The Pepperpot (popularly known as the Pepper Box) was built in Godalming in 1814, replacing an earlier timber building on the same site which was the market house. The Pepperpot is a smaller building than the one it replaced, which by 1813 had fallen into disrepair. It was decided to replace it with a new building rather than repair the old one, which would have been more expensive. According to Godalming Town Council, £783 7s 2d was raised through public fundraising and £81 19s 6d for the sale of the old building which made a total of £865 6s 8d. The Bank of England’s inflation calculator indicates that this would be around £60,000 today.
The bell that can be heard on the hour was cast in 1792. It was hung in the original market house.
The Pepperpot continued to act as the Borough’s Town Hall until 1908. Since the 1530’s the old market house was used for the Town Hall. The upper floor was used as a meeting room while the ground floor was open and used for a market. The Pepperpot is still being used as a place to meet.
In the late 20th century the pepperpot became too small, and the new ‘Borough Hall’ was built at the bottom of Bridge Street in about 1908. This is now the borough council’s offices for Waverley.
Electric Light in Godalming
Godalming is the place that had the world’s first publicly sponsored electric street lighting, one of the lamps was next to the pepperpot, and a picture of the street light can be seen in the gallery below.
The gallery below documents the Pepperpot through two centuries, from 1823 to 2007.