Fringe Box



Guildford Snippets No.22

Published on: 12 May, 2019
Updated on: 12 May, 2019

By Nick Bale Guildford Town Guides

Guildford Cathedral’s position on Stag Hill makes it a focal point for the town from all directions.

When did the clay come from for bricks used in the construction of Guildford Cathedral?

The doubts about completing the building after the Second World War were dispelled by the success of the famous “Buy a Brick” campaign. Thousands of people, including Queen Elizabeth II, have their name inscribed on a brick used in the building. 

I was intrigued to find out a few days ago where the clay used to make all these bricks came from. I know that much of ground underneath the town centre and the surrounding hills is chalk. St Catherine’s Hill and St Martha’s are clearly sandy, and there is a sand pit in valley below Newlands Corner. So did the clay have to come from further afield e.g. the Weald or the Thames valley? 

So the question this time is where did the clay come from that was used to make the bricks?

If you know the answer please leave a reply in the box below. They will be be published along with the correct answer in two weeks time.

For those interested in the answer to the Snippet No. 21 about the first Guildford Borough Council election in 1836, the correct answer was A. In other words, all but one of the 12 councillors had been members of the Guildford Corporation that the Borough Council replaced. 

If you have questions or wonder what the town was like in the past, come and join one of our free guided walks. Over the next few weeks, you have a choice of several themed walks: Georgian Guildford, Military History, Lewis Carroll, the Oldest Street as well as the Guildford Story walk. Information on our programme is available from the Guildford Tourist Information Centre or at 

Guildford Cathedral has its own volunteer guides offering excellent tours of the cathedral. For details go to:

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test 4 Responses to Guildford Snippets No.22

  1. Peter Brayne Reply

    May 13, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Was it from the Guildford Park brick works?

  2. Calum Shaw Reply

    May 13, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    According to the 1912 map I have, there was a brick works on the side of Stag Hill behind Rupert Road. It’s likely, as Peter says, it was called the Guildford Park Brick Works.

  3. Aubrey Leahy Reply

    May 18, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    According to this Guildford Dragon online newspaper of 27th Feb 2012 the bricks were made by Guildford Park Brickworks with clay dug from Stag Hill.

  4. John Lomas Reply

    June 11, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    The BFI film archive has a wartime film of the then Provost appealing for funds. It includes contemporarty views of the cathedral and also the process of the making by hand of those bricks.

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