Gostrey Meadow, Union Road, Farnham, GU9 7RT
The park covers 1.08h (2.7acres) and was created in 1910 by Farnham Urban District Council as a recreational area for the residents of Farnham. It also includes the Evelyn Borelli Garden of Rest.
The name comes from 17th Century meadows, part of The Bush Hotel estate which was known as Gostreeds. Today the grounds include:
- A children's play area
- Mown grass areas for amenity use
- Specimen trees
- Bedding displays (planted and maintained by Farnham Town Council)
- Farnham's War Memorial
- Public toilets (managed by Farnham Town Council)
- The Borelli shelter
- A drinking fountain, designed by local architect Harold Falkner
- As well as being a place for children to play, the park is used for open-air services and ceremonial events, fairs and circuses.
- A collection of interesting public art installations at the Evelyn Borelli Garden of Rest.
The river Wey flows through the site, under South Street and along the side of Borelli Walk. The grounds are attended by a permanent Park Keeper employed by Waverley Borough Council’s grounds maintenance contractors Glendale.
Gold award for Gostrey Meadow
Gostrey Meadow won a gold award at the South and South East in Bloom awards. Particularly praised was the Park Keeper, Nick, which one judge said it was 'refreshing to see old style values returning' to parks management. The park keeper is employed by the council’s grounds maintenances contractors Glendale who have worked in partnership with Waverley Borough Council to achieve this award.
History of Gostrey Meadow
In the late 17th Century, Gostrey Meadow was part of an 11 acre estate owned by the Bush Hotel. Over the years the estate was broken up and, by the early 1900's, Gostrey Meadow was an area of waste land which was used as a rubbish dump.
In 1908, Farnham UDC decided to buy 2 acres of land off Union Road, together with 1 acre off South Street, to use as a public recreation ground. The purchase price was £1,250, but a further £320 was spent clearing and levelling the site, making footpaths, providing fencing and gates and constructing as bridge over the river. Many local people gave gifts, including trees, roses, flowering plants, oak seats, a children's swing and £21 for a drinking fountain designed by local architect Harold Falkner. On 10 October 1910, Gostrey Meadow was opened to the public. The War Memorial, designed by architect W.C Watson, was placed by the South Street entrance in 1919, and services are held on Remembrance Sunday every year. During the Second World War the meadow was the site of the British Restaurant, housed in two Nissen huts and staffed by the Women's Voluntary Service, which provided meals for hundreds of people every day.
Borelli Walk, Farnham
The tranquil walk through the park runs along the River Wey between South Street and Dogflud Way. It is a popular short-cut from another of our sites, Gostrey Meadow, to the Farnham Leisure Centre, which offers many facilities for the surrounding area.
This site has a very secluded feel even though it is in the middle of the bustle of Farnham. There is seating along the river path should you wish to stop and relax to enjoy the moment, and there is a growing collection of ornamental trees in the cut grass, some of which have been kindly donated by members of the public.
History of Borelli Walk
The idea for a riverside walk was first put forward in 1945, five years before Mr Borelli's death. A committee was formed and a fund opened to collect money for the scheme. By 1953, £450 was collected and handed to the Urban District Council together with the bronze plaque located close by.
As a result of a suggestion by Mr E. L. Jennings and with the approval of the committee of the Farnham Club for the Blind, an approach was made to the Farnham Urban District Council for permission to construct a scented garden for the blind. The council consented and work started on the site in 1953. The walk was opened on 14 April that year.
Page owner: Faye Boakes. Last updated: 23/02/2016 10:13