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Guildford is the county town of Surrey. England, as well as the seat for the Guildford (borough) and the administrative headquarters of the South East England region. It is situated 27 miles (43 km) southwest of London on the A3 road (Great Britain) trunk road linking the capital to Portsmouth.
The town has Anglo-Saxons roots, and likely owes its location to the existence of a gap in the North Downs where the River Wey is Ford (crossing) by the Harrow Way. The town grew enough in importance by 978 to be the Royal Mint. With the building of the Wey Navigation and Basingstoke Canal Guildford was in the centre of a network of waterways that aided its prosperity.
The Guildford pub bombing by the Provisional IRA in 1974 killed five people including four off-duty soldiers from the local barracks. The subsequently arrested suspects became known as the Guildford Four.