AGM 5th July 2019 and the Trustees’ Report

The Trustees’ Report for 2018 will be presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Farnham Trust at the Garden Gallery, Museum of Farnham, West Street, Farnham on Friday 5th July 2019, 5.30pm for a 6pm start.

After the formal part of the meeting, there will a talk by local historian Roy Waight on “The amazing story of More House School and the Frensham Circus”.

The AGM is open to all members of the Farnham Trust and we welcome new members who support our aims. Membership is free entitling you to attend open meetings and our AGM. We also hold occasional visits to current projects. If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact us at .


Farnham Building Preservation Trust short listed for Surrey Heritage Award

The Farnham Building Preservation Trust was recently shortlisted for the prestigious Surrey Heritage Awards for conservation works and restoration of a 16th century building, Old Yew Tree Cottage in Wrecclesham. The Awards recognise “Best Practice” in historic building conservation in Surrey, looking in particular for examples of projects that breathe new life into neglected buildings.

Trust Chairman Martin Lloyd and Lucy Rodd at the awards

When the Farnham Trust purchased the Grade II listed Old Yew Tree Cottage in 2015 it was in urgent need of care and attention to save and restore it, returning it to practical use and ensuring its survival into the future. The Trust’s aim was to conserve the building using traditional materials and techniques, adding a sympathetic extension to allow the building to be used and lived in. The Trust also chose to prepare a detailed record of the history of the house and were able to use dendrochronology, or tree-ring dating, to obtain a likely construction date of 1551 for the oldest part of the building.

The vision was to bring the building into the 21st century in a sympathetic way and make it suitable for modern life. Unsuitable modern materials that had been used in past repairs were stripped back, and the building was then conserved using the traditional materials that were essential to maintain it appropriately for the future. The timber frame needed many repairs, and while the work was in progress it was found necessary to include a complete roof replacement, because previous repairs had caused rot in the timbers.

In addition, as part of the project a new entrance wing was added. In designing this the Trust adopted an honest approach, making sure that the old and the new would sit comfortably, side by side. The project was completed at the beginning of this year and Old Yew Tree Cottage is now on the market awaiting its new owner. The lucky owner will have the advantage of benefiting from the extensive professional repairs and improvements that the Farnham Trust has carried out, leaving it ready for occupation.

The Surrey Heritage Awards are organised by The Surrey Historic Buildings Trust, and the awards event was held at the stunning West Horsley Place, courtesy of the Mary Roxburghe Trust and Bamber Gascoigne, on Wednesday 27 March 2019. The six shortlisted projects were judged by a panel of experts including chief judge Matthew Slocombe, Director of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB). The Trust’s Patron, Michael More-Molyneux, Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey presented the awards with Parklands Farm Granary, Ockley being named the overall winner.

Old Yew Tree Cottage Wrecclesham on the market

We are pleased to announce that our renovation of Old Yew Tree Cottage is now complete and is on the market through our agents Savilles.

Full details are here

This is a rare opportunity to own a character property that has undergone a thorough restoration and upgrade, offering a unique chance to live in this charming property without many of the usual worries.

FBPT 50th Anniversary Art & Writing Competition

On Saturday 13th October, we held a very well attended prize giving at the Bush Hotel for our 50th Anniversary Art & Writing Competition.

Nearly a hundred and fifty rose to the challenge we set to local schoolchildren in years R to 6 to produce a piece of artwork or write about a building that inspires them in or around Farnham. The judges were faced with the almost impossible task of deciding who should be awarded the first, second and third prizes in each of the three age groups.

The Farnham Herald were there to report and photograph the winners alongside the Mayor and Martin Lloyd, the chairman of the FBPT; you can read the article here.

Old Yew Tree Cottage Progress November 2018

The renovation work at Old Yew Tree Cottage draws to a close and we are hopeful that the builders will complete and hand the property over to us in the next few weeks; we are now actively working on marketing the property with our chosen agent, Andrew Lodge.

We opened the property to the public during Heritage Open Days in early September and enjoyed the opportunity to show 55 visitors around and give them a chance to see what we have been doing. Many of the visitors had visited in the previous two years and were interested to see what progress had been made.

As an aside, it has never been completely clear whether the cottage was “Old Yew Tree Cottage” or just “Yew Tree Cottage” but the matter was settled when it became clear that there is another Yew Tree Cottage nearby so to avoid postal confusion we have settled on Old Yew Tree Cottage.

