Surrey History Centre

Surrey History Centre
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Surrey History Centre collects and rescues archives and printed materials relating to Surrey's past and present, so that they can tell the story of the County and its people to future generations. We can help you discover your family history
learn about famous Surrey people, buildings, businesses and organisations
trace the history of your house, street, town or community
or research a school or university project. We are based in Woking, where you can consult original documents which date from the 12th century to the present day and refer to our collections of printed books, local newspapers, directories, maps, ephemera and illustrations.
Throughout the year, we host lots of events and exhibitions details of which can be found on our website -

Venue Type:

Archive, Library

Opening hours

Normal opening hours:

Monday - Closed
Tuesday - 9.30am - 5pm
Wednesday - 10.15am - 5pm
Thursday - 9.30am - 5pm
Friday - 9.30am - 5pm
Saturday - 9.30am - 4pm

Closed Mon Sun & bank holiday weekend Sat

Admission charges


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Surrey Heritage Showcase

  • 8 October 2016 12-4pm

The Surrey Heritage Showcase is back! The year’s event will focus on Lingfield and the surrounding areas. This will be our fifth Heritage Showcase in the county which is a unique event that brings together not only the experts and amazing resources held at Surrey History Centre, but also local organisations and societies to showcase the heritage of the area, all for FREE!

Highlights for the day:

Discover all there is to know about the work Surrey Heritage does, from current projects to outreach activities
Displays from the County’s archive – showcasing documents, photographs, illustrations and more relating to the local area held at Surrey History Centre
A number of free talks including: ‘Fashion and Folly’ – it may surprise you to know just how dangerous our ancestors’ clothes and makeup were and the extraordinary lengths they were prepared to go to just be al la mode
Free children’s activities including mini archaeology digs, historic dress up and arts and crafts fun
Family history advice and help with dating old photos
Find out more about our Heritage Lottery Funded World War One project ‘Surrey in the Great War: A County Remembers, and how to get involved
Surrey Heritage experts in conservation and archives will be offering FREE practical, professional advice on how to store and preserve your items. Books, letters, documents, maps, photographs are all welcome!
Bring along anything archaeological you may have found – such as flints, pottery or coins. You may have found them by using a metal detector, while out walking or while gardening. Surrey’s Finds Liaison Officer, who works for the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme, will be present and will be able to identify and record your finds.
Learn about Surrey’s 43 Museums and galleries
Map the local area with the Historical Environment Record.

Partner stands:

RH7 History Group
East Surrey Family History Society
Lingfield Library & The Hayward Memorial Local History Centre
Felbridge and District Local History Group
Surrey Record Society
West Surrey Family History Society
Surrey Archaeological Society

Surrey Gardens Trust

More information available at:

Suitable for

  • Any age


Lingfield & Dormansland Community Centre
High Street


Reigate and Banstead

Discovering World War I

  • 15 October 2016 2-4pm

Bringing history to life. See artefacts from Surrey Infantry Museum, ask the experts about your own wartime heirlooms and find out how to research your own family tree. With vintage afternoon tea, Stompers Jazz Band and face painting. Surrey in the Great War will show displays about the local area during the Great War and provide free craft activities for children. See for more details of this event.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Harlequin Theatre


Mount Felix


  • 18 October 2016 8-9pm

A talk by Linda Powell for Sunbury and Shepperton Local History Society. Tues 18th October

All welcome, admission £2 for non-members


Halliford School
Russell Road
TW17 9HX


All welcome, admission £2 for non-members


Elmbridge logo

Surrey in the Great War talk as part of the Royston Pike lecture series

  • 21 October 2016 1:30-2:30pm

Organised by Elmbridge Borough Council and now in its 42nd year, the Royston Pike Lecture Series continues to attract audiences with its eclectic mix of subjects and speakers. Surrey in the Great War's talk is entitled 'WWI in Surrey: Life in the Great War’ and will include discussion of the effect of the conflict on the Elmbridge area. The full programme and further details may be found at


King George’s Hall
Community Walk
KT10 9RA


For further details or to be included on the mailing list for the current or future lecture brochures please contact us.


Family Wedding Photo

Family History Course - Research made easy!

  • 21 October 2016 10am-1pm
  • 28 October 2016 10am-1pm
  • 4 November 2016 10am-1pm
  • 11 November 2016 10am-1pm
  • 18 November 2016 10am-1pm
  • 25 November 2016 10am-1pm

Surrey History Centre’s very successful Family History Course is back for 2016! Run by professional genealogists and archivists this 6 week course will cover all you need to know to enhance your research as well as providing many tips of the trade.

Six consecutive Friday mornings (10am - 1pm): 21 October, 29 October, 4 November, 11 November, 18 November, 25 November 2016

1) An introduction to Family History
2) Crofts, Castles, Trades and Professions
3) Schools and Workhouses
4) Fighting Talk: An Introduction to Military Records
5) Mad, Bad and Sometimes Sad
6) Moving On: Immigration, Emigration & Transportation

For more information about each session and to book visit:

Tel: 01483 518737 Email:

Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6ND


£60 (can only be booked as complete 6 week course)


Surrey in the Great War & Dorking

  • 1 November 2016 7:30-8:30pm

Visit for more details


United Reform Church
53 West Street



West Surrey Family History Society Open Day & Family History Fair

  • 5 November 2016 10am-4:30pm

Featuring a research are packed with stands and display, various talks and several specialist help desks, this event is full of interest for those researching their family's history in Surrey and beyond. Surrey in the Great War will host a stall showcasing the project's findings, answering queries and showing how you can contribute. More information can be found at


Woking Leisure Centre
Kingfield Road
GU22 9BA


The Battle of the Somme

The Battle of the Somme Film Screening and Talk

  • 11 November 2016 7:45-10:45pm

This year, Imperial War Museums (IWM) and members of the First World War Centenary Partnership are working together to show the UNESCO listed film The Battle of the Somme, to audiences across the world.

