter to King George III. This exhibition features paintings from Guildford Borough's fine collection of John Russell portraits.


Stuck for ideas for things to do with the kids this holiday?

As part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II we have set families some free fun challenges during the summer holidays at Guildford Museum!

Find the Crowns! Use your sleuthing skills and a list of clues to find the fifteen miniature golden crowns hidden all around the Museum. Successful finders of all the crowns will get a sticker. Suitable for all ages.

Jubilee quiz – test your knowledge of Royal Jubilees, past and present in this family-friendly quiz! All the answers can be found in the exhibition. Suitable for all ages.

Guildford Museum is open Monday – Saturday, 11am- 5pm and entry is free.


Guildford Museum had a very interesting visitor this morning! A gentleman left the Museum earlier and called our entry phone to tell us that he had just passed by a squirrel coming in as he was exiting! We are happy to report that after the squirrel had a quick look at our local archaeology section and the Jubilee exhibition, it left safely and headed up to Castle Arch. Maybe off to visit the Castle next...

The Art Fund Prize for museums and galleries

Help Watts Gallery win £100,000 to save Watts's house and studio

Have your way say on why the Watts Gallery should be shortlisted for the Art Fund Prize as the more more entries they have, the more the judges will consider their submission as important. If the Watts Gallery are successful it will increase inward investment into Guildford.

Go to and say why Watts Gallery should win, you may just be giving them the lifeline they desperately need PLUS you might also win an i-pad!

In the hundred words that you can submit, here are some of the reasons why Watts Gallery should win:

1. Magnificent restoration of a hidden gem and artistic treasure
2. An outstanding collection by one of Britain's most important artists
3. A groundbreaking Art For All Learning Programme inspired by it's founders G.F. and Mary Watts
4. Internationally significant exhibitions drawn from national and private collections
5. Unique programme of events, concerts, tours, talks and visits
6. A community of more than 300 dedicated volunteers
7. An important library and archive containing 5,000 rare Victorian photographs
8. Pioneering apprenticeships in curatorial, marketing, pottery and estate management skills
9. The celebrated Tea Shop serving Welsh rarebit and home-baked scones and cakes
10. £100,000 would support the saving of Limnerslease, Watts's home and studio, for the nation

Thank you for supporting the Watts Gallery at a critical moment in its history. Your help is really appreciated.

The Art fund Prize for museums and galleries


Guildford Museum Local History Talks

Anna Lea Merritt (1844-1930) was a successful and prolific artist. In 1894-5 she painted the Murals for St Matins Church, Blackheath (near Albury) using the Pre-Rhapaelite style. Anna was the first woman to have her work collected by the Tate Gallery.

Olive Maggs will give an illustrated talk about the interesting iconography of the murals and the little know water–glass technique used in their making.

For tickets contact Guildford Museum 01483 444751 or [email protected]

Tickets cost £3.50

2.30pm Saturday 10th March in Salters, Castle Street (just around the corner form the museum)


Image & Perception workshop for 12-16 year olds at Guildford Museum.

Young people aged 12-16 years are invited to come along to 2 spring workshops at Guildford Museum to explore the ideas of image and perception through making their own shadow puppets on 28th April (10.30am - 4pm) amd 12th May (10.30am - 12.30pm). The young people will then plan and display their work at a showcase at Guildford Museum!

The cost is £30 per young person for the 2 sessions, to be paid in advance (fee will include the cost of all materials and refreshments). Numbers are limited so please book by 17th April 2012.

For more information call 01483 444751 or email [email protected]


Come along and discover more about Guildford's hidden treasure that is Guildford House Gallery!

Guildford House Gallery is a beautifully preserved town house built in the 17th century situated on the High Street in Guildford. It is currently used as an art gallery and tourist information centre but it has a fascinating history to tell of family life in the 1600 and 1700's, commercial life in the 19th & 20th century and public service in the 20th & 21st centuries.

Guildford's Town Guides are trialling free public tours on most Tuesdays each week from March - May 2012. They start at 11am in the Garden Room and will last approx 40 mins. There is no need to book, just turn up on the day!

For more information please call 01483 444751.


If you are looking for something to do this weekend, why not visit Guildford Castle? The Castle is open on Saturdays and Sundays throughout March from 11am to 4pm (last admission 3.30pm). If you head to the top of the Great Tower, you will find a 360 degree panoramic view of Guildford and the beautiful surrounding countryside.

Admission is £3.00 per adult and £1.50 per child/concession.


As excitement builds up for the Olympics and in celebration of the fact that the Olympic torch will be passing through Guildford on Friday 20th July, Nick Booth will be interviewing Austin Playfoot, who carried the last Olympic torch that passed through Guildford, back in 1948. Mr Playfoot has some really interesting memories of the day such the torch getting so hot that he had to put it in a bucket of water at the end!!

Mr Playfoot has kindly offered to leave the torch to Guildford Museum in the future and in order to complement our records Nick will be interviewing him on 6th March.

Do you have a question you would like to ask Mr Playfoot about carrying the Olympic torch? if so, we would love to hear from you and we will try and ask him for you. Just post your question on this page.

