The county town is popularly considered to be Guildford although Surrey County Council is based in Kingston upon Thameswhich since has been a part of Greater London. With a population of 1. Surrey is divided into eleven districts: Services such as roads, mineral extraction licensing, education, strategic waste and recycling infrastructure, birth, marriage, and death registration, and social and children's services are administered by Surrey County Council.
The London boroughs of LambethSouthwarkWandsworthand small parts of Lewisham and Bromley were in Surrey until ; as were those of CroydonKingston upon ThamesMertonSutton and the part of Richmond upon Thames on the right bank of the River Thames untilwhen they too were absorbed into Greater London, and the county extended north of the Thames by the addition of Spelthorne, as a result of the dissolution of Middlesex.
Since the reform the bordering boroughs of the capital have been those taken from it in except for Merton plus BromleyHillingdon and Hounslow. The form of Surrey which remains since is a wealthy county due to economic, aesthetic, conservation and logistical factors.
It has the highest GDP per capita of any English county, some of the highest property values outside Inner London and also the highest cost of living in the UK outside of the capital. It has four racecourses in horse racingthe most of any Home County and as at golf courses including international competition venue Wentworth.
Surrey has proximity to London and to Heathrow and Gatwick airports, along with access to major arterial road routes including the M25, M3 and M23 and frequent rail services into Central London. Surrey is divided in two by the chalk ridge of the North Downsrunning east-west.
The ridge is pierced by the rivers Wey and Moletributaries of the Thameswhich formed the northern border of the county before modern redrawing of county boundaries, which has left part of its north bank within the county.
To the south of the Downs in the western part of the county are the sandstone Surrey Hills Godalming surrey united kingdom, while further east is the plain of the Low Wealdrising in the extreme southeast to the edge of the hills of the High Weald. Much of Surrey is in the Metropolitan Green Belt. It contains valued reserves of mature woodland reflected in the official logo of Surrey County Council, a pair of interlocking oak leaves.
Surrey is the most wooded county in England, with Box Hill has the oldest untouched area of natural woodland in the UK, one of the oldest in Europe. Surrey also contains England's principal concentration of lowland heathon sandy Godalming surrey united kingdom in the west of the county. Agriculture not being intensive, there are many commons Godalming surrey united kingdom access lands, together with an extensive network of footpaths and bridleways including the North Downs Waya scenic long-distance path.
Accordingly, Surrey provides many rural and semi-rural leisure activities, with a large horse population in modern terms. The highest elevation in Surrey is Leith Hill near Dorking.
Surrey has a population of approximately 1. They are followed by Ewell with 39, people and Camberley with 30, The county council's headquarters have been outside the county's boundaries since 1 Aprilwhen Kingston and other areas were included within Greater London by the London Government Act The council abandoned plans in the latter part of the s decade to move its headquarters to Godalming surrey united kingdom. Much of the north of the county is an urban area contiguous Godalming surrey united kingdom Greater London.
Before Roman times the area today known as Surrey was probably largely occupied by the Atrebates tribe, centred at Calleva Atrebatum Silchesterin the modern county of Hampshirebut eastern parts of it may have been held by the Cantiacibased largely in Kent.
The Atrebates are known to have controlled the southern bank of the Thames from Godalming surrey united kingdom texts describing the tribal relations between them and the powerful Catuvellauni on the north bank.
The Atrebates were defeated, their capital captured and their lands made subject to Togodumnusking of the Catuvellauni, ruling from Camulodunum Colchester. Verica fled to Gaul and appealed for Roman aid.
During the Roman era, the important settlement within the historic area of Surrey was the London suburb of Southwark now part of Greater Londonbut there were small towns at StainesEwellDorkingCroydon and Kingston upon Thames.
During the 5th and 6th centuries Surrey was conquered and settled by Saxons. The names of possible tribes inhabiting the area have been conjectured on the basis of place names.
