The Daily Express is a daily national middle-market tabloid newspaper in the United Kingdom. It is the flagship of a subsidiary of Northern & Shell, it was first published as a broadsheet in 1900 by Sir Arthur Pearson. Its sister paper, the Sunday Express, was launched in 1918. In February 2019, it had an average daily circulation of 315,142; the paper was acquired by Richard Desmond in 2000. Hugh Whittow was the editor from February 2011 until he retired in March 2018. Gary Jones took over as editor-in-chief in March 2018; the paper's editorial stances have been seen as aligned to the UK Independence Party and other right-wing factions including the right-wing of the Conservative Party. On 9 February 2018, Trinity Mirror said it would acquire the Daily Express' parent company and Shell Media, in a deal worth £126.7m. In addition to its sister paper, Express Newspapers publishes the red top newspapers the Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday; the Daily Express was founded in 1900 by Sir Arthur Pearson, with the first issue appearing on 24 April 1900.
Pearson, who had lost his sight to glaucoma in 1913, sold the title to the future Lord Beaverbrook in 1916. It was one of the first papers to place news instead of advertisements on its front page, carried gossip and women's features, it was the first in Britain to have a crossword puzzle. The Express began printing in Manchester in 1927. In 1931 it moved to 120 a specially commissioned art deco building. Under Beaverbrook, the paper set, its success was due to aggressive marketing campaign and a circulation war with other populist newspapers. Arthur Christiansen became editor in October 1933. Under his direction sales climbed from two million in 1936 to four million in 1949, he retired in 1957. The paper featured Alfred Bestall's Rupert Bear cartoon and satirical cartoons by Carl Giles which it began publishing in the 1940s. On 24 March 1933, "Judea Declares War on Germany", was published. During the late 1930s, the paper advocated the appeasement policies of the Chamberlain government, due to the influence of Lord Beaverbrook.
The ruralist author Henry Williamson wrote for the paper on many occasions for half a century the whole of his career. He wrote for the Sunday Express at the beginning of his career. In 1938, the publication moved to the Daily Express Building, Manchester designed by Owen Williams on the same site in Great Ancoats Street, it opened a similar building in Glasgow in 1936 in Albion Street. Glasgow printing ended in Manchester in 1989 on the company's own presses. Johnston Press has a five-year deal, begun in March 2015, to print the northern editions of the Daily Express, Daily Star, Sunday Express and the Daily Star Sunday at its Dinnington site in Sheffield; the Scottish edition is printed by facsimile in Glasgow by contract printers, the London editions at Westferry Printers. In March 1962, Beaverbrook was attacked in the House of Commons for running "a sustained vendetta" against the British Royal Family in the Express titles. In the same month, the Duke of Edinburgh described the Express as "a bloody awful newspaper.
It is full of lies and imagination. It is a vicious paper." At the height of Beaverbrook's control, in 1948, he told a Royal Commission on the press that he ran his papers "purely for the purpose of making propaganda". The arrival of television, the public's changing interests, took their toll on circulation, following Beaverbrook's death in 1964, the paper's circulation declined for several years. During this period, the Express alone among mainstream newspapers, was vehemently opposed to entry into what became the European Economic Community; as a result of the rejuvenation of the Daily Mail under David English and the emergence of The Sun under Rupert Murdoch and editorship of Larry Lamb, average daily sales of the Express dropped below four million in 1967, below three million in 1975, below two million in 1984. The Daily Express switched from broadsheet to tabloid in 1977, was bought by the construction company Trafalgar House in the same year, its publishing company, Beaverbrook Newspapers, was renamed Express Newspapers.
In 1982, Trafalgar House spun off its publishing interests to a new company, Fleet Holdings, under Lord Matthews, but this succumbed to a hostile takeover by United Newspapers in 1985. Under United, the Express titles moved from Fleet Street to Blackfriars Road in 1989. Express Newspapers was sold to publisher Richard Desmond in 2000, the names of the newspapers reverted to Daily Express and Sunday Express. In 2004, the newspaper moved to its present location on Lower Thames Street in the City of London. On 31 October 2005, UK Media Group Entertainment Rights secured majority interest from the Daily Express for Rupert Bear, they paid £6 million for a 66.6% control of the character. The Express retains minority interest of one-third plus the right to publish Rupert Bear stories in certain Express publications. In 2000, Express Newspapers was bought by Richard Desmond, publisher of celebrity magazine OK!, for £125 million. Controversy surrounded the deal since Desmond owned softcore pornography magazines.
