The Farnham Society

The Farnham Society is one of the largest and oldest conservation and amenity societies in the country.

Farnham, on the western fringe of Surrey and bordering Hampshire, is a town of special qualities. The Castle and Park, the wide sweep of Castle Street, the old streets of the town centre with their lovely Georgian buildings, and the undisturbed river meadows, all combine to make Farnham a place deserving of special care.

This was recognised in 1972 when most of the town centre was designated an Outstanding Conservation Area. Its residential suburbs, rural surroundings and commercial zones all contribute to its character.

However, the beauty and charm of Farnham are threatened by the constant pressures of new development and traffic, which are placing an increasing strain on this historic town. It is up to the people who live in it to make sure that its particular qualities are maintained, while ensuring the best possible results where changes must take place. Very great care is needed to see that the best of the old is protected and that the right sort of development is encouraged for the future, including buildings, roads and open spaces.

The Farnham Society is one of the largest and oldest conservation and amenity societies in the country. The original ‘Old Farnham Society’ was formed in 1911 by Charles E. Borelli and Harold Falkner. These two founder members had a profound influence on the town, Borelli as Chairman of the Farnham Urban District Council for many years, and Falkner as an architect. Other founder members included the Bishop of Winchester, W.H. Allen – the Head of the Art School, and George Sturt, who as George Bourne was the author of a number of books about the social history of Farnham.

Despite the intervention of more than a hundred years the Society continues to pursue the objectives of our founders to maintain Farnham as a pleasant place to live and visit.

Principal areas of concern at present are

  • The Waverley Borough Council Local Plan, which could more than double the traditional rate of housing development, and thus population and car ownership growth , in Farnham.

  • Supporting Farnham Town Council in developing the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan.

  • The additional pressures that will be brought to bear on the town’s infrastructure and services. These are already stretched in several key areas including the road system, school places provision and the outdated water and sewerage system.



The Society has a very active Executive Committee, which meets monthly at South Farnham School, and four sub-committees.

  • The Planning Committee meets regularly at the Town Hall to review the hundreds of planning applications for developments in Farnham that are made each year. It submits comment on significant applications where appropriate which may be in support, as observations or objections. The Committee also represents the Society in responding to public consultations and attending public inquiries and planning appeals.

  • The Traffic Committee comments on traffic related proposals such as the scheme to pedestrianise part of the town centre and makes proposals on behalf of the Society to help improve traffic conditions in the town,

  • The Social Committee organises day visits and longer tours to places of interest, evening talks and coffee mornings.

  • The Heritage Open Days (HODS) Team plans and runs the annual HODS event each September.

For more details, please see or contact them on