Great Bookham

infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 51.278
longitude= -0.373
official_name= Great Bookham
map_type= Surrey
population =
shire_district= Mole Valley
shire_county = Surrey
region= South East England
constituency_westminster= Mole Valley
post_town= Leatherhead
postcode_district = KT23
postcode_area= KT
dial_code= 01372
os_grid_reference= TQ1354

Great Bookham is a village in Surrey, England, located between Leatherhead and Guildford. "The Bookhams", which include Great and Little Bookham, are part of the Saxon settlement of "Bocham" - "the village by the beeches". They are surrounded by common land. Great Bookham is the larger village, however, Little Bookham houses the railway station.

The villages are situated on the A246 which is the main route for traffic travelling between the Surrey towns of Leatherhead and Guildford. Whilst once two distinct villages, the Bookhams have long been interconnected with residential roads that give most newcomers the impression that it is in fact one large village.


According to a charter c.675, the original of which is lost but which exists in a later form, there was granted to the Abbey "twenty dwellings at Bocham cum Effingham". This was confirmed by four Saxon kings; King Offa of Mercia and of the nations roundabout" in 787; King Athelstan who was "King and ruler of the whole island of Britain" in 933 confirmed the privileges to the monastery; King Edgar, "Emperor of all Britain" in 967 confirmed "twelve mansiones" in Bocham, and King Edward the Confessor, "King of the English" in 1062 confirmed twenty mansae at Bocham cum Effingham, Driteham and Pechingeorde.

Great Bookham lay within the Anglo-Saxon administrative district of Effingham half hundred.

The Domesday Book 1086, which was a survey for taxation purposes, makes the first known distinction between the parishes of Great and Little Bookham, if it is assumed that there was no separate parish at the time of the charter of Edward the Confessor in 1062. Driteham and Pechingeorde are both referred to in the Domesday Book and appear to have been absorbed into the manors of Effingham and Effingham East Court. Great Bookham appears in Domesday Book as "Bocheham". [ [ St Nicolas church history] ] It was held by St Peter's Abbey, Chertsey. Its Domesday Assets were: 13 hides; 1 church, 1 mill worth 10s, 20 ploughs, convert|6|acre|m2 of meadow, woodland and herbage worth 110 hogs. It rendered (in total): £15.

It seems probable, as the number of cottages in Bocham cum Effingham remained constant, that the later charters must have been copies of earlier charters which were not revised to accord with the actual number of cottages at any one time.

Jane Austen is said to have spent time in Bookham whilst writing several of her novels in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Its location is consistent with the geographical details in "Emma". [ [ Surrey writers] ]

The King and Queen of Yugoslavia were evacuated to a house in Bookham during the second world war, and King George VI and his bride spent their honeymoon at Polesden Lacey, a country house situated to the south of the village overlooking Ranmore Common.

There is no distinction between the two parishes of Great and Little Bookham; as recently as 1824, lay documents relate to land transactions, in which land was described as being "in Great Bookham in the parish of Bookham".

Pink Floyd bass player and singer, Roger Waters, was born in Great Bookham in 1943.


To the west of the Bookhams lies the village of Effingham; further west on the road to Guildford lie the similar villages of East and West Horsley and Clandon. To the North-East lie Fetcham and Leatherhead, north of which the area becomes increasingly urban heading towards central London, which is only convert|23|mi|km away. To the South-East, across the North Downs, is the village of Westhumble and the market town of Dorking.Geographic Location (8-way)
Centre = Great Bookham
North = London
Northeast = Fetcham
East = Caterham
Southeast = North Downs
South = Dorking
Southwest = Gomshall
West = Effingham,East Horsley
Northwest = Cobham


The village has a high street, located in Great Bookham, which is, as its name suggests, the larger of the two villages. It is has two butchers, a family run fishmongers and two traditional greengrocers.

Four pubs are situated in the village, The Anchor, Royal Oak, Old Crown and Ye Olde Windsor Castle. Legend has it that King Henry VIII's hunting parties used to pass through Bookham and stop in the Windsor, hence its royal name.Fact|date=February 2008 The village has a curry house. The Old Barn Hall is the main community centre, regularly used for staging amateur dramatics productions and hosting parties and receptions.

The Bookham football club Bookham is in the Combined Counties Premier Division with all the new teams coming into it from the Ryman League. The club was founded prior to World War I. [ [ Bookham football club history] ]

Bookham Commons

Bookham Commons includes the two commons in Great Bookham and Little Bookham. Great Bookham Common was bought by local residents in 1923 to save the oak woodlands, then given to the National Trust. Little Bookham Common was given to the Trust in 1924 by Mr H Willock-Pollen, then Banks Common in 1925 by Mr R Calburn.

The London Natural History Society has been surveying Bookham Commons for over 50 years, making it one of the best recorded sites for wildlife in south east England.

The common land consist of grassland (wet, low-lying meadows), woodland, scrub and twelve ponds. The ponds are home to all three British species of newt, including the rare Great Crested Newt. The five largest ponds are man-made, formed for fish-production in the 17th-century.

Emergency Services

Great Bookham is served by these emergency sevices:
* Surrey Police. From Leatherhead Police Station is only used for minor issues now; everything else is handled from Dorking Police Station.
* South East Coast Ambulance Service as of 1 July 2006, is the local NHS Ambulance Services Trust. The Surrey Ambulance Service, Sussex, and Kent Ambulance services have all merged, and have now ceased to exist.
* Surrey Fire & Rescue Service, Actually in Fetcham, but called Leatherhead Fire Station. With a full time crew.
** 1 x Water Tender Ladder
** 1 x Water Carrier


External links

* [ Bookham Community Association]
* [ Old photo]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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