Facts about Woking
Woking is a town in northwest Surrey, England. It is at the southwestern edge of the Greater London Urban Area and is a part of the London commuter belt, with frequent trains and a journey time of approximately 24 minutes to Waterloo station. Woking is 23 miles (37 km) southwest of Charing Cross in central London. Woking town itself, excluding its narrowly contiguous built-up area which extends from West End to West Byfleet, has a population of 62,796, and the UK Government has recorded its Built Up Area as 5% more populous than its borough with 105,367 residents in 2011, the highest in the county.
Though Woking’s earliest written appearance is in the Domesday Book, it is mentioned as the site of a monastery in an 8th-century context, as Wochingas. In the Domesday Book it appears as Wochinges, being held in 1086 by King William the Conqueror, Walter FitzOther, Constable of Windsor Castle, and Ansgot and Godfrey from Osbern FitzOsbern, then bishop of Exeter.
Modern Woking was formed in the area to the south of the Basingstoke Canal (opened in 1794) around the railway station, built in 1838 at the junction between the lines to London, the south coast, and the southwest of England, and the private railway to Brookwood Cemetery, which was developed by the London Necropolis Company as an overflow burial ground for London’s dead. As a result, the original settlement 1 mile to the southeast, on the River Wey, became known as “Old Woking”. Later, Woking Crematorium at St John’s became the first crematorium in the United Kingdom.