Dorking is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Surrey.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1538
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1692

Nonconformists include: Countess of Huntingdon Methodist, Free Church of England, Independent/Congregational, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Society of Friends/Quaker, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

DORKING, a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district in Surrey. The town stands on Stane-street and the Pip-brook, near the river Mole, adjacent to the Reading branch of the Southeastern railway, 12 miles E of Guildford. It was anciently, and is still popularly, called Darking; and it took that name from occupying the site of a primitive Saxon “mark” or settlement. 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. The town hall was old, and has disappeared. The parish church is a tasteless edifice of 1837; and has an old tower with a new spire. The previous church was a cruciform flint structure; and the chancel of it still stands, distinct from the new church, has a large perpendicular east window, and contains the ashes of Tucker, the author of the “Light of Nature,” and Markland, the editor of Euripides. The churchyard is crossed by Stane-street; has yielded many ancient coins; and contains the ashes of Hoole, the translator of Tasso and Ariosto. St. Paul’s church was built in 1857, and enlarged in 1869; and is in the early decorated style. There are Independent, Quaker, and Wesleyan chapels, two national schools, a British school, a workhouse, an alms-house with £41, and other charities with £305. The town has a head post office, a railway st. with telegraph, two banking offices, and four chief inns; and is a seat of sessions and a polling-place. Markets are held on Thursdays; and a fair on the day before Ascension-day. 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 partridge coloured, and distinguished by five claws and fine flavour. Mason, the author of “Self-Knowledge,” was an Independent minister in the town; and Malthus, the political economist, was born at the Rookery, a seat in the vicinity. Pop. of the town, 4,061. Houses, 785. The parish comprises 10,020 acres. Real property, £34,316. Pop., 6,997. Houses, 1,348. The property is much subdivided. The manor belonged anciently to the Crown; was given, by the Conqueror, to Earl Fitzwarren; 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. Value, £480. Patron, the Duke of Norfolk. The chapelries of St. Paul, Westcott, and Holmwood, are separate benefices. Value of St. Paul, £250. Patron, John Labouchere, Esq. The sub-district contains the parishes of Dorking, Effingham, and Mickleham. Acres, 16,017. Pop., 8,351. Houses, 1,600. The district comprehends also the sub-district of Capel, containing the parishes of Capel, Abinger, Wotton, Ockley, and Newdigate. Acres, 40,006. Poor-rates in 1862, £6,647. Pop. in 1841, 10,978; in 1861, 12,445. Houses, 2,347. Marriages in 1860, 72; births, 373, of which 16 were illegitimate; deaths, 210, of which 84 were at ages under 5 years, and 5 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 700; births, 3,338; deaths, 2,062. The places of worship in 1851 were 11 of the Church of England, with 3,658 sittings; 4 of Independents, with 268 s.; 2 of Quakers, with 300 s.; 4 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 340 s.; and 2 undefined, with 300 s. The schools were 16 public day schools, with 1,001 scholars; 17 private day schools, with 350 s.; and 11 Sunday schools, with 563 s.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Parish Records


Online Records (Free)

England, Surrey Parish Registers, 1536-1992

Census returns for Dorking, 1841-1891

Surveys, 1649 & 1753 Manor of Dorking

Baptisms, marriages and burials, 1718-1855

Births, marriages and burials, 1650-1824

Births, marriages and burials, 1655-1837

Births, marriages and burials, 1656-1682.

Bishop’s transcripts for Dorking, 1692-1870

Churchwardens’ and charities rates, 1759-1771

Marriages, 1665-1777

Parish registers for Cold-Harbour, 1848-1935

Parish registers for Dorking, 1538-1914

Parish registers for Holmwood, 1838-1969

Parish registers for St. Paul’s Church, Dorking, 1858-1901

Parish registers for Westcott, 1852-1901

Transcripts of parish registers of Dorking, Surrey, England, 1554-1835

Births and deaths Author: Dorking Workhouse

Court rolls, 1540-1875

Rate books, 1818-1901

School log book, 1878-1905 Falkland Road Infants School (Dorking, Surrey)

School log book, 1880-1906 Pixham Church of England School (Dorking, Surrey)

Log books and admission registers, 1863-1920 Powell Corderoy School (Dorking, Surrey)

School log books and admission records, 1863-1910 St. Martin’s Church of England School (Dorking, Surrey)

School log books, 1860-1912 St. Paul’s District School (Dorking, Surrey)

Land tax assessments for the parish of Dorking, 1780-1831


County: Surrey
Civil Registration District: Dorking
Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Surrey
Diocese: Winchester
Rural Deanery: Stoke
Poor Law Union: Dorking
Hundred: Wotton
Province: Canterbury

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