33 Facts About Dorking


Dorking started to expand during the 18th and 19th centuries as transport links improved and farmland to the south of the centre was released for housebuilding.

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Rock strata on which Dorking sits, belong primarily to the Lower Greensand Group.

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In Dorking, the dividing line between the Lower Greensand and Gault clay is marked by the course of the Pipp Brook.

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Dorking appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as the Manor of Dorchinges.

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Unlike the neighbouring towns of Guildford and Reigate, Dorking was never granted a Borough Charter and remained under the control of the Lord of the Manor throughout the Middle Ages.

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Reforms during the Tudor period reduced the importance of manorial courts and the day-to-day administration of towns such as Dorking became the responsibility of the vestry of the parish church.

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In 1841, the Dorking Union constructed a new workhouse, south of the town centre, designed by William Shearburn.

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Turnpike road through Dorking was authorised by the Horsham and Epsom Turnpike Act of 1755.

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Dorking station was opened in 1849 northwest of the town, initially as a temporary terminus for trains from Reigate.

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Dorking station was provided with extensive goods facilities, a locomotive yard and a turntable .

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Market at Dorking is first recorded in 1240 and in 1278, the sixth Earl of Surrey, John de Warenne, claimed that it had been held twice weekly since "time out of mind".

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The free-draining Lower Greensand found in the Dorking area is particularly suited for rearing chickens and the local soils provide grit to assist the birds' digestive systems.

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Nevertheless, Dorking was beginning to attract more affluent residents, many of whom had accumulated their wealth as businessmen in London.

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The Dorking UDC intended to build housing on the rest of the farm, however their plans were interrupted by the outbreak of war and were ultimately prevented by the creation of the Metropolitan Green Belt.

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Controversially, in the late 1950s and 1960s, Dorking UDC constructed the Goodwyns estate on land compulsorily purchased from Howard Martineau, a major local benefactor to the town.

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Dorking attended a school in Pixham Lane run by Revd James Fisher a non-conformist who had been ejected as Rector of Fetcham.

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The first Catholic church in Dorking was built in the early 1870s on land owned by the fifteenth Duke of Norfolk, Henry Fitzalan-Howard and was rebuilt into the present St Joseph's Church in the mid-1890s, by the architect Frederick Walters.

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Many soldiers from Dorking who died during World War I, the youngest was Valentine Joe Strudwick.

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Dorking was born in Falkland Road on 14 February 1900 and was educated at St Paul's School.

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Dorking enlisted in 1915 after concealing his true age and joined the Rifle Brigade .

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Dorking is in the Mole Valley parliamentary constituency, which has been represented in the House of Commons since 1997 by Sir Paul Beresford .

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Local Board of Health created the first sewerage system in Dorking and opened the treatment works at Pixham on the River Mole in 1888.

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Dorking was merged with that of Redhill in 1928 and became part of the East Surrey Gas Company when the industry was nationalised in 1948.

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In 2021, the fire authority for Dorking is Surrey County Council and the statutory fire service is Surrey Fire and Rescue Service.

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Since 2004, Dorking Hospital has been run as a community hospital by a consortium of local GP groups that provides Outpatient Services for the local area.

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Dorking station is managed by Southern and is served by trains to London Victoria via Sutton, to London Waterloo via Wimbledon and to Horsham.

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Dorking station is the southern terminus of the Mole Gap Trail, which starts at Leatherhead station.

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The Arts Society Dorking promotes local art appreciation and the preservation of the town's artistic heritage.

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Walker's contribution to motorsport and to Dorking was celebrated on the centenary of his birth in October 2018 with a parade of classic cars through the town centre.

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Dorking Museum assumed responsibility for running tours in May 2015.

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Several National Trust properties are close to Dorking, including Box Hill, Leith Hill, Polesden Lacey and Ranmore Common.

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Dorking Cemetery was opened in 1855 on farmland that had been purchased from the Deepdene estate.

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Art Deco Dorking Halls building, designed by the architect Percy W Meredith for the Leith Hill Musical Festival, was opened in 1931.

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