Museum of Farnham

Museum of Farnham
38 West Street





01252 715094

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Museum of Farnham
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The Museum of Farnham is housed in a Grade I listed Georgian townhouse. Known as Willmer House, it was built in 1718 by John Thorne, a local hop-merchant. In 1810 it became the Willmer House School for Young Ladies, then a boys school in th 1850s, a private residence from the 1860s, a dentist in the early part of the twentieth century, and opened as a museum in 1961.

The house displays a fine red-brick frontage and giant rusticated pillars. The interior is equally symmetrical and typical of any finely-proportioned Georgian townhouse. An equally impressive oak staircase dominates the entrance hall.

The Museum hosts a programme of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. 'Down the Garden Path': A History of Gardens and Gardening' runs from 3rd July to 15th September 2007. This is followed by 'Farnham on Film' in October, run in conjunction with the film festival organised by The Maltings. There will be a range of children's activities to accompany each exhibition.

The Museum houses a local studies library. Vistors can either drop in Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm, or make an appointment for assistance with research enquiries.

The Museum runs an extensive schools programme. History days where pupils come dressed as Victorian School children ready for a lesson from the strict Miss Reid, or as Tudors to enter the cellar and prepare for a visit from Elizabeth I, are two of the most popular sessions.

There is an Affiliation Service for schools to enjoy reduced rates for talks at the Museum and in school, as well as access to the Museum's loan boxes and handling collection. For more details please contact the Education Officer at

The Friends of Farnham Museum run fund-raising events throughout the year. The next of these is a family 'Beetle Drive' on the 18th August, followed by 'The Oxford Waits' at Farnham Castle on the 20th September. For tickets or more information please contact the Museum.

The Museum of Farnham is run by Waverley Borough Council, and was specially commended in the European Museum of the Year Award in 1994.

Venue Type:

Archive, Library, Museum

Opening hours

Tues-Sat 10.00-17.00

Closed: Christmas and New Year

Admission charges

Free admission

The Museum of Farnham's collection illustrates the town's richly artistic and industrial heritage,through from the earliest geological period to the present day.

Important figures represented in the collection include W.H. Allen, Harold Falkner, Ernest Borelli, Stephen Elmer, John Henry Knight and George Sturt. There are displays of Farnham Greenware pottery, motororing history and the hop industry. Highlights of the collection include items belonging to Farnham's most famous son, William Cobbett, and a beautiful morning cap presented to Sir Charles Vernon by King Charles I.

Collection details

Archaeology, Architecture, Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Industry, Land Transport, Literature, Natural Sciences, Personalities, Social History

Key artists and exhibits

  • W.H. Allen
  • Harold Falkner
  • Ernest Borelli
  • John Henry Knight
  • William Cobbett
  • Stephen Elmer
  • George Sturt
  • hop industry
  • motoring
  • pottery
  • Willmer House
  • architecture
  • Waverley Abbey
  • Farnham
  • costume
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Museum Club at the Museum of Farnham

Museum Club is for children aged 6-12 years who are interested in being creative,learning about history and the arts and making new friends.

How to obtain

A year's membership is £20. Places are awarded on a first come, first served basis. To join, download the application form and return it electronically to Check the website for a taste of sessions coming up.