What to See in England
By Gordon Home
Public Domain Books
=How to get there.=–Train from Waterloo. South-Western Railway. =Nearest Station.=–Guildford. =Distance from London.=–29-3/4 miles. =Average Time.=–Varies from 50 minutes to 1-1/2 hours.
1st 2nd 3rd =Fares.=–Single 5s. 0d. 3s. 2d. 2s. 6d. Return 8s. 9d. 5s. 6d. 5s. 0d.
=Accommodation Obtainable.=–"Angel,” “White Lion,” “Castle," etc. =Alternative Route.=–South-Eastern and Chatham Railway from Charing Cross Station, and other South-Eastern and Chatham Railway termini.
Guildford High Street is without doubt one of the most picturesque in England. When one stands beneath the shadow of the quaint seventeenth-century town hall, with its great clock projecting half-way across the street towards the Corn Exchange, with its classic stone portico, a most charming picture is spread before one. The steep street dropping down to the river Wey, with the great green slopes of the Hog’s Back rising immediately beyond, framed in with quaint gabled fronts and projecting windows. The castle, though very much in ruins, still possesses its huge square keep standing upon an artificial mound. Both the keep and the other portions of the fortress were probably built in the reign of Henry II. Those who are endeavouring to read the history of the castle should bear in mind that in 1623 it was converted into a private dwelling-house, and this accounts for the red brick mullions in the upper windows of the keep. From the highest portion of the walls there is an exceedingly pretty view up the winding course of the Wey. Abbot’s Hospital, at the top of the High Street, was built in 1619. It is an exceedingly picturesque old structure of red brick, with conspicuously fine chimney-stacks. The buildings enclose a beautiful courtyard full of the richest architectural detail. The dining-hall is oak-panelled almost to the ceiling, and contains oak tables, benches, and stools. The chapel in the north-east corner contains an alms-box and a “Vinegar” Bible, and two of the windows are remarkable for their fine old glass.
The Angel Hotel in the High Street is built over a thirteenth-century crypt and contains much panelling.
The old stone grammar school in Spital Street was founded by Edward VI. St. Mary’s Church, in the centre of the town, has a painted roof to one of its chapels and some Saxon features.
[Illustration: HIGH STREET, GUILDFORD.
Showing the Town Hall, with its projecting clock, and the Corn Exchange.]