Pictures of Godalming
The polygogonal white market hall of 1814 marks out the fine centre of Godalming. The building, known locally as "The Pepper Pot" has arcades and a cupola, it is of striking appearance, especially when lit against the night-time sky.
A feature of the town is its long narrow streets, these stretch out from the River Wey and are lined with several gracious historic properties. One of these is the noted Kings Arms Hotel, this can trace its history back to the 14th century, between the 17th and 18th centuries it was a famous coaching inn. Amongst its many illustrious visitors the inn notes King Henry VIII, Czar Peter the Great of Russia, Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton. The inn retains much old world character and charm.
The church dedicated to St.Peter and St.Paul stands on a Saxon site, this is a cruciform church with a central tower and spire, it contains work from all periods, showing parts of its Norman origin through to restoration work of the 19th century. The church makes an interesting visit, it possesses wall paintings from the 12th century, statues, carvings, later paintings, carved Saxon stones and many flags and banners.
Godalming Museum shows fine collections and has exhibits tracing the long history of the town. It celebrates the lives of many famous people associated with Godalming, these include Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Edwin Luytens, Jack Philips (hero of the ill fated Titanic) and there is a room in the museum dedicated to Gertrude Jekyll. The museum also honour General James Oglethorpe who lived in Godalming during the 18th century, he founded the colony of Georgia in the U.S.A. in the year 1732. This is a fascinating museum with something to interest everyone.
The town is found in the heart of magnificent Surrey countryside halfway between London and the south coast, it is this favoured location that has been responsible for its development since it was first mentioned by Alfred the Great in his last will. It has always been an up-market town, and interestingly in 1881 this was the first town to be lit with public lighting.
Charterhouse School is just outside the town, this was founded in London in 1611 and moved to Godalming in 1872. The school buildings are dominated by the 150 foot Founder's Tower. Also a short distance away, but within easy driving distance is Winkworth Arboretum, here you can see a fine collection of trees, stunning when clad in their "autumn glory" of orange, red and gold. Spring brings a different vista, then there are pretty bluebells beneath branches bursting with buds. The arboretum has magical flower beds, hillside woodland, two lakes and many rare plants and shrubs. It makes an exceptional visit and is of interest to both gardeners and anyone passionate about nature.
Today, this charming rural town offers visitors an interesting time, it has a rich mixture of architecture, pleasant parks and gardens, excellent shopping facilities with a strong emphasis on individual shops such as craft and antiques. It has excellent restaurants serving cuisines of many cultures, good pubs, entertainments centres, a golf course and leisure facilities.
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