The church of St Mary Magdalene sits to the west of the Horsham road directly opposite what was the great carriage drive to Holmwood House (later Holmwood Park).
It was largely endowed by Mrs Charlotte Larpent of Holmwood House and her mother, Mary Ann Arnold. Designed by John Burges Watson, it was built in 1838. The original church was a small, simple and pleasingly rustic church, seating only 275. It had neither spire nor tower. A modest vicarage by the same architect was built for the first vicar, the Reverend John Sutton Utterton, the following year. The vicarage was much enlarged during the time of the next incumbent, Edmund Dawe Wickham, an independently wealthy man with a large family.
The parish of Holmwood was created from parts of Dorking and Capel parishes. Part of the parish was removed when Coldharbour parish was created in 1848, with a swathe of land to the north being added in recompense. In 1874, when North Holmwood parish was established, that area was removed.
In 1842 a chancel was added, designed by James William Wild. This added 150 to the seating capacity. So much has the church been extended, with the addition of a tower, that it is now scarcely recognisable as the simple church of 1838.
The church contains memorials or commemorative windows to John Gough Nichols, the antiquarian publisher of The Gentlemans Magazine, and to Admiral Sir Leopold Heath. George Rennie, the civil engineer and bridge builder, is buried in the churchyard, as is porn star Mary Millington.