Friday 14 September 2012

Heritage open day in Guildford

After the excitement of visiting a Farnham hop kiln we went to Guildford for more Heritage Open Day excitement. Apparently the funding for Heritage Open Days has been cut so next year could be less exciting.

The medieval wine cellar in the high street was good, we've decided we want one ourselves.

The medieval brew house with a bit rubbish though, being an empty room upstairs with a sixth form textiles exhibition taking place, and a craft shop downstairs.

Being the stuff of epics scaling the heights of Guildford high street was not enough for us and we carried on to Chilworth via Pewley Down. Quite unexpectedly this provided the biggest bit of brewery based excitement as there was a pillar there saying that Pewley Down was donated to Guildford by the Friary Brewery (note the hop pockets stamped with the Farnham bell in one of the pictures).

I'd never heard of Pewley Down until we got there, let alone that it was donated by the Friary Brewery, so this was quite a surprise and as is so often the case more research is needed. Then it was on to Chillworth and a derelict gunpowder mill built by the East India Company.  

It felt slightly odd being guided round as I'm so used to brewery trips where I know what's going on but I know next to nothing about making gunpowder. It's good to have a bit of variety though. Then it was time for the walk back, and yes we did call in at a pub on the way home, but it wasn't really worth talking about so I won't.


  1. "I know next to nothing about making gunpowder"

    Feckin' dangerous. I've never been to Chilworth, but I'm guessing that it was fairly isolated, because of the likelihood of the odd explosion (although I see this site only mentions one big bang, in 1901). However, the Hounslow Powder Mills, near where I live in West London, regularly blew up in the 1§8th century, with bangs heard as far away as reading.

  2. Yes, Chilworth is right out in the sticks. Being pre-Health and Safety though a public footpath ran right through the site for most of its existance!