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MARKET TOWNS OF SURREY (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)

Farnham in 1837

FARNHAM, a town in the parish and hundred of Farnham and county of Surrey, 9 miles west by south from Guildford, and 38 miles south-west by west from London. The town, which is situated near the north bank of the Wey, consists of one principal street running east and west, and contains many excellent houses. Though not a corporation, it is governed by twelve masters or burgesses, from whom two bailiffs are annually chosen. These magistrates act under the bishop of Winchester, to whom they pay an acknowledgment of 12 pence per annum, receive the profits of the fairs and markets, and hold every three weeks a court, which has power to determine all actions under forty shillings. Farnham once returned members to parliament.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Andrew, was formerly a chapel of ease to Waverley Abbey, and appears to have been erected about the beginning of the sixteenth century. The tower is substantially built, and has a small turret at each corner. In the interior there are some handsome monuments, and a fine painting of the twelve apostles forms the altar-piece. The vicarage is in the diocese of Winchester ; patron the archdeacon of Surrey, and average net income £430.

The other public buildings are a market-house, a free-school, and a good day-school supported by charitable contributions. The manor of Farnham was given by Ethelbald, king of the West Saxons, to the see of Winchester, to which it has ever since belonged.

On the north side of the principal street, and on the summit of a hill, formerly stood a castle, built by Henry de Blois, brother of King Stephen, and bishop of Winchester. This fortress was destroyed by Henry III. It was re-built, and again destroyed during the civil war. After the Restoration Dr. Morley, bishop of Winchester, expended a considerable sum in erecting the present structure, which is of brick, covered with stucco, embattled, and of a quadrangular form. It contains a fine library, and some good paintings. Adjoining the castle is an extensive park, through which the little river Loddon flows.

About two miles south-east of the town is Moor Park, once the seat of Sir William Temple. On the borders of the park is Waverley Abbey, a neat modern mansion, which derives its name from a monastery of Cistertian (Cistercian) monks, the ruins of which are in the vicinity.

Farnham is noted for its hop plantations. It had formerly some cloth manufactures. The great mart for the Farnham hops is Weyhill fair. The largest plantations are less than 60 acres. The average produce is about 6 cwt. per acre.

According to the census of 1831, the population of the parish of Farnham was 5,858. The market-day is Thursday. The fairs for horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs are held on Holy-Thursday, 4th June, and 13th November.