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.

Venue Type:

Archive, Library

Opening hours

Tues Wed Fri 0930-1700
Thurs 0930-1930
Sat 0930-1600

Closed Mon Sun & bank holiday weekend Sat

Admission charges


Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Thursley goes to War

Thursley Goes To War

  • 2 September — 3 October 2015

This exhibition was prepared by members of the Thursley History Society to commemorate the start of the Great War. It was displayed in the Parish Church throughout August 2014 and the village also marked 100 years by planting poppies throughout the village.

106 young men from the village left to serve and their names are still remembered on a board in the Village Hall. A quarter of those who went did not return. This exhibition commemorates all who went and also showcases village life in Thursley in 1914.


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 in the Great War: A County Remembers

Surrey in the Great War: A County Remembers

  • 19 September 2015 10:30am-2:30pm
  • 7 November 2015 11am-3pm

One hundred years ago, Surrey was playing its part in the first global war between modern, industrial nations. It was a conflict which called for previously unthinkable sacrifices by the county’s people, young and old, rich and poor. How did Surrey respond?

Surrey Heritage, through its four-year Heritage Lottery Fund-supported project Surrey in the Great War: A County Remembers, calls you to enlist to help to investigate this question.

We’re hosting two events to showcase opportunities to get involved in Surrey in the Great War. Highlights will include talks and displays about what current researchers and volunteers have been doing, information on the project itself, and an insight into how exciting Great War discoveries will be preserved on our dedicated website. Find out about our newspaper indexing project, local Great War research topics, digitising Great War ephemera and much more.

West Surrey: 19th September 2015, 10.30am-2.30pm
Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND

East Surrey: 7 November 2015, 11am-3pm
The White Hart Barn, High Street, Godstone, RH9 8DT

Free refreshments will be offered on both days

For more information, contact the project team on 01483 518239 / 518238 or Definitely coming? Let us know! Alternatively, just drop in on the day.


For more information, contact the project team on 01483 518239 / 518238 or Definitely coming? Let us know! Alternatively, just drop in on the day.



Surrey Heritage Showcase 2015

  • 3 October 2015 12-4pm

The Surrey Heritage Showcase is back! This year’s event will take place on Saturday 3rd October at Shere Village Hall from 12pm – 4pm. The event will focus on Shere, Gomshall, Peaslake and Albury.

This will be our fourth 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.

Highlights for the day:

Memories of Shere & surrounding area – using the Historic Environment Record map your memories of the area with this interactive display
Family history advice and help with dating old photos
‘Ask the expert’ sessions – Surrey Heritage experts in conservation, archives and archaeological finds will be offering FREE practical, professional advice on how to store and preserve your items. Books, letters, documents, maps, photographs and unknown muddy objects are all welcome!
Free children’s activities including mini archaeology digs, historic dress up and arts and crafts fun
Displays from the County’s archive – showcasing documents, photographs, illustrations and more relating to the local area held at Surrey History Centre
Learn about Surrey’s 43 Museums
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
Grab a bargain at our book sale
Discover all there is to know about the work Surrey Heritage does, from current projects to outreach activities.

Partner stands:

Shere Museum and Local History Society
Tales and Trails of the Tillingbourne Valley
Surrey Gardens Trust
Albury History Society
Surrey History Trust
West Surrey Family History Society
Surrey Archaeological Society
Cranleigh Camera Club
Surrey Record Society
Peaslake WI

Suitable for

  • Any age


RC Sherriff

To Journey’s End and Beyond: The RC Sherriff Study Day

  • 24 October 2015 9:30am-4:30pm

Saturday 24th October 2015
9.30am – 4.30pm

Surrey Heritage is delighted to announce a full day of talks and discussion, covering every aspect of Sherriff’s life and career, from the trenches to Hollywood.

Study Day Programme

9.30-9.45 Arrival and coffee
Welcome – Mike Page, County Archivist

9.45-10.30 Zoe Karens - A soldier writer: selected highlights from the R C Sherriff collections at Surrey History Centre. Zoe was archivist for the RC Sherriff Project at Surrey History Centre and catalogued over 100 boxes of Sherriff's papers.

10.30-11.20 Michael Lucas - 'The Gallants' - RC Sherriff's front line service.
Michael is a military historian and author of several articles focused on Sherriff and the East Surrey Regiment, including the book, Journey's End Battalion: The 9th East Surrey in the Great War (Pen & Sword Military, 2012)
Michael will be accompanied by Andrew Lucas and Ian Houghton, military living history enactors

11.20-11.50 Coffee break

11.50-12.40 David Grindley and Robert Gore-Langton - Journey's End: The beginning of a Dramatic Legacy.
David directed the 75th Anniversary production in 2004. Scheduled to run for 8 weeks in the West End, it played 18 months before travelling to Broadway, where it won the 2007 Tony Award for Best Revival. Currently; he is working on the film adaptation of the play. Robert is an arts writer, theatre critic for the Mail on Sunday and author of Journey's End: the classic war play explored (Oberon, 2013)

12.40-13.40 Lunch. There will be time to talk to the enactors about their artefacts

13.40-14.30 David Cottis - Sherriff as a Screenwriter: the (mostly) Invisible Man.
David is a Theatre Director and Screenwriting Lecturer and currently completing a Ph.D on the screen careers of Sherriff and other British stage playwrights.

