Heritage & History

For the love of Dorking

When we share our love of Dorking, it’s easy to focus on the shops and the attractions, the places you can visit and the things you can sample or buy whilst you’re here. But we’d be missing the whole point if we didn’t explain our people, our heritage and our history.

You should know by now we’re a passionate, spirited and creative people. Did you know we also are tied hearts and minds to our community? The essence of Dorking is in its people, the people in the shops, on the streets, walking their dogs and living together. If you’re looking to understand our history, why not check out local resident and Dorking Museum’s Kathy Atherton’s book, The Museum Guide to Dorking?

Our people, history and heritage are inspiring and real.

The places, groups, and events below will give you a great idea of the community spirit that makes us proud.

The Dorking Society cares for Dorking past, present and future through its governance of the Dorking Museum, Dorking Local History Group, and the Conservation, Community and Planning Group.

The Rotary Club of Dorking and Deepdene Rotary Club use their skills and experience to benefit of the local community, with a focus on networking, friendship and social activities.

St Martin’s Church is a stunning Victorian Grade 2 listed building which has a fascinating history.  The buildings have evolved to meet the changing needs of the community and everyone is welcome to worship, contemplate, and visit.

In Dorking we have a wealth of places to worship, and many of these have a rich and strong history in our community. In our locale you will find Dorking Baptist Chapel, Dorking Christian Centre, the Christian Science Church, the Dorking Quakers, Harvest Community Church, New Life Church, St John the Evangelist, St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, and St Martin’s the Methodists, to name but a few.

The Dorking Local History Group preserves the history and culture of Dorking from years past, holding monthly meetings with speakers, members’ evenings, guided walks and outings.

Dorking has a history of strong women who have fought for women’s rights. On December 14th 2018, a blue plaque was unveiled, commemorating the contribution to the Votes for Women Movement by Charlotte Marsh and Helen Gordon Liddle in Dorking.

Dorking Town Twinning  promotes partnerships and relationships between the residents and businesses of Dorking, Gouvieux and Güglingen. 

Dorking Town Forum is a community of representatives from business groups and local organisations that advises on local matters. 

Friends of Dorking is a voluntary group of local businesses, retailers and community members who work with businesses and local groups to fundraise for the community. 

Community Hub in Pippbrook is Community Interest Company that passionately believes that Pippbrook House should be retained in public hands for the enjoyment of future generations. Their aim is to ensure this heritage asset is not only restored to its former glory but put back in use for the benefit of the community. Every year they host a family-friendly PIPPFEST festival to raise awareness and funds for the benefit of the cause.

Transition Dorking is all about creating a sustainable future for our town. They help, encourage and educate the community on how to reduce its carbon footprint, increase its resilience, and engage with more sustainable practices for the betterment of future generations.

The Women’s Institute is a community-based group, and the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK. In Dorking we have three groups; Dorking Hens, Dorking Ranmore and Dorking Larks.

Dorking Minds is a charity that aims to help people in the Dorking area to take control of their mental health.

And don’t forget the wealth of local events where you can see our community in action. Check out our suggested itineraries for more information, or just go and explore.

Visit Dorking, meet our people, and join our community.

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