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Brockham - - 847331.jpg
Brockham viewed from the North Downs Way
Brockham Big Field - - 292983.jpg
Brockham Big Field: football and rugby with light surrounding woodland (NT)
Brockham is located in Surrey
Brockham shown within Surrey
Area 6.9 km2 (2.7 sq mi)
Population 2,868 2011
• Density 416/km2 (1,080/sq mi)
OS grid reference TQ2049
Civil parish
  • Brockham
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district RH3
Dialling code 01737
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°13′59″N 0°17′10″W / 51.233°N 0.286°W / 51.233; -0.286Coordinates: 51°13′59″N 0°17′10″W / 51.233°N 0.286°W / 51.233; -0.286

Brockham is a village and civil parish in the Mole Valley district of Surrey, England. It is approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east of Dorking and 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Reigate. The village lies south of Box Hill, with the River Mole flowing west through the village. At the 2011 census, it had a population of 2,868.[1]


Brockham, originally 'Broc-ham' is so called from the Anglo Saxon meaning 'river meadow by the brook' and is first recorded in 1241.[2] It is often mistakenly believed that there is an association with badgers but this is a modern affectation from the 1950s when Cecily M Rutley created Brock the Badger in a children's story [1].


On a spur of land to the north west of the village stands Betchworth Castle, originally built by Richard FitzGilbert on land granted to him by William the Conqueror soon after the Norman invasion in 1066, but later replaced by a medieval house which was probably built in the mid-to-late 14th century. Only a few ruins survive today.[citation needed]

Christ Church, the parish church is relatively recent in origin, having been commissioned in 1847 by Sir Henry Goulburn, who served as both Chancellor of the Exchequer and Home Secretary.[3]

Village green[edit]

The village green is a focal point for the village. Once popular for its cricket matches – WG Grace is said to have played there[citation needed] – it is a focal point of a Guy Fawkes Night bonfire every year on the closest Saturday to 5 November. It has been at times, the UK's largest bonfire and firework display, believed to date back to the 1880s.[4] Around 20,000 people gather round the village green, over 4 tonnes of fireworks typically light up the sky and the event is widely regarded by local residents as the highlight of the Mole Valley's calendar. Dorkinian's club house on Pixham Lane, opens for the event, near to the bonfire. About £20,000 per year in the early 2010s was raised on average for local charities.[citation needed] There is also an annual Victorian fair weekend in mid July, with a village picnic and firework display on the Saturday evening, also showcasing local talent.


Agriculture previously provided most of the employment for villagers, although further work was to be found in the nearby Brockham Hills from the mid-19th century, when they were quarried for chalk and hearthstone – an operation run by the Brockham Brick Company Limited until 1911 and by the Brockham Lime and Hearthstone Company until 1936 when the works closed.[5]

From 1945, Beecham Research Laboratories Ltd (which merged with SmithKline, then with Glaxo, to become GlaxoSmithKline) operated from Brockham Park at the southern end of the village. In 1959, Brockham Park became famous when Beecham scientists there discovered the penicillin nucleus, 6-APA (6-aminopenicillanic acid); this discovery allowed the synthesis of a number of new semisynthetic penicillins. In 1959, Beecham marketed pheneticillin, followed shortly by methicillin (or meticillin), which is active against the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus ('golden staph').[6] In time some bacterial strains developed resistance to these antibiotics, such as the MRSA (for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). The site is now a housing estate.[citation needed]


Brockham Primary School merged with The Acorns Infant School in nearby Betchworth on 2 June 2010 to create a new combined primary school now named The North Downs Primary School.[citation needed] The merger and name change caused a huge local debate as many people[who?] wanted the names and uniform colour to remain the same.


Surrey County Council elected every four years, has one representative, from Buckland for Dorking Rural:

  • Helyn Clack, conservative who participates in these committees:
    • Cabinet Member for Community Services and the 2012 Games decisions
    • People, Performance and Development
    • The Mole Valley local committee (obligatory)[7]

The second party forming the main local opposition in the 2013 election, was the Liberal Democrats gaining 1,527 votes versus the winning candidate's 1,810.[8]

2 councillors sit on Mole Valley borough council, who are:

Election Member[9][10]


2011 John Muggeridge Brockham, Betchworth & Buckland
2010 Paul Potter Brockham, Betchworth & Buckland

Demography and housing[edit]

2011 Census Homes
Output area Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes shared between households[1]
(Civil Parish) 402 505 170 104 10 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) 2,868 1,191 43.0% 39.2% 690

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).

Nearest Settlements[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 21 November 2013
  2. ^ Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names
  3. ^ Brockham church history Archived 17 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Brockham bonfire Archived 11 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ About Brockham Brick Company Archived 16 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ From Pills to Penicillin: The Beecham Story – by H. G. Lazell, Published by Heinemann - London (1975)
  7. ^ Surrey Councillor details Surrey Councillor details
  8. ^ Surrey County Council election, 2013
  9. ^ Mole Valley Councillors. Retrieved 28 April 2012
  10. ^ Mole Valley Results 2009–11
  • Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names

External links[edit]