A Saxon village was the core foundation of this modern town. The name Guildford was probably derived from guilden (golden) ford. The golden sand or the flowers that grew beside the riverbed could be a reason for this name.
Let’s go through the history of Guildford starting from the town’s foundation as a village.
By the early 10th century, the village of Guildford was a town. The English kings were defending themselves against Danish invaders by constructing a group of fortified settlements. So, there is a theory that Guildford could be a fortified settlement at that time.
The Middle Ages
In the 11th century, there were about 900 inhabitants in Guildford. Although this is a very small population, a typical village in those times only had about 100 to 200 inhabitants. There was a wooden castle that was used to defend the village. One century later the castle was rebuilt, but this time using stone instead of wood.
The 16th, 17th and 18th Century
In the 16th century, the people of Guildford were blessed with the construction of a grammar school. However, there was a decline in business due to the increasing competition from Northern England. As a result, wool trade lost its charm and reduced.
The king sold the Guildford Castle to a private owner after it fell into ruins in 1611. The bright side at that time was that Guildford was a central market town for nearby villages.
By the 18th century, Guildford was no longer recognized as an important place for business. The reason was that it still had a small population of around 2500 people.
The 20th Century
The extension of Guildford’s boundaries in 1904, 1933 and 1974 contributed to increasing the population of this town significantly.
The construction of the first council houses in Guildford took place before the beginning of the 20th century. In the 1920s, Westborough estate came into existence. A lido and bypass were built few years later.
In 1942, the people of Guildford opened the first public library. The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre opened 23 years later.
Then construction projects took a sharp turn and Civic Hall, the University of Surrey, a new sports centre, and the Royal Surrey County Hospital were built.
The inauguration of the Friary Shopping Centre took place in 1980. Nowadays, Guildford has a population of more than 100,000 people and it is not a village anymore.
Like other places, horse carts and other conventional forms of transport were the main form of travelling. With technological advancements, classic automobiles were seen in different parts of the town in the 20th century.
Currently, executive cars are commonly used as a taxi in this modern town. You can hire a reliable taxi service like MiCabi to explore Guildford. These safe taxi services evolved in the 21st century and now are a popular medium of travelling.