Local history author talks : Guildford Borough Council

If you are stuck for something to do this Saturday afternoon, we still have tickets left for Jenny Overton's talk. Join her as she describes what life was like for the villagers of Peaslake during World War Two in her talk "On The Home Front: Peaslake 1939-1945". The talk will take place at Guildford Museum's Salters Gallery in Castle Street and starts at 2.30pm.

Tickets are £3.50 each or £3 if you book for more than one talk. Please call 01483 444751 to book tickets and further information. Click on the link for details of our other local history talks.

Following a hugely successful first series, Guildford Museum is hosting a second series of local history author talks, each relating to books currently sold in the Museum Gift Shop.

Local history author talks : Guildford Borough Council

On Saturday 28th January, join Jenny Overton as she describes what life was like for the villagers of Peaslake during World War Two in her talk "On The Home Front: Peaslake 1939-1945". The talk will take place at Guildford Museum's Salters Gallery in Castle Street and starts at 2.30pm.

Tickets are £3.50 each or £3 if you book for more than one talk. Please call 01483 444751 to book tickets and further information. Click on the link for details of our other local history talks.

Following a hugely successful first series, Guildford Museum is hosting a second series of local history author talks, each relating to books currently sold in the Museum Gift Shop.

British prisoner of War stitched hidden anti-Hitler message into N**i quilt - Telegraph

Mary Alexander, our Collections Officer, says "This is a sampler rather than a quilt. Perhaps I’d better look more closely at our large sampler collection … We have one done by a man, who sewed a sampler about the coronation of Elizabeth II from a kit. We also have one by a boy. It’s an embroidered picture rather than a sampler, of a cottage with the words ‘Home Sweet Home’. He made it when he was a page boy at Horsley Towers, with the help of the housekeeper" after reading this article!

A Prisoner of War stitched up his German captors after they unwittingly displayed his coded needlework containing the message 'God Save the King' and other messages in prison camps where he was held captive.

Restored Roman helmet is unveiled

What has been hailed as one of the most significant recent UK Iron Age finds is going on display in Leicestershire after a 9 year conservation project!

A unique Roman helmet, which sheds new light on the invasion of Britain, is put on display after restoration.

"Grene Potts" - the Farnborough Hill story : Guildford Borough Council

An interesting lecture to tie in with our From This Earth exhibition.

Jacqueline Pearce's lecture accompanies the exhibitions From this Earth on show at Guildford Museum and Guildford House Gallery until March 2012. The exhibition arose out of the publication Pots and Potters in Tudor Hampshire, which focused on the major pottery industry of the late medieval and Tudo...


would like to say a massive thank you to our amazing volunteers - Bee, Tom, Jon and Kim! They have only been with us for a couple of months and already they have inputted over 1000 records onto our new electronic database which will be available online soon (watch this space!). Your help is very much appreciated especially by Nick, as he is very excited about the new database! Thanks everyone and we hope you have a brilliant Christmas, a very happy new year and we look forward to seeing you all in 2012!


The Guildford Heritage Team would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! The Museum and Guildford House will both be closed for the festive period after Christmas Eve. The Gallery re-opens on Thursday 29th December at 11am but the Museum will be closed to the public until 11am on Tuesday 3rd January 2012.

Finders Not Keepers: Yale Returns Artifacts To Peru : NPR

Nick Booth, our Assistant Collections Officer, has just read this rather interesting article!

Objects excavated from the Machu Picchu ruins in the early 1900s have finally come home. The artifacts were taken by Yale explorer Hiram Bingham III. After 100 years, an international custody battle and an angry letter from Yale alumni, they're are back on display in their country of origin.

Family craft workshops : Guildford Borough Council

Looking for something to keep the kids entertained in the run up to Christmas? why not pop along to our Christmas Family Workshop on Wednesday 21st December? The children can design and make their own Christmas decorations using glitter, sequins and miniature pom poms!

Our drop-in family-friendly craft workshops are held at Salters, just around the corner from Guildford Museum. There are two sessions from 11am - 1pm and 2pm - 4pm on each of the dates listed below and each session costs just £2 per child.

Stonehenge new 'sun worship' find

Our Assistant Collections Officer Nick wanted to share this interesting article he read on the BBC website!

Two previously undiscovered pits are found at Stonehenge which point to the monument being used as a place of sun worship prior to the stones being erected.

Bottles Bricked Up for Nearly 200 Years – A Through Time Article « St. Catherine's Village

Nick Booth, Assistant Collections Officer at Guildford Heritage, writes about 4 old bottles that were found in a bricked up chimney at a house in St Catherine's Village.

Nick Booth, assistant collections officer with Guildford Borough Council’s Heritage Service, writes about four old bottles that were found in a bricked-up chimney at a house in St Catherine’s Village.


Feeling Festive? then you might be interested to know that this weekend Guildford Museum will be hosting the next talk in the popular local history series - Matthew Alexander will be talking about Surrey Christmas Customs this Saturday 3rd December at 2.30pm.

