1948 Olympic Games Torch
Carried by John Whaley
SHC Ref: PH/114/1

Merrow is a small village, located on the A25, 2 miles east of Guildford and en-route to Burpham. The village is situated at a crossroads with routes leading from Guildford to Leatherhead and Burpham to Dorking.  In 1948, the Olympic torch was carried by John Whaley through Merrow into Guildford. To find out more about the Olympic Games of 1948 click here

During the Second World War a prisoner of war camp was built in 1941/2 to house Italians from the North Africa Campaign and later used for housing German Prisoners of War (SHHER_15041). Steadily, after the war the prisoners were given more freedoms such as visiting Guildford unattended. By June 1946, 61 Germans were housed in the main camp. By 1948 several prisoners had successfully studied for English diplomas from Guildford Technical College. A number of Prisoners held in Britain never went back to Germany, married English women and settled in Britain. Today some traces of the camp can be seen, including the main entrance to the camp. In later years the site has been converted to housing.

In 1829 John Hassell painted Merrow which gives a unique insight in to what Merrow looked in the 19th century.
SHC Ref: 8877/2/214


  • Mesolithic flint artifacts have been found in Merrow Downs which suggests the area was  occupied at this time. For more information please click (SHHER_3439).

Neolithic, Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age

  • Various finds from the Neolithic to the early Iron Age have been found in Merrow. For more information please click (SHHER_13860).


  • A Cremation Cemetery was found in a field near Merrow Downs. 12 different types of pottery were found, an estimated 10 urns had been destroyed; the urns themselves contained cremations and various other finds. For more information please click (SHHER_424).
  • A Roman Silver of Gratian (Roman emperor from 375 to 383) coin was found in Merrow. For more information please click (SHHER_520).


  • An old field boundary bank that is probably Medieval, runs to the edge of the golf course. For more information please click (SHHER_280).

Further Reading

  • Click here to see the catalogue of Merrow, St John the Evangelist: Parish Records, held at the Surrey History Centre.

One thought on “Merrow”

  1. Isla Stables says:

    I live in Woodlands Park, Merrow on an estate of house built in 1959/1960 on what was previously farm land. I have a deep hole in my back garden with what appears to be a pipe and brickwork surrounding it. I am curious to know if this could have been a well and if I should just fill the hole with rubble and top soil and grass it over. I wonder if you have any original plans for this site and if a well or some other such structure may be shown ?

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