CHURCH ROAD


  

Today Church Road is a side road leading away from Farnborough High Street, past St. Giles church and down towards Shire Lane. Across Shire Lane is the High Elms country park, the estate formerly owned by the Lubbocks.

It is mostly quiet, except when there is a big service or funeral taking place at the church, or when the regular commuters from Biggin Hill rush up heading toward Bromley.

These photos contrast the view today with that from over 100 years ago. Not much has changed in Church Road. Yes this is now the location of Farnborough telephone exchange, and the former post office is now a private dwelling. but otherwise it is much the same.

Church Road in the early 20th century and now, showing how little this has changed

But go back to before the early part of the nineteenth century and it would have looked very different. The present road to Green Street Green along what are now the High Street and Farnborough Hill was not established until about 1800, before this Church Road was the main, indeed the only significant route through the village, see the map below which dates from 1789.  Back then it wasn't even called 'Church Road'. but instead the 'High Road'. 

The road itself was higher, level in fact where it passed the church with the natural field elevation to either side.  It was not lowered to its present level until 1833, to make the ascent easier for heavy coaches using what had been the turnpike


The main building in Church Road is of course the church, the history of which is described on the website of the Parish of Farnborough

In the grounds of the church are the village war memorial, and several graves and artifacts associated with the Lubbock family. 

In the woods leading down parallel with Church Road toward the High Elms Estate is the burial ground of the Lubbock family, the former owners of High Elms.

Driveway to High Elms

At the foot of Church Road (formerly called Church Lane) is the site of a former short road leading to the main drive to the High Elms mansion, shown to the right in these photographs. The driveway has now reverted to woodland, and is difficult to make out.

Church Road Shire Lane

The mansion is shown below. It burned down in 1967.

 

CHURCH ROAD




Junction with the High Street

The principal building at the junction between Church Road and the High Street was for many centuries the George and Dragon Inn. This dated from the 16th Century, and was used as a coaching inn. It was replaced by a new building also called The George and Dragon in 1937.


The George and Dragon


The George (from 1937)

This closed as a public house in the 1970s and the building became a restaurant named simply The George. This closed around the turn of the present century, and after some years of dereliction was demolished to make way for new housing.


The same site today

For many years the triangle by the George and Dragon where Church Road meets the High Street was used as a turning and parking area for bus route 47, and from 1949 route 51.  It was landscaped by Bromley Council in 1985 to enhance the Conservation Area.

Former bus turning area 
 

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