As a result, many staff left, including columnist Peter Hitchens. Hitchens moved to The Mail on Sunday, saying working for the new owner was a moral conflict of interest since he had always attacked the pornographic magazines that Desmond published. Despite their divergent politics, Desmond respected Hitchens. In 2007, Express Newspape
Ashford is a town and suburb of London entirely in the Surrey borough of Spelthorne, but with a small part in the London Borough of Hounslow, England. Residential, Ashford is 13 1⁄2 miles WSW of Charing Cross, forms part of the London commuter belt, with a minor stop on the Waterloo to Reading Line and has a long commercial high street, it is centred 2 1⁄2 miles south of London Heathrow Airport, to which a portion of its economy relates, including business premises relating to aviation and the distribution of air freight – the main cargo depot being next to an adjoining village, Stanwell. Part of Middlesex, the town's wards have been part of Surrey since Middlesex County Council was abolished in 1965; the current railway services provider uses the present or past county variously throughout its stations and trains. A leading gymnastics club, HMP Bronzefield and one of the sites of Brooklands College are in the town. Ashford Hospital began as Ashford's workhouse. Ashford Common has a parade of shops and is a more residential ward that includes part of the Queen Mary Reservoir and all of its related water treatment works, contiguous with and subsidiary to the town itself.
Ashford consists of low density low and medium rise buildings, none of them being high rise. If excluding apartments most houses are semi-detached. Ashford is defined along its northern edge by a dual carriageway and extends no more than 1⁄4 mile beyond another parallel to the southern boundary, it centrally includes a short section of another and has a driving test centre that serves a wide area. Junctions of the UK's motorway network are 3 1⁄2 miles and 2 miles from its borders and it has along the two main dual carriageways official dealers of Ford, Citroën and Suzuki. On two of the eight chief compass points the town is buffered by green space which covers just over 1 square mile and includes The Princes Club, Bedfont Lakes and Shortwood Common. Ashford is in the flat alluvial plain formed by the historic courses of the River Thames on fertile but gravelly soil in centuries past covered by deciduous forest for wood gathering, with clearings of meadow for pasture and to a lesser extent arable farming to supply the London market.
In common with western fringes of Greater London, gravel commences within a metre of the surface which has led to 20th-century gravel extraction, which has formed the lakes to the north of the railway line. The extreme west is Shortwood Common converted to a recreation ground, Ashford Park School, a cemetery. North of this is the pair of Staines Reservoirs, the other green buffer is The Princes Club, Bedfont Lakes, spanning the northeast border; the area includes postally much of Queen Mary Reservoir named after the wife of George V, Mary of Teck. Most of the land is devoted to suburban and low-rise urban housing – as well as recreational areas, green belt in part of the Bedfont/Feltham fringe exists in the form of meadows used for walking, horse grazing and equestrianism around Feltham Young Offenders' Institution. A few parks such as the Ashford Reservoirs or Spelthorne Park are remnants of Ashford Common which give the eastern part of the town a reminder of its past status as a grazing common.
In The Clumps, 37 houses in the Ashford post town, which has the postcode TW15, are in the London Borough of Hounslow, Greater London, alongside the Princes Club watersports lakes in Ashford post town but in East Bedfont, Feltham post town, London. The other road with this status is the western half of Challenge Road, which has only business addresses. Bronze Age artefacts have been found in Ashford giving rise to the name Bronzefield and a henge may have been present in that period; the settlement as indicated by its name but small assets just after the Norman Conquest was part agricultural settlement in Saxon times. Ashford appears on the Middlesex Domesday map as Exeforde, held by Count of Mortain, its Domesday assets were: meadow for 1 plough. It rendered 14s 0d. Throughout the early medieval period the place was referred to as Echelford. A stone bridge was built over the ford in 1789 by the Hampton and Staines Turnpike Trust, part of, used as the rather scenic Fordbridge roundabout with its large weeping willow trees at the centre.