Godalming surrey united kingdom It has also been speculated that the entries for the Nox gaga and Oht gaga peoples in the Tribal Hidage may refer to two groups living in the vicinity of Surrey. Together their lands were assessed at a total of 7, hidesequal to the assessment for Sussex or Essex. Surrey may have formed part of a larger Middle Saxon kingdom or confederacy, also including areas north of the Thames. If it ever existed, the Middle Saxon kingdom had disappeared by the 7th century, and Surrey became a frontier area disputed between the kingdoms of KentEssex, Sussex, Wessex and Merciauntil its permanent absorption by Wessex in Despite this fluctuating situation it retained its identity as an enduring territorial unit.
During the 7th century Surrey became Christian and initially formed part of the East Saxon diocese of Londonindicating it was under East Saxon rule at that time, but was later transferred to the West Saxon diocese of Winchester.
Its most important religious institution throughout the Anglo-Saxon period and beyond was Chertsey Abbeyfounded in Godalming surrey united kingdom this point Surrey was evidently under Kentish domination, as the abbey was founded under the patronage of King Ecgberht of Kent. The region remained under the control of Caedwalla's successor Ine in the early 8th century. In the 9th century England was afflicted, along with the rest of northwestern Europe, by the attacks of Scandinavian Vikings.
Surrey's inland position shielded it from coastal raiding, so that it was not normally troubled except by the largest and most ambitious Scandinavian armies. In an exceptionally large invasion force of Danes arrived at the mouth of the Thames in a fleet of about ships, which would have carried over 15, men. Two years later the men of Surrey marched into Kent to help their Kentish neighbours fight a raiding force at Thanetbut suffered heavy losses including their ealdormanHuda.
Withdrawing with their loot, the Danes were intercepted and defeated at Farnham by an army led by Alfred the Great 's son Edward, the future King Edward the Elderand fled across the Thames Godalming surrey united kingdom Essex.
Surrey remained safe from attack for over a century thereafter, due to its location and to the growing power of the West Saxon, later English, kingdom. Cnut's death was followed by a period of political uncertainty, as the succession was disputed between his sons. It is uncertain what his intentions were, but after landing with a small retinue in Sussex he was met by Godwin, Earl of Wessexwho escorted him in apparently friendly Godalming surrey united kingdom to Guildford.
Having taken lodgings there, Alfred's men were attacked as they slept and killed, mutilated or enslaved by Godwin's followers, while the prince himself was blinded and imprisoned, dying shortly afterwards.
This must have contributed to the antipathy between Godwin and Alfred's brother Edward the Confessorwho came to the throne in This hostility peaked inwhen Godwin and his sons were driven into exile; returning the following year, the men of Surrey rose to support them, along with those of Sussex, Kent, Essex and elsewhere, helping them secure their reinstatement and the banishment of the king's Norman entourage.
The repercussions of Godalming surrey united kingdom antagonism helped bring about the Norman Conquest of England in Domesday Book records that the largest landowners in Surrey at the end of Edward's reign were Chertsey Abbey and Harold GodwinsonEarl of Wessex and later king, followed by the estates of King Edward himself.
Apart from the abbey, most of whose lands were within the shire, Surrey was not the principal focus of any major landowner's holdings, a tendency which was to persist in later periods. The Anglo-Saxon period saw the emergence of the shire's internal division into 14 hundredswhich continued until Victorian times.
After the Battle of Hastingsthe Norman army advanced through Kent into Surrey, where they defeated an English force which attacked Godalming surrey united kingdom at Southwark and then burned that suburb. Rather than try to attack London across the river, the Normans continued west through Surrey, crossed the Thames at Wallingford in Berkshire and descended on London from the north-west. As was the case across England, the native ruling class of Surrey was virtually eliminated by Norman seizure of land.
Only one significant English landowner, the brother of the last English Abbot of Chertsey, remained by the time the Domesday survey was conducted in When the male line of the Warennes became extinct in the 14th century, the earldom was inherited by the Fitzalan Earls of Arundel. The Fitzalan line of Earls of Surrey died out inbut after other short-lived revivals in the 15th century the title was conferred in on the Howard familywho still hold it.
