Farnborough, Hampshire

Farnborough, Hampshire

infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Farnborough
latitude= 51.29
longitude= -0.75
scale= 50000
population = 57,147 (Census 2001)
shire_district= Rushmoor
shire_county = Hampshire
region= South East England
constituency_westminster= Aldershot
post_town= FARNBOROUGH|postcode_district = GU14
postcode_area= GU |dial_code= 01252/01276
os_grid_reference= SU871554

Farnborough is a town in the Rushmoor district of Hampshire, England. It is perhaps best known as the home of the Farnborough Airshow which takes place once every two years. The town is home to Farnborough Aerodrome and the international headquarters of BAE Systems and Cessna.


Farnborough is situated in the northeast of Hampshire and near to the boundary with Surrey. The River Blackwater forms part of the boundary. It is located 55 kilometres (34 mi) southwest of London and lies at the centre of the Blackwater Valley conurbation.

Farnborough has incorporated several sizeable villages as it has expanded, including Cove and Southwood, both of which are now considered suburbs. It is continuous with the garrison town of Aldershot to the south and with Frimley to the north. Based in the town is the council of the local government district of Rushmoor. The district has borough status and also covers nearby Aldershot.

Within Farnborough the only naturally occurring water significant feature is Cove Brook.


Southwood, Rafborough, Cove, Farnborough Park, Farnborough Street, West Heath, South Farnborough, North Camp.


Name changes: Ferneberga (xi cent.); Farnburghe, Farenberg (xiii cent.); Farnborowe, Fremborough, Fameborough (xvi cent.).

From: 'Parishes: Farnborough', A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4 (1911), pp. 15-18. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=56736. Date accessed: 01 October 2008.Tower Hill, Cove, FarnboroughThere is irrefutable evidence that many years ago a large accumulation of Sarsens existed upon what later came to be known as 'Tower Hill'. To this day well over 1000 of these stones remain, sized from one or two ton down to loaf size, scattered, reused for many different purposes, but still within a short distance of their probable original site.

Farnborough was founded in Saxon times and is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name is formed from "Ferneberga" which means 'fern hill'.

The town is the home of Saint Michael's Abbey. The Imperial Crypt there is the burial place of Napoleon III (1808–1873), Emperor of the French, and his wife, Eugénie de Montijo, (1826–1920) and their son, Napoléon Eugène, Prince Imperial, who was killed in South Africa aged 23, on (1 June 1879) by the Zulus. The crypt of St Peter's Old Parish Church is also believed to house the remains of many of the Earls of Anglesey.

In 1922 T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) was posted to Farnborough (R.A.F.) for a photography course, it is thought he lived in Farnborough for 6 weeks.


There are multiple forms of public transport, most commonly the public bus. London can be reached by rail, via the M3 motorway, via the A325 and A30, by using a number of minor roads to avoid the traffic or by using a number of public footpaths indicated on the local Ordnance Survey maps. The main road, named Farnborough Road, enters the town from Camberley to the north, and continues into Aldershot to the south.


Farnborough is served by four railway stations:
*Farnborough Main railway station for London Waterloo, Basingstoke, Southampton, Bournemouth and Salisbury.
*Farnborough North railway station for Reading, Guildford and Shalford.
*North Camp railway station for Reading, Guildford, Reigate and London Gatwick Airport.
*Ash Vale railway station for Camberley, Ascot, Aldershot, Farnham and Alton.


A noted airshow takes place at Farnborough Airfield, situated between Farnborough and Fleet and the site of the historic Royal Aircraft Establishment. Closely associated with Farnborough Airfield is Samuel Franklin Cody. Cody, or Col Sam Cody as he was known, was one of the early pioneers of aviation. He died when he crashed his plane on Ball Hill, a site which is now within QinetiQ's Technology Park. A monument to Sir Frank Whittle's jet fighter is sited on a roundabout along Ively Road. The replica Gloster E28/39 (based on the prototype) was erected as a tribute to its inventor, Sir Frank Whittle.

