One of Farnham’s architectural jewels is to be restored back to its former glory this summer after half a decade hidden behind scaffolding.

As work gets underway on the biggest overhaul of Farnham town centre’s road system in 150 years later this year, the Museum of Farnham is also set to receive its own major facelift – with much of its West Street façade’s crumbling 300-year-old brickwork to be replaced.

Bright yellow and orange scaffolding has protected pedestrians from falling masonry at the Grade I-listed Willmer House since November 2018, when it was warned the facade was “putting the public at risk”.

This has come at great cost to its custodians Waverley Borough Council – and work was delayed while it was argued who should pick up the £1 million repair bill.

But the Arts Council came to the rescue with a £734,000 grant last year, with Waverley and Farnham councils, and the Farnham Museum Society, making up the shortfall.

Two information sessions for residents were held last month to discuss the project.

Farnham Residents Councillor George Hesse has now said that the long overdue repair work should soon begin.

Cllr Hesse said: “The length of time the scaffolding has been up on the front of The Museum of Farnham has been partly caused by the lengthy process and delays in securing funding for the repair to the brickwork on the front of the building, condemned as unsafe in 2015 by a structural engineer.

“The current scaffolding is simply a safety structure to protect pedestrians in the event that a piece of masonry came loose during a storm or high winds.

“A lot of work has been put in behind the scenes by Officers and Councillors at Waverley over the past several years to get funding and a specialist Conservation Building Consultant and Chartered Building Surveyor has now been retained by Waverley Borough Council, along with a project team, to oversee the repair and restoration works, which I understand are due to be started this summer.”

While the work takes place more scaffolding will be in place and Cllr Hesse has urged residents “who have had to look at ugly safety scaffolding for a long period” to be patient.

Wilmer House was completed in 1718 and Cllr Hesse says that the vital safety work will restore the townhouse to “one of the finest decorative rubbed-brick Georgian buildings in the county”.

Farnham Museum remains open and is hosting a market on Saturday, March 16 between 10am and 4pm. Entry is free.

For more information about the project, visit

By Michelle Monaghan