HISTORIC GODALMING

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
 
 
 

 

A plaque located on the ground floor of the Pepperpot 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

 

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

Going back in time

For enlargements, click images

 


image: Godalming Museum, ref B007.73.4
 

  

This scene dates from just before the First World War

 



image: Godalming Museum, ref B989.12
 

  

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

 


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

 

A print celebrating the introduction of electric street lighting in 1881


 
image: Godalming Museum, ref 2506
 

 

This is a view of the western end of the High Street, looking east.

The street is paved with granite setts. With the growth of wheeled traffic with metal rims to the wheels, these setts were found to be very noisy and they were taken up in 1913


 
image: Godalming Museum, ref B980.794
 

 


This from 1818 shows the Pepperpot soon after its construction

On the left is The White Hart Inn (nos 97-103 High Street)

The building on the extreme right was destroyed by fire in 1879


 
image: Godalming Museum, ref B000.63.1.37
 

 


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


 

 

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