The village is situated in south Surrey, close to the revised boundary with West Sussex, 3 miles south-west of Horley and near to the busy Gatwick airport. It is on relatively flat land away from the lower parts of the Mole valley but below the steeper slopes of Stan Hill and Russ Hill.
The parish church of St. Nicholas has a Norman framework altered and restored in later times. The screen is said to be almost the only sizeable piece of medieval woodwork in the county and there is an interesting 13th century wall painting depicting the story of St. Margaret. The church has a stone causeway in the churchyard. Probably from the 17th century or earlier, it was designed to protect churchgoers from mud.
The village remained compact until the mid-19th century and was of considerable size for the district. The iron industry of the Weald had been an influence on the life of the area in the 16th and 17th centuries, and Charlwood was one of the ironworking parishes exempted from the Act of Elizabeth I’s reign against the cutting of timber of a certain size. Large quantities of timber were needed to provide the charcoal fuel for the furnaces.
Gradual expansion has taken place over the years particularly to the east of the historic centre. Around the church the character of the place has largely been retained and this part is a conservation area.
Click here to see the catalogue of the St Nicholas, Charlwood, Parish Records and Charlwood Civil Parish Records (1595-1974) held at the Surrey History Centre.