"after school in Surrey"
The lawns at RHS Wisley in Surrey
Creative Commons AttributionThe lawns at RHS Wisley in Surrey - Credit: David Wilmot

Surrey is a county in the south-east of England, bordering London, Kent, Hampshire, East and West Sussex, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. It is the 12th largest county with a population of 1,127,300 and the county town is the historic city of Guildford. Surrey was settled by the Saxons in the 5th and 6th centuries and took its name from the word ‘Suthrige’, meaning ‘southern region’.

The Surrey South Downs
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Surrey South Downs - Credit: Graham Pritchard
A quiet, rural county, Surrey was also important in Britain’s cloth industry, but in the 15th century it became popular amongst royalty who took advantage of its proximity to London and began to build palaces there, such as Nonsuch. In the nineteenth century, London began to expand across the northern part of Surrey, and the rest of the county became well-connected to the capital via roads and railways. Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, was built in 1849 for the population of London and became the largest burial ground in the world. In the 19th century Surrey was also prominent in British architecture, as an influence for and centre of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Surrey today is the most affluent county in England, due in part to its close ties to London. A huge number of company headquarters are based in Surrey; it is also popular for visitors due to its areas of natural beauty, gardens, parks and stately homes.

There are a large number of independent schools in Surrey, at which the upper classes from Victorian London would have been educated. They include the famous Charterhouse School, which was one of the original nine public schools in Britain.