Ashford Common was a large area of common land in the south and east of the town that the British Army used for military displays in the reign of George III. It was inclosed in 1809. Ashford Manor Golf Club was established in 1902 at the property, the Manor Farm House but the large manorial estate and manor house that were held by Solomon Abraham Hart from 1870 to 1882 had before 1902 been broken up among many small owners, all trace of the manor house was lost; however the title of Lord of the Manor was acquired by Scott Freeman in 1890, after passing to another partner of the solicitors Horne, Engall Freeman the title passed in more recent times to Russell Grant. Ashford's housing stock is modern, with chiefly a mixture of detached and semi-detached housing built between 1885 and 1960; the Welsh School was founded in 1857. Its building north of Ashford railway station is Gothic Revival, designed by
The Teesside Gazette is a newspaper serving the Teesside area of England. It is published by the Gazette Media Company Ltd, a regional arm of the Reach plc group; the Teesside Gazette is published in Middlesbrough, along with many other publications. The Gazette Media Company Ltd is well-known locally for being the publisher of the free Herald & Post newspaper; the Teesside Gazette is the most popular daily newspaper in Teesside, has been an integral part of life in the area since 1869, when it was founded as the North-Eastern Daily Gazette by the Scot, eventual Liberal Member of Parliament for Aston Manor, Hugh Gilzean Reid. It was at this time, that a first premises were established on Zetland Road, Middlesbrough. Historical copies of the Daily Gazette, dating back to 1870, are available to search and view in digitised form at The British Newspaper Archive; the Teesside Gazette occupied the Gazette building on Borough Road in the centre of Middlesbrough for 80 years. This houses the editorial staff as well as various operational departments such as advertising and newspaper sales.
There is a further Gazette Media Company site on the Riverside Industrial Estate which houses a printing press. Teesside Gazette changed the title of its cover page from "Evening Gazette" to "The Gazette" in 2014 after the company began releasing the newspaper to newsagents on mornings instead of evenings as it had done previously, it provides local news, but covers national and sports news as well as having various supplements relating to lifestyle and events. Many local newspapers in the mid-20th century produced a special sports edition on Saturday evening. Before football results were available on television and radio such editions were the source of results for players of the football pools. Serious players needed the results as soon as possible since, on afternoons where there were few matches ending in a draw, the payouts from the pools would be large and claims would have to be made typically by telegram. While the regular evening edition "went to bed" in mid afternoon, if not earlier, the sports edition had to be on news stands as soon as possible after the conclusion of football games across the country.
Most games concluded around 4:45 p.m.. The sports edition was available by 6 p.m. It was popular with newsagents who capitalized on the rush of customers its appearance generated to sell cigarettes and other "impulse buys"; the edition was small compared to the regular edition as few as 3 broadsheets, making 12 pages when folded. Plenty of space was devoted to advertising, as well as lists of results and short descriptions of games. In the 1960s the Gazette began printing the sports edition on pink newsprint. Soon the edition began to be known as "the Pink". To encourage people to buy the sports edition, at a time when television was affecting its sales, competitions were run "In the Pink" with cash prizes. In a similar vein, a sports newspaper published in Sheffield is known as the "Green Un" for the green newsprint used. Official website Teesside Gazette on Twitter
Addlestone is a town in Surrey, just within the M25 18.6 miles southwest of London. Addlestone is home to the ancient Crouch Oak tree, under which it is said Queen Elizabeth I picnicked, it marked the edge of Windsor Forest before the forest was cut down to build towns. Chertsey is the adjoining town, in which it was included, Addlestone railway station is on the Chertsey Branch Line, it is home to parts of St George's College, Weybridge. Addlestone is a large village which owing to its size is referred to as a town, 18.6 miles southwest of London and 9.8 miles north-by-northeast Guildford. Narrow green buffers separate the town of Weybridge and town of Chertsey and a larger green buffer including a farm, M25 and a golf course separates the village of Ottershaw. No fixed southern boundary with New Haw exists which has had signs at various points but not on all approaches After the 2001 census the place was approximatively interpreted by the county council as home to 16,657 residents in 7,281 homes, whereas neighbouring Chertsey was interpreted as having 11,766 inhabitants, Egham having 11,179 inhabitants and Englefield Green 11,180 inhabitants, prompting a publication by the district council, not only the administrative town of Runnymede but making a case that it is, the largest single settlement.
