Category Archives: History

Our Untold Stories

An exhibition about three communities

Everywhere we go, the people we live and move among have their own stories. These will be influenced by, and overlap with, the stories of different communities.

This area is no exception and St Mark’s Church is hosting an exhibition about three communities until July 15. The exhibition will then  move to the Museum of Farnham, which has co-curated this, on July 26 where it will remain until December.

Reflecting on 60 years: Our Untold Stories is an interactive exhibition which  introduces us to the Ahmadiyya Muslim, the history of Hale and the Polish community in the area. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Organisation, the Hale History Project and the Polish School of Surrey worked with the museum to create a pop-up exhibition about each community’s stories, their origins and specific purposes and provide insight in to the development of local areas.

The exhibition  is open at St Mark’s at the following times: Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 1pm, until July 15.

St John’s through the years

An update from the Farnham Church Recorders:

We are now well under way with our work at St John’s. We record everything inside the church, but we also look at changes that have been made to the building to help us with dating items like windows and stonework. Our visits to the archives have revealed some interesting information about the changes made to St John’s since the church was built in 1844.

The first proposed alterations were featured in a previous blog post, and plans from 1844 and 1861 were then recorded in a later post.

However, according to a document at the Surrey History Centre, dated 1st July 1868, other improvements were made including the construction of a porch (whether south or west isn’t clear) which is not shown on the 1861 plan:

Then in 1895 a ‘Jubilee Memorial’ was proposed, and a draft version of an appeal leaflet found at London Metropolitan Archives during a research visit by one of our team explains why the changes were so badly needed!

The people elected to raise the funds for these improvements include names well known to those who are interested in the story of the church.

In the same bundle of documents is a plan dated 1896 showing what was eventually built.

It’s well known that Bishop Sumner and his wife Jennie were buried in St John’s churchyard, and we had heard various opinions about the exact position of their graves. The plan shows that they now lie under the vestry. The graves were originally outside the church, and the 1896 extension was built over them. The original gravestones are still in the churchyard but were moved to the east side of the church, and the beautiful memorial plaque to Bishop and Mrs Sumner in the chancel indicates that their graves are nearby. The plaque was designed by the Sumners’ grandson, Heywood Sumner, who was a noted artist in the Arts and Crafts movement.

We’re now looking into the next significant alteration and will reveal our findings in due course…

Farnham Church Recorders are a voluntary group of The Arts Society Farnham. Read about us by clicking here.

Kitty Milroy hits the headlines

The Kitty Milroy Murals at St Mark’s have made the national news, following a visit by Sky News reporter Shingi Mararike.

The murals, which are undergoing restoration at the moment, have been recognised as being of national importance in the development of mural art and the work of a considerable, but so far unacknowledged, talent.

Watch the video here:

https://news.sky.com/video/who-was-the-artist-known-as-kitty-milroy-12307871

And read the article here:

https://news.sky.com/story/surrey-church-restoring-murals-of-national-significance-by-unheralded-artist-kitty-milroy-12307572

Who’s for pancakes with a twist?

Lesley Shatwell writes:

I am sad that this year we won’t be able to enjoy “Pancakes and Temptation” at St Mark’s and a bit nervous that we might just have to make do with the temptation and a lot of wistful thinking. This reminded me that I have never tried the recipes which my great-grandmother Mary Louise had written out into her cookery book.

Mary Louise (pictured above) was the daughter of a vet and she married a man who had inherited a few smallholdings in East Devon. They rented a large house on the banks of the River Exe at Lympstone, which was the childhood home of my Grannie. I am not sure whether Mary Louise would have made these pancakes herself, because according to the 1911 census, they had two general servants living with them.

The cookery book must have been started in the 1890s/1900s with the lavish food available at the time, but towards the end of the book there are recipes suggesting “How to eke out butter” using cornflour and milk. The book ends in 1919. The pancake recipes are from a far more extravagant time. And just in case all the pancakes prove too much, I include Mr Broom’s recipe for Indigestion Powders – but please, please, please don’t try that one at home as I do not want to be held responsible for you trying to obtain the required morphine.

Apple Pancakes  

Peel, core and mince half a pound of soft-fleshed apples.
Put these into a basin with ½ lb self rising flour.
Mix to a batter with 1 duck or 2 hens’ eggs; flavour with almonds, and add one oz of sugar.
Fry with lard.
Dust sugar over when they are cooked, roll up and serve with quarter lemon.    

