Dorking, Surrey

Historical Description

Dorking, a town and a parish in Surrey. The town stands. on Stane Street and the Pip Brook, near the river Mole, with stations on the L. B. & S.C.R. and S.E.R., 25 miles from London and 12 E of Guildford. It was anciently called Darking, but Dorking is now the universal pronunciation. The most probable derivation of the word Dorking is from the Celtic Darach, an oak. It has brilliant environs, of hill and wood and mansions, around a sandy valley, and is a fine centre for tourists desiring to see the best scenery of the county. It comprises three chief streets, wide, well-paved, and clean, and presents a pleasant, cheerful appearance. There is a spacious public hall in West Street. The parish church of St Martin was erected in 1873, and is a. fine structure in the Decorated style. The old church, which existed till 1837, was a cruciform structure. The chancel now belongs to the new fabric, and was rebuilt some years since. The church contains epitaphs to the memory of Tucker, the author of the " Light of Nature," and of Mark-land, the distinguished scholar of Milton Court. The churchyard is crossed by Stane Street, and has yielded many ancient coins. St Paul's Church was built in 1857, and enlarged in 1869, and is in the Early Decorated style. There are Congregational, Baptist, and Wesleyan chapels, a Society of Friends' meeting-house, a Roman Catholic church, a workhouse, an almshouse. and other charities. The town has a head poSt office, two banks, a volunteer drill hall, a cottage hospital, and four chief inns. Markets are held on Thursdays. The chief trade is in flour, corn, lime, and poultry. The lime has high repute, and is made plenteously in the neighbourhood both from limestone and from chalk. The poultry is a peculiar well-known breed, said to be of Roman origin, either white-or speckled, and distinguished by five claws and fine flavour. Mason, the author of " Self-Knowledge," and Dr Kippis were Congregational ministers in the town; and Malthus, the political economist, was born at the Rookery, a seat in the vicinity. The parish comprises 10,049 acres, of which 62 are water. Population, 10,961. The manor belonged anciently to the Crown, was given by the Conqueror to Earl Fitzwar-ren, and passed to the Fitzalans, the Mowbrays, and the Howards. Deepdene, Denbies, and other seats possess much interest, but are separately noticed. An ancient circular, double-ditched camp is at Anstiebury. Remains of Stane Street, 2 miles long, are toward Ockley; and many stone arrow-heads and Saxon coins have been found. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Winchester; net value, £541 with residence. The chapelries of Westcott and Holmwood,, and the vicarage of St Paul, are separate benefices; value of St Paul, £350 with residence, Dorman's Land, a place near the north verge of Sussex, 3¼ miles from East Grinstead, under which it has a post, money order, and telegraph office.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Church Records, in association with Surrey History Centre, have images of the Parish Registers for Surrey online.

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Surrey is available to browse.


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Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Surrey papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Surrey, 1662-1668 is available on the Heraldry page.

DistrictMole Valley
RegionSouth East
Postal districtRH4