The historic village sits on a slightly higher neck of land between the Rivers Wey and Tillingbourne, just south of their meeting point. Neither river forms an important feature within the village, which is essentially a roadside one, with a narrow gently curving main street. The old settlement lies about a mile south of Guildford town centre, now at the edge of the built-up area but physically distinct from it.

Plan of Shalford National School, 1855, built by William Swayne of Guildford Surrey History Centre ref. 264/76

Plan of Shalford National School, 1855,
built by William Swayne of Guildford
Surrey History Centre ref. 264/76

Shalford, the village, c.1955
Reproduced courtesy of The Francis Frith Collection

St. Mary’s Church was rebuilt to designs of Benjamin Ferrey in 1846/7 and outside are the old village stocks and whipping cross. To the west was Shalford House, demolished in 1968, which from 1599 to the 20th century was the residence of the local Austen family. It has been replaced by a River Intake and Treatment Works built for the West Surrey Water Board, and this project received a Civic Trust Award in 1971.

The 18th century watermill on the Tillingbourne is owned by the National Trust and no other in the county has its unusual shape, a projecting upper storey carried on wooden pillars, and walls tile-hung to within a few feet of the ground.

The village includes public houses with exotic names – the Parrot and the Seahorse.

From 1927 to 1983 Vulcanised Fibre Ltd of Broadford Mills, Shalford, manufactured a fibre which was claimed to be ‘lighter than aluminium, as hard as horn and as tough as leather’. In 1940 the fibre was used for the manufacture of jettisonable petrol tanks for aircraft, including the Spitfire.

Click here to see the catalogue of the Shalford Civil Parish Records (1880-1943) held at the Surrey History Centre.

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  • A very readable celebration of the Ordnance Survey map. Come & look at our Surrey collection of old OS maps.