St Martins church. Photograph: Kathy Atherton

St Martins church
Photograph: Kathy Atherton

There is a church in the Manor of Dorking mentioned in the Domesday Book. The medieval church of St Martin was probably built to replace it in the twelfth century when Manor and church were under the control of the de Warenne family, to whom the manor had been given by William II. In the fourteenth century the church was conveyed to the Priory of the Holy Cross in Reigate.

The church was extended in the fourteenth century and in the seventeenth century it was also used as a school house.

Between 1835 and 1837 the nave was rebuilt with iron pillars, leaving the chancel unused at a lower level. This church was known as the Intermediate church.

Between 1866 and 1868 the chancel was rebuilt. (It is now known as the Forman chancel.) As this clashed with the iron nave the nave and aisles were also rebuilt between 1872 and 1874. Between 1873 and 1877 the new tower, 210ft spire and bells were added. The Lady Chapel extension was completed in 1912. In the heart of the town, St Martins dominates its surroundings.

With expansion of the town, St Pauls church was built in 1857 to the design of Benjamin Ferrey who also designed the vicarage.

St Josephs Roman Catholic church in Falkland Grove was built in 1895 to the design of Frederick Arthur Walters. The site was donated by the Roman Catholic Duke of Norfolk who also made a contribution to the cost of building.

3 Responses to Dorking: St Martin’s

  1. Mark Biggs says:

    I am tracing my family history (BIGGS). My relatives were buried in St.Martin\’s? around 1765. They were non-conformist, West Street Independent. Does any one have information of any of the above

    Kind Regards

  2. Peter says:

    I have a question: How would you describe the architectural style of St. Martins?

  3. St Martin\\\’s, or at least the 1868-73 construction, is the work of Henry Woodyer, who was a Gothic revival architect. Pevsner, in Buildings of England (Surrey), states that this is Woodyer\\\’s most important church – a high acolade as Pevsner is usually very scathing about Surrey buildings – he says it has \\\”splendid proportions and oddly underplayed detail\\\”.

    I would recommend the book \\\”Henry Woodyer, Gentleman Architect\\\” which is available in many Surrey Libraries.

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