A window into the past

A fascinating history

The Clavadel first opened to the public in 2014. But look back through the mists of time and a fascinating story spanning three centuries begins to reveal itself.

It was 1894, and Queen Victoria still reigned, when a certain Mr Mark Smallpiece is believed to have purchased the plot at the top of Pit Farm Road, Guildford from the fourth Earl of Onslow, William Hillier, and set about erecting a smart Victorian villa to be named Clavadel House.

Fast forward more than half a century to post-war Britain, and the house had survived the austerities of two world wars with unassuming gentility, but a new era was dawning. In a changing world, fresh challenges and opportunities beckoned – it was then Clavadel House became The Clavadel Hotel.

Whilst stylistically rooted in the Queen Anne revival, with a nod to the Arts and Crafts movement, the new hotel embraced the spirit of the ‘swinging sixties’ by installing contemporary neon signage (in marked contrast from today’s more traditional, hand forged metal counterpart), and a new period of prosperity began.

Under the management of a local entrepreneur, it quickly established itself as a permanent fixture for weddings, special occasions, and highlights on the Guildford social calendar. The hotel was later purchased by a married couple who also ran the popular Italian restaurant La Pergola from the site, which continued to welcome local diners until the early 2000s.

Strength to Strength

Following the restaurant’s eventual closure, the disused building was acquired by The Geoghegan Group in 2012.

The original structure was subsequently demolished, and a modern, post-operative rehabilitation and convalescence centre built in its place. The Clavadel has since gone from strength to strength, taking its place in the ever-evolving timeline of 1 Pit Farm Road, and transforming the lives of all those who pass through its doors.