Surrey: Local History Resources

Surrey is famous for its green fields and beautiful woods inside the London commuter belt, and for being home to the village of Virginia Water where the average house price is more than £1 million.

Is Surrey Part Of London?

Surrey is a historic county most of which remains independent of London, but as the capital city grew the following boroughs of Surrey were absorbed into London:

  • Croydon
  • Kingston upon Thames
  • Lambeth
  • Merton
  • Richmond upon Thames
  • Southwark
  • Sutton
  • Wandsworth

So, for example:

The local government County Borough of Croydon was part of the historic county of Surrey until 1965, when it officially transferred to the London Borough of Croydon which is part of Greater London. Croydon is now in London and no longer in Surrey, and the same is true of Kingston, Lambeth etc.

The rest of Surrey remains a county separate to London, with its own local government administration and other local services run by and for the county of Surrey.

What Area Does Surrey Cover?

Surrey is a ceremonial and administrative county in the region called South East England. It is also firmly included as one of the ‘Home Counties’ which surround London.

The landlocked county of Surrey covers an area of 1,663 km², mostly urban but with rural pockets. Its north-east border reaches into London, yet Surrey also contains a lot of countryside including Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is the most wooded county in England. 

The counties bordering with Surrey are:

  • Berkshire
  • Hampshire
  • West Sussex
  • Greater London
  • East Sussex
  • Kent.

What Cities Are In Surrey?

The English ceremonial county of Surrey does not contain a single city; even Guildford is a town and not a city despite having a university and a sizeable population.

Despite not having a city, Surrey is home to a number of large and market towns

  • Addlestone
  • Banstead
  • Camberley
  • Caterham
  • Chertsey
  • Dorking
  • Egham
  • Epsom
  • Esher
  • Farnham
  • Frimley
  • Godalming
  • Guildford
  • Haslemere
  • Horley
  • Leatherhead
  • Lightwater
  • Oxted
  • Redhill
  • Reigate
  • Staines
  • Woking
  • Walton-on-Thames
  • Weybridge

The largest villages in Surrey include:

  • Ashtead
  • Bagshot
  • Cobham
  • Cranleigh
  • East Horsley
  • Ewell
  • Hindhead
  • Send
  • South Earlswood
  • Virginia Water
  • Warlingham
  • West Clandon
  • Whitebushes
  • Witley

Surrey History On Facebook 

Memories, advice, old photos, videos and maps can easily be shared in Facebook groups. Those which have been set up to discuss Surrey’s past include:

  • Sunbury & Shepperton Local History

The County’s Local History Resources

You’ll find, on a separate page, a long list of UK local history and family history resources, many of which will contain evidence about Surrey’s past. In addition, the following places and societies exist to preserve and further knowledge of the county’s history:

  • Addlestone Historical Society
  • Albury History Society
  • Army Medical Services Museum
  • Ash Museum
  • Banstead History Research Group
  • Barnes and Mortlake History Society
  • Basingstoke Canal Visitor Centre
  • Berkshire Hampshire Surrey Heathlands Local History and Archaeology Research Forum
  • Betchworth Village Archives
  • Blackheath Village Archive
  • Bourne Hall Museum
  • Bourne Society
  • Bramley History Society
  • Brooklands Museum
  • Brookwood Cemetery Society
  • Byfleet Heritage Society
  • Buckland Website
  • Chaldon History Group
  • The Charlwood Society
  • Chiddingfold Archive
  • Chobham Village Website
  • Chobham Museum 
  • Clandon Park
  • East Clandon History Group
  • Chertsey Museum and Chertsey Society
  • Cobham Conservation Heritage Trust
  • Crafts Study Centre
  • Cranleigh Arts Centre
  • Cranleigh History Society
  • Dapdune Wharf
  • Dorking Local History Group
  • Dorking Museum and Heritage Centre
  • East Surrey Museum
  • Effingham Local History Group
  • Egham Museum
  • Elmbridge Museum
  • Epsom and Ewell History Explorer
  • Epsom and Ewell History and Archaeology Society
  • Esher District Local History Society
  • Ewhurst History Society
  • Farnham Castle – Keep & Bishop’s Palace
  • Farnham – Museum of Farnham
  • Felbridge and District History Group
  • Gatwick Aviation Museum
  • Godalming Museum
  • Goddards
  • Grayshott Village Archive
  • Guildford Castle
  • Guildford House
  • Guildford Institute Library and Guildford Museum
  • Guildford Museum
  • Hale History Project
  • Haslemere Educational Museum
  • Hatchlands Park
  • Holmesdale Natural History Club
  • Holmesdale Natural History Museum
  • Holmwood History
  • The Homewood
  • Horley Local History Society
  • Horsley Countryside Preservation Society
  • Kempton Park Steam Engines
  • Leatherhead and District Local History Society 
  • Leatherhead Museum of Local History
  • Lewis Elton Gallery, Guildford
  • The Lightbox , Woking
  • London Bus Museum
  • Loseley Park
  • Mercedes-Benz World
  • Merstham Village Website
  • Mickleham and West Humble Local History Group
  • Molesey History Society
  • Museum of Farnham
  • Museum of the National Rifle Association
  • Newdigate Local History Society
  • Normandy Historians
  • Nutfield Historic Buildings and Landscape
  • Oakhurst Cottage
  • Oatlands Heritage Group
  • Ottershaw Society
  • Outwood Album
  • Oxted and District History Society
  • Pirbright Historians
  • Polesden Lacey
  • Reigate Priory Museum
  • RH7 History Group
  • Royal Holloway, University of London Picture Gallery and Art Collections
  • Royal Logistic Corps Museum
  • Rural Life Centre, Tilford
  • Send and Ripley History Society 
  • Send & Ripley Museum
  • Shalford Mill
  • Shere Museum
  • Spelthorne Museum
  • Spike Heritage Centre
  • Sunbury and Shepperton Local History Society
  • Surrey Archives
  • Surrey Fire Museum
  • Surrey Heath Museum
  • Surrey Heath Archaeology and Heritage Trust
  • Surrey Heath Local History Club
  • Surrey Heath Museum
  • Surrey History Centre, Woking
  • Surrey Infantry Museum
  • Surrey Police Museum
  • Tatsfield History Project
  • Thursley – Tweedsmuir Military Camp
  • Titsey Place
  • Walton-on-the-Hill and District Local History Society
  • Watts Gallery
  • Westcott Local History Group
  • Woking History Society and Friends of Woking Palace and Old Woking
  • Wonersh History Society
  • Wrecclesham History Project

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Thanks to Andrew Martin for use of the image shown at the top of this page.