FBPT 50th Anniversary Art & Writing Competition

It’s our 50th birthday and we would like to invite children in years R to 6 attending local schools to celebrate with us. We are holding a competition to find a building that you really love and inspires you.

Since 1968, the Trust has been looking after Farnham’s historic buildings and making sure that they carry on being used and have a future. Farnham is very lucky to have so many beautiful buildings left, right through from its Norman Castle to modern buildings.

We would like to invite you to produce a piece of artwork or writing for entry into the competition. Prizes will be awarded to the best entries from each age category.

The three age categories are: Yrs R/1, Yrs 2/3/4 and Yrs 5/6.
Winning entries will be displayed at our special anniversary event being held on 13th October 2018 at the Bush Hotel.

Please return your entry to your school by the 14th September 2018 to allow us to select the winning entries before our anniversary in October.

There are two choices for the entry:

Can you produce a piece of artwork about a building that inspires you in or around Farnham?

  • It should be a building that you see regularly and inspires you
  • It should be labelled as to what building it is and which school you are from
  • You can use pencil, crayon, watercolour, pastel, collage, whatever you prefer.
  • It should be no smaller than A5 but no bigger than A4


  • It should be a building that you see regularly and inspires you
  • It should be labelled as to what building it is and which school you are from
  • Your writing should be no more than 500 words and can be hand written or word processed
  • You can write in any style so it may be a short story, a poem, a piece of descriptive writing about why it inspires you. You choose.

Once you have completed your work, return it to your school by 14th September and a member of the Farnham Trust will collect it for judging.

Remember to stick a piece of paper with your name, age and school on the back of your piece of work.

Winners will be announced in early October as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations on 13th October 2018 at a special presentation event at the Bush Hotel in Farnham.


AGM July 2018 and the Trustees’ Report

The Trustees’ Report for 2017 was presented at the AGM of the Farnham Trust at the Garden Gallery, Museum of Farnham on Friday 6th July 2018.

This meeting marked the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of the Farnham Trust in October 1968 and there were short contributions recalling the early days of the Trust from founder or early years members.

After the formal part of the meeting, there was a talk from Patrick Grattan on “Hop Drying Kilns in Surrey”.

Farnham Trust Trustees Report 2017

Old Yew Tree Cottage Progress January 2018

Progress at Old Yew Tree Cottage is gaining pace. Work on the new porch and staircase is well underway allowing better access to the upstairs rooms. Having found dampness in the roof space it was decided that further investigation was required to ensure that all damp was removed and the cause eliminated. In late December we were given permission from the Conservation team at WBC to remove the roof from the Cottage. It has been encased in a scaffold tower for a few weeks allowing the builders to work in all conditions.

Although the Trust had not anticipated removing the roof it has allowed us to inspect aspects of the building that would otherwise have been hidden.

Hidden earth and lathe panel found above the lathe and plaster ceiling in the master bedroom. A similar one has been found above the master ensuite bathroom which had been limewashed
Diamond mullioned window opening on back wall of master bedroom. This was concealed in the space above the Victorian room to the rear of the Cottage

Now the roof has been removed most timbers have been found to be in reasonably good condition. A few repairs will need to be undertaken before re-roofing.
The Trust is very excited by the finds that have been uncovered recently and we are in the process of taking photographs of the progression of works and features that we find. Once the Cottage is finished and marketed we will be able to present the owner with a fascinating record of their house.

Two views of the roof encased in the scaffold tower


Verney Lecture 2017

The 2017 Verney Lecture was held on Monday 23rd October at the Farnham Maltings on “Clandon Park, The Fire and The Future“, given by Alex Bush of the National Trust.

Verney Lecture 2017 Poster

Old Yew Tree Cottage Progress July 2017

We have now signed contracts with our builder R.A.Croft Ltd to carry out the renovation of the property. The work will start at the beginning of September with completion due in July 2018.

We are still planning to open the property for tours during Heritage Open Days this year. The tours are scheduled for Saturday 9th September, one tour at 11am and one at 2pm, and Sunday 10th September, one tour at 11am. Advance booking is essential. Renovation plans will be on display.

Further information here as well as details of other properties and events in Farnham over the four days.

Preserving Farnham's Heritage