However, Surrey was not a major focus of any of these families' interests. Guildford Castleone of many fortresses originally established by the Normans to help them subdue the country, was rebuilt in stone and developed as a royal palace in the 12th century. John's efforts to reverse this concession reignited the war, and in the barons invited Prince Louis of France to take the throne.
Having landed in Kent and been welcomed in London, he advanced across Surrey to attack John, then at Winchesteroccupying Reigate and Guildford castles along the way. Guildford Castle later became one of the favourite residences of King Henry IIIwho considerably expanded the palace there. During the baronial revolt against Henry, in the rebel army of Simon de Montfort passed southwards through Surrey on their way to the Battle of Lewes in Sussex. Although the rebels were victorious, soon after the Godalming surrey united kingdom royal forces captured and destroyed Bletchingley Castle, whose owner Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Hertford and Gloucesterwas de Montfort's most powerful ally.
By the 14th century, castles were of dwindling military importance, but remained a mark of social prestige, leading to the construction of castles at Starborough near Lingfield by Lord Cobhamand at Betchworth by John Fitzalanwhose father had recently inherited the Earldom of Surrey. Though Reigate and Bletchingley remained modest settlements, the role of their castles as local centres for the two leading aristocratic interests in Surrey had enabled them to gain borough status by the early Godalming surrey united kingdom century.
As a result, they gained representation in Parliament when it became established towards the end of that century, alongside the more substantial urban settlements of Guildford and Southwark. Surrey had little political or economic significance in the Middle Ages.
Its agricultural wealth was limited by the infertility of most of its soils, and it was not the main power-base of any important aristocratic family, nor the seat of a bishopric. Population pressure in Godalming surrey united kingdom 12th and 13th centuries initiated the gradual clearing of the Wealdthe forest spanning the borders of Surrey, Sussex and Kent, which had hitherto been left undeveloped due to the difficulty of farming on its heavy clay soil.
Surrey's most significant source of prosperity in the later Middle Ages was the production of woollen cloth, which emerged during that period as England's main export industry.
The county was "Godalming surrey united kingdom" early centre of English textile manufacturing, benefiting from the presence of deposits of fuller's earththe rare mineral composite important in the process of finishing cloth, around Reigate and Nutfield. Though Surrey was not the scene of serious fighting in the various rebellions and civil wars of the period, armies from Kent heading for London via Southwark passed through what were then the extreme north-eastern fringes of Surrey during the Peasants' Revolt of and Cade's Rebellion inand at various stages of the Wars of the Roses inand The upheaval of also involved widespread local unrest in Surrey, as was the case all across south-eastern England, and some recruits from Surrey joined the Kentish rebel army.
Waverley Abbey near Farnham, founded inwas the first Cistercian monastery in England. Over the next quarter-century monks spread out from here to found new houses, creating a network of twelve monasteries descended from Waverley across southern and central England.
Godalming surrey united kingdom 12th and early 13th centuries also saw the establishment of Augustinian priories at MertonNewarkTandridgeSouthwark and Reigate.
These would all perish, along with the still important Benedictine abbey of Chertseyin the 16th-century Dissolution of the Monasteries.
Now fallen into disuse, some English counties had nicknames for those raised there such as a 'tyke' from Yorkshireor a 'yellowbelly' from Lincolnshire. In the case of Surrey, the term was a 'Surrey capon', from Surrey's role in the later Middle Ages as the county where chickens were fattened up for the London meat markets.
Under the early Tudor kings, magnificent royal palaces were constructed in northeastern Surrey, conveniently close to London.
At Richmond an existing
Godalming surrey united kingdom residence was rebuilt on a grand scale under King Henry VIIwho also founded a Franciscan friary nearby in All these have since been demolished. During the Cornish Rebellion ofthe rebels heading for London briefly occupied Guildford and fought a skirmish with a government detachment on Guildown outside the town, before marching on to defeat at Blackheath in Kent. Surrey's cloth industry declined in the 16th century and collapsed in the 17th, harmed by falling standards and competition from more effective producers in other parts of England.