Guildford Museum

Guildford Museum Guildford Museum works with local people and other partners to collect, record and care for the boro

With free admission why not come and explore Guildford Museum. Set in a series of historic buildings just a couple of minutes walk from Guildford High Street, the Museum is full of charm and interest. Step into the world of prehistoric man, the Romans and Saxons, monks and friars, Lewis Carroll and the Victorians.

12/09/2023

Visit our Guildford's Heritage page for regular updates and content.

**Video Games - Made in Guildford: nDreams event UPDATE**
16/07/2022

**Video Games - Made in Guildford: nDreams event UPDATE**

**Video Games - Made in Guildford: nDreams event UPDATE**

The nDreams event due to take place today at our museum, has been cancelled. Because of staff sickness we are unable to go ahead as planned and apologise for the short notice.

We are so sorry for any inconvenience if you planned to visit us today. We are just as disappointed as you.

Our museum will remain open today between 12-4pm.

The same is event running on 20 August. It is still going ahead as planned. We look forward to seeing you there.

Good Morning Surrey!Our exciting new exhibition at Guildford Museum is ready to welcome you. Video Games- Made In Guildf...
02/07/2022

Good Morning Surrey!

Our exciting new exhibition at Guildford Museum is ready to welcome you. Video Games- Made In Guildford is ready to welcome you. It gives a snapshot into the thriving videogame sector in Guildford and local area.
You can:

learn about the first videogame studio in Guildford, Bullfrog Productions
discover more about the 70 plus local games studios
find out how many games have been released from Guildford
play Guildford-made videogames on our console station
find out how to get into the sector from local videogame experts
This exhibition is the beginning of a larger project. We aim to collect every videogame made within the GU postcode. The games on display are the beginning of our videogame collection.

The Museum is open Wednesday-Saturday 12pm-4pm and admission is free and we look forward to seeing you.

Experience Guildford Guildford Town CentreGuildford, Surrey, UKBBC Radio Surrey Surrey ChoicesVisit Guildford Guildford Residents for Guildford and Villages Visit Surrey Visit South East England We Love Surrey Guildford Town Past & Present Guildford Present & Future Guildford Dragon NewsEA Gamess Criterion Games Greatest Hits Radio UK_Gaming Nintendo Nintendo Switch Xbox UK PlayStation Surrey Live Historic GuildfordFamilies Surrey West Magazine Mum's Grapevine Outandabout Surrey Life What To Do With The Kids (UK) Out With The Kids by Jeff Bogle

The Medieval Undercroft will be open again on this  . Located in the high street opposite the Angel Hotel, this historic...
07/05/2022

The Medieval Undercroft will be open again on this . Located in the high street opposite the Angel Hotel, this historic attraction will be welcoming visitors every Wednesday and Saturday between 2pm and 4pm May through to September. Admission is Free! Experience Guildford Visit GuildfordVisit SurreyWe Love SurreyGuildfordHistoric Guildford BBC Radio Surrey

So today is your last chance to help us recreate   in model form, using our recycled materials. Why not spend this   loo...
07/05/2022

So today is your last chance to help us recreate in model form, using our recycled materials. Why not spend this looking around our wonderful County town and then pop into our Museum in Quarry Street between 12pm-4pm to recreate your favourite landmark. Admission as always is free! Experience Guildford Visit Surrey Visit Guildford BBC Radio Surrey

We are thrilled to announce the re-opening of the Medieval Undercroft. Located in the high street opposite the Angel Hot...
03/05/2022

We are thrilled to announce the re-opening of the Medieval Undercroft. Located in the high street opposite the Angel Hotel, this historic attraction will be welcoming visitors every Wednesday and Saturday between 2pm and 4pm May through to September. Admission is Free! Historic Guildford Guildford Town Past & PresentVisit SurreyGuildfordWe Love SurreyVisit GuildfordFriends of Guildford MuseumExperience Guildford Guildford Borough CouncilGuildford, Surrey, UK Visit South East EnglandBBC Radio Surrey Guildford Dragon NewsGuildford

It was wonderful to see our Spring traditions back in full swing yesterday.
01/05/2022

It was wonderful to see our Spring traditions back in full swing yesterday.

