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Different Perspectives

Guildford from the River Wey

The River Wey
Flood Meadows
Town Bridge
St Catherine's
The Navigation
The Mills
The Working River
New Industries
Historic Buildings
Modern Buildings

River Wey Talk
Mystery Photos
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 Exhibition Section 9

New Industries

When the Navigation opened in 1653, the old industries made use of it and new industries developed.

As the woolen industry declined, brewing took over. The first wholesale brewery was established by Richard Ford in 1589. Their brewery, on the north-East side of Town Bridge was taken over by Elkins in 1819 and closed in 1847. Just across the river the Crookes Brewery (1807) was demolished in 1929 to make way for the old Farnham Road bus station. After many amalgamations, the Friary Meux became Guildford’s last Brewery. Built in 1865 on the site of the Friary Shopping centre, it was demolished in 1973.

Chalk was exported from the local quarries via Davis Wharf (now the Guildford Boat House).

The coal and grain for the Breweries was imported by barge and many of the breweries were also coal merchants.

In 1794 an Iron Foundry was built on what is now the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.  It was in business until the 1940s.

Timber for housing and boat building was delivered to the adjoining wharf, now Debenhams.

Building materials, sand, gravel, bricks and tiles came into the Town Wharf. The Treadwheel crane with its 18 ft wheel is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. It was built in the late 17th century and last used in the 1960’s to unload stone for Guildford Cathedral. The Town Wharf was demolished to make way for the gyratory system and the Treadwheel crane was moved to its present location.

Gunpowder and Timber were the main cargoes at Dapdune Wharf. The gunpowder was made at Chillworth Mill on the Tillingbourne. Guildford did not want Gunpowder carted through the town or stored overnight. When the Godalming Navigation opened in 1764 the gunpowder was stored and loaded at Stonebridge Quay.

By the twentieth century heavy industry was giving way to office developments

In the 1960’s Scott Brownrigg & Turner designed “The Meadows” prestigious apartments overlooking the meadows upstream of Millmead. In recent years a number of apartments have been built exploiting the river view.

Onslow House

Global House, Bridge Street - Photo by David Jarman

Town Wharf today

Town Wharf today - Photo by Paul Graber

Click here to go to Section 10 Historic Buildings