Cobham Remembers (part of Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust) are hosting this special screening at Cobham Village Hall along with a talk by Kirsty Bennett - Senior Project Officer, Surrey in the Great War: A County Remembers.

Tickets £5 and available on Heritage Day, by post from CCHT, PO Box 335, Cobham KT11 9AY (please enclose SAE) or from The Cobham Bookshop.


Cobham Village Hall
Lushington Drive
KT11 2LU


£5 - available on Heritage Day, by post from CCHT, PO Box 335, Cobham KT11 9AY (please enclose SAE) or from The Cobham Bookshop.

The Birth Of A Town - Woking Between 1851 and 1871

  • 17 November 2016 11am-12pm

Woking began to grow as a new community around the railway station in the late 1850s, and by the early 1870s observers noted that a town was starting to emerge. This town was characterised by confusion and uncertainty, lacking an overall plan and resembling something of a ‘free for all’.
At the same time, Knaphill and Brookwood saw the building of the convict prison and county asylum. The population of the parish almost tripled between 1851 and 1871. These eventful two decades saw the birth of the town and a massive influx of newcomers.

This talk will be given by Alan Crosby who is one of Britain’s leading local and regional historians, editor of The Local Historian and contributor to the BBC Who Do You Think You Are magazine. Alan was born in Woking and grew up in the town. His History of Woking, which was first published in 1982, revised in 2003, is the definitive history of the town.

Thursday 17 November 2016, 11am - 12 noon
Minimum donation £5. Proceeds will go to Woking and Sam Beare Hospices.
Booking is essential. Please email Sally Gardiner: or call 07973 616614.


Minimum donation £5. Proceeds will go to Woking and Sam Beare Hospices.
Booking is essential. Please email Sally Gardiner: or call 07973 616614.

Western front association

Reflections on the Somme

  • 19 November 2016 8:30am-4:15pm

A seminar on the events of July-November 1916, with several interesting talks. Surrey in the Great War will host a stall showing the stories of some of the Surrey men caught up in the Somme campaign.

08:30 Coffee and Registration
09:30 Welcome from Andy Thompson, Chairman, WFA Surrey Branch
09:40-10:40 Punching Above its Weight?: The 18th (Eastern) Division Peter Simkins
The 18th (Eastern) Division, a ‘typical’ New Army division, became one of the most reliable assault divisions in the BEF during the 1916 Somme offensive. This talk explores the reasons For the 18th Division’s achievements, with particular reference to the formation’s successes at Montauban, at Trones Wood and at Thiepval. It also includes some general points on the effects of the baffle on the localised character of New Army units and discusses how lessons of the Somme contributed to the BEF’s learning process.
10:40-11:10 Coffee
11:10-12.10 The British Soldier in 1916 Andy Robertshaw
This presentation is an examination of the uniform, equipment and weapons of the British infantryman during the Somme campaign. It will examine the question of how much weaponry and equipment British soldiers were carrying on 1st July 1916 and specifically ask were they ‘overloaded’?
12:10-13:30 Lunch
13:30-14:30 Somme Success: The RFC and the Baftle of the Somme Peter Hart
The Somme marked a coming of age for the Royal Flying Corps. Its vital photographic
reconnaissance and artillery observation roles were at the heart of any offensive plans. The onset of a new generation of British aircraft, spearheaded by the DH2, gave the REC complete control of the skies in the first months of the campaign. When the Germans hit back in September 1916 with the Albafros DI the REC did not falter. Recognising the immense losses that would be suffered on the ground if it failed in its duties the RFC fought on regardless. This talk is the story of the brave men on both sides.
14:35-15:35 The German Army on the Somme Jack Sheldon
1916 was a year of extremely hard, costly fighting for the German army, on both main fronts. Alarmingly high casualty rates caused it to overdraw its manpower reserves and, as the Somme baffle drew to a dose, intensive study captured the lessons of the drawn out delaying baffle and showed how best to allocate resources for the challenges of 1917. The presentation will examine the true cost to the German army of the Somme, explain how the experience shaped the subsequent decision making process and describe how deployments and tactics were adjusted to confront the new reality.
15:35-16:15 Plenary Session 16:30 Close of Seminar


Dorking Halls
Reigate Road


Tickets £25 (includes lunch & refreshment breaks) Email: info© for more details and to book.

crown of blood

Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey

  • 19 November 2016 2-3:30pm

Talk and book signing by Nicola Tallis - Saturday 19 November, 2 - 4pm

Historian and researcher, Nicola Tallis will discuss the human and emotional story that has thus far been ignored, revealing a young woman who saw herself as a champion of Protestantism, and ultimately became a martyr for her faith.

Come and hear the story of Queen Jane for the first time at this exclusive event for the launch of Crown of Blood, The Deadley Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey by Nicola Tallis.

Tickets: £5 includes refreshments
To book visit:
Please book online, in person at Surrey History Centre or in any Surrey Library, or phone 01483 518737.
Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND


Tickets: £5 includes refreshments
To book visit:
Please book online, in person at Surrey History Centre or in any Surrey Library, or phone 01483 518737.


Surrey History Centre
130 Goldsworth Road
GU21 6ND




01483 518737

01483 518737


01483 518738

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.