Have you created your own piece of Guildford with us yet? Model Town Build Guildford is open along with the rest of the ...
21/04/2022

Have you created your own piece of Guildford with us yet? Model Town Build Guildford is open along with the rest of the Museum, Wednesday through to Saturday 11am-4:30pm and Admission is free. Visit South East England Visit Guildford Visit Surrey Guildford Town Past & Present The Yvonne Arnaud TheatreWe Love Surrey Experience Guildford Historic Guildford Guildford Town Centre

We are recruiting!Would you like to work in a small team, have a interest in Guildford history and its local buildings a...
09/03/2022

We are recruiting!
Would you like to work in a small team, have a interest in Guildford history and its local buildings and maintaining them? If so then this vacancy for a part-time Caretaker could be for you. For full details and how to apply please click here. https://jobs.guildford.gov.uk/internal/vacancy/caretaker-478422.html

Our   family activities continue today at  . Come and visit us between 12pm – 1.30pm and 2pm – 3.30pm and make these blo...
19/02/2022

Our family activities continue today at . Come and visit us between 12pm – 1.30pm and 2pm – 3.30pm and make these blooming spring flowers in our drop-in activity. You can also try our new spring flowers trail. 🌹 🌷

Both activities are free.

The Museum is open from 12pm -4pm Wednesday through to Saturday with a wide range of permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Due to unforeseen circumstances we regret to advise you that Guildford Museum will not be open today Saturday 8th Januar...
08/01/2022

Due to unforeseen circumstances we regret to advise you that Guildford Museum will not be open today Saturday 8th January 2022. We would also like to advise that the Surrey Finds Officer will not be holding his monthly event today due to these circumstances.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and look forward to welcoming you back on Wednesday 12th January from midday.

Guildford Borough Council Visit Guildford Visit Surrey Experience Guildford

Our phone lines at the museum are now working.👇👇👇👇
05/11/2021

Our phone lines at the museum are now working.
👇👇👇👇

Our phone lines at the museum are now working.

So if you need to contact us you can by:

👉 phoning 01483 444 751
👉 emailing [email protected]

We are currently experiencing technical issues with our phone system which is resulting in no calls being able to be mad...
04/11/2021

We are currently experiencing technical issues with our phone system which is resulting in no calls being able to be made to our 01483 444751 number. The matter has been reported and an external team are working hard to resolve this. If you need to contact us as a matter of urgency please call Guildford Borough Council on 01483 505050 or email us at [email protected]. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Available from our Museum gift shop now!
01/11/2021

Available from our Museum gift shop now!

Be sure to get yourself a copy of the new 'Folklore of Surrey' by Matthew Alexander!

This study of the local folklore of Surrey describes the working-class traditions of village and market towns in ‘Old Surrey’, and includes popular themes such as ghosts, tunnels and treasure, witches, folk medicine, sayings, calendar customs and even wife-swapping. For Surrey researchers, the book is rich in local history material, accurate, comprehensive and relevant, as well as a fascinating book to read.

Copies are available for purchase at the Society’s headquarters at Abinger, Guildford Museum and Surrey History Centre (Surrey Heritage). They can also be purchased by post (£12.99 plus £2p+p) from the Society. See https://www.surreyarchaeology.org.uk/content/publications for more info.

27/07/2021

As we continue looking at the we’d like to share with you this photograph of a beautiful red fox who often visits ’s roof and garden. Foxes are known to have lived in Britain’s southern urban areas since the 1930s. Foxes shelter in our gardens, yards and other open spaces. Their varied diet includesinsects and grubs, slugs, worms, small rodents, and anything that they can raid from our rubbish bins!
Read more here about foxes here - https://www.bbcwildlife.org.uk/urban-fox

26/07/2021
26/07/2021

This week we are looking at the . Artists are often influenced by the wonder of nature around them. This ‘Seashore Box’ made by Doreen Bibby was inspired by the artist’s childhood love of rockpools. Sand, pebbles, shells, and seaweed are represented though a variety of textiles such as leather, thread and beads.