14.30-15.20 Juliet Gardiner - Fruit drops for a lion: RC Sherrif, an acute observer of everyday life.
Juliet is a writer, broadcaster and historian who has written extensively about the Home Front in the Second World War, and is the author of The Thirties: an Intimate HIstory (Harper Press 2010).

15.20-15.40 Tea break

15.40-16.30 Roland Wales - Searching for the elusive Mr Sherriff.
Roland is a writer, researcher, and author of the forthcoming biography From Journey's End to The Dam Busters: The life of trench playwright R C Sherriff (Pen and Sword).

16.30pm Discussion and close

This is a free event, but tickets need to be booked. Please book online at, in person at Surrey History Centre or in any Surrey Library, or phone 01483 518737.

Tea and coffee will be provided throughout the day but attendees will need to make their own lunch arrangements.

Persephone Books will be launching the reprint of Sherriff's 1936 novel "Greengates". Some speakers will be selling signed copies of their books by private arrangement so it is advisable to bring cash or cheques on the day.




Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll Study Day

  • 7 November 2015 10am-3:15pm

Saturday 7th November
10am – 3.15pm
Tickets £15 includes tea and coffee

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland join us for an exciting day of talks on the author, Lewis Carroll.

Study Day Programme

10.00am - 10.15am Welcome and registration

10.15am - 11am Isabel Sullivan
Lewis Carroll at Surrey History Centre: an Introduction to the Archives
Lewis Carroll enjoyed a connection with Guildford and its environs for 30 years, and is buried there, in the Mount Cemetery. Both family and friends appreciated his link to the town and have entrusted their archives of Carroll to be kept locally. The Lewis Carroll collections now at Surrey History Centre are a focal point for the study of the man and his life. This talk gives a brief history of the evolution of the collections and describes some of the strengths of our holdings.

11.00am -11.20am Refreshments

11.20am – 12.20pm - Edward Wakeling
Lewis Carroll, The Man and His Circle
Drawing upon a lifetime's study of the man and his work, Edward Wakeling will present a fresh approach based upon Lewis Carroll's wide and varied social circle, based on the testimony of Carroll's contemporaries, at the same time dispelling some of the key myths that surround this world famous author. Edward will also be selling and signing copies of his books.

12.20pm - 1.15pm Lunch

1.15am – 2pm Will Brooker
Alice In 1932: Looking Back at the Lewis Carroll Centenary
The 1932 centenary of Lewis Carroll's birth marks a key point in the way the author and his work were discussed, interpreted and understood. By 1932, the Alice books had been adapted to cinema, adopted into advertising and incorporated into a society very different from the 1860s Britain in which they were first published. Carroll, who died in 1898, was already considered a literary 'immortal', and his work was associated with a nostalgic past, yet he also remained within living memory, recalled by people who had known him when they were children: while the 'real Alice', Mrs Hargreaves, was still alive, an elderly lady enjoying a new celebrity. This paper, based on a study of hundreds of original documents from the period, examines what Lewis Carroll and Alice meant at the time, with a particular focus on Guildford's literary heritage and Carroll's importance to the area.

2pm – 2.45pm Fran Kohlt
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures and Victorian Children's Literature
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a remarkable text which has endured as one of the world's most popular children's classics - but is it really a children's book? Or perhaps much more than that? In an exploration of how the genre of 'children's literature' emerged in the 19th century, and what Victorians considered appropriate literature for the young, this talk will seek answers to this question in the kaleidoscopic landscape of Victorian Children's Literature. In the light of the shifting concepts of what it meant to be a child in Victorian Britain, it will re-examine children's classics from Dickens to Kingsley, in a journey through enchanted forests, dark alleyways of the metropolis and fantastic wonderlands, seen through the eyes of literary child heroes - and their creators.

2.45pm - 3.15pm Discussion and close

Please book online:, in person at Surrey History Centre or in any Surrey Library, or phone 01483 518737.

Please note tea and coffee will be provided throughout the day but attendees will need to make their own lunch arrangements.


Tickets £15 includes tea and coffee. Please note tea and coffee will be provided throughout the day but attendees will need to make their own lunch arrangements.


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.