The town of Farnborough dates back to Saxon times and is mentioned in the Domesday book with a population of 132 (75 villagers, 30 smallholders and 27 surfs).
Very little is recorded about the town until the 19th Century when the town started to grow with the coming of the railways. Legend has it that the road between Farnborough and Farnham was where the highwayman Dick Turpin would hold-up his victims. The town is also known as the location for the world’s first world-title boxing matches.
In the early 19th century the neighbouring town of Aldershot became the home of the British Army and the town’s focus moved toward North Camp with the establishment of the Army Flying Corps at Farnborough Common.
During this period, the exiled Empress Eugenie, widow of Emperor Napoleon III of France, moved to Farnborough Hill House (now the home of Farnborough Hill Convent School). She is buried alongside Napoleon III and their son Louis Napoleon, Prince Imperial at the crypt of St Michaels Abbey in Farnborough.
By the beginning of the 20th Century, it became the home of the Army Balloon Factory and later the Royal Aircraft Establishment. Farnborough is the site of the first powered flight in Britain by American showman, Samuel Cody in 1908. In the many workshops and hangars that sprung up around the Farnborough Aerodrome site, some of the greatest achievements of the jet-age were tested and developed. From the jet engine, designs for the Concorde, high altitude space suits, night vision aids and heads-up cockpit displays, it has all happened in Farnborough.
As the home of British advances in aviation research and development, Farnborough has grown rapidly. Today, whilst aviation heritage is still a major part of the town and remains the home of the Farnborough International Airshow, it is now a desirable business location in the South East.
The site of the world famous biennial Farnborough International Airshow is the TAG Farnborough Airport, which has it's own rich history. Once owned by the British Ministry of Defence (MOD) WWI, WWII and 40 years of the Cold War, Farnborough airport saw its first civil aviation operations in 1989. The MOD declared the airfield surplus to military requirements in 1991; the government then decided the airfield should be redeveloped as a business aviation centre in 1994. Following a competitive process led by the government, TAG Aviation won the bid and took over in 1997. After much redevelopment, TAG Farnborough Airport Limited took full control under a 99 year lease in 2003 as a fully compliant CAA airport for business aviation. TAG bought the airfield freehold at the end of 2007.