Farnborough Airfield was turned into a business airport operated by TAG Aviation. In October 2005, TAG applied to double their number of flights at weekends. Opposition to the business airport has been chronicled by Blackwater Environmental Justice and FARA was formed by the local community to oppose the airport expansion. The airport's IATA code is FAB, and the ICAO code is EGLF.

In 2006, the Airbus A380 flew over the town flanked by the world famous Red Arrows to open the show. The 2006 show also featured the Mikoyan MiG-29 as well as other aircraft.


Farnborough contains the following wards: Fernhill (Conservative), Grange (Liberal Democrats), Mayfield (Liberal Democrat), St. Johns (Liberal Democrat), West Heath (Conservative), Empress (Conservative), Cove & Southwood (Conservative), Knellwood (Conservative) and St Marks (Liberal Democrat). The local MP is Gerald Howarth for Aldershot (Conservative) a shadow defence minister.


Farnborough is served by two free local newspapers, The Star Courier (published from September 18 2008 as a combination of the former Surrey Hants Star and the Aldershot Farnborough Courier) and The Rush, along with two locals available for purchase, The Farnborough Mail and the Farnborough News. [ [http://www.farnborough.co.uk Farnborough News and Mail] ] The local ITV news region is ITV Thames Valley and the local BBC news region is BBC South

Farnborough Aerospace Centre

Farnborough Aerospace Centre is a business park south of the airfield. Most of the buildings are occupied by BAE Systems and form the company's headquarters. The business park was built by Arlington Securities for its then parent British Aerospace between 1990 and 1992. When British Aerospace merged with Marconi Electronic Systems to form BAE Systems, the Farnborough site remained the headquarters for the enlarged company. BAE's board meets in London.

Other tenants include Systems Union, [ [http://www.systemsunion.com/content.cfm?PageID=10950 You are being redirected ] ] Johnson Controls, [ [http://www.johnsoncontrols.co.uk/publish/etc/medialib/jci/be/eu_library/global_workplace_solutions.Par.34925.File.dat/New%20HQ%20Map%20-%20Farnborough%20Sept%202007.pdf New HQ Map - Farnborough 2007 ] ] Lockheed Martin UK, [ [http://www.lockheedmartin.co.uk/locations/locations.html Lockheed Martin: Office Locations ] ] Savi Technology, [ [http://www.savi.com/company/co.office.shtml Savi Technology: Office Locations ] ] Xchanging [ [http://www.xchanging.com/Contact/UK.htm Xchanging - UK ] ]

Farnborough Business Park

Adjacent to the airport there is a major development, the new Farnborough Business Park, [ [http://www.farnboroughbusinesspark.com Farnborough Business Park] ] which aims to have around convert|1670000|sqft|m2|abbr=on of new office space. There are plans to make this area not only a major business centre, but also a new centrepiece for Farnborough. When completed it will include new housing, a De Vere-run Village Hotel, symbolic office buildingsClarifyme|date=March 2008, a Barons BMW and MINI dealership, a new aviation library, and the refurbishing of the listed wind tunnels on the site. Current tenants include: AgustaWestland, Bluhalo, [ [http://www.bluhalo.com Bluhalo] ] Imagine Homes, Red Hat, Autodesk, Blue Coat Systems and Defence Strategy & Solutions. On this park is also the frame of a 1910 Airship Hangar which had previously been dismantled to house wind tunnels, but is now reconstructed - minus its outer skin - to make an impressive centrepiece.

Red Hat has also its UK headquarters in Farnborough.

There is also a luxury, 176 bedroom hotel called the 'Aviator', part of the Dakota Hotel chain on the A325 which opened on the 21st of July 2008.

Other Industry

Farnborough's North Camp district is notable as being the location of Hampshire's only full-throughput abattoir, nestled between housing and a school at Peabody Road. It is licensed to kill cows, sheep & pigs, as well as goat, deer, bison and buffalo.


