Burpham is a suburb of Guildford, Surrey (not to be confused with the Burpham near Arundel in Sussex), lying about two miles north east of the town. Most of the housing developments lie on and around the London Road, New Inn Lane and Burpham Lane. Archeological finds suggest that there have been settlements in the area since the Stone Age.
There has been a community in Burpham since well before the Norman Invasion and it was recorded in the Domesday Book as having 10½ households, with 11 villagers, five smallholders and five slaves. There were agricultural land, meadows, woodlands and a mill, which was worth 15 shillings to the Lord of the Manor.
The Manor of Burpham, or Burgham, was owned by the Onslow family from 1720 until the 20th century. The manor extended from the Woking Road in the west, including Jacob’s Well, through to the railway bridge by Merrow Depot in the east. Burpham was part of Worplesdon parish until 1920, when it joined with Sutton Green to form a parish; then from 1954 Burpham became a parish on its own. St Luke’s Church was built on Burpham Lane in 1859 as a chapel of ease for St Mary’s of Worplesdon, for the people of Burpham and Jacob’s Well. In 1965 the Church of the Holy Spirit, on New Inn Lane, opened to reflect the development of the village on the east side of London Road. These are now known as Burpham Church. There is a war memorial at St Luke’s Church, remembering the 18 men who died in the Great War and the 11 men who died in World War II.
There are two schools – Burpham Primary School, which opened in 1908, with 28 children and two teachers. It has been extended over the years and by 2018 will have 14 classes and about 430 children; George Abbot School, which opened in 1957 and for a while consisted of a boys school and a girls school. This is now an Academy and has nearly 2000 students. Additionally there are three pre-school or nursery facilities.
The mill ceased working by 1911, then was demolished in 1945, but the new building was used as a laundry by the Duke of Sutherland, who bought the land from Lord Onslow. The village hall was built in 1922, using surplus war materials from Thursley Camp. It has been extended and improved over the years and provides facilities for, amongst others, meetings of the local WI, Burpham Women’s Guild, Gardening Club and U3A groups.
Having started with one shop, run from William Turner’s front room on Burpham Lane, in 1905, there are now shops along the London Road and Kingpost Parade, as well as Sainsburys and, more recently opened, Aldi. The latter was built on the site of the Green Man pub, which had been a coaching inn for the village for around 400 years, but was demolished in 2008. The only remaining pub in Burpham is the Anchor & Horseshoes on London Road, whose history goes back at least to 1785.
The oldest building left in Burpham is the old New Inn Farm house, which is now the local GP surgery, and dates back to the 17th century. There are several buildings that date back to the 18th and 19th centuries, but new developments are expanding the community all the time. The old blacksmith’s forge building is still in use, though it stopped being a smithy by 1911.
Sutherland Memorial Park provides a wide range of sporting and recreational facilities for the people of Burpham, including football, cricket, bowls and tennis, as well as a children’s play area. Given to the people of Burpham by the Duke of Sutherland to remember those who gave their lives in the second world war, it was opened by Prince Philip in 1956. The park has won Green Flag Awards in several of recent years for being ‘an excellent example of a community park as it addresses the needs and wishes of the local community and current users’. There are two pavilions, one of which includes a hall, used by the Burpham Community Association and a children’s nursery.
Text and images contributed by Moira MacQuaide Hall