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Guildford - Wikipedia
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The town has a population of just over , and is the seat of the wider Borough of Guildford which had an estimated , inhabitants in Guildford has Saxon roots  and historians attribute its location to the existence of a gap in the North Downs where the River Wey was forded by the Harrow Way.
Due to recent development running north from Guildford, and linking to the Woking area, Guildford now officially forms the southwestern tip of the Greater London Built-up Area , as defined by the Office for National Statistics. The root of the first part may be the word "gold" rather than Guild , a society or meeting of tradesmen: Local historians with an interest in toponyms cite the lack of gold in the region's sedimentary rocks and have suggested that the mention of "gold" may refer to golden flowers found by the ford itself,  or the golden sand;  several older sources such as Lewis's topological dictionary of prefer and give an unreferenced assertion there was a guild.
There is an old coaching inn on the Epsom Road previously called the "Sanford Arms", which may derive from "Sand Ford", adding weight to the suggestion that the first part of "Guildford" and its many historic predecessors may refer to the very distinctive golden sand showing on the banks of the River Wey where it cuts through the sandy outcrop just south of the town. It is proven by archaeology and contemporary accounts that Guildford was established as a small town by Saxon settlers shortly after Roman authority had been removed from Britain [n 3].
The settlement was most likely expanded because of the Harrow Way an ancient trackway connecting the ancient cities of Winchester and Canterbury crosses the River Wey by a ford at this point. Alfred the Great , the first Anglo-Saxon king of unified England , named the town in his will. Guildford Castle is of Norman design, although there are no documents about its earliest years.
Its Domesday assets were: William the Conqueror had the castle built in the classic Norman style; the castle keep still stands. A major purpose of Norman castle building was to overawe the conquered population. Guildford was, at that time, at the edge of Windsor Great Park. In , a chamber was discovered in the High Street, which is considered to be the remains of the 12th century Guildford Synagogue. Guildford elected two members of the Unreformed House of Commons. In the 14th century the Guildhall was constructed and still stands today as a noticeable landmark of Guildford.
The north end was extended in and the Council Chamber was added in In a projecting clock was made for the front of the building: In , Derrick made a legal deposition that contains the earliest definite reference to cricket being played anywhere in the world. This is preserved in the "Constitution Book" of Guildford. On Monday, 17 January Julian date and thus by modern reckoning , he bore written testimony as to a parcel of land in the parish of Holy Trinity in Guildford which, originally waste, had been appropriated and enclosed by one John Parvish to serve as a timber yard.
Being a scholler in the ffree schoole of Guldeford , hee and diverse of his fellows did runne and play there at creckett and other plaies. John Derrick was then aged 59 and his testimony confirms that cricket was being played by children in Surrey c. In George Abbot founded the Hospital of the Holy Trinity,  now commonly known as Abbot's Hospital ,  one of the finest sets of almshouses in the country. It is sited at the top end of the High Street, opposite Holy Trinity church.
The brick-built, three-storey entrance tower faces the church; a grand stone archway leads into the courtyard.
On each corner of the tower there is an octagonal turret rising an extra floor, with lead ogee domes. One of the greatest boosts to Guildford's prosperity came in with the completion, after many wrangles, of the Wey Navigation. This allowed Guildford businesses to access the Thames at Weybridge by boat, and predated the major canal building program in Britain by more than a century.
In the navigation was extended as far as Godalming and in to the sea near Arundel via the Wey and Arun Junction Canal and the Arun Navigation. The Basingstoke Canal also was built to connect with the Wey navigation, putting Guildford in the centre of a network of waterways. The Chilworth gunpowder works operated right through the Industrial Revolution, and transported much of its wares through Guildford and its toll paid [ clarification needed ] canal network.
In , Acts were passed for making two railways from Guildford: From to Guildford was the scene of severe outbursts of semi-organised lawlessness commonly known as the "Guy Riots".
The Guys would mass on the edge of the town from daybreak on Guy Fawkes Night , wearing masks or bizarre disguises and armed with clubs and lighted torches. At nightfall they would enter the town and avenge themselves on those who had crossed them in the preceding year by committing assaults and damaging property, often looting the belongings of victims from their houses and burning them on bonfires in the middle of the street. In later years attempts to suppress the Guys led to the deaths of two police officers.
In and the Guys were dispersed by cavalry and this seems to have brought an end to the riots. Similar disorder surrounding the St Catherine's Hill Fair, held just outside the town on the Pilgrims' Way, was suppressed around the same time. After the death of their father in , brothers Charles Arthur and Leonard Gates took over the running of his shop, which held the local distribution franchise for Gilbey's wines and spirits, and also sold beer.
However, in , the brothers were persuaded to join the temperance movement , and they poured their entire stock into the gutters of the High Street. Left with no livelihood, they converted their now empty shop into a dairy. Using a milk separator , they bought milk from local farmers, and after extracting the cream and whey, sold the skim back to the farmers for pig feed. Taking a year to build, it comprised two main tunnels with interconnecting tunnels for the sleeping bunks.