State Education

PrimaryThere are ten primary schools currently in Farnborough. In order of average pupil performance at the Key Stage 2 tests in Maths, English and Science they are:(the local authority average is 28.2 and national average is 27.8)
*St Peter's Church of England Aided Junior School (30)
*St Mark's Church of England Aided Primary School (30)
*St Patrick's Catholic Primary School (29.7)
*South Farnborough Junior School (28.3)
*Grange Community Junior School (27.8),
*Guillemont Junior School (27.7)
*Tower Hill Primary School (26.2)
*Manor Junior School (26.1)
*Fernhill Primary School (26)
*St Bernadette's Catholic Primary School (25.9)

SecondaryThere are four state secondary schools. All four are non-selective, mixed comprehensives, for pupils aged 11-16 with no sixth form.In order of the 5 GCSEs A-C score they are:(The local authority is 50.2% and the national average is 45.8%)
*Cove School (47%)
*The Wavell School (45%)
*Fernhill School and Language College (43%)
*Oak Farm Community School (6%)

Surprisingly, given the good quality of state primary and tertiary education provision in the town and the affluence of the area, the state secondary provision is very weak with three of the four secondary schools scoring below the national and local authority performance average at GCSE. In fact, Oak Farm Community School has the worst GCSE point score in Hampshire, scoring ninth worst in the country and has recently come off Ofsted 'special measures'.

The poor performance of the four state Farnborough comprehensives is principally attributable to a couple of major problems:1. Numbers of teachers: All four Farnborough comprehensives have significant problems attracting staff and retaining them. This is due to a number of factors:a) High house prices and cost of living in the Northern Hampshire commuter belt.b) Farnborough is surrounded on three sides by Surrey; teachers in Surrey qualify for higher salaries (Outer-London Weighting) whilst teachers in Farnborough schools do not.c) The current poor reputation of the schools.d) The teaching-career dead-end of being in a school which doesn't have a sixth form and therefore provides no opportunity to teach to 'A' level. 2. The shrinking number of children in Farnborough since the 1970s (Farnborough was a population boom town after WWII until the 1970s) has meant reduced pupil numbers and consequently smaller school budgets which have been unable to cope with large and dated school buildings, leaving many of them tired and tatty looking, adding to the feeling of decay and decline.

TertiaryTertiary education in Farnborough is excellent. The town is home to The Sixth Form College, Farnborough, which draws in around 3,000 students aged 16-19 from the surrounding area. In July 2002 the College was one of the first four colleges in the country to be awarded Learning and Skills Beacon status. Ofsted has judged the college as ‘outstanding’ in all areas in its last inspection report. The college has also won three annual Beacon awards in recent years for its teaching of Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry. Currently the College has (by some measures) the best ‘A’-level results in Hampshire and is considered one of the best sixth form colleges in the country.

Farnborough College of Technology specialises in GCSE, 'A'-level and vocational courses for students aged 16 onwards.

Independent Secondary SchoolsThere are two independent Roman Catholic secondary schools in Farnborough. Both are single-sex, selective and include sixth forms.1. Farnborough Hill [ [http://www.farnborough-hill.org.uk/ Farnborough Hill] ] (Girls). Currently the best GCSE results in Hampshire with a 5 GCSE A-C pass rate of 100%2. Salesian College(Boys) in South Farnborough. Currently ninth-best GCSE results in Hampshire with a 5 GCSE A-C pass rate of 93%.


Farnborough has one main shopping centre divided into three areas; Kingsmead and Queensmead (which are currently undergoing redevelopment) and Princesmead. There is a smaller shopping centre in North Camp, Farnborough's former central business district, as well as an array of large shops at the Farnborough Gate development on the road north to Camberley.

Town Centre

The centre of Farnborough, comprising the Kingsmead, Queensmead and Princesmead shopping precincts, has been described as an abomination by local councillors [Guardian 20 Oct 2007 p120] and the town itself has been described as "kind of dull" [Guardian 20 Oct 2007 p120] . The central business district suffers from an array of outdated buildings and retail precincts dating from the late-1960s to the mid-1980s. In February 2007, in a bid to address these perceptions, Rushmoor Borough Council unveiled plans to radically alter the centre over the next two decades. The town centre study [ [http://www.rushmoor.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=7558 Town centre study] ] outlines major changes to the council offices, Farnborough's main train station, the local road network and the continuation of the improvements to Farnborough's town centre, including the development of a Discovery Centre (a Hampshire County Council initiative aimed at improving libraries in the county).

