The first settlement in Dorking is believed to date from the Roman times, however the name Dorking is Saxon driving from ‘Dorchingas’.
Dorking appears in the Domesday Book as the Manor of Dorchinges, covering the modern parishes of Dorking, Capel and the Holmwoods.
By the mid-1700s, word had begun to spread about the beauty and clean air of Dorking and the surrounding area, with Londoners coming to visit and live in nearby Box Hill.
In 1750, Dorking became a stopping place on route from London to Brighton and the coast, with inns and pubs appearing in the area.
Dorking also became a market centre for the surrounding villages, benefitting from its position on the junction of several long-distance roads. The town held a big wheat and cattle market in the High Street and a poultry market at the corner of South Street and round Butter Hill. The poultry market sold the famous Dorking fowl, which has five claws rather than four and was a favourite meal in the Victorian era.
The arrival of railway lines in 1849 and 1867, resulted in the loss of the stagecoaches and inns, with travellers instead choosing to make a day trip to Dorking. The railway also attracted wealthy residents to the town, who built large houses such as Denbies House and Pippbrook House. However, several beauty spots were donated for public use and protected from building work.
The town has continued to grow and today Dorking is predominately a commuter town. The town also has a retirement settlement, three railway stations and a few large offices.
White Horse Hotel, Dorking. Source.
White Horse Hotel
The White Horse Hotel in Dorking is over 400 years old, originally being built in 1278.
Charles Dickens took up residence at The White Horse while writing the Pickwick Papers in the mid-19th Century.
The historic building, which is located on the High Street in Dorking, still operates as a hotel today, with a restaurant and bar area. The Grade II listed hotel underwent a major £4 million refurbishment project in 2017-2018 which restored the 56 bedroom former coaching inn to its former glory.
The hotel was originally known as the Cross House and was built in two sections, with the carriage entrance to the yard in the middle.
Today the building has several timber sash windows, with multiple glazing bars, at the front of the property. The majority of the windows at the front in the hotel section of the building are 6 over 6 sash windows, with the majority of the windows in the restaurant section being 8 over 8 sash windows. There is also a sash window bay above the archway leading to the central courtyard.
Polesden Lacey, Dorking. Source.
The first house was built here in 1336. The house seen today was an expansion of the house built in 1824 by Thomas Cubitt. The Edwardian house was then extensively remodelled in 1906 by Margaret Greville and was designed by Ritz architects Mewès and Davies. The building work was completed for Mrs Greville’s first party in the property in 1909.
Visited by George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, on their honeymoon in 1923, Polesden Lacey house was used by Mrs Greville to entertain royalty and celebrities.
The Grade II* listed property has a glittering Gold Saloon, several timber sash windows and an extensive art and ceramic collection.
Since 1942 the house has been owned by the National Trust, with 14 rooms open to the public. Conservation and restoration work is on-going throughout the year to preserve the history of the property.
Pippbrook House, Dorking. Source.
The current Pippbrook House was designed by the architect George Gilbert Scott and built between 1856 and 1858.
After falling into disrepair, the house was bought by John Alexander Lloyd and was nearly demolished in 1928. However, in 1930 Dorking Urban District Council bought the mansion for their offices and later it was used as the town’s library.
In 1973, the building was recognised as being of special architectural and historic interest and designed as being Grade II listed. It was later upgraded to Grade II* listed in 2012.
Timber Windows in Dorking (RH4)
Much of Dorking’s original character still survives today, with numerous Victorian and Edwardian building located in the town. Along the main streets there is a wide range of different architectural styles which stand side by side.
Since 1974, a large part of Dorking has been a conservation area and the town is home to over 250 listed buildings. The conservation area and listed building statuses help preserve the character and appearance of the town. This means that timber sash windows and casement windows can still be seen on several of the period properties around the town. West Street, High Street and South Street in particular contain a number of period properties, including some 16th Century properties.
At The Sash Window Workshop we understand the importance of manufacturing and installing replacement timber windows and doors that offer the modern benefits of double glazing, while also preserving the character of your home. If you are unable to install double glazing, due to living in a listed building, we can also manufacture single glazed windows and doors, bespoke to your exact specifications.
If your timber windows do not need replacing, we also offer a draught proofing and overhaul service for timber windows. Our sales surveyors will advise you on the best service to meet your requirements.