The Story of a Butler’s Christmas

Butler's Christmas 1

Bob France has volunteered as a Tour Guide at both Uppark and Petworth Houses. His work has taken in Costume Interpreter activities in various roles, including butler from Georgian and Victorian eras.

Butler's Christmas 2

Bob will explore the Christmas tradition through the eyes of John Dine, Petworth’s ancient butler, looking at how dramatically Christmas changed from his Georgian youth to late Victorian times. Discover how our Christmas traditions developed. Why did Father Christmas change from green to red? Did the Georgians have Christmas trees, presents and turkeys? What were Mumpers and Hodlers? Why was Boxing Day so important?  Plenty of insight and amusement – a  joyful way to herald the festive season!

This entertaining talk will be held at St Joan’s Center, Tilford Road, Farnham GU9 8DJ

Monday 9 December, 20:00

Refreshments from 19:30

Tickets on Entry:

Members £6 Non-Members £8 Students £4

To pre-book please email: 1socsec.fsoc@gmail.com

Please note change of date and venue

This has become necessary now that the general election has been called for 12 December.

Save Tice’s Meadow Nature Reserve

Tices Meadow

Tice’s Meadow is currently owned by Hanson, who propose to put it up for sale. This could jeopardise its future as a Nature Reserve. A petition has been started, to save the reserve.

Click here for link to petition

Our chairman, Alan Gavaghan, has written to Simon Willis, CEO of Hanson, expressing our views.

Dear Mr.Willis,

Tice’s Meadow Nature Resarve.

Our interest in the proposed sale of Tice’s Meadow Nature Reserve, has been recorded as a joint signatory in the letter sent to you by the Tice’s Meadow Bird Group dated the 21st. October.

It is felt that the concerns expressed in that letter to ensure the long term security of this highly successful and nationally applauded nature reserve should be strengthened by a further underlining of the wide spread local disquiet at the possibility that all the efforts of local volunteers could be destroyed should the ownership pass to a body disinterested in the continuation of this reserve.

Whilst it is appreciated that you have a commercial decision to reach, it is hoped that with the Hanson’s proven interest in securing this oasis of nature, then your laudable ambitions could be extended by requiring a purchaser to continue the trail you have blazed by accepting a minimum requirement not to impede the activities of the Tice’s Meadow Bird Group.

The Farnham Society was formed in1911 and has always been at the forefront of preserving what is beneficial for the local community but we do not enter lightly into any discussion unless it is felt that the core subject will have far reaching and adverse consequences.

Within the remit of your corporate responsibilities it would be appreciated if you could discuss this matter with your colleagues to see whether it is possible to negotiate an arrangement which will be commercially satisfactory and also continue into the future the protection which has been generously provided over the years by your own Group.

Yours sincerely,

Alan Gavaghan.


Click here for link to petition

Arts and Crafts Gardens

Arts and Craft gardens talk


Cherrill Sands is a garden historian with a great passion for the Arts and Crafts movement.


With the aim of combining beauty and practicality, the movement saw gardens as places to be explored and enjoyed.

Cherrill’s talk will highlight three talented and creative gardeners from the movement.

Red Hse 209

William Morris, with his first garden at the Red House.

William Robinson, whose books and magazines urged people to break away from the geometric seasonal bedding which was fashionable in the 19th century.

Gertrude Jekyll, who won great acclaim as a garden designer, working alone or with the architect Edwin Lutyens.

Please join us for a fascinating historical talk at

St Joan’s Centre, 19 Tilford Road, Farnham GU9 8DJ

Friday 15 November, 20:00

Refreshments from 19:30

Tickets on Entry:

Members £4 Non-Members £6 Students £2

To pre-book please email: 1socsec.fsoc@gmail.com


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FNP Procedural Meeting Review Decision


The Examiner has decided that the changes to the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan Review (Modification Proposal) are so significant or substantial as to change the nature of the neighbourhood development plan which the draft would replace. In his letter dated 21 June 2019 he has stated


(i) my determination under paragraph 10(1) of Schedule A2 is that the modifications contained in the draft Plan constitute material modifications which do change the nature of the Plan and, if to proceed, would require an examination and a referendum;’

Visit to Copped Hall

Copped Hall

Our second full day visit for the 2019 season was on Thursday June 2019, to Greensted Church and Copped Hall, both near Epping.


St Andrews Church Greensted is the oldest wooden church in the world and probably the oldest wooden building still standing in Europe. A few timbers in the nave remain from the original Saxon structure. These have been dated to between 998 and 1063. Many changes have been made to the church over the years but worship has continued here for 1300 years. A guided tour of this lovely old church told us more of its history.

The visit to Copped Hall gave us a chance to see restoration in progress. Copped Hall is a Palladian mansion of 1753-8, burnt in 1917 and asset stripped in 1950. From 1986 to 1995 a prolonged campaign was fought to save the mansion and its Conservation Area from repeated large-scale development proposals. Architect Alan Cox, who was very involved in the campaign, raised the finance to enable the specially formed Copped Hall Trust to acquire the freehold of the hall and gardens in 1995. The visit showed how the hall and gardens are being brought back from extreme dereliction. It proved to be a fascinating tour.


Heritage Open Days 2019

HODS logo 2019

This year Farnham’s Heritage Open Days will run over two consecutive weekends in September, Saturday 14 – Sunday 15, and Thursday 19 – Sunday 22.

