Great Bookham

nicOne of the chain of settlements along the line of springs below the North Downs, Great Bookham is an important local centre to the south-west of Leatherhead. The main road to Guildford (A246) is closely paralleled by Lower Road, and the High Street link provides the core of the present village centre.

Polesden Lacey, a Grade II* country house, now National Trust property and office, was built in 1821-24, by Thomas Cubitt, for Joseph Bonsor in Neo-Classical style. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth honeymooned here.

The village is recorded in the Domesday Survey of 1086 among the properties of Chertsey Abbey, and it has been suggested that in later years Bookham became more prosperous as Leatherhead was declining from its ancient status as County Town. It has subsequently undergone the gradual change from medieval village to suburban village, and evolved its present character. There is a simple, regular plan, a narrow High Street with a gradual rise to the south, and several properties of antiquity and interest, which combine to make this an attractive and popular centre.

The church of St. Nicolas has some 11th century parts but was substantially enlarged in the 12th century. It was later altered and restored, particularly in Victorian times, and has an important series of brasses, ledger stones and mural monuments from the 14th to the 19th centuries.

The Church of St. Nicholas, 1915. Stained glass in the east window is said to be 15th century Flemish, from Costessy Hall in Norfolk. Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 7172

The Church of St. Nicolas, 1915.
Stained glass in the east window
is said to be 15th century Flemish,
from Costessy Hall in Norfolk
Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 7172

Click here to see the catalogue of the St Nicolas, Great Bookham, Parish Records (1631-1955) held at the Surrey History Centre.

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