The lost and forgotten pubs of Farnham

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I wasn’t any different to any other teenager growing up in Farnham. If you were tall enough you could chance your arm trying to get served in the Wheatsheaf or The Hop Bag… or wherever. Leaving school my first job was working for the office of a steel stockholding company not far from The Hop Bag. The boss was a fat Tory man called Archie who had gout and my immediate boss was a young wannabe guy in his forties called Paul Singleton with the middle name of, I kid you not, Groundwater.

I witnessed drinking and its behaviours much earlier than that as I was allowed in the Central Club in South Street. One of my best memories of that place was the juke box. One time they’d got John Lennon’s Imagine but that never got played as much as the flipside Working Class Hero. Those of you who know that song will understand why it got taken off… eventually but not before us kids had had a good giggle about it.

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When I was old enough to legally drink there, it was the eighties and what I enjoyed most was the table top video games. They were in most of the pubs, the likes of Asteroids and co but Space Invaders was my favourite. Who remembers it was fourteen aliens you killed before waiting at the bottom for the Mothership to go across the top to get your big points. Once eighteen, my favourite tipple was Snakebites and rum and black chasers.

Wages were spent by the following Wednesday mostly if you got paid weekly on the Friday. My nights out were either at the Jolly Sailor or The Lamb in town; I never went in the Coach And Horses. I knew it had a reputation along the lines of Saturday night’s alright for fighting but I didn’t want to get a little action in.

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On a recent visit to my hometown I saw that the Coach And Horses had gone but so had all of The Woolmead! That used to be great on Saturday mornings as there was this cafe called The Gorge with its waterfalls and stalagmyte-like caves where you’d get a cola float or a milkshake maybe before heading to spend your pocket money in Pullingers or Our Price. The above is all I could really find for The Gorge; it’s certainly no longer in The Woolmead – has it moved elsewhere?

On ShotsWeb there was a discussion that began off-topic about Farnham’s pubs and LowerBourneShot mentioned that The Eldon Hotel was no longer. I didn’t remember that but knew The Fox of course and The Cricketers. You’d pass those on the drive out to Frensham Big Pond.

On the cricketing theme, there was the Ball and Wicket at Hale (long gone apparently) but the Bat And Ball Inn is still going and there’s a website with plenty of info.

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The Bat and Ball is a Freehouse in the true sense – A family run public house over 2 generations and run completely free of any brewers ties. We are a traditional country pub offering excellent food and drinks whilst boasting a large child friendly garden with lovingly kept flower borders. The pub has been around for over 150 years and is located close to the Surrey/Hampshire border, nestled in the beautiful Bourne valley on the South side of Farnham. We are passionate about the quality and range of our food, using locally sourced produce as much as we can. Beer is just as important to us, so we have 6 constantly changing local traditional cask ales as well as local ciders and craft beers to tempt you.

I wondered how many of the pubs and inns were still around these days. The Spotted Cow at Lower Bourne is still going. On Sundays we were either taken there because it had a playground or we went over to The Cambridge Hotel in London Road, Camberley. There I’d listen to trad jazz and have chicken in the basket and a coke (too young for ale at the time) but they were very happy times.

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The Albion, still there, was opposite my old primary school. My mum worked at Martonair. That’s gone and so too has Crosby Doors!  And the Seven Stars!

Farnham was such a great town to grow up in with summers playing down Gostrey Meadows or Farnham Park or at the open air swimming pool. And there was Aldershot FC a few miles away of course! Living in The Chantreys, West Street was my main walk into town and why The Plough and The Jolly Sailor were pubs I used most although from work, sometimes I’d lunch in The Bush Hotel.

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Mekki’s is interesting isn’t it seeing as Aldershot had Adam Mekki at one time playing for them. Doubt there’s a connection but others would know. Used to be The Exchange and that’s as much as I know. I can only find images of The Exchange or related pictures of a pub that I don’t know of called The Mulberry.

So these are the ten pubs I remember best that are still going, oh and remember I made a post about that singer Peter Crutchfield? Here’s a song he’s done asking where have all the pubs gone.

THE JOLLY SAILOR

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THE QUEEN’S HEAD

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THE LAMB

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THE MARLBOROUGH HEAD

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THE HOP BLOSSOM

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THE WHEATSHEAF

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THE SHEPHERD AND FLOCK

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THE SIX BELLS

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THE ALBION

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THE PLOUGH

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Finally, I found this article that gave a list of Farnham pub closures going way back when. cheers

Farnham has lost lots of Pubs over the years, here’s a list of them in order by date.

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Name of Pub

Closing Date

Location

Star

1790

The Borough

Goats Head

1865

Castle Street

Fox

1901

83 West Street

Bell & Crown

1902

73 Castle Street

Bridge House

1902

South Street

Unicorn

1902

120 East Street

White Swan

1903

42 East Street

Bakers Arms

1908

4 Upper Church Lane

Green Man

1909

118 East Street

White Lion

1909

11 Red Lion Lane

Garibaldi

1910

Park Row

Lion & Lamb

1910

113 West Street

Greyhound

1912

Hale Road

Royal Oak

1914

94-95 East Street

Ship Inn

1914

17 The Borough

Red Lion

1920

1 Red Lion Lane

Surrey Arms

1921

62a East Street

White Hart

1927

55 East Street

Bird In Hand

1928

43 Downing Street

Sun

1928

17 Downing Street

Rose & Thistle

1933

47 West Street

Holly Bush

1937

37 West Street

Bricklayers Arms

1939

26 Abbey Street

Lion & Unicorn

1959

28 Red Lion Lane

Fox & Hounds

1967

57 West Street

Seven Stars

2011

East Street

Swan

1680s

108-110 West Street

Bull & Butcher

1890s

69 Castle Street

White Horse

1900s

49 West Street

Cricketers Inn

1920s

36 Downing Street

Feathers

1920’s

29 Lower Church Lane

Royal Deer

1980’s

4 East Street

Black Prince

1990’s

147 Upper Hale Road

Alliance

unknown

1 West Street

Antelope

unknown

Church Passage

Army & Navy

unknown

East Street

Bear

unknown

1 The Borough

Black Horse

unknown

West Street

Bush Tap

unknown

1 South Street

Coach & Horses

unknown

Castle Street

Duke Of Cambridge

unknown

East Street

Eagle

unknown

73 East Street

George

unknown

121-122 West Street

Goats Head

unknown

14 The Borough

Hop Bag Inn

unknown

63 Downing Street

Lord Wellington

unknown

The Hatches

Mitre

unknown

84 West Street

New Inn

unknown

21 West Street

Prince Of Wales

unknown

98 West Street

Queen Street Tavern

unknown

125 East Street

Rainbow

unknown

27 West Street

Waggon & Horses

unknown

East Street

White Hart

unknown

70 Castle Street

White Lion

unknown

6-8 Castle Street

2 Replies to “The lost and forgotten pubs of Farnham”

  1. The Gorge is on the site which was The Royal Deer on South Street. Depending on what part of The Chantrys you lived on ,you may have known my Grandmother who lived at 89.

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