The population of the two wards Addlestone North and Addlestone Bournside was 11,501 in 2011. Populations of associated wards, New Haw and'Chertsey South and Row Town' were 5,757 and 5,328 respectively; the four wards have their own semi-permanent profiles: Addlestone Bourneside has the greatest proportion of rented homes, Addlestone North that of rented homes. Housing in Chertsey South and Row Town, Row Town was, in 2011, 86% owner-occupied with or without a loan, the third highest proportion in Runnymede. Offices and factories are below the local averages for areas within the M25 – the most common land use being parks, playing fields, flood meadows/woodland and golf courses in the form of Green Belt buffer land mentioned; the M25 motorway accounts for the large proportion of land devoted to roads for the density of population and housing. The name Addlestone means "Attel's Denu": the valley belonging to a Saxon named Attel. Addlestone called Atlesdon or Atlesford, was a part of Chertsey ecclesiastical parish, the basic unit of civil administration.
In 1241 the place was listed as "Attelsdene" and by 1610 John Speed's map shows "Adleston", halfway between named hills St. Annhill and St. Georg Hill, just south of the Thames; the Crouch Oak, an oak tree believed to have originated in the 11th Century, is an important symbol of the town. It used to mark the boundary of Windsor Great Park. Legend says that Queen Elizabeth I had a picnic; the tree is one of the main historic features of the town, several local businesses use its name in their title. It survived an arson attack in September 2007. Ongar Hill, in the 18th century a country house and farm now smaller homes and motorway, belonged to Vice-Admiral Sir Hyde Parker the elder instrumental in the Seven Years' War against Spanish interests in India and the Philippines and in the American War of Independence involved with action containing French forces based in Martinique. Sayes Court, now a junior school and residential estate before demolition was a country house of a family named Moore from the 17th to the end of the 18th century.
In 1823 it became the property of Sir Charles Wetherell, Recorder of Bristol, who had it rebuilt or at least altered. Addlestone, including St George's College's grounds of Woburn Park and the remaining farms and water meadows designated Green Belt were the western strip of Chertsey Manor or Chertsey Beomond Manor, possessed by Chertsey Abbey from the grant of land by Frithwald, subregulus of Surrey, at a date between the years 666 and 675 CE until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Adam de Woburn lived at Woburn Park in 1260Only thirteen years after 1537 the Crown was content to lease the land rather than continue with a steward so Sir William Fitz William held the whole Chertsey Beomond manor from 1550–1574. During the Commonwealth of England, the government sold the manor to William Aspinall who sold 292 trees of Birch Wood there for the Navy. For example, from 1779–1803 the Duke of Bridgwater held it and from an unknown date until 1827 the British Commander-in-Chief Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, famed for the nursery rhyme and the Duke of York Column by St James's Palace and Carlton Terrace was tenant of the lands.
In the 1740s, the famed gardener, Philip Southcote, chose to construct a two-storey house. Now a Grade II listed building, it was named Woburn Park, with an original ornamented farm on Woburn Hill with fields for cattle or crops, decorated with statues, vases, temples and other features, much of which survives as part of St George's College; the subsequent owners of Woburn Park were: 1783 Lord Petre 1816 Vice Admiral Charles Stirling, listed in deeds as Admiral Stirling but Vice-Admiral 1834 Lord and Lady King Lord Lovelace 1862 Lord Kilmorey Chert
Leatherhead is a town in Surrey, England on the right bank of the River Mole, at the edge of the contiguous built-up area of London. Its local district is Mole Valley. Records exist of the place from Anglo Saxon England, it has a combined theatre and cinema, at the centre of the re-modelling following late 20th century pedestrianisation. The streets bypassing the town centre feature in the annual London-Surrey cycle classic. Just north-east of the midpoint of Surrey and at a junction of ancient north–south and east–west roads, elements of the town have been a focus for transport throughout its history. A main early spur to this was the construction of the bridge over the seasonally navigable River Mole in the early medieval period; the Swan Hotel provided 300 years of service to horse-drawn coaches. In the late 20th century the M25 motorway was built nearby. Leatherhead is typical of many towns which form part of the London commuter belt with many residents commuting daily into the capital; the origins of the town of Leatherhead are Anglo-Saxon.
