Dorking is a place in England, below the North Downs in Surrey, approximately 40 kilometers south of London. The town has 17,000 inhabitants and belongs to the district of Mole Valley.

Historical development

Dorking began as a small post station on the Stane Street, the Roman road linking London with Chichester on the English Channel.

In the 11th century it is mentioned in the Domesday Book as the Manor of Dorchinges. The landlords were the Dukes of Norfolk, who lived in Dorking until they moved to Arundel. In the Middle Ages Dorking was a prosperous agricultural market, which benefited from its location on a variety of roads.

1750 made ​​the construction of the Turnpike Road Dorking to a post station on the way to Brighton and the coast. This position was lost with the construction of the railway.


North of the city the River Mole cuts a steep valley in the North Downs. On its left bank is Denbies Vineyard, the largest vineyard in the UK. On the right bank is Box Hill, Britain's first Country Park, owned by the National Trust. The hill was named to the Site of Special Scientific Interest, because here in the summer, a large number of rare orchids blooming.

Further north is Norbury Park with the Druids Grove, a forest with partly over 1000 years old trees.

In the southwest lies Leith Hill, also owned by the National Trust, at 294 meters is the second highest point in south-east England. Together with Holmbury Hill and Pitch Hill and the area around Box Hill to Newlands Corner is known as the landscape of Surrey Hills.

Personalities, art and culture

  • Laurence Olivier was born here
  • The actor John Watson and Rick Partridge live here
  • The composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1872-1958, spent much of his childhood in Leith Hill Place in Coldharbour and lived from 1929 to 1953 in Dorking.
  • Joshua Nicholas Cowls, politicians of the 19th century
  • The architect Thomas Cubitt was born here and lived here, his son, the politician George Cubitt, also had connections to the city
  • The writer Daniel Defoe, 1661-1731, probably attended a school in the Pixham Lane and later mentioned Dorking in his "Tour through the Whole Iceland of Great Britain "
  • Benjamin Disraeli wrote his novel Coningsby in Deep Dene House (now demolished) on the edge of town
  • Lord Nelson spent his last night in England before he moved to the Battle of Trafalgar
  • Box Hill is the site of an important passage in Jane Austen's novel Emma
  • George Meredith lived in Box Hill and died here in 1909
  • The television pioneer John Logie Baird lived in the early 1930s in Swiss Cottage on the Box Hill
  • The patrons of the arts Sidney and Violet ship lived from 1934 to 1944 in their home in Dorking