"My Home Town!" Top 5 Page for this destination Guildford by hotlipz

Guildford Travel Guide: 71 reviews and 171 photos

Guildford is noted as one of the richest towns in England (I'd love to see some of that wealth!!) It's true, the town is expensive (you cant even buy a one bedroom flat/appartment for less that ?250,000) but the town is so rich in history, culture and interest that you can see why it is so popular. It's also only 30 mins by train to London which I suppose has added to it's popularity.

Guildford has a Cathedral (which featured in the 1976 film The Omen), a Crown Court and a Town Hall but unfortunately still has not attained City status (which can only be granted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II).

We also have our own castle which dates back to Henry III. It's set in the most beautiful grounds and is just a few yards from all the hustle and bustle of the High Street Shops. It's also a really good place to have a picnic in the summer.

The High Street

In Guildford you really can 'meet me under the clock' - and what a fantastic clock this is. It was built in 1673 and still tells the time perfectly!

The Undercroft

I couldnt even begin to decribe what an Undercroft is so here it is from the people who know!

Measuring some thirty feet by nineteen, the Undercroft has a rib-vaulted ceiling supported by two central columns. The corbels the brackets where the arches spring from the walls are carved in the shape of grotesque faces. By the stair, for example, is one carved in the shape of the head of a woman wearing the folded headcloth, or wimple, in the style fashionable in the late 1200s. The ceiling is above street level giving room for a doorway and steps down from the street. The doorway is on the downhill side to gain the maximum headroom. On the uphill side was a low window which afforded a little daylight. Near the far corner in the uphill wall is a narrow doorway which once led to a spiral stair to the house above. The house would have been timber framed and nothing of this has survived.

Undercrofts like these were mostly built in the 1200s and the early 1300s. They were used as shops: the extensive stonework and the carvings were intended for display and not merely as an embellishment to a cellar or storeroom. The undercroft arrangement meant that a short flight of steps up from the street could lead to another shop thus effectively doubling the street frontage. The merchant who lived in the house above might have used the undercroft himself or possibly sublet it as a separate shop, as is known to have happened in London and elsewhere.

Since the Middle Ages the Undercroft has been used simply for storage and for much of the present century has stood empty. In 1989 work was carried out to open the long-blocked street entrance and refurbish the interior for use as an Information Centre for visitors to the town. This has been achieved with very little alteration to the medieval structure and so now once again the Undercroft is playing an important part in the town's commercial life, looking very much as it did when it was built 700 years ago.Measuring some thirty feet by nineteen, the Undercroft has a rib-vaulted ceiling supported by two central columns. The corbels the brackets where the arches spring from the walls are carved in the shape of grotesque faces. By the stair, for example, is one carved in the shape of the head of a woman wearing the folded headcloth, or wimple, in the style fashionable in the late 1200s. The ceiling is above street level giving room for a doorway and steps down from the street. The doorway is on the downhill side to gain the maximum headroom. On the uphill side was a low window which afforded a little daylight. Near the far corner in the uphill wall is a narrow doorway which once led to a spiral stair to the house above. The house would have been timber framed and nothing of this has survived.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:It's such a beautiful town surrounded by the Surrey Hills
  • Cons:The town centre is very hilly so not for everyone
  • In a nutshell:We even have our own castle!
  • Intro Updated Aug 8, 2007
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Reviews (6)

Comments (8)

  • etfromnc's Profile Photo
    Mar 26, 2009 at 8:38 AM

    Happy birthday! But should I visit Guildford or not? It sounds way too expensive and it is going to work me to death to just walk around town.

  • BillNJ's Profile Photo
    Apr 20, 2008 at 3:55 PM

    Thanks for the great tips and photos. The clock and the pubs look especially wonderful. Best from New Jersey, Bill

  • uglyscot's Profile Photo
    Mar 26, 2008 at 12:02 AM

    I hope you have a happy birthday.

  • nicolaitan's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2007 at 3:43 PM

    You are quite correct - a remarkable clock.

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Jul 3, 2007 at 4:04 AM

    Real ale, Sunday roast and a good curry...is there anything that defines the UK more? Hope to stop by one day. Thanks for dropping by.

  • barryg23's Profile Photo
    Apr 13, 2007 at 3:14 PM

    Good restaurant tips, I'll be in Guildford tomorrow, will try to fit in a visit to the Brittannia

  • sayedaburas's Profile Photo
    Mar 26, 2007 at 12:14 AM

    ღ Louise !ღ ♫•:*¨`*:•Happy birthday to you•:*¨`*:•♫ What a lovely stuff (~_~)

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Sep 20, 2006 at 5:44 AM

    Thanks, Louise, for very interesting page about your home-town. Waiting for new tips and pics about Guildford's Cathedral, Crown Court and Town Hall...

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