The William Cobbett Trail

Throughout his much traveled and combative life Cobbett retained a special affection for his native Farnham. In 1819, while in virtual exile in America, he recalled that the town was “the neatest in England and, I believe, in the whole world.”

These are some of the places in and around Farnham that are associated with him.

1   Museum of Farnham, West Street. The William Cobbett Collection

St Andrew’s Parish Church. Cobbett’s tomb and that of his wife Nancy. Immediately outside the porch at the Church Entrance. Inside the church is a white marble tablet with a profile of Cobbett, placed there by his friend and fellow radical MP for Oldham John Fielden. The tablet is on the north wall of the tower.

Cobbett’s birthplace. Cobbett’s father was a small farmer and innkeeper who kept “The Jolly Farmer”, now the William Cobbett pub. The hill behind the inn was where Cobbett had his first Garden.

The Castle and the Bishop’s Palace. This is where Cobbett worked as a gardener’s boy.

Waverley Abbey. As a child, Cobbett worked in the gardens there. “I showed him (Richard, his son) a tree, close by the ruins of the Abbey, from a limb of which I once fell in the river in an attmpt to take the nest of a crow.”

6  Tilford Oak. To the west of the Barley Mow is the great oak tree which Cobbett so admired. “We came to Tilford at which place on the green we stopped to look at an oak tree which when I was a little boy, was but a very little tree, comparatively and which is now, take it altogether, by far the finest tree that I ever saw in my life.”