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Guildford (Surrey, England)

English Town

Last modified: 2021-04-26 by rob raeside
Keywords: guildford | surrey |
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[Guildford Flag (Surrey, England)] Image by Pete Loeser, 26 April 2021
Image based on this photo image located by Rob Raeside, 2 March 2015

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Introduction: Guildford

The following short History of Guildford directly from the Guildford.org.uk website:

The modern town can trace its origins to the Roman occupation of Britain, evidence of Roman dwellings having been found throughout the area. By Saxon times a small town was well established and, as the Saxon era ended, William the Conqueror ordered the construction of a castle from which the new order exerted control over the local inhabitants. By the late 14th century the castle was of little practical importance and was abandoned, although the ruins and grounds continued to be used for less grand purposes, including cock fighting and farming.

The town didn't prosper in Mediaeval times, having a population of just over 1,000 souls, equivalent to a handful of villages. A Grammar School was founded in 1507 (and remains as a school today), but this improvement in the town's fortune was promptly countered by a dramatic decline in the wool trade, triggered by Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries.

The arrival of the railway in 1845 brightened the towns' prospects, although it wasn't until 1942 that the town could boast a public library. The following 40 years saw the addition of modern landmarks, including the Yvonne Arnaud theatre, civic hall, the university and the Royal Surrey Hospital.

Interesting Facts About Guildford

  • Over 200,000 people contributed a brick to the cathedral construction fund.
  • The university is ranked among the top 10 UK universities.
  • Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carrol, wrote "Through The Looking Glass" whilst living in Guildford.
  • Henry III, King John, and Eleanor of Castile all stayed in Guildford Castle.
  • The remains of what is believed to the oldest synagogue in Western Europe were found under the High Street.
  • Parts of the film, The Omen, were filmed at Guildford Cathedral.
  • Alan Turing, code-breaker and mathematician, lived in Guildford.
  • Although Guildford has a cathedral it is not a city. In 2002 Guildford applied for city status, but was turned down.
  • The first written reference to cricket appears in a 16th century court case involving the Royal Grammar School in Guildford.
Guildford is the county seat, or county town of Surrey County.
Source: Guildford Organization: History of Guildford.
Pete Loeser, 26 April 2021


Description of the flag

According to Get Surrey, a new flag has been hoisted for Guildford.

A new flag for Guildford has been revealed in recognition of the area's history. The flag features the castle on a black background with a gold border and will be displayed at civic events. It has already been raised on the council offices' flag pole.

Councillor Matt Furniss suggested the introduction of a new flag in July last year, following the announcement that the town would host the national celebrations for this summer's Armed Forces Day. Cllr Furniss said: "Having a flag is all about local pride and a nice piece of history on show for everyone. We searched for our old flag but presumed it must be lost so from there went through Guildford's history about what should appear on the new flag."

Graphic designer Graham Foster put his usual work for the planning department on hold and took to his computer software to create a modern looking flag with characteristics of the area's history. Mr Foster was aided by historian, and the council's honorary remembrancer, Matthew Alexander, who used historical items and landmarks, as well as images on previously used flags, to create the new version.

Mr Alexander said: "In my mind this is a very successful way in continuing Guildford's ancient tradition into the present day. The main shot of the design is the castle and it has got the royal coat of arms on it to emphasise that it is the only royal castle in Surrey. It is flanked by two wool packs to remind people of Guildford that it was originally the wool trade which made the town prosperous. The wavy blue and white lines underneath are the ford then there are two gold roses on the castle and we presume that is a Tudor rose which was used to mark the town allegiance when the Tudors took to the throne."

The golden lion and key featured on the town's coat of arms from 1488, and the Cornish chuff appears at the bottom of the flag is in recognition of the Onslow family who held sway over many centuries at Clandon Park.