How does the inspire you?

Image © Doreen Bibby

21/07/2021

Have you made an interesting archaeological discovery?

Bring objects you have found when out walking, digging in your garden or using a metal detector to our free Finds Identification Session with Dr Simon Maslin County Finds Liaison Officer.


Sat 24 July 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Free entry

15/07/2021

Our project to collect the sector in continues. We have now collected 23 out of the 220+ games made in Guildford.

We still have a long way to go!

If you have any videogames that were made by Guildford studios that you would like to donate to ’s collection please do get in touch 😊

15/07/2021

As we continue our crafting project, this week we will be looking at some other , or handmade decorative objects.
’s needlework collection includes many tools used by people to stitch the items. This silver thimble dates from the 1600s.

People wear thimbles to protect their fingers when they push needles through cloth when stitching. From their useful beginnings they have evolved into trinkets given as gifts or made to commemorate events. Larger thimbles, used to measure spirits, gave rise to the saying ‘just a thimbleful’ when talking about a measure of drink .

14/07/2021

As we continue our crafting project, this week we will be looking at some other , such this embroidered box, made in the 1600s. At this time girls learnt to sew from a young age and making a box like this was the high point of a girl’s education, showcasing all the skills she had learnt. Only girls from wealthy backgrounds, who did not have to work for a living, made these types of boxes.

They took many hours to make and the materials, including gold and silver threads, were expensive. Sadly, the box may have stayed hidden for part of its life. It features King Charles I who was executed in 1649 for treason. His supporters may have been advised to hide their feelings!

12/07/2021

As we continue our crafting project, this week we will be looking at some other , or handmade decorative objects. This wooden candlestick was made by John Tanner in the 1800s. John was a shepherd who enjoyed the art of wood carving.

Wood carving is a form of woodwork. An object is carved by removing excess wood using different hand tools such as knives and chisels. We think you’ll agree that the detailed decoration on this candlestick is beautiful and must have taken John a long time to complete.

07/07/2021

We’re working on a new room at the museum, the Scullery Playroom. This will be a space for our younger visitors to play at cooking with our toy cooker and washing with our original wash tub and dolly.

We’ve been inspired by the history of part of the museum, Castle Arch, which spent most of its life as family homes.

Let us know if you have any ideas for things you’d like to see in the Scullery for your children. We’ll let you know soon when we can open the playroom and any guidelines for using it in a Covid-safe way.

01/07/2021

The All England Croquet Club was founded in in 1868. When tennis replaced croquet in popularity, the Club became in 1877.
This Guildford carnival float from the 1920s reflects the enthusiasm for tennis. It carries three characters dressed in the outfits of popular sports of the past ( ), present ( ) and future – which seems to be a strange flying outfit!

29/06/2021

We recently discovered this object in our stores.

The only information we have about it, is that it is a net frame from Newark Mill, 1880-1900. We are guessing it is a tennis net frame, which would be rather fitting for the beginning of this week!

Let us know if you agree and whether you know if had a tennis court in the late 19th century!

28/06/2021

Today marks the start of the Wimbledon tennis Championships. And what could be more then strawberries!

This picture of a basket of strawberries in our collection, is made from felt and embroidery. It was made by Miss Ewart when she was at a school in Tooting and given to her father on Christmas Eve in 1782.

Now where’s the cream…?!

18/06/2021

Surrey Choices thank you so much for this wonderful video.
Carolanne it is a pleasure to see you working on your square 👉https://fb.watch/6cgx9KazVE/

Join us in making and stitch yourself into history by making or designing your own square. Take a moment to reflect, to remember past acts of kindness that helped you through difficult times, or capture your hopes for a kinder world ahead.

