The village lies at the west side of the valley of Cranleigh Water, a tributary of the River Wey, 3 miles south of Guildford. The valley has been successively used by road, canal and railway routes, of which only the main road (A281) now remains. The location of the village is enhanced by Hurst Hill to the south and Chinthurst Hill to the north-east.
The village seems to have been little more than a small settlement in an agricultural area. A tributary stream to Cranleigh Water to the west supported two mills within a half mile of the centre. Bramley Mill was converted into a residence in the 1930s and Snowdenham Mill was working until the late 1940s.
In 1816 the Wey and Arun Junction Canal was opened to the east of Bramley, but despite being the only inland waterway between London and the South Coast it never achieved any great prosperity.
The opening of the Guildford to Horsham railway in 1865 was of more significance locally, and since then the village has slowly expanded to east and south, with some redevelopment within the historic centre. The High Street has several interesting buildings of antiquity.
Click here to see the catalogue of the Bramley Civil Parish Records (1688-1958) held at the Surrey History Centre.