1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Godalming

GODALMING, a market-town and municipal borough in the Guildford parliamentary division of Surrey, England, 34 m. S.W. of London by the London & South-Western railway. Pop. (1901) 8748. It is beautifully situated on the right bank of the Wey, which is navigable thence to the Thames, and on the high road between London and Portsmouth. Steep hills, finely wooded, enclose the valley. The chief public buildings are the church of SS. Peter and Paul, a cruciform building of mixed architecture, but principally Early English and Perpendicular; the town-hall, Victoria hall, and market-house, and a technical institute and school of science and art. Charterhouse School, one of the principal English public schools, originally founded in 1611, was transferred from Charterhouse Square, London, to Godalming in 1872. It stands within grounds 92 acres in extent, half a mile north of Godalming, and consists of spacious buildings in Gothic style, with a chapel, library and hall, besides boarding-houses, masters’ houses and sanatoria. (See Charterhouse.) Godalming has manufactures of paper, leather, parchment and hosiery, and some trade in corn, malt, bark, hoops and timber; and the Bargate stone, of which the parish church is built, is still quarried. The borough is under a mayor, 6 aldermen and 18 councillors. Area, 812 acres.

Godalming (Godelminge) belonged to King Alfred, and was a royal manor at the time of Domesday. The manor belonged to the see of Salisbury in the middle ages, but reverted to the crown in the time of Henry VIII. Godalming was incorporated by Elizabeth in 1574, when the borough originated. The charter was confirmed by James I. in 1620, and a fresh charter was granted by Charles II. in 1666. The borough was never represented in parliament. The bishop of Salisbury in 1300 received the grant of a weekly market to be held on Mondays: the day was altered to Wednesday by Elizabeth’s charter. The bishop’s grant included a fair at the feast of St Peter and St Paul (29th of June). Another fair at Candlemas (2nd of February) was granted by Elizabeth. The market is still held. The making of cloth, particularly Hampshire kerseys, was the staple industry of Godalming in the middle ages, but it began to decay early in the 17th century and by 1850 was practically extinct. As in other cases, dyeing was subsidiary to the cloth industry. Tanning, introduced in the 15th century, survives. The present manufacture of fleecy hosiery dates from the end of the 18th century.