For more information plus downloadable templates visit - https://www.guildford.gov.uk/guildfordsquilt and share your deigns with us!


18/06/2021

What a beautiful apron from ’s collections, this is not an apron to wear for the washing up! Short aprons for women were fashionable in Europe in the early to mid-1700s. Made of silk, these aprons were decorated with colourful floral designs hand embroidered with silk and metal threads. Such aprons were worn on formal occasions as fashion accessories and definitely not as protective wear.

17/06/2021

Today’s object from our collection is the decorative edge to an 18th century woman’s fichu, or collar. In the 1700s lace was fashionable but very expensive. White embroidery like this was developed as a cheaper alternative. It became known as Dresden work from the town now in north Germany where it was mostly made. The lacy effect is made by stitches which pull the threads of the ground cloth apart to create complicated open patterns.

15/06/2021

This embroidered panel in collection Is probably a pillow cover. It was made in Hungary, stitched in the 19th or early 20th century. It has a traditional design of stylised flowers inspired by tulips, roses and pomegranates. Beautiful bedlinen was prized and often displayed for visitors to admire on the bed placed in the living/sleeping room.
In many central European countries, it was traditional for a bride to illustrate her wealth by the number of embroidered pillows she had.

08/06/2021

To help the and our own health we are encouraged to eat a more plant-based diet. During the many people ate less meat and their diets and health improved, a positive side effect of government rationing which ensured there was enough food for all.

07/06/2021

To mark our week why not leave a bit of your garden to go wild? This provides precious homes for wildlife such as insects, small mammals and birds, like those you can see in this image from our collection by artist Christiana Herringham (1852-1929). Find out how to cultivate a wild area at https://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/actions/how-grow-wild-patch or, if you already have one, why not enter your garden in ’s best garden for wildlife category? The closing date is this Sunday, 13 June.

01/06/2021

Looking for some inspiration this school holiday?
Well we have some for you this Tuesday. Want to learn how to draw a face? Well you can at as part of our 'John Russell, A Georgian Portrait Painter at Work' exhibition, by picking up an activity booklet when you visit or have a go using the image below.
Find out more 👉 https://www.guildford.gov.uk/museum

Address

Castle Arch, Quarry Street
Guilford
GU13SX

Opening Hours

Wednesday 12pm - 4:30pm
Thursday 12pm - 4:30pm
Friday 12pm - 4:30pm
Saturday 12pm - 4:30pm

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Guildford Museum - Castle Arch, Quarry Street, Guildford GU1 3SX. At Guildford Museum we work with local people and organisations to collect, record and care for the borough’s heritage collections and to promote understanding, enjoyment and engagement with that heritage through access and learning for all. The museum is set in a series of historic buildings just a couple of minutes’ walk from Guildford High Street, and is full of charm and interest. Our displays take you from the prehistoric era up to the 20th century. We have regularly changing exhibitions so there’s always something new to see. Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 11am to 5pm (last admission 4.45pm) FREE ENTRY.

Find out more about the history of the building on our website https://www.guildford.gov.uk/article/21724/History-of-the-building-


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📸 Some pictures from The Spike’s roof, looking over Warren road and Guildford. The Spike is open for tours on Tuesdays and Saturdays, 10am-4pm. Or large groups can come anytime by booking:
📞 01483 598420
📧 [email protected]

Visit Guildford Visit Surrey Guildford Heritage Experience Guildford Guildford Museum
A Reason To Get Up's Crafty Creations had a lovely time creating this display at the Guildford Museum to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee! They also made some lovely bunting for The Guildford Institute too!

They looked at china memorabilia from previous jubilees, made and decorated their own crockery, and created some salt dough food to go with it. Make sure you pop by the museum to take a look!

Crafty Creations had lots of fun helping to create a model of Guildford High Street with Guildford Museum!

Look at how much detail they included! The model town of Guildford is on display until Saturday 7 May so make sure you pop by soon to explore for yourself.

