- Marion Field
15th May 2018
Guildford is a fascinating town dating from Saxon times. William I built the Norman castle overlooking the town from where his soldiers could dominate his Saxon subjects. By the twelfth century Guildford had become a wealthy town as a result of the flourishing wool trade. The austere castle was transformed into a luxurious palace visited by kings and queens over the following centuries.
The seventeenth-century Abbot’s Hospital was probably the first ‘sheltered housing’ in the country. The Angel in the High Street, a posting house and livery stables, was visited by many famous people from Sir Francis Drake to Oliver Cromwell, who billeted his soldiers there during the Civil War. There is a reminder of another resident, Lewis Carroll, in some delightful ‘Alice’ sculptures by the River Wey. The twentieth-century cathedral built high above the town was the first to be built since the Reformation.
Over the centuries Guildford has played host to a number of colourful characters, has survived dramatic events and continues to flourish in the twenty-first century. Secret Guildford incorporates many of the little-known stories of these characters and reveals its hidden past in this fascinating book full of quirky anecdotes and lesser-known facts.