Christmas in the farming villages of early Victorian Surrey was observed very differently than it is today. Advent, the weeks before Christmas, was a time of fasting, not feasting. St Thomas' Day, the 21st December, was when the poor went from door to door 'gooding' - collecting food for the coming festival. The morning of Christmas Day was the first time carols were sung - and many Surrey villages had their own Christmas songs, far richer than the rather limited repertoire we have today. It was the twelve days following Christmas that were the great time of holiday and celebrations, when the mummers or 'tiptearers' would go round acting their little play, present exchanged at New Year, and the luck-bringing visits to neighbours known as 'wassailing'.

All talks take place at Salters Gallery, near to the Museum. Tickets cost just £3.50 per talk or £3.00 if tickets are purchased for more than one talk.

Tickets must be booked in advance. Call 01483 444751 to book your ticket.

A Taste of Art: Christmas workshop with Jo Mabbutt : Guildford Borough Council

Do you fancy making your own wrapping paper? Then join Jo Mabbutt for a special Christmas craft workshop next week - see website for full details...

Explore the marvellous world of metallic decoration using real metal leaf, metallic transfer foil and other metallic media that will add magic and sparkle to your designs. Learn some simple printing techniques to produce striking repeating patterns and also develop freestyle abstract designs. You w...

From this Earth: Historical and Contemporary Ceramics : Guildford Borough Council

Brand new exhibition 'From this Earth' opens tomorrow at Guildford Museum... Escape the hustle and bustle of the Christmas shoppers and come and see some of the Tudor ceramic finds we have on display. Lots of Christmas gift ideas in the shop too!! Free admission

Surrey and areas of the Surrey Hampshire border have been home to a centuries old ceramics industry, which in medieval and Tudor times was a major supplier of kitchen and quality table ware for London. A series of pottery kilns excavated at Farnborough Hill during the late 1960s and early 1970s reve...


Our new exhibition 'From this Earth' opens tomorrow at Guildford House Gallery. Come along and see some beautiful contemporary work by local ceramicist Lucy Burley, and innovative work from students at UCA Farnham, inspired by the heritage of our local medieval and Tudor ceramics industry. Doors open at 10am tomorrow and admission is free!

Local history author talks : Guildford Borough Council

Wer've still got some tickets available for our local history talk on Guildford: The Rock 'n' Roll Years by David Rose and Nigel Enever this Saturday. Tickets only £3.50 - to book call 01483 444751

Following a hugely successful first series, Guildford Museum is hosting a second series of local history author talks, each relating to books currently sold in the Museum Gift Shop.


I'm afraid the Museum will be closing at 2pm tomorrow - we apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

Saturday 29 October, book signing: Guildford - A Walk Through Time : Guildford Borough Council

In association with Guildford Book Festival, David Rose and Martin Giles will be signing copies of their new book 'Guildford - A Walk through Time' at Guildford Museum from 12pm - 2pm tomorrow...a perfect present for any early Christmas shoppers out there!

Pop into Guildford Museum anytime from 12pm - 2pm on Saturday 29 October to meet local authors David Rose and Martin Giles. Copies of their book, which contains stunning photographs of Guildford past and present, will be available to buy from the Museum shop on the day and authors will be on hand to...

The glory days of Guildford Civic Hall : Guildford Borough Council

At the Museum we're celebrating the glory days of the former Civic Hall with an exhibition displaying memorabilia and memories from the bygone days - opens Monday!

In September 2011 G live, Guildford's major new entertainment centre opens its doors. It is the vibrant successor to the former Guildford Civic Hall.

Guildford Art Society 79th annual exhibition : Guildford Borough Council

Guildford Art Society's 79th annual exhibition at Guildford House Gallery opens today! Almost 200 art works on show - pop in if you're in town...

The exhibition features selected work by full members. Almost 200 art works will be on show which will cover a wide range of themes and styles including paintings, sculptures, glass designs, wood prints and miniatures. All exhibits will be for sale.

Guildford Castle & Museum

Never been to Guildford Museum or Castle before? Look what you're missing!

Visit Guildford Castle and head to the top of the Great Tower for a 360 degree panoramic view of Guildford and the beautiful surrounding countryside. Visit5 ...


We're still looking for material to display in our exhibition on the former Civic Hall - do you have any fond memories? If so get in touch!

Now booking: Pastfinders workshop for 12-16 years olds : Guildford Borough Council

Pottery workshop for 12-16 year olds: Make your own pot to display in an exhibition! Booking now - see website for more info

For centuries Surrey has been an important area producing ceramic items. Join this Pastfinders workshop for young people aged 12-16 years, to create your own pot and display it in our exhibition 'From this Earth' which celebrates Surrey's place in ceramics history.

Rubbish Art! : Guildford Borough Council

Looking for something creative to do with the kids this weekend? why not come along to Salters Gallery this Saturday for a one-off workshop with Tony Hart's daughter Carolyn Ross. Inspired by Tony's ability to create wonderful artwork from anything he had to hand, Carolyn will help you and your family to create masterpieces of your own to put in your gallery! We still have some tickets left so give us a call. The workshop runs from 11am - 12.30pm. Tickets are £5 per person.

Tony Hart had an enormous legacy, inspiring several generations of children to be creative with the minimum of materials, and encouraging everyone to "have a go!"


Castle Arch, Quarry Street


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