The Village of Farnham
The name Farnham is derived from the Saxon, meaning the ‘meadow of ferns’. It is variously mentioned in ancient records as Fearneham, Fernham and, in the Domesday Book, is called Ferneham.
The History of Farnham
The 17th Century plague came into the country through Weymouth and Dorset suffered huge losses, so undoubtedly Farnham was considerably larger before the plague years. There are archaeological as well as historical indications that there had been many more houses in the village in medieval times.
The old stocks outside the Museum Hotel, the brick-built Well House at the bottom of the church path and the former Wesleyan chapel are clear remnants of a former lifestyle.
It is likely that before the plague, dwellings were clustered around the church but rebuilding meant that the church was no longer situated at the centre of the settlement.
In the Domesday Book, Farnham was surveyed in five parcels with some of the property being held by the Abbess of Shaftesbury, Aiulf the chamberlain, the wife of Hugh Fitzgrip and “Hugh de Luri and other foreigners”. In 1869 there are two distinct manors, or moieties of manors, each maintaining its own poor. The principal manor had various owners through the years but had become the property of the Earl of Sandwich and the Duke of Cleveland from whom Lord Rivers purchased it in 1866. The second manor, Osmond’s Manor belonged some time to the Arundells and was bought by Lord Rivers in 1820.
Returns to Parliament in 1801 indicate that there were just 22 inhabited houses with a population of 88. In 1851 this number had risen to 28 houses with 128 people. There are now 102 houses in the parish with a population of approximately double that number.
The village is small and very attractive with many of its thatched cottages end-on to the road, possibly a common-sense measure against the bite of the north winds and to maximise the sunlight. Until the 1990’s Farnham was distinguishable by its avenue of mature beech trees; the replacement trees are now well established despite the rigours of modern traffic. Like many other villages, Farnham no longer has a shop or school. It does however have a popular pub – the Museum Inn – in the centre of the village, a children’s playground and the parish church which is set slightly above the village. The village noticeboard just outside the playground proves to be a popular starting point for many country walks, taking in the Rushmore Estate, and The Museum is always busy especially at weekends.
Did you know that Farnham has it’s own Allotment Association and a one hectare site only a few minutes walk from the centre of the village?
With the support of the Parish Council we signed a lease in January 2011 with the Rushmore Estate, to rent the field behind Crossways Dairy Bungalow DT11 8DD. Our “plot” consists of a fenced off area with access gates and 14 full sized (10m x 25m) plots serviced by 3 large water troughs, fed from the mains. Over the past 10 years some of these Allotments have been divided up into half or quarter sized plots for those who either do not need a full plot or as introductory plots for new members looking to get started. More recently 11 raised beds were constructed on a half plot, the idea being to encourage members of the community with children or limited time, to become involved in a manageable and sustainable way.
Annual Membership Fees
The annual membership fees are: Full plot £52, half plot £26, quarter plot £13, raised bed £8 and Associate membership £6.
Over the course of the year Allotment members support events in the village, such as the Car Boot Sale in May, the Farnham Garden Open Event and/or the Farnham Street Fair in June. We also host a summer BBQ held in August and organise a “Spud in a Bag” competition. Additionally surplus produce and plants are made available to the local community from a donation table in the village.
Any enquiries should be addressed to one of our committee members:
Chairman: Ed Sadd 01725 516348 firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary & Treasurer: Bronwen Jones 01258 458350
Committee member: Julia Safe 01725 516215
Committee member: Helen Tustin 01725 516385
General Pitt Rivers
In 1880 Lieutenant General Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt-Rivers inherited the Rushmore Estate from his cousin, the last Lord Rivers. The Estate contained a large number of archaeological monuments. He had already established himself as a leading expert on archaeological excavation methods and now devoted much of his last twenty years to undertaking fieldwork designed to examine the numerous earthworks on his new estate. The results of his digs in Cranborne Chase were published in four large volumes between 1887 and 1889, and mark the beginning of modern archaeological techniques in Britain. Thus he was considered to be the ‘father’ of English archaeology.