Ashtead lay within the Copthorne hundred by the formation of the Kingdom of England. Leatherhead Museum has traced the history of the town from its beginnings in about AD 880 when it was known as Leodridan meaning "place where people ride " in the Anglo-Saxon. In the Domesday Book of 1086 it was called Leret. Forms recorded are "Lereda", "Ledreda", "Leddrede"; the early settlement appears to have grown up on the east side of the River Mole: the site of an Anglo-Saxon burial ground is identified on the west side of the river at Hawk's Hill. A view from the University of Sussex has been put forward that the Anglo-Saxon form was distorted from a Celtic form whose Welsh equivalent is Llwyd-rhyd = "grey ford". Within 2 miles there is evidence of pre-historic and Celtic hillfarming on the North Downs to the east and south - the Druid's Grove, Norbury Park being a possible example of a place of pre-Christian pagan gathering. To the east of the town is the line of Stane Street, an old Roman road. Most of it is used as woodland and hillside footpaths.
The road leads from London to Chichester. Landscape features including barrows beside the A246 provide evidence for a second late Romano-British road that ran for some miles from Stane Street in the east, close to Ashtead Church, crossing the Mole at Leatherhead Bridge, to the present road junction close to Effingham Church. Here it veered more true west and continued in another straight line to Merrow Church, crossing the River Wey near Guildford Bridge; the road existed by late Saxon times and all the medieval churches between Leatherhead and Guildford lie within a few yards of this route. Work on the parish church was started some time in the 11th century. Many parts were added with a major restoration taking place in the Victorian era. Leatherhead appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Leret, it was held by Osbern de Ow. Its Domesday assets were: 1 church, belonging to Ewell, with 40 acres, it rendered £1. Pachesham within Leatherhead appears in Domesday Book as Pachesham, it was held by Hugo from the Bishop of Lisieux.
Its domesday assets were: 3 virgates. It had part of 2 mills worth 4 ploughs, 5 acres of meadow, woodland worth 3 hogs, it rendered a low £3 10s 0d per year to its feudal system overlords. A market serving the developing agricultural economy developed at the crossroads and in 1248, Henry III granted to Leatherhead a weekly market and annual fair; the town survived an extensive fire in 1392, after which it was rebuilt. In common with many similar medieval towns, Leatherhead had a market house and set of stocks located at the junction of Bridge Street, North Street and High Street; the Running Horse pub is one of the oldest buildings in Leatherhead. It is at the southern approach to the town centre. History has it that Elizabeth I once spent a night at the inn when floods made the River Mole impossible to cross. During the Elizabethan and Stuart periods, the town was associated with several notable people. Edmund Tylney, Master of the Revels, in effect the official censor of the time to Queen Elizabeth I, lived in Leatherhead's Mansion.
A Wetherspoons pub in High Street is now named after him. Another notable local noble was Sir Thomas Bloodworth of nearby Thorncroft Manor, Lord Mayor of London during the Great Fire of London in 1666. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, preached his last sermon in Leatherhead on 23 February 1791. Leatherhead saw much expansion, with two major railways linked to it. In the 1870s, a group of clergymen built the private St John's School in the town, it has produced a number of famous pupils.. The Letherhead Institute was built; the spelling was said, throughout much of Victorian times. Cherkley Court was a home of 1st Baron Beaverbrook. Once parish industries included Ronson's Lighters and Goblin Vacuum Cleaners. Both were used as ammunition plants in the Second World War. Most of the assembly plants pulled out of Leatherhead in the late 1970s or early 1980s, in favour of commerce and distribution. In the 1940s and'50s Leatherhead/Ashtead was made home to a Remploy factory, designed to provide work for disabled people in the local area.
