At the north end of the Mole Gap, formed by the river Mole cutting through the North Downs, Leatherhead occupies a central and accessible location within the historic county of Surrey.
The County Court was held here until Henry III (1216-72) removed it to Guildford and in 1588 the County Justices met here to consider what measures should be taken if the Spanish Armada were to land forces.
The parish church of St. Mary and St. Nicholas (click the link to see the Historic Environment Record for the church) has been much added to and restored, and gets its unusual dedication from 1345 when it became the property of a Priory of this name at Leeds, Kent. It sits at the southern edge of the historic centre in an open and prominent position.
Click here to see the catalogue of the St Mary and St Nicholas, Leatherhead, Parish Records (1706-1941) held at the Surrey History Centre.
The streets within the centre form a staggered road junction whose importance to the townscape is enhanced by the gradual rise up from the fine 18th century bridge over the river Mole. The older properties are tight against the footpaths to produce narrow, gently curving views.
St John’s school was founded at St Johns Wood, London, in 1851, and transferred to Leatherhead in 1872; the main building was gutted by fire in 1913, and rebuilt in 1914.