The Pepperpot , High Street

The Pepperpot decorated for the Millennium

 

This unusual building in the centre of Godalming has come to symbolise the town. It is known as The Pepperpot because its turret is shaped like a Georgian pepper pot.

Note the old parish pump - until the 1880s there was no piped water supply. All major proclamations are still made on these steps.

 

For the Pepperpot's timeline, click here

 

Buildings on this site have served various official functions:

  • Hundred house, when this was the centre of administration for an area from Puttenham and Artington in the north to Haslemere and Chiddingfold in the south. The last hundred court was held in the 19th century.

  • Market house, when there was a weekly market in the broadened part of the high Street

  • Town Hall before the town council moved to its present location in Bridge Street in 1907

 

The present building was erected by public subscription in 1814, when the previous market house fell into disrepair

 

At one point, there was a "cage" under the stairs of the Markethouse that was capable of securing one person or prisoner.

Source: Charles Softley

 

The plaque reads:

THIS PLAQUE COMMEMORATES THE WORLD'S FIRST PUBLIC ELECTRICITY SUPPLY ON 26TH SEPTEMBER 1881.NEAR THIS SPOT WAS INSTALLED THE FIRST ELECTRIC LAMP TO LIGHT THE PUBLIC HIGHWAY UNDER THIS PIONEERING DEVELOPMENT. THIS PLAQUE WAS UNVEILED ON THE CENTENARY OF THIS EVENT BY JOHN WEDGWOOD CHAIRMAN OF THE SOUTHERN ELECTRICITY BOARD

 

This is located on the open ground floor of the Pepperpot

 

At some point, this external staircase was added

 

Since 1907 it has had various uses:

 

-In the early 20th century the lower part of the Pepperpot was walled in and used as a public convenience

 

-The lower part has also been a shop and the upper room has housed the museum

 

-Now the upper part is a function room and the lower section is a meeting place and location for market stalls

 

 

HISTORICAL IMAGES

for enlargements, click images


This scene dates from just before the 1914-18 War  

Image: Godalming Museum: ref B007.73.4

This shows the arch celebrating Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887

 

Photograph: Godalming Museum, ref B989.12

This shows the scene in 1881, when the electric street lighting was introduced for a short period

In this engraving, there is no indication of the staircase on the Church Street side of the Pepperpot

For more information about the electric street lighting and public electricity, click here

 

image: Godalming in Old Picture Postcards, vol 1, no 1

This photograph must date from before 1879, when the far white building was burnt down

 

Photograph: Godalming Museum, ref 2506

This a view of the previous Market House

In 1761 French prisoners from Belle Isle Expedition in the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) were held in this Market House

 

Photograph: Godalming Museum, ref B000.63.1.37

 

 

Return