Our theme this year is People Power. We will commemorate some of the famous sons, daughters and residents of Fanham who have made an impact locally or nationally. And we will celebrate what has been achieved by the people of Farnham at grass roots level. For example, this is the 50th anniversary of Farnham Matlings, saved from demoliltion by local action, now a successful arts, culture and community centre.

Click here for our brochure, with a full list of venues and events.


Here is a full list of HODS activities in and around Farnham. For further information click on the entry below.



Coxbridge Farm

Museum of Farnham, 38 West Street, Willmer House

Guitar Village, 80-81 West Street

Caffe Piccolo, 84 West Street

Farnham Library, 28 West Street, Vernon House

Graham & Co Jewellers, 20A West Street

Goldsmiths Jewellers, Lion and Lamb House, 113 West Street


Craft Study Centre


Farnham Castle, Keep and Deer Park

Masonic Centre

Zizzi’s, 68 Castle Street

10 Castle Street    - New this year

29 Castle Street


Ruby La La    - New this year


The Victoria Garden, Brightwell Road

Farnham Council Offices


The Old Court House


Farnham Maltings, Red Lion Lane


The Old Vicarage, Vicarage Lane, off Lower Church Lane

St Andrew’s Parish Church, Middle Church Lane

St Andrew’s Infant School, Upper Church Lane

Hone’s Yard, Downing Street, next to Hone’s Greengrocers           

New Ashgate Gallery, Lower Church Lane, entrance from Waggon Yard car park

Ivy House              



Badshot Lea Village Hall


South Farnham Infants School  – previously The Bourne School


Old Yew Tree Cottage


Moor Park House, Moor Park Lane (off Moor Park Way), GU10 1FE

Waverley Abbey House, Waverley Lane, GU9 8EP


Ellel Pierrepont, Frensham GU10 3DL (off A287 in Frensham) 

Museum of Rural Life


Architectural Walk in Castle Street

Farnham’s Industrial Past

Farnham’s WWII Defences

History and Heritage of Farnham Park

Rise and Fall of Waverley Abbey

St Andrew’s Church tour

The Bourne – Change in the Village

Trees in Farnham Park

Walk to Waverley


Farnham’s Finest

The Architecture of Castle Street


Tolpuddle Martyrs

Farnham Green

History of the Parish of Rowledge






Agenda for 2019 AGM

The Farnham Society

72nd Annual General Meeting

Friday 14 June 2019

St Joan’s Centre, Tilford Road GU9 8DJ

7.30 pm

complimentary drinks from 6.45pm

AGM Agenda

Guest Speaker Colin Channon

Editorial Manager, The Farnham Herald


The Farnham Society Annual General Meeting

1. Apologies for absence.

2. Minutes of the 71st Annual General Meeting held on 25 May 2018

3. Chairman’s report

4. (i) Adoption of draft accounts for financial year ending 31 March 2019

(ii) Confirmation of Inspector of Accounts

5. Committee reports

6. Election / re-election of Honorary Officers

7. Election / re-election of Committee Members

8. Any other business

Questions from the floor

Click below for reports and other items

Chairman’s report

Treasurer’s report

Draft financial statement

Air  Quality report

Planning report

HODS report

Talks report

Visits report

Election of committee

AGM 2019

Our 2019 Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday 14 June at St Joan’s Centre, Tilford Road, Farnham, GU9 8DJ

7:30 for 8:00

Colin Channon, Editorial Editor of The Farnham Herald, will be our guest speaker.

Reports on our activities during the year will be added to this post.

If you have any queries please contact us on

Evening talk : The Rise and Fall of English Switzerland

May 2019 talk poster

Hindhead was once known as a barren and dangerous place, a haunt of highwaymen.

Dr Marion Dell described how, from about 1875, that reputation changed. It became a bohemian retreat known as “The English Switzerland” which attracted writers, scientists, artists and other eminent Victorians. Some notable people who came to live here, included Alfred Lord Tennyson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Flora Thompson, George Bernard Shaw and Grant Allan. But it soon became a victim of its own success, and by the end of the century, its increasing popularity began to cause its downfall.

Monday 1st April at St Joan’s Centre, Farnham

Visit to Layer Marney

Layer Marney website

Our first full day visit for the 2019 season was on Wednesday 22nd May 2019, to Layer Marney Tower and Cressing Temple Barns, near Colchester.


We first visited Cressing Temple, itself steeped in history dating back to the 12th century when it was given to the Knights Templar. It is home to three Grade 1 listed barns as well as Tudor built walled gardens. The oldest, the Barley Barn, was constructed sometime between1205 and 1235. The Wheat Barn was constructed about fifty years later and the Granary Barn is early 16th century. There was a Tudor Mansion formerly on the site but all that remains now are the Tudor, brick built, walled gardens now fully restored to their former glory.

We moved on to Layer Marney Tower for an inclusive ploughman’s lunch and cake!

Layer Marney is a Grade 1 Tudor house. Henry, first Lord Marney, was Henry VIII’s Lord Privy Seal. He planned a palace to rival Hampton Court, but he died in 1523 and two years later work stopped, with only one range of the building completed. The gatehouse is now in private hands and is only open to the public by special arrangement. After lunch we will be given a guided tour of the house and the church which was altered to match the house.

For enquiries, please use the contact form below.

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