There is a town within the county of Surrey called Woking. With frequent trains and a journey time of approximately 24 minutes to Waterloo station, it lies on the southwestern edge of the Greater London Urban Area.

London’s central district of Charing Cross lies 23 miles (37 km) away from the town of Woking. Its town centre alone, excluding its narrowly contiguous built-up area from West End to West Byfleet, has a population of 62,796, and the borough had 55,000 more residents in the 2011 census than its built-up area.

History of Woking

Woking is mentioned in the Domesday Book for the first time in 8th-century context, as Wochingas, as the site of a monastic community. Ansgot and Godfrey of Osbern FitzOsbern, then bishop of Exeter, held it in 1086 as Wochinges, as recorded in the Domesday Book.

In the area to the south of the Basingstoke Canal (opened in 1794) around the railway station, today’s Woking was formed.  It was constructed in 1838 at the intersection of the lines from London, the south coast