On 22 May 2007, Remploy announced that the Leatherhead factory along with 42 other sites would close. In the late 1970s and early'80s, Mole Valley District Council modernised the town, with a pedestrianised high street and a large one-way system. In 1986, the town was
Esher is a town in Surrey, England, to the east of the River Mole. Esher is an outlying suburb of London, with Esher Commons at its southern end, the town marks one limit of the Greater London Built-Up Area. Esher has a linear commercial high street and is otherwise suburban in density, with varying elevations, few high rise buildings and short sections of dual carriageway within the ward itself. Esher covers 15.4 miles southwest of Charing Cross. In the south it is bounded by the A3 Portsmouth Road, of urban motorway standard and buffered by the Esher Commons. Esher is bisected by the A307 the Portsmouth Road, which for 1 mile forms its high street. Esher railway station connects the town to London Waterloo. Sandown Park Racecourse is in the town near the station. In the south, Claremont Landscape Garden owned and managed by the National Trust, once belonged, as their British home, to Princess Charlotte and her husband Leopold I of Belgium. Accordingly, the town was selected to have a fountain by Queen Victoria and has an adjacent Diamond Jubilee column embossed with a relief of the monarch and topped by a statue of Britannia.
Unite, the union, trains representatives at its Esher Place centre, the town has the offices of Elmbridge Borough Council in its high street. Esher lay within the Saxon feudal division of Elmbridge hundred. Esher appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Aissela and Aissele, where it is held by the Abbey of the Cross in Normandy, its domesday assets were: 6 ploughs and 2 acres of meadow. It rendered £6 2s 0d per year to its feudal overlords. In the 16th century King Henry VIII annexed several of the manors to the Honour of Hampton Court to form a royal hunting ground, new residences were permitted by a number of wealthy courtesans. Esher's town grew as a stagecoach stop on the London–Portsmouth road, numbered the A3, although it was bypassed in the mid-1970s when it became the A307. Clive of India built the Claremont mansion and this became a royal residence used by Queen Victoria. In 1841 Esher had 1261 inhabitants across 2,075 acres. Queen Victoria lent Claremont to the exiled French King Louis-Philippe and his consort Queen Marie-Amelie after the revolution of 1848.
Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg lived there until he became King of the Belgians By 1908, Esher contained the fashionable residences of several important figures including Lady Emma Talbot. C. M. G. Who was created 1st Viscount D'Abernon. George Harrison of the Beatles had a house in Esher, during the 1960s; the other Beatles were regular visitors to the house, Harrison's primitive home recording studio. Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees owned a house called The Firs in Esher, during 1970s-2004 and sold after his death; this is where the hit single "Juliet" was written and recorded by Maurice & Robin for brother Robin's solo album project in the 1980s. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, placed the murder of fictional character, Mr. Garcia, in and around Esher in his Sherlock Holmes mystery, "The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge". In the mystery, Dr. Watson described his and Sherlock Holmes' arrival in Esher by stating, "It was nearly six c'clock before we found ourselves in the pretty Surrey village of Esher, with Inspector Baynes as our companion."
Esher is within the Esher and Walton parliamentary constituency, represented by Dominic Raab, a member of the Conservative Party, since 2010. The predecessor Esher parliamentary constituency was replaced on boundary changes before the 1997 general election. Esher is part of the East Esher ward of Surrey County Council; the ward is represented by a Residents' association councillor. The town is covered by the Esher ward of Elmbridge Borough Council, which has elections in three years out of four represented by: Esher has a mix of state and private schools. There are four state primary schools across the area of Esher, Esher Church School, Hinchley Wood and Claygate. Esher Church of England High School is the state secondary school in the town of Esher. Hinchley Wood School in Hinchley Wood has been an Academy since February 2012. Hinchley Wood is one of the Further education establishments in the area. Esher College is in nearby Thames Ditton. Esher has office buildings in the High Street and its continuation, Portsmouth Road, which has a cluster of entertainment and dining venues.
Esher has a local farmers market held on one Saturday every month, moving forward one week each month. Vendors sell locally sourced produce and two riverside farms on the edge of town, one with large shop and grow-your-own are open to the public. A light smattering of small businesses in construction and landscaping pervades the town. A large hospice in Esher serves North Surrey, with field staff providing relief to cancer patients. Otherwise the town's residents do business or create products from home or elsewhere, such as in the M4 corridor and the City of London; the Everyman cinema is a central feature of Esher's High Street with four screens. Esher Rugby Club have several training grounds there. Esher Cricket Club play 1st and 2nd team matches in the Esher Park private estate, in New Road, have a youth cricket training and playing squad and have seven corporate sponsors. AFC Westend Football Club West End Cricket Club Esher Lawn Tennis Club have 5
Dorking is a market town in Surrey, England between Ranmore Common in the North Downs range of hills and Leith Hill in the Greensand Ridge, centred 21 miles from London. In the Georgian and Victorian periods six prominent sites in the former parish or on its boundaries became grand country estates: Leith Hill Place, Norbury Park, Polesden Lacey, Wotton House and Deepdene. Dorking is a commuter and retirement settlement with three railway stations and a few large offices of multinational companies. Malden in 1911, noted the place was "almost residential and agricultural, with some lime works on the chalk, though not so extensive as those in neighbouring parishes, a little brick-making, water-mills at Pixham Mill, timber and saw-mills". Fine sand in veins of pink, used for mortar and in glassmaking was dug in the 19th century — the Dorking Caves were accordingly excavated under southern parts of the town centre itself. Dorking chickens with short five-toed legs are a major local breed; the town has a local government headquarters and hosts repeating loops of the FIA-ranked London-Surrey cycle classic elite category event every year.