One much-mooted idea is for the development of a major National Air Museum to be situated there, taking advantage of the town's aviation heritage.


The football team, Farnborough F.C. (known as Farnborough Town FC until 2007), [ [http://www.farnboroughfc.co.uk/index.php Farnborough F.C.] ] play in the Southern Football League, Premier Division. As Farnborough Town F.C., the team came to national prominence in 2003 when they reached the 4th round of the FA Cup, where they played the previous season's Cup winners Arsenal at Highbury. They were drawn to play the tie at home but was switched on police advice. The match was won 5-1 by Arsenal. The town's other two clubs are Cove FC and Farnborough North End F.C.. The former play in the Southern Counties League with the latter playing in the Wessex League.

The area has produced a number of first-class footballers including Glyn Bromige who went on to play with distinction for Portsmouth and Basingstoke Town.

Established in 1915 (originally as the Royal Aircraft Factory Rugby Union Football Club) Farnborough Rugby Football Club [ [http://www.farnboroughrugby.co.uk Farnborough RFC] ] is primarily a rugby union club based at Tile Barn Close in Farnborough. They play in Hampshire Division 1. They also have a Minis and Juniors section which caters for boys from 5 to 19 years of age and girls from 5 to 12 years of age. In the summer 2007 season they also fielded a successful rugby league team, winning the Co-op Southern Conference competition in their first year of entering.

The main Cricket club in Farnborough is Cove Cricket Club [ [http://www.covecc.co.uk Cove Cricket Club] ] . The club, first established in 1935, has steadily grown from its original “village cricket team” to the present day position of a leading club side not only in the area but also in Hampshire. It fields five senior sides on a Saturday including an Academy XI playing in the Morrant Thames Valley Cricket League and one side on a Sunday playing a combination of league and friendly games. For many years now Cove have invested heavily into establishing a successful colts section to develop club players of the future as well as District and County representative teams. The investment has seen the number of qualified coaches treble in the last couple of years. In 2007 Cove established a mini's section, providing cricket related fun on a Monday evening for players aged 4 to 7. In 2008 Cove launched a Cricket Academy with the objective of developing the technical ability and all-round game knowledge of future 1st XI players. Cove run boys teams at U9, U11, U13, and U15 and girls teams at U13 and U15. In addition to the on field activities, Cove work hard to encourage the players families to become part of the club and run several family oriented social evenings throughout the year.

Another Cricket team, the "Frogmore Amateur Cricket Club", currently based in nearby Frogmore are planning a relocation to Farnborough.

Camberley and Farnborough Hockey Club [ [http://www.candfhockey.co.uk/ Camberley and Farnborough Hockey Club] ] play men and women's field hockey in nearby Camberley (Kings International College), but draw many players from the region.

[http://www.fleetchessclub.org.uk/ Fleet and Farnborough Chess Club] meets at 7.30pm every Tuesday at the Cody Sports and Social Club, Pyestock, Iveley Road, Farnborough Road, Hampshire, GU14 0LS. The club competes in several divisions of the [http://www.borderleague.org.uk/ Surrey Border League] .


Twinned towns

Farnborough is twinned with:
*flagicon|France Meudon, France
*flagicon|Germany Oberursel, Germany
*flagicon|Poland Sulechów, Poland

ee also

*Basingstoke Canal
*List of schools in Hampshire
*List of further education colleges in Hampshire
*Farnborough, London
*Farnborough, Berkshire


External links

* [http://www.rushmoor.gov.uk/ Rushmoor Borough Council]
* [http://www.historicfarnborough.co.uk/ Historic Farnborough]
* [http://www.stpetersfarnborough.org.uk/ St Peter's Old Parish Church]
* [http://www.fleetchessclub.org.uk/ Fleet and Farnborough Chess Club]
* [http://www.nicklewisphotography.co.uk/gallery/farnborough/ Farnborough image library]
* [http://www.thefarnboroughsociety.org.uk/ The Farnborough Society]
* [www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1039551/Desperate-shop-owner-appeals-return-rare-breeding-shark-stolen-daring-aquarium-raid.html]

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