Our fab Crafty Creations teamed up with Melanie from Guildford Museum to help with a project that the Museum are featuring in May.

They are going to set up a floor map of Guildford with the main buildings made of cardboard and recycled materials which the public will be able to help with. Melanie asked if The halow young people could help by making the first few buildings/structures to start off the display.

Everyone chose a structure and thoroughly enjoyed creating it.

We are excited to see them in place in the Museum in the near future.

Guildford's Heritage
ENID'S STORY - GARDEN PARTIES, NAUGHTY BOYS, STOLEN KISSES, THE BIRTH OF GUILDFORD BOYS GRAMMAR AND A TRAGEDY.

Born in Busselton in 1883, Enid was the eldest of seven children.

Her father was Frederick Drake-Brockman, who was very tall (over six foot) and very thin.

“He had the bluest eyes you ever saw and when he was annoyed about anything one eyebrow went up. He was very fastidious about his clothes, and although my mother had a washerwoman, she always used to do my father’s skirts and iron them herself.”

Her father would often confuse Enid with her twin sister Frederica (Rica). So, he would just call out “Twin!” and whoever heard it first had to go.

Enid’s other siblings were Edmund, Geoffrey and the “little ones” Deborah, Allan, and Karl.

Her mother was Grace (nee Bussell). Together with Sam Issacs, she had been hailed as a hero in the rescue of passengers and crew from the ‘Georgette’. But according to Enid she didn’t look like a heroine, she was “shortish and very beautiful”.

So beautiful in fact, that the local doctor would not attend when four-year-old Enid was injured falling down a flight of stone steps. So jealous of Grace’s beauty the doctor's wife, according to Enid, threatened to kill herself if he went!

As a surveyor (and eventually the Surveyor General), Enid’s father would be away for up to a year at a time. The family would go down to her mother’s old stamping ground at Margaret River to stay with the Bussell relatives at Ellensbrook, and later Wallcliffe House.

Because of the nature of Enid's father's work, the family rented houses and shifted often. Enid remembered a house in West Guildford called ‘The Retreat’. “It was a very old white brick bungalow with grapevines and trellises.”

It was not until Enid was in her teens, that the family built their own home in East Guildford – “A big bungalow made of galvanised iron and wood with lots of bedrooms and lots of children.”

They were a very “self-contained” family, but saying that, there was nearly always someone staying in the house. Including her mother’s sister, Violet who Enid didn’t like much because she was difficult.

“Society was very class-conscious then. You only knew the people who did the same things as you did. We knew the best people naturally. We rather fancied ourselves as being the leaders of those sorts of things.” (Enid)

Grace was considered quite the hostess, holding dinner parties, and little dances for her children on their birthdays.

“All the people played the piano in those days, so you didn’t have to hire somebody. We did the waltz, polkas, mazurkas and lancers.”

Enid also attended a lot of children’s parties at Government House and as she got older, garden parties and balls. She even made her debut there.

“I remember one of the first dresses I wore to a Government House party. It was pale cream satin, straight, with a frill around the bottom. It wasn’t very long, just below the knee, and you always wore a lovely big sash with a big bow at the back.”

Despite appearances, the family was “not frightfully well off” according to Enid, because they didn’t pay Government officers very much in those days. However they did have one servant, a cleaning woman, someone to do the laundry and grooms for her father’s horses and the children’s ponies!

The children were not spoilt though, Grace always made sure they had lots of little chores in the house. Like making their beds and helping with breakfast.

“There were no passengers on my mother’s ship ever.”

Enid would often go shopping for dresses in Perth at Shenton’s at the corner of William and Hay Streets. The trip from Guildford to Perth took about half-an-hour and the train would only run twice in a day. Once to take the men into the office and once to bring them home at night.

For a short time, Enid took the train to the convent school in Perth, then she started going to the Harper home for lessons.

The four Harper boys were “villains, perfect little thieves” according to Enid. They used to catch the train to High School (now Hale School) and dash up and down the corridors – disturbing all the “old boys” reading their newspapers on the way to the office.

Mr Harper got so many complaints about his sons behaviour on the train, that he decided to engage a tutor, and as Enid’s father had never liked his girls going to school on the train unchaperoned, he joined in with him.

And that was the start of Guildford Grammar School!

Mr Frank Bennett was the tutor (and Headmaster). He was “a wonderful teacher” but Enid was terrified of him.

“He was a short man with fair hair and very bad tempered. He was lame and used a walking stick. He’d slam everyone back and around the school with this stick.”

Lessons were taken in the billiard room at the Harpers stately home Woodbridge. In the beginning there were eight Harper children and seven little Drake-Brockmans. School started at 9am and finished at 4pm. Subjects included Latin, German, French and History. At lunchtimes the girls would nibble on sandwiches, while the boys played cricket.

According to Enid they always had a terrible lot of homework – “Mr Bennet was mad about homework.” They would do it after dinner on an old round table by the light of a large Bismark lamp.

While studying the four eldest would secretly smoke one of Enid’s father’s ci**rs. “Two puffs and hand it on.” When Grace came in with cocoa and cake at 10pm, they would be fanning madly out the tiny window, trying to get rid of the cigar smoke.

“The room would be blue with smoke, but she’d never let on that she’d noticed it. She was very sporting.”

Then tragically one day “Mr Bennett threw himself into the river and drowned himself.”

After that, Mr Harper built a school block where Guildford Grammar School stands today. It included a big classroom, two junior rooms and the usual bathrooms and lavatories. When a Mr Gillespie came along as Headmaster he got the school on its feet.

He called it ‘Guildford Grammar School’ and they stopped taking girls.

When Guildford Grammar “started properly”, there were cricket and football matches with Scotch, Hale, and Christian Brothers to watch. In the Head of the River in the those, they used to row right up to Barrack Street.

Enid became engaged while still at school when she was 16 years-old to Dr James Fergusson-Stewart.

“He used to tell me that he’d row up-river and if I could slip down after school, he’d meet me at Woodbridge landing and take me home.”

Enid’s parents didn’t like it much, but according to Enid they didn’t know half the time.

The engagement only became official when Enid was 17 and had made her debut. Then they had to wait two years after that until they were allowed to marry.

During their long engagement, the couple were often chaperoned by Enid’s twin Rica, until she “bucked” and refused to go anymore. They would go to musicals at the Theatre Royal, the races and of course the Royal Show which was then held in Guildford.

When Enid and James were married in 1902, it was described in the Western Mail as one of the prettiest weddings ever to have taken place at St Matthews Church, Guildford.

“The bride, a handsome girl, wore a well-made dress of white Duchess satin, with a tucked bolero over a blouse of fine lace. The yoke and sleeves were of lace, the trained skirt was festooned with lace and trimmed with orange blossom; a coronet of orange blossom was worn on the head. A large shower bouquet of white flowers finished a most dainty bridal toilette.”

“The bridesmaids were dressed in white Swiss muslin, inserted with lace and voluminous frills on the skirt; transparent lace yokes, and bell sleeves; becoming white feathered hats, with a knot of black velvet under the brim. They carried shower bouquets of pink and white roses, tied with pink ribbon streamers.”

Enid was destined to wear her wedding dress again, at the Centenary Ball at Government House in 1929.

Source - [Interview with Enid Fergusson-Stewart] [sound recording] / [interviewed by Shelley Gare].
Fergusson-Stewart, Enid, 1883-
Oral History | 1975.
Available at 2nd Floor Oral History Stack (Call number: OH90 Audio (Reading room))

ABC Perth The West Australian PerthNow Guildford Grammar School Guildford, Western Australia Swan Guildford Historical Society Inc - SGHS Museum of Perth Familyhistory WA - FHWA WAtoday.com.au Government House, Perth Government House Western Australia ABC South West The Guildford Hotel Angela Richardson MP Visit Guildford Guildford Museum Guildford Rowing Association Rose and Crown Hotel