This display features some of the many builders of Woking, including James Harris, W G Tarrant, Walter Deakin and those from elsewhere who brought the designs of architects and planners into being.
In 1854 the London Necropolis Company and National Mausoleum Company took possession of over 2000 acres of Woking Commons from the Onslow family. The Necropolis Company opened their cemetery at Brookwood that year on only 400 acres. They soon began selling the remainder of the land for development, especially around Woking station. Over the following century as farmers and other land owners recognised the value of their lands for housing and sold it to developers, a new Woking grew around the station and into the surrounding districts.
Developers praised the benefits of living in Woking - "The inland Bournemouth”, amidst health-giving heather and pinewoods while commuting to London on the railway. Golf and other leisure pursuits were further selling points.
Houses large and small from mansions to maisonettes, private and public estates, civic buildings, churches, schools and shops were built.
See this local heritage display free outside Woking's Story.
Image: Staff of J Harris builders at their yard in Woking High Street c.1898