This village may have grown in association with the ancient Newark Priory about a mile to the north. The parish church of St. Mary has a Norman chancel dating from about 1160 and includes an elaborate and most unusual stringcourse below the windows carved in Caen stone. Ripley lies between Kingston and Guildford some 6 miles from the latter astride the main road (A3).
The village developed with the through trade of the London-Portsmouth route, and numerous inns were established here from at least the 16th century. Improvements to the road resulted from a Turnpike Act of 1784 and the village grew with the increased activity this produced. The Anchor Hotel was a great destination for early cyclists.
An interesting feature and important amenity is Ripley Green, which was left open, when other local commons were enclosed, for the pleasure of the village and for certain local householders to feed their livestock. It is now owned by the County Council.
Ripley’s layout has an interesting elongated form running with the line of the main road and broken on the north side by small parts of Ripley Green. Rose Lane and Newark Lane provide a local crossroads and there are numerous buildings of architectural or historic interest. The opening of the A3 by-pass provided much-needed relief to what is one of Surrey’s larger and more interesting village centres.