Dorking began to become more than an agricultural village as a small staging post on Stane Street, the Roman road between London and Chichester on the English Channel. Dorking appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as the Manor of Dorchinges, it was held by William the Conqueror. Its Domesday assets were: one church, three mills worth 15s 4d, 16 ploughs, 3 acres of meadow and herbage for 88 hogs, it rendered £18 per year to its feudal system overlords. Subsequent Lords of the Manor included the Dukes of Norfolk, who lived in Dorking until they moved to Arundel. One of them is buried in Dorking churchyard. In the medieval period, Dorking was a prosperous agricultural and market town with businesses, including milling and brewing, capitalising on its position on the junction of a number of long distance roads and local tracks. In 1750, the construction of a turnpike road made Dorking a staging post on the route to Brighton and the coast; the Bull's Head in South Street had a famous coachman, William Broad, whose portrait hangs in Dorking Museum in West Street.
An inn in the centre of Dorking, the White Horse, was developed in the 18th century. Dorking held a big wheat and cattle market in the High Street; the poultry market was held in the corner of round Butter Hill. Here the famous Dorking fowl were sold; this breed, which has five claws instead of the normal four, was a favourite for 19th century tables, including that of Queen Victoria. Dorking lost its stagecoaches when the railways arrived, but attracted wealthy residents who built large houses in and around the town, such as Denbies House and Pippbrook House. Surrounding land and beauty spots such as Cotmandene and Box Hill were donated by landowners for public use, protected by the Metropolitan Green Belt and the AONB designation of the North Downs and Greensand Ridge. Cotmandene is a 4.78 ha area of common land to the east of the town centre. Cricket matches were played on the heath during the 18th century and are recorded in Edward Beavan's 1777 poem Box Hill. A painting entitled A Cricket Match on Cotmandene, Dorking by the artist James Canter, dating to around 1770, is now held by the Marylebone Cricket Club.
A game resembling rugby was once played here. The two sides were unlimited in number, representing the west of the town; the goals were the two bridges on the Pipp Brook. The Town Crier stopped play at 6 pm; the game was "rioted" up and down the High Street. It ceased in 1897 after complaints by tradesmen and it was stopped under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835. Dorking was an urban district from 1894 to 1974. In 1911 it was described in the Victoria County History, compiled for the county that year and the next, as "almost residential and agricultural, with some lime works on the chalk, though not so extensive as those in neighbouring parishes, a little brick-making, water-mills at Pixham Mill, timber and saw-mills." The town is in the west of the area between hill ranges in southern England known as Holmesdale which has headwaters of several rivers. The town's geography is undulating; the Mole's nearest point to the town lies at 45 metres. Just northeast of the town the River Mole cuts a steep-sided valley through the North Downs.
On the west bank is Denbies Vineyard, the largest vineyard in the UK. On the east bank is Box Hill, owned by the National Trust and Britain's first Country Park; the hill has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, because of the large number of rare orchids which grow there in the summer. Further north is Norbury Park, which contains a forest of ancient yew trees. To the south west of the town is Leith Hill owned by the National Trust, the second highest point in the south east of England after Walbury Hill; the tower on the summit elevates the hill to 1,000 ft above sea level. The area is towards the east of the Surrey Hills AONB surrounded by the Greensand Ridge, including Holmbury Hill and Pitch Hill, as well as the nearby escarpment of the North Downs from Box Hill to Newlands Corner. A s