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This allowed Guildford businesses to access the Thames at Weybridge by boat, and predated the major canal building program in Britain by more than a century.
In 1764 the navigation was extended as far as Godalming and in 1816 to the sea near Arundel via the Wey and Arun Junction Canal and the Arun Navigation.
Due to recent development running north from Guildford, and linking to the Woking area, Guildford now officially forms the southwestern tip of the Greater London Built-up Area, as defined by the Office for National Statistics. Local historians with an interest in toponyms cite the lack of gold in the region's sedimentary rocks and have suggested that the mention of "gold" may refer to golden flowers found by the ford itself, There is an old coaching inn on the Epsom Road previously called the "Sanford Arms", which may derive from "Sand Ford", adding weight to the suggestion that the first part of "Guildford" and its many historic predecessors may refer to the very distinctive golden sand showing on the banks of the River Wey where it cuts through the sandy outcrop just south of the town..
The settlement was most likely expanded because of the Harrow Way (an ancient trackway connecting the ancient cities of Winchester and Canterbury) crosses the River Wey by a ford at this point.
In 1683 a projecting clock was made for the front of the building: it can be seen throughout the High Street.
The town's Royal Grammar School was built in 1509 and became Royal gaining the patronage of Edward VI in 1552.
The Basingstoke Canal also was built to connect with the Wey navigation, putting Guildford in the centre of a network of waterways.
Its Domesday assets were: 1 church, 2 mills worth 5s, 16 ploughlands with two Lord's plough teams and 20 mens plough teams, 16 acres (65,000 m William the Conqueror had the castle built in the classic Norman style; the castle keep still stands.John Derrick was then aged 59 and his testimony confirms that cricket was being played by children in Surrey c.1550 and it is perhaps significant that cricket is the only one of the "plaies" referred to by name.one of the finest sets of almshouses in the country.In the years around 1550, a pupil at the school was John Derrick who in later life became a Queen's Coroner for the county of Surrey.In 1597, Derrick made a legal deposition that contains the earliest definite reference to cricket being played anywhere in the world.