Wotton, Surrey

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Waterfall, Upper Tilling Valley. - geograph.org.uk - 136653.jpg
Waterfall, Upper Tilling Valley
Above Logmore Green - geograph.org.uk - 589183.jpg
View towards Dorking, the Cotmandene (right), Box Hill and the Botley Hill escarpment of the North Downs (left) from part of Wotton. This shows how the centre of Wotton is in a narrow part of the 'Vale of Holmesdale' which is not a single vale.
Wotton is located in Surrey
 Wotton shown within Surrey
Area  22.43 km2 (8.66 sq mi)
Population 583 (Civil Parish)[1]
   – density  26/km2 (67/sq mi)
OS grid reference TQ1348
Civil parish Wotton
District Mole Valley
Shire county Surrey
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Dorking
Postcode district RH5
Dialling code 01306
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Mole Valley
List of places

Coordinates: 51°13′08″N 0°23′17″W / 51.219°N 0.388°W / 51.219; -0.388

Wotton /ˈwʊtən/ is a well-wooded parish with one main settlement, a small village mostly south of the A25 between Guildford in the west and Dorking in the east. The nearest village with a small number of shops is Westcott. Wotton lies in a narrow valley, collecting the headwaters of the Tilling Bourne which then has its first combined flow in the Vale of Holmesdale. The parish is long north to south, reaching to the North Downs escarpment (and the North Downs Way) in the north to the escarpment of the Greensand Ridge at Leith Hill in the south.


The civil parish of Wotton[2] is wholly within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and includes the small village itself, the smaller settlement Friday Street, Leith Hill to the south and Ranmore Common to the north. Wotton lies in a small north then west facing valley, amassing the headwaters of the Tilling Bourne joining together in what becomes the west of the Vale of Holmesdale. The parish is long north to south, reaching to the North Downs escarpment (and the North Downs Way) in the north. To the south it reaches as far as the escarpment of the Greensand Ridge at Leith Hill.[3]


St John's Church, Wotton

Wotton appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Odetone. It was held by Osuuold (Oswold). Its domesday assets were: 5 hides; 1 mill worth 1s 8d, 10 ploughs, 3 acres (12,000 m2) of meadow, woodland and herbage worth 73 hogs. It rendered £7 and a half (10s) per year to its overlords, a modest drop since the Norman Conquest.[4][5]

John Evelyn, the diarist was born at Wotton House in 1620, which includes two grottos in the grounds. In 1694 he moved in as the main legatee. Wotton House was a training college for the Fire Service and then, after being empty for nearly 13 years, has been turned into a hotel and conference centre with over 100 bedrooms. Three areas of the House remain in the original layout and architectural style, and the hotel has a building and grounds of historic importance from the 17th century. Its unusually highly II* graded (listed above the grade many comparable parks achieve) garden and architecture for example are well documented. It has an orangery with decorative parapet and banded piers, terracotta decorations on brickwork, octagonal turrets and stacks, winged gryphons on the porch and Jean Derraux Chinese panels. Further information on Wotton House can be found in a separate article.[6][7][8][9]

The parish church of St John the Evangelist is situated in the scattered hamlet of Wotton at the end of Church Lane overlooking a broad sweep of the North Downs. The parish itself is a long finger stretching from the foot of the North Downs to Friday Street. The church dates back to Saxon times, although only a few of the original footings now remain to the west of the Norman tower. Much of the church was of necessity restored in Victorian times, but there are still many interesting original features to see.[10]

Demography, economy and housing[edit]

At the census of 2011 there were 583 people forming 244 households in the parish.[2] 456 persons are aged 16–74 of which 59 work in extractive or manufacturing industries and 55 run a business. There is significant gravel quarrying in the region. 94 people walk/cycle to work or work at home and 34 people use public transport to travel to work.[11]

The Wotton House hotel constitutes the largest employer, with many of the farms being arable owing to the rich soil, and it caters for large weddings as well as providing business meetings and luxurious facilities. To the north and south, on the North Downs and Leith Hill, the land is owned by the National Trust.

2011 Census Homes
Output area Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes shared between households[1]
(Civil Parish) 136 71 27 10 1 0

The average level of accommodation in the region composed of detached houses was 28%, the average that was apartments was 22.6%.

2011 Census Key Statistics
Output area Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan hectares[1]
(Civil Parish) 583 245 30.2% 18.8% 2,243

The proportion of households in the civil parish who owned their home outright compares to the regional average of 35.1%. The proportion who owned their home with a loan compares to the regional average of 32.5%. The remaining % is made up of rented dwellings (plus a negligible % of households living rent-free).

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]