Shalford: Surrey village life

Located on the River Wey, just a stone's throw from Guildford, this picturesque village offers an idyllic taste of the country, with the historic Shalford Mill at its centre. Matthew Williams brings us the low-down...

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine November 2011

Located on the River Wey, just a stone’s throw from Guildford, this picturesque village offers an idyllic taste of the country, with the historic Shalford Mill at its centre. Matthew Williams brings us the low-down...

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Getting there…

Shalford Train Station can be reached from Guildford and Redhill. The village is located on the Horsham Road (A281).

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Village voice…

“The village of Shalford enjoys the best of both worlds,” says local historian, Margaret Dierden. “Close to Guildford’s picturesque High Street, shops and transport links, it is also in the midst of beautiful countryside, with lots of lovely walks over The Chantries, Pewley Down and St Martha’s, and around Chinthurst Hill, as well as along the River Wey.”

Making the headlines…

Canal enthusiasts should watch out for preliminary work by the Wey and Arun Canal Trust volunteers to restore the stretch that passed through Shalford. Plans include creating a navigable waterway giving access to the Wey Navigation at the old junction and developing a visitor centre.

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At the village hall…

Among other events at the village hall, regular shows are organised by the local garden club – their Sweet Pea Show in the summer attracts exhibitors from as far away as the Isle of Wight.

Did you know…?

Shalford Park was once the grounds of Shalford House, a mansion dating back to 1610. It was demolished in 1967 and replaced with works run by Thames Water. The original property was the home of the Austen family (later Godwin-Austen), the major landowners in Shalford from 1599. The best-known member was the great mountaineer Henry Haversham Godwin-Austen after whom Mount Godwin-Austen and the Godwin-Austen Glacier in the Himalayas were named. Mount Godwin-Austen is now better known as K2.

Did you know 2…?

Located down a little lane opposite the Seahorse, Shalford Mill was a working flour mill until 1914, then fell into disrepair. It was rescued and presented to the National Trust by the mysterious Ferguson Gang in 1932.

Grab a bite…

The village is well served by three public houses – The Seahorse Inn in The Street; The Queen Victoria in Station Row; and The Parrott Inn in Broadford Road. There is also a small caf� called Delights (formerly The Snooty Fox).

Something to take home…

Fill some stockings early at Shalford’s two toy shops, Carousel and The Enchanted Wood. Or, find out more about local village history, including Shalford, with booklets by historian Margaret Dierden on sale at the Post Office.

In the spotlight…

Famous residents have included the mountaineer Henry Haversham Godwin-Austen; Colonel Frederick George Shewell (who led the Eighth Hussars in the Charge of the Light Brigade); and even Genesis drummer Phil Collins. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel Sir Nigel, published in 1906, features villain Paul de la Fosse, the Twisted Man of Shalford, who lived there too. Shalford Station and Manor Farm were used by Ealing Film Studios for the film Frieda in 1947, starring Mai Zetterling and David Farrar.