Start Exploring…

Use Exploring Surreys Past to help you find out more about your local history and archaeology

Read pages telling you about the People, Places and Times that have helped shape the county. You can find these by searching, or by browsing the People, Places and Times sections.

Search databases which store a huge amount of information about Surreys past. Find descriptions of archive documents, archaeological sites, museum objects or photographs. Use the Contact Us link from the relevant page, to find out more about any item described.

Add your own comments to Exploring Surrey’s Past. There are plenty of places to

have_your_say have your say on individual database records, or by adding to the People, Places and Times themes.

We hope you find something of interest. Let us know what else you would like to see.

Getting Started-

Start searching using the Search  box at the top of the page – enter a keyword or phrase to search theme pages and database records.There are tips to help you on our Help with Searching Page.
Image of search box at top of page

The search result list may include articles or People, Places and Times themes. Read these for a general introduction to the topic. These have been contributed by Surrey Heritage, societies, groups and individual researchers.

Records which match your search term(s) will appear below the themes. These records may come from a number of different places

  • Archives from Surrey History Centre

Use records from databases of the archives held by Surrey History Centre to find out about the business, economic, religious, social and sporting history of the county. As well as the catalogues of the archives, the databases include Francis Frith photographs, sale particulars, illustrations, library periodicals and journals, printed maps, the Robert Barclay collection of Surrey illustrations, and Tudor letters of the More family of Loseley. All these can be seen at Surrey History Centre, Woking. However an increasing number of database records have images attached.

Find out more about the archives databases…

  • Archaeology records from the Historic Environment Record (or HER)

Find out about archaeological monuments, historic sites, listed buildings, historic parks and gardens and finds of interest near you. The HER also contains details of recent archaeological work, carried out in advance of building development. Each record features a brief summary of a site of archaeological interest, and an aerial photograph showing its location.

Find out more about the HER and archaeology…

  • Museum records from 6 different museum catalogues from around the county

View database records describing objects of importance to the social history of Surrey. There are records from Bourne Hall Museum at Ewell, East Surrey Museum at Caterham, Godalming Museum, the Rural Life Centre at Tilford and the Lightbox, Woking. There are also images and descriptions of some of the coins and tokens in Surrey museums. If you would like to know more, click on the Contact Us link below a database record to contact the museum which holds the object.

Find out more about Surrey’s museums…

  • Local History Records from Local History Centres in Surrey Libraries

Some Local History Centres in Surrey Libraries are making images available. Currently you can see some of these from the collection at Caterham and District Local History Centre.

Find out more about Local History in Surrey…

All of the search results are colour coded to help you find what you are looking for. You can choose to narrow your search by using one of the category buttons at the top of the search results page. You can also try our Advanced Search. This lets you search an individual database using who, what, where and when search terms.
Image showing location of Advanced Search button


A search will also find books that might be of interest, located in the local studies library at Surrey History Centre, Woking. You can find out more about Surrey Libraries at

Contact Us

There are plenty of places on the site to have your say. If you know more about specific sites, documents, objects or photographs you can add your comment on each record. If you have more information on your local area please let us know!

If you would like to contact the project team, you will find full details here.

Also see our Get Involved pages for more details of how to be involved with the project.

3 thoughts on “Start Exploring…”

  1. John Lindsay says:

    Sorry, where is the search all records box? It isn’t that little box on this page.

    I have looked at the HER page, and commented there. I’m glad though that there has been persistence on the data in the fields above, and on the tick box below, which led me to make all the mistakes I referred to elsewhere.

  2. John Lindsay says:

    ah, is it the black thing at the top, which doesn’t look like the little diagram at all, and is so small, and above the bar, and written in pale grey. that I didn’t even see it until I have been wandering around for nearly half an hour?

    Let’s try that now, with what is called a keyword.

  3. Amy says:

    Good Afternoon,

    Are you guys open at the moment?

    Thanks – Amy

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