Fringe Box



Guildford Snippets – Do You Know? No.18

Published on: 2 Sep, 2018
Updated on: 2 Sep, 2018

by Nick Bale Guildford Town Guides

Guildford Castle and St Mary’s Church are the best-known medieval buildings we still can see in the town centre. Less known is the Undercroft, which is underneath Liz Earle shop in Guildford High Street.

While the Undercroft is below ground level, the person who built it spared no expense, creating a stone vaulted ceiling decorated with carved heads. The Undercroft is well worth a look even though it is quite small. It is open on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons until the end of September and entry is free. 

Illustration from the book The Sherborne Missal by John Siferwas. Picture: British Library.

Books by their nature are far less likely to survive than buildings. The Sherborne Missal is one of the most spectacular and colourful medieval books in the collection of the British Library. It is richly illustrated with pictures, figures, flowers and especially birds. It is less well known that the main illustrator of the missal lived in Guildford. 

This artist, John Siferwas moved to Sherborne where the noble who commissioned the missal lived.

The question this week is where in Guildford did John Siferwas live:

a. Guildford Castle

b. The Friary

c. Quarry Street

If you know the answer, please leave a reply in the box below. The answer will be given in a week’s time with the next Guildford question.

You can find out more about Medieval Guildford on the guided walk on Saturday, August 9, on the walk starting at Tunsgate Arch at 2.30pm. 

Many thanks to those of you who responded to last week’s question. The bell on the fire station was meant to be rung to call the firemen and the horses when there was a fire. Unfortunately, the bell tower was too short and the sound of the bell did not carry far enough. The bell on the Guildhall was still therefore used as the fire alarm instead.

Visit for further information.

Share This Post

Responses to Guildford Snippets – Do You Know? No.18

  1. John Lomas Reply

    September 2, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    As he is described as a Dominican Friar when looking at references to the Missal, I would think he lived at the Guildford Black Friary which was a Dominican house.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *