Chilworth, Surrey

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This article is about Chilworth in Surrey. For Chilworth in Hampshire, see Chilworth, Hampshire.
Chilworth is located in Surrey
 Chilworth shown within Surrey
Population 1,928 
OS grid reference TQ021471
District Guildford
Shire county Surrey
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Guildford
Postcode district GU4
Dialling code 01483
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
List of places

Coordinates: 51°12′51″N 0°32′18″W / 51.2141°N 0.5383°W / 51.2141; -0.5383

Chilworth is a village in Surrey, England, 3 miles (4.8 km) southeast of Guildford. Chilworth has about 2000 residents,[citation needed] several churches including (St Thomas and St. Augustine's Benedictine Abbey), two schools (Chilworth Infant School and Tillingbourne Junior School), a gastro-pub (The Percy Arms) and a railway station. The village nestles below the North Downs, overlooked by St Martha's Hill and St. Martha's Church. It is split between two civil parishes, Shalford CP to the west and St Martha's CP to the east, and is wholly within Guildford borough. It also has a recreation ground with a park and pavilion.[1]

Benedictine monks until recently continued a presence on the outskirts of Chilworth in Saint Augustine's Abbey, formerly a Franciscan friary, designed by Frederick Walters, founded in 1892.[2]


Chilworth appears in Domesday Book as Celeorde. It was held by the Bishop of Bayeux. Its domesday assets were: 1 mill worth 7s, 3 ploughs. It rendered £3 10s 0d.[3]

The settlement has an interesting industrial past. At various times in history it has been the location of a wire mill, paper mill and gunpowder factory.[4] The wireworks was built in 1603 [5] by Thomas Steere and others, who seduced workmen from the Tintern wireworks of the Company of Mineral and Battery Works. This infringed the company's patent and enabled it to have the wireworks suppressed in 1606.[6] The gunpowder works are listed by English Heritage as a scheduled monument [7]

Chilworth Gunpowder works was established in 1625 by the East India Company and finally closed in 1920. It was worked by a number of private companies and became an important supplier of gunpowder to the Government. A significant number of buildings from the gunpowder factory can still be found. The buildings and area are now looked after by Guildford Borough Council and English Heritage.

Chilworth from the hill to the north

Chilworth Manor[edit]

Chilworth Manor (2007)

Chilworth Manor is located midway between the village and St Martha's Hill to the North. Its history goes back to a record in the Domesday Book as a monastery. The monastery was destroyed by Henry VIII and by 1580 was owned by William Morgan. William's son, John was knighted at Cadiz in 1596. In 1725 Sarah, the widow of the Duke of Marlborough became owner. She added the Marlborough Wing, developed a tiered garden excavated in the sloping hillside and still known as the "Duchess's Garden".

Chilworth Manor is grade II listed by English Heritage and has recently been extensively restored and refurbished by new owners, following the death of its previous occupant, Lady Heald[8]


Chilworth railway station

Chilworth railway station is situated on the North Downs Line, and is served every two hours by trains to Redhill and Reading. Trains are operated by First Great Western.

Numerous bus services link Chilworth to Guildford and Dorking, of which most are operated by Arriva Guildford & West Surrey.


Chilworth is covered by ADSL and Mobile Broadband based High Speed Internet services. A Vodafone phone mast sits near the center of the village, at the playing fields, just to the south of one of the Railway Crossings. Other mobile services in the village are patchy, there also being a Vodaphone mast in nearby Shalford, but no other signal not of land shadow.
ADSL based services only offer a maximum of ~4Mbit/s to the village.

BT have extended their Fibre to the Cabinet expansion plans to cover Guildford. Chilworth now benefits from these improvements and extensive BT work took place in April and May 2011 resulting in installation of new FTTC cabinets in at least 3 locations in the village. These works, now complete, allow for 12Mbit/s+ services and service to those at the Eastern end of the village and up to 70Mbit/s to those towards the West end of Dorking Road and New Road.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]