It could accommodate people and provided sanitation and first aid facilities. Having been sealed since decommissioning in , it has survived fairly intact. On 5 October , bombs planted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army went off in two Guildford pubs , killing four off-duty soldiers and a civilian. The pubs were targeted because soldiers from the barracks at Pirbright were known to frequent them.
They claimed to have been tortured by the police and denied involvement in the bombing. In after a long legal battle, their convictions were overturned and they were released. In the 21st century Guildford still has a High Street paved with granite setts often referred to as cobbles ,  and is one of the most expensive places to buy property in the UK outside London. A farmers' market is usually held on the first Tuesday of each month.
There is a Tourist Information Office,  Guided Walks  and various hotels including the historic Angel Hotel which long served as a coaching stop on the main London to Portsmouth stagecoach route. Except in winter, The National Trust run short and longer trips on the Wey Navigation, starting from Dapdune Wharf in the town centre,  where there is a visitor centre.
Guildford is sometimes described as the county town of Surrey, but it is not clear whether this is the case or not. The issue is not made easier because sources disagree over the definition of a county town.
Most sources state that the county town is the administrative centre for the county, but local government undergoes frequent reorganisation and what was once the county town may no longer be the administrative centre. There appears to be no requirement that a county town actually has to be within the borders of the county, and the Oxford English Dictionary defines 'county town' as, "The town that is the administrative capital of a county ",  a description which would disqualify Guildford.
There are claims that Henry VII granted the status of county town when he made Guildford the custody of the standard measures. His position is not backed up by the original documentation. Whilst there are sources that claim Guildford as the county town there are many others such as Whitaker's almanack that assign this definition to Kingston upon Thames, with others stating that it is not clear.
Neither Guildford Borough Council nor Kingston Council make any claim for their town being the county town. Like the rest of Surrey and the British Isles , Guildford has a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. The nearest Met Office weather station for which records are available is at Wisley , about 6.
Extremes of temperature recorded in the area range from Its art collection includes works of Guildford and the surrounding area, and works by Guildford artists, most notably John Russell R. Also run by the Borough Council is Guildford Museum housing archaeology, local history and needlework displays. Smaller private fine art galleries are also present on the High Street. The town's principal commercial theatre is the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre , which often shows productions after they have spent time in London's West End.
The Electric Theatre opened in to host performances by musicians and amateur drama groups. Guildford has an Odeon cinema multiplex, which in June was the first cinema in the world to show digital 4K films to the public. Guildford Shakespeare Company performs in the town, using the bandstand in the castle grounds as the stage in the summer and several churches close to the High Street through the winter.
The Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra, founded as the Guildford Municipal Orchestra, received full council funding from until it was withdrawn in Stoke Park , Guildford's largest park,  was the venue for the now defunct Guilfest music festival during the summer but still hosts the Surrey County Show — agricultural and general — on the last bank holiday Monday in May. Guildford is one of notably few places locally to have a model railway club, the Astolat Model Railway Circle, which meets at the National Trust's Dapdune Wharf .
Radio stations Kane Guildford has had a synagogue as early as the 12th century. Guildford's Spectrum Leisure Centre is a national prizewinning   sports centre that includes a variety of pools for leisure and for serious swimming ,  Ten-pin bowling ,  a Laser tag  area, an ice rink  and an athletics track, as well as general halls used for indoor sports including gymnastics and trampolining.
Guildford International Volleyball Club have managed to win the top of the fourth division of the National Volleyball League. It has a metre swimming pool, and a climbing wall, as well as squash courts, and floodlit tennis and artificial pitches. Guildford Cricket Club play their home matches at the Woodbridge Road ground. Surrey County Cricket Club also play one or two matches a season there. Charlotteville Cycling Club is based in Guildford and named after one of the areas of the town. Founded in the s and originally called the Onslow Lions, the boxing club is considered one of the oldest in Surrey.
The best-known school in Guildford itself is the Royal Grammar School. The school was established in Nearby is the prep school Lanesborough School which is the choir school for Guildford Cathedral and has had a long association with the Royal Grammar School.
The campus of the University of Surrey is in Guildford. Battersea College of Technology previously the Battersea Polytechnic Institute moved to the town in , gaining a Royal Charter in order to award its own degrees and changing its name to its current title. The town of Guildford forms part of the larger area administered by the borough of Guildford , which in turn forms part of the county of Surrey. Whilst the rest of the borough's area is split into civil parishes , the urban area of Guildford in unparished.
Thus, within the town of Guildford, the Borough Council takes the role of both first and second tier local authority, whilst the County Council forms the third tier of local authority.
Though often referred to as a city Guildford is a town, but has applied for city status several times. Guildford's application to be granted the status of a city was unsuccessful, losing out to Preston , the only English town that was formally recognised as a city as part of the Queen 's Golden Jubilee celebrations. Traditionally, the establishment of a diocesan cathedral in a town conferred city status. Guildford is a significant economic hub in Surrey, a county with no cities.
Although Guildford was historically the county town for Surrey , the council itself has its administrative base in Kingston upon Thames  which, although formerly in Surrey, is now in Greater London. Politically, the constituency of Guildford is thought of as a traditional Conservative seat.