CHURCH ROAD


 
Today Church Road is a side road leading away from the high street, past St. Giles church and down towards Shire Lane.  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


But go back to before the early part of the nineteenth century and it would have looked very different. The present High Street was not built until the middle of the century, so Church Road was then the main, indeed the only significant route through the village. Back then it wasn't even called 'Church Road'. but instead the High Road.  The road itself was also higher, level in fact 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 the turnpike.

The main structure in Church Road is of course the church, the history of which is described on the website of St. Giles church.  But also in the grounds of the church are the village war memorial, and several graves and artifacts associated with the Lubbock family. 

The Lubbock family graveyard is located in the woods leading down parallel with Church Road toward the High Elms Estate, see below.

War Memorial

The War Memorial in Farnborough Parish Churchyard was unveiled and dedicated on Sunday 15th October 1922. It was unveiled by Brigadier-General G. Lubbock, C.M.G., D.S.O. and dedicated by The Venerable Archdeacon of Rochester the Revd. Donald Tait. M.A.

The Vicar of Farnborough, Revd. E. J. Welch, M.A. conducted the service and the church choir led the singing, under direction of the organist Mr. H. Atkinson, who played accompaniments on a harmonium.

 

It is the location for the service of Remembrance that takes place in November every year. Although situated in the churchyard of St. Giles it is maintained by Farnborough Village Society.


Lubbock Family

The Lubbock family have a long and enduring relationship with Farnborough, through the purchase of the High Elms estate in the early nineteenth century, and its subsequent expansion and development.

During early Victorian times, the Lubbock family were regular church attenders at St Mary the Virgin in Downe. Members of the family are buried there up until 1879. Then the vicar there preached a rather fiery and fundamentalist sermon against Darwinist ideas in general, and Charles Darwin and John Lubbock were alluded to personally. After that, a cooling of relations followed, eventually resulting in a switch of allegiance to St Giles church Farnborough where the local vicar was much more liberal (with a small “l”).


With the purchase of Church Field in the nineteenth century, the Lubbocks and St Giles became neighbours. Several Lubbock gravestones can be seen today in the St Giles graveyard. There are also some burials and memorials in the family graveyard located in the woods leading to High Elms , including Eric Lubbock, well known as the former MP for Orpington, who died in 2016.

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