Rob Raeside, March 2015


Guildford Borough Council Logos

[Guildford Logo #1] image located by Pete Loeser, 26 April 2021

These are the logos used by the Guildford Borough Council on publications, letterheads, anf on their website.
Pete Loeser, 26 April 2021

[Guildford Logo]      [Guildford Logo #2] images located by Pete Loeser, 26 April 2021


Guildford Council Coat of Arms
Guildford Arms

[Guildford Coat of Arms] Borough Council Coat of Arms (1975)    [Guildford Arms] Guildford Arms (1623, 1663)
images located by Pete Loeser, 26 April 2021

"The Guildfort Borough Coat of Arms were officially granted in 1975, but were based on the older Guildfort Arms... They are a combination of the arms of the former Borough of Guildford with the addition of a gold border charged with the Cornish Coughs from the arms of the Guildford RDC. The crest is very similar to that of the Guildford Rural Didtrct Council, suitably differenced by the substitution of a key for the original anchor, which presumably is derived from the keys in the County arms."

Borough Council Blazon:

  • Arms: Sable on a Mount Vert between two Woolpacks a Castle with three Towers Argent the central one triple-towered and charged with a Shield of the Royal Arms of France and England quarterly the outer towers each surmounted by a Spire under the battlements two Roses in fesse and within the open port beneath a Portcullis a Key all Or on the Mount before the port a Lion couchant guardant also Or the Base barry wavy Argent and Azure all within a Bordure Or charged with three Cornish choughs proper.
  • Crest: Out of a Coronet composed of four Ears of Wheat and as many Acorns slipped and leaved set alternately upon a Rim Or, a demi-Lion Argent about the neck a Rope proper entwined there with a Key fessewise Sable and between the forepaws a Flaxbreaker Gold.
  • Motto: Fortiter Et Fideliter - Bravely and faithfully.

"The Guildfort Arms were officially recorded at the Royal Visitations of 1623 and 1662-3. The castle is the former Norman castle, with the combined arms of England and France on the middle tower. The lion in front is the English lion and the whole gate shows the importance of Guildford as an important border fortress. The woolpacks are a symbol for the wool trade and textile industry in the city."

Guildford Arms Blazon:

  • Sable on a Mount Vert between two Woolpacks Argent a Castle with three Towers Argent the central one triple-towered and charged with a Shield of the Royal Arms of France and England quarterly the outer towers each surmounted by a Spire under the battlements two Roses in fesse and within the open port beneath a Portcullis a Key all Or on the mount before the port a Lion chouchant guardant also Or the base barry wavy Argent and Azure.
Source: Heraldry of the World: Guildford
Pete Loeser, 26 April 2021


Diocese of Guildford

[Diocese of Guildford Flag] Flag image by Pete Loeser, 26 April 2021
Based on this table flag.

The Diocese of Guildford establish in 1927, is part of the Church of England and headquartered at the Guildford Cathedral, or The Church of the Holy Spirit, which was built between 1936 and 1961. Under the leadership of the Bishop of Guildford is prevides service for nine of the eleven districts of Surrey, one part of north-east Hampshire, and a parish in Greater London.
Pete Loeser, 26 April 2021

Diocese of Guildford Arms and Logo

[Diocese of Guildford Coat of Arms] Coat of Arms     [Diocese of Guildford logo] Diocese Logo
images located by Pete Loeser, 26 April 2021


Guildford Rugby Football Club (GRFC)

Guildford Rugby Club Flag]      Guildford Rugby Club Flag]
images by Pete Loeser, 26 April 2021

The Guildford Rugby Club was formed in 2003. They are currently competing in London 1 South - the sixth tier of the English rugby union system.
Pete Loeser, 26 April 2021

Guildford Team Logo

Guildford Rugby Club Logo] image located by Pete Loeser, 26 April 2021

There is also a women's team named the Guildford Gazelles Ladies team. The Gazelles won their league championship for the 2015-16 Women's NC South East West 1 league.
Pete Loeser, 26 April 2021