1871 - ?

A public meeting to discuss the formation of the Farnham School of Art in Farnham in connection with Kensington Museum was held in the old Town Hall and Corn Exchange in April 1871. The School of Art met in the Bailiff's Hall, Town Hall Buildings for several years and in 1872 the School was recognized as a government school of art by the Science and Art Department, who endorsed the annual public examinations. The headmaster was John James Offord, a certificated artist who had formerly taught at the Plymouth Drawing School and Charles Hill, late of the Manchester School of Art, became the next master. In 1880, together with the school's Alton branch there were eighty-four students, of which forty-two were day students and forty-two evening with eighteen students sending works to the annual examination held at South Kensington. In 1898 Surrey County Council's education committee took over the administration of the school and the School of Art's extension was opened in June 1915, later to be known as Victoria House. In 1939 the art school moved to 25 West Street, but it was still a small school, with only a few part-time members of staff teaching drawing, painting, sculpture, graphic design, and ceramics, however it was remarkably successful, with its students regularly winning places at larger colleges with a student, Geoffrey Burnand, winning The Prix de Rome in 1932. In the 1960s the National Council for Art and Design introduced the first courses leading to the award of a Diploma in Art and Design and at the end of 1968 the first moves to merge the two art schools at Farnham and Guildford were underway and the West Surrey College of Art & Design was born.