Facts about Dorking
Dorking is a market town in Surrey in South East England, about 34 km (21 mi) south of London. It is in Mole Valley District and the council headquarters are to the east of the centre. The High Street runs roughly east-west, parallel to the Pipp Brook and along the northern face of an outcrop of Lower Greensand. The town is surrounded on three sides by the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is close to Box Hill and Leith Hill.
The earliest archaeological evidence of human activity is from the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods, and there are several Bronze Age bowl barrows in the local area. The town may have been the site of a staging post on Stane Street during Roman times, however the name ‘Dorking’ suggests an Anglo-Saxon origin for the modern settlement. A market is thought to have been held at least weekly since early medieval times and was highly regarded for the poultry traded there. The Dorking breed of domestic chicken is named after the town.
Dorking lies in central Surrey, approximately 34 km (21 mi) south of London and 17 km (11 mi) east of Guildford. It is close to the intersection of two valleys – the north-south Mole Gap (where the River Mole cuts through the North Downs) and the west-east Vale of Holmesdale (a narrow strip of low-lying land between the North Downs and the Greensand Ridge). The highest point in the town is the Glory Wood, south east of the centre, where the summit (137 m (449 ft)) is marked by a Bronze Age bowl barrow.
The basic plan of the town centre has not changed since medieval times (and may be Anglo-Saxon in origin). The main streets (the High Street, West Street and South Street) meet at Pump Corner, forming a ” Y ” shape. Together, West Street and the High Street run approximately west-east, paralleling the Pipp Brook, a tributary of the Mole, which runs to the north of the centre.