The Farnham (Building Preservation) Trust Ltd
|Chairman: David Graham FSA||Secretary: Mrs S. Farrow|
Company registered in England No. 940781
Registered Office: 60 West Street, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 7EH.
Charity No. 257954
The Farnham (Building Preservation) Trust Limited was incorporated on 17th. October 1968. It was founded by two remarkable Farnham men, Sir John Verney, Bt. and Mr. Richard Dufty CBE, DLitt, FSA, who knew the town well, understood it and who had an informed concern for the preservation of its particular attributes.
The trust is a registered charity (no. 257954) and a company limited by guarantee (reg. no. 940781). Its formally stated aim is the preservation in the Farnham area of the English historical, architectural and constructional heritage. The trust has a particular concern for old buildings in Farnham which are not recognised by listing and which therefore do not enjoy the same level of protection, because their loss leads to the gradual erosion of the town's character.
Since its formation in 1968, The trust has rescued and restored a number of Farnham buildings, starting with the stone-built Cemetery Lodge in West Street (above left) and the Puginesque Church Cottages next to the parish church (right). When the trust took them over, these three buildings had all been condemned by the local council, but they were carefully restored and now, 30 years later, they are a valuable part of the local scene.
The Farnham Trust also made a significant contribution to the saving of the Farnham Maltings in 1969, by purchasing the nine cottages in Bridge Square (left) which then formed part of the whole complex, and thereby bringing bringing the £18,000 raised by local subscription to £30,000, the asking price of the owners, Courages. The cottages, including the award-winning Tanyard House, have since all been restored and sold.
In 1986 the trust took a 25 year lease from Waverley Borough Council of two properties in the Waggon Yard car park, then the New Ashgate Gallery and Collett's Bookshop (right). The two properties were restored and made into one, as an extension for the gallery.
The next project began in 1990, when the trust took a 10 year lease of a terrace of three small cottages on the edge of the Farnham Hospital property in Hale Road (left). The cottages had been empty for about seven years and were completely derelict, but they were restored and leased to Waverley Borough Council as accommodation for six homeless families.
In 1995, the trust took over another derelict property, No. 31 Lower Church Lane (right), which dates from the late 16th and early 17th centuries. This building, owned by Waverley, was a listed building in the 'At Risk' category, and was transferred to the trust without cost in view of the fact that the council was unable to undertake the high cost of the necessary restoration. With the help of several grants, the trust then converted the property into two 2-bedroomed houses which sold well on the open market.
The trust's latest project is also by far the biggest it has ever undertaken. Negotiations commenced in April 1997 with the Harris family, owners of the Farnham Pottery in Wrecclesham since 1872. As a result, in May 1998, the trust purchased the site and its semi-derelict buildings, having undertaken to lease about one-third of the floor space back to Philip Harris, the owner of the business. The work of restoration commenced in September 1998, and is due to be completed and handed over in January 1999 so that the historic pottery business can continue and be developed.
The trust has always worked in partnership with local organisations, the county and borough councils and the health authority. It has a long and distinguished record, which has helped it to obtain grants from English Heritage, the Pilgrim Trust, and the Surrey Historic Buildings Trust, and has whenever possible operated on the 'rolling capital' principle adopted by most building preservation trusts.
However the Farnham Pottery project will take several years to complete, and the trust has put all its available capital into the purchase and restoration of the pottery premises. Funds will have to be raised to pay for the restoration of the remaining two-thirds of the floorspace.
The trust undertook a feasibility study, which indicated that the remaining buildings should have a mixed use combining elements of commercially let workshop/office space with elements of educational and community use, including a small pottery museum. Research into availability of grants is now under way, but the trust is seeking partners and sponsors to assist with the cost of restoration of workshop space.
Offers of help will be extremely welcome. Please contact the officers via the addresses at the head of this page, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page last updated : 17 August 1999