Godalming , the first town to have public electricity and street lighting…..in the world! What a gem of a place this is, a historic market town with a history dating back to circa 820, where Anglo Saxons had carved in the stones at the beautiful St Peters and St Pauls Church on the corner of Borough Road and Church Street.
Twinned with Joigny in France and Mayen in Germany, the town was first granted the right to hold a weekly market and annual fair in the year 1300. The major production at this time was woollen cloth, which saw a decline in the 17th century when people applied their skills to the latest knitting and weaving technology.
Full of great buildings and landscapes, Godalming contains 138 listed buildings, 82 of which are located in the town centre. One of the most famous landmarks in Godalming is the ‘Pepperpot’, which used to be the home of the old town hall. The town hall was given this nickname due to its cupola and its distinctive octagonal design and was built in 1814. The pepperpot continues to be in use today as de facto logo of the town, and a public function room.
Another well known fact about Godalming is that Jack Phillips, the radio operator for the RMS Titanic was born in the area. Working both in Godalming and at sea he is famed for staying at his post whilst the ship sank back in 1912, and continuing to make distress calls. Phillips Memorial Park, parallel to the High Street, contains a cloister, fountain and garden walk in his memory and there is also a public house named in his honour located on the high street.
The famous Charterhouse school, founded in 1611, is located a short distance from Godalming town centre at the top of Charterhouse Hill. Educating over 800 pupils between 13 and 18, Charterhouse is classed as one of the original 7 English Public Schools. Old Carthusians (ex pupils) consist of many famous faces, including Peter Gabriel of Genisis, and Robert Jenkinson, ex Prime Minister of England.
Located just 30 miles from Heathrow and Gatwick, Godalming has great access to the A3 heading towards both London and Portsmouth. Godalming and Farncombe stations are situated on the main line with only a 48 minute journey or less to London Waterloo. Over time Godalming has been voted in the top three for UKs most desirable property hotspot, in the top four for best area of which to live in the UK and the borough of Waverly, which includes Godalming, was judged to have the highest quality of life in Great Britain.