Chocolate Pancakes

Make a strong cupful of Fry’s concentrated essence of cocoa,
flavour it with Vanilla.
Beat up three eggs, and when the cocoa is cool, use it with the eggs in making a batter with flour that has been browned in the oven.
Fry in lard.
Spread greengage jam over and serve.

Empress Eugenie Pancakes

They consist entirely of farina, mostly cornflour or potato fecula (a thickening starch).
Four tablespoonfuls to two of sugar and 8 eggs
quarter of a pint of new milk,
a small glass of cognac.
Fry in clarified butter,
and drop in candied violets and orange-flower (?*) in equal quantities.
These delicious bonnes-bouches are crisp and have a peculiarly pleasant taste.  They are served on separate plates, and must not be covered down or placed over each other when serving.

*  I think this must be orange flower essence, as that is an ingredient used in Napoleonic recipes.

Orange Pancakes

Two tablespoons of farola (A free-flowing cream coloured fine granular powder milled from durum wheat).
Beat up an egg with a cupful of new milk and a teaspoonful of sugar.
Make the farola into a batter.
Fry in boiling lard.
This will make 3 pancakes.
Into the centre of each drop a thin ring off a small fine rinded orange.
Just before tossing dust the orange with a little farola;
this will prevent it adhering to the pan.

Prince George of Wales’s Pancake


which is compounded of one tablespoonful of cornflour and two of the finest white flour,
a teaspoonful of baking powder,
and one of fine white sugar.
Mix well.
Beat up 2 large eggs
add sufficient cream or milk to make the flour into a thick butter;
add a glass of maraschino or sweet white wine:
put into a small omelette-pan one oz of butter.
When it leaves off frothing and turns a pale golden colour,
pour in a teaspoonful of the batter,
scatter over the top mixed angelica and pistachio nuts.
Turn; cook very lightly on the decorated side;
dust with fine castor sugar, and serve.

The Victoria Regina Pancakes

are exquisite.

Put into a basin 4 oz fine flour,
1 oz ground almond flour,
2 oz of fine castor sugar,
a saltspoonful of cinnamon (or mixed spice);
mix well together,
form into a batter, with 3 eggs beaten up with a quarter of a pint of cream, and if more liquid is needed add new milk.
The quantity will depend on the size of the eggs.
When well mixed add a glass of brandy.
Fry in butter.
Drop in slices of dried
apricot, cherries, angelica and shred almonds, or desiccated coconut that has been steeped in the brandy.
Try to arrange these in a pattern.
The angelica can be stamped with a crown shaped vegetable cutter.
Cook well on the underside,
and to a delicate tint on the upper.

Mr Broom’s Indigestion powders

Bismuth 100 grs
Bicarb Soda  100 grs
Ginger  30 grs
Morphia  1 gr
10 powders
Taken in skim milk immediately before meals.


DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!
(anyway, it is difficult and illegal to obtain the required morphia)

History of Old Park

The historic Farnham Old Park was located to the West of Folly Hill and was the original Deer Park for the Castle before the existing (new) Park. The origin of the Old Park is estimated at 1138 when Bishop Henry of Blois built his castle. Deer were hunted in the Old Park by the Bishops and King John from the castle. The Old Park also provided timber, pottery, tiles and osier. The landscape of Old Park is still distinctive and its boundary can still be seen today with ancient species-rich hedgerows running alongside a stream or ditch. The boundary can be traced as to the east by Folly Hill, to the South by a hedge bank running past Burles Farm to Lower Old Park Farm up at Faulkner’s Folly along the West side along Dora’s Green Lane to Warren Corner and Ewshot Hall and then across the Odiham Road to Lawday House Farm.

Bridleways such as Old Park Lane and Middle Old Park follow the course of St Swithun’s Way, a track used for pilgrimages to Winchester. Upper Old Park Lane has the beautiful Cromwell Oak and the Folly from which Folly Hill was named, where the King and his huntsmen hid in wait of deer during the hunt can be seen. The top of the Old Park is Caesar’s Camp (an iron age hillfort and scheduled ancient monument – 1007895), which was included in the Old Park of the Bishop’s of Winchester in the 11th Century. It is a Special Protection Area (SPA) and the Bourley & Long Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for wildlife namely Nightjar, Woodlark and Dartford Warbler, the three internationally rare bird species. In the time of the Bishop’s it was known as Lawday Heath Common by Lawday House Farm and was where the 100s of Farnham and Crondall met twice a year on “Law Day” for the holding of the Hundred Court. In the mid 1670’s Bishop Morley leased the Old Park to farms to raise money.

The outline of the Great or Old Park – Elfrida Manning 1984

by Jane Watson (shared with permission)