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.
Family History

Six Week Family History Course

  • 22 September 2017 10am-1pm
  • 29 September 2017 10am-1pm
  • 6 October 2017 10am-1pm
  • 13 October 2017 10am-1pm
  • 20 October 2017 10am-1pm
  • 27 October 2017 10am-1pm

Surrey History Centre’s very successful Family History Course is back for 2017! 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.

Spring 2017 (10am–1pm):10 March, 17 March, 24 March, 31 March, 7 April, 21 April (2 week break for Easter).

Autumn 2017 (10am–1pm): 22 September, 29 September, 6 October, 13 October, 20 October, 27 October.

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 includes refreshments Please book a place online at, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.


Arts and crafts

Explorers Through Time - Summer Holiday Family Activities

  • 2 — 31 August 2017 *on now

Join us at the Surrey History Centre and become an explorer for the day. Discover the adventures of Surrey explorers and get creative with our free arts and crafts family activities.
Activities include; make your own binoculars, help spot the hidden animals, design your own map, solve our adventurous puzzles and many more.
Activities are free but parents/guardians are responsible for supervising their children.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-10




The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation (CWGF)

Family day at CWGC Brookwood Military Cemetery Centenary Exhibition

  • 2 September 2017 10am-4pm

Explore war graves, iconic architecture and CWGC horticulture at our free open day at the UK’s largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery.

• Family activities
• Historical tours
• Cemetery trails
• Posy making
• Period vehicles
• Casualty Clearing Station
• 13 stalls from historic societies and museums
• Refreshments available on-site

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Brookwood Military Cemetery
GU24 0JB


Sky Heroes

  • 10 September 2017 12-5pm

The Kenley Revival Project free public event ‘Sky Heroes’ will be taking place at Kenley airfield and Portcullis Club field from noon – 5pm on Sunday 10th September. The event is co-organised with the City of London Corporation and Kenley Airfield Friends Group to showcase RAF Kenley’s World War 2 history and centenary as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Kenley Revival Project.

Join us for a family day filled with heritage activities which highlight RAF Kenley’s significant Battle of Britain history. Explore RAF Kenley’s past with guided tours along with museum and archaeology stands with activities for all ages. Learn about RAF Kenley’s fighter pilots complete with a Battle of Britain exhibition trailer and replica Spitfire and Hurricane where you can sit in the cockpit and have your photo taken as a memory of the day. Play at RAF Kenley with nature and science activities and enjoy the refreshments on offer including seeing the fascinating Battle of Britain memorabilia housed in the historic Portcullis Club.

The event is free to attend and will focus on bringing Kenley’s Battle of Britain history to life complete with Operations Room and Pilot Re-enactors, model aircraft display and a family activity tent. There will be two land trains operating a hop on and hop off around the airfield to help you explore the event.

Free grass parking is limited and we will be providing a free shuttlebus from nearby train stations.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Kenley Aerodrome


Free entry with grass parking is limited and we will be providing a free shuttlebus from nearby train stations.


Black Poppies

Black Poppies - Britain's Black Community and the Great War

  • 16 September 2017 2-3:30pm

Talk and book signing with Stephen Bourne.
Stephen Bourne presents an illustrated talk about his book Black Poppies which has beenpublished by The History Press to coincide with the centenary of the First World War. Entertaining and informative, Black Poppies explores the military and civilian wartime experiences of black Britons, from the trenches to the music halls. For Black Poppies Stephen received the 2015 Southwark Arts Forum Award for Literature.


Tickets are free but booking is essential.
Please book a place online, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.
Please bring cash if you would like to purchase the book.


Western Front Association

The Tour of the 1917 Battlefields

  • 23 — 24 September 2017 7am-9pm

Details of our 2017 tour to the battlefields of 1917. The tour will take place on the weekend of September 23-24 and will concentrate on Third Ypres (June – November) and Arras (April – May) with an overnight stop in Lille. Costs for a shared twin/double room £190 with a single rooms supplement of £20. The costs are inclusive of all travel, accommodation, museum entry fees, dinner on the Saturday evening, a hot lunch on Sunday and evening tea (with wine!) on the inbound journey. There are 45 places available and thus early booking is recommended.




Cost per person £190 based on two people sharing a twin/double room
(Single room supplement £20)
To reserve a place on the tour please complete the attached booking form together with a £40 de-posit to Andy Thompson 38 Fairfield Drive Dorking Surrey RH4 1JH. Email the attached booking form to: or by post to 38 Fairfield Drive Dorking Surrey RH4 1JH
The deposit can be paid by cheque (payable to Eyewitness Tours) or by BACS:
Sort code: 12-24-82 Account number: 10151361
Please reference your payment with WFA&your name

Hot off the press

Hot Off The Press: Digital Newspaper Archives and Local History

  • 7 October 2017 10:30am-3:30pm

Surrey Local History Committee and Surrey Heritage present:10.45 Registration and coffee
11.15-12.00 Dr Gerry Moss, Surrey Archaeological Society
Local History from Digital Newspapers
12.00-12.30 Seth Cayley, Gale Cengage Learning
The 17th and 18th Century Nichols Newspaper Collection: A New Digital Resource
12.30-1.00 Julian Pooley, Surrey History Centre
‘A Copious Collection of Newspapers': John Nichols and his Collection of Newspapers, Pamphlets and News Sheets, 1760-1865
1.00-2.00 Lunch
2.00-2.45 Dr John Price, Goldsmiths, University of London
Stories of Splendid Heroism: researching gallantry using newspaper archives
2.45-3.15 Juliet Warren, Surrey History Centre
Surrey in the Great War: Creating and using newspaper indexes for Home Front Research
3.15-3.30 Discussion, Tea and Close

Surrey History Centre, 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, GU21 6ND
£10 includes refreshments. Please make your own arrangements for lunch.
Please book a place online at, in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.


£10 includes refreshments. Please make your own arrangements for lunch.

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



Surrey Heritage Showcase

  • 14 October 2017 10:30am-2:30pm

Discover history on your doorstep

The Surrey Heritage Showcase is back! The year’s event will focus on Cranleigh and Ewhurst. This will be our sixth 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
– Cranleigh Arts Centre in collaboration with local schools have produced a display to celebrate Cranleigh village through 3 themes, the village, it’s people and history.
– 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!
– Learn about Surrey’s 43 Museums and galleries
– Talks – to be confirmed

Family Activities
– Free children’s activities including mini archaeology digs, historic dress up and arts and crafts fun
– ‘Build the Perfect Village’ and get creative by making painted houses/shops/buildings to create an ‘ideal’ village model, somewhere where you may like to live in the future. The only limits would be the extent of your imagination. This will provide a lasting legacy artwork for the Centre.

Partner stands:

– Cranleigh History Society
– Ewhurst History Society
– Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust
– British Legion
– St Nicolas Church
– Cranleigh & District U3A
– East Surrey Family History Society
– West Surrey Family History Society
– Surrey Archaeological Society
– Surrey Gardens Trust
– The Brooking National Collection

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Cranleigh Arts Centre
1 High Street


Free entry



West Surrey Family History Society Open Day & Family History Fair

  • 4 November 2017 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

Location: Woking Leisure Centre, Kingfield Road, Woking, Surrey, GU22 9BA


Woking Leisure Centre
Kingfield Road
GU22 9BA


The Road to Passchendaele book cover

The Road to Passchendaele

  • 11 November 2017 2-3:30pm

The Road to Passchendaele is the next volume in the highly-regarded series of books from the best-selling First World War historian Richard van Emden. Once again, using the winning formula of diaries and memoirs, and above all original photographs taken on illegally-held cameras by the soldiers themselves, Richard tells the story of 1917, of life both in and out of the line culminating in perhaps the most dreaded battle of them all, the Battle of Passchendaele. The viscous mud in which these men fought has come to symbolise the horror of the Great War.

Richard van Emden has interviewed over 270 veterans of the Great War and has written nineteen books about it including The Trench, The Last Fighting Tommy and The Soldier’s War, (all top ten bestsellers), Boy Soldiers of the Great War, Prisoners of the Kaiser, and, most recently, The Somme. His books sales now exceed 650,000 copies. Richard has worked on more than twenty-five television programmes on the Great War, including Britain’s Last Tommies and the award-winning Roses of No Man’s Land, Britain’s Boy Soldiers, War Horse: the Real Story and Hidden Histories: WW1's Forgotten Photographs.

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


£5 includes refreshments.
Please book a place online in person at Surrey History Centre or any Surrey Library or phone 01483 518737.


Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.
alt="RC Sherriff"

Journey’s End: RC Sherriff Learning Resource for KS4 English and History and Drama

The RC Sherriff learning resource is based on the archives of Surrey author and playwright, RC Sherriff (1896–1975), whose First World War experiences led him to write the highly successful play Journey’s End. This free online resource is for secondary schools was funded by the HLF as part of our project 'To Journey's End and Beyond: the life and legacy of RC Sherriff'. It incorporates the three collections of Sherriff’s papers held at Surrey History Centre in Woking, which are now fully catalogued and accessible. The resource, featuring letters from the trenches, photographs and video, and a copyright-free script for a specially commissioned drama based on Sherriff's experiences, will enable teachers of KS4 English and History to involve Sherriff’s extraordinary story in their World War One, literature, creative writing, or drama lesson plans.


  • This online learning resource was created by Surrey History Centre as HLF as part of our project 'To Journey's End and Beyond: the life and legacy of RC Sherriff'

How to obtain

The online resource is free and available to all.

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.