Farnham Castle


Nearest TownPlace namePublic access
FarnhamFarnham CastleUnknown

The earliest recorded attempt to naturalize Wall lizards in Britain took place in May 1932, when twelve lizards of the brown-backed form (Podarcis muralis muralis) were bought from a London dealer, and released in a walled garden at Farnham Castle in Surrey. The following year (1933) an additional pair of Wall lizards and some Mediterranean Eyed lizards (Lacerta lepida) were released at the same location. The Eyed lizards were not reportedly seen again.

In 1951, Dr Malcom Smith announced that an un-named young naturalist had rediscovered the colony on an old wall in an adjacent private estate. He described the location as comprising a number of old walls of brick and stone (the exact construction of the castle walls - see photo below) which had not been disturbed for many, many years. He verifies the subspecies, and concluded that the location was ideal habitat.

It is clear that in the 1950s the Farnham colony was thriving despite the collection of lizards by school boys as valued pets, a practice which continued until at least the mid-1970s.

In 1977, Lever reports that the colony was still surviving, but by the year 2000, news of the colony had dwindled to a few unconfirmed reports.


The status & exact location of this reported colony is unknown. However it is being actively investigated.

Boscombe Cliffs

Typical habitat of Farnham Castle
(Farnham, Surrey 2007).

Portman ravine

Refuges within the castle walls.
(Farnham, Surrey 2007).