Tilford

Centred around a village green and a ford where two medieval bridges cross the River Wey, Tilford is 3 miles south-east of Farnham. The green is a natural focus for communications in all directions as shown by trackways, packroads and by the two medieval bridges, which are Scheduled Monuments.

Tilford, the river and bridge, c.1955 Reproduced courtesy of The Francis Frith Collection

Tilford, the river and bridge, c.1955
Reproduced courtesy of The Francis Frith Collection

The green is also the location of an ancient oak tree, sometimes known as the King’s Oak, allegedly more than 1000 years old.

Ruins of Waverley Abbey, by Henry De Cort (1742-1810) Surrey History Centre ref. 4348/4/54/1

Ruins of Waverley Abbey, by Henry De Cort (1742-1810)
Surrey History Centre ref. 4348/4/54/1

Buildings in the village indicate the various stages in its history. Small farmers cultivated the fertile river valley and terraces, below the Greensand ridges, in succession to the Cistercian monks of Waverley Abbey. Small cottages of the 17th and 18th century suggest an increase in wealth and population possibly from hop-growing, while the larger private houses and their estates were for the gentry. The 19th century contributed buildings for the parish community, and the 20th century has seen the break-up of the large landed estates.

More recent development has been on a small scale and has not affected the open scatter of buildings which is a feature of the place. Tilford House is a fine 18th century building and the Tilford Institute is an early work of Sir Edwin Lutyens.

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