The town of Farnham in Surrey sits 42 miles southwest of London. This strategically located town has been the home of every culture of man all the way to the beginning of time. This area has witnessed the evolution of man from cave man to modern day.
Farnham And Paeolithic Man
There is evidence that this area was used by the Paleolithic man 40, 000 years ago. There has also been evidence unearthed, several prehistoric Long barrows, community graves, have been found, traces of tools and the remains of a Flint Knapping industry, that indicates that the first settlement in the area that is now Farnham was developed 7, 000 years ago and that man has used this area for cultivation and trade in all that time.
The Harrow Way Trade Route And Pottery
Farnhams named is derived from the Saxon name of Feamhomme which means Ferns in the waters meadows. This name gives a great indication of the terrain that exists in this area. For lovers of the great outdoors this is a great area to visit and to enjoy the countryside. There are several beautiful parks, including Farnham Park which borders the Surrey hills. There is also the long distance path known as the North Downs which runs from Farnham to Dover and provides some great hiking.
It is believed that part of what made this area so significant was its access to rivers and its fertility of the soil. Routes such as the Harrow Way provided access to other settlements enabling trade to take place.
One of the major industries in Farnham in the early days of its formation was the pottery industry. There is evidence of Kilns and other remnants that would have been used under the Roman control of England after 50AD. One of the pottery establishments was the Alice Forest Pottery artisans and it is believed that this group of artisans was in existence for over 400 years.
Farnham is a market town and has many shops located along the running through West Street, The Borough and East Street. The town has a significant number of independent retailers, some of which have been in business since the nineteenth century, such as Rangers Furnishing Stores (est. 1895), Elphicks department store (est. 1881) and Pullingers (est. 1850). The latter evolved into the Pullingers Art Shop chain and is thought to be Farnham’s oldest surviving business. There are also all of the other local shops you would find in any town, such as Florists, Garages, Opticians, Locksmith, Bookstores etc.
Outstanding Architecture And The Bishops Of Winchester
Another outstanding beauty of the area is the architecture. It is resplendent with some great treasures such as Farnham castle. The castle was built in 1138 by Henri De Blois the grandson of William the conqueror and for over 800 years was given to the Bishops of Winchester. Throughout the centuries it has been destroyed and rebuilt multiple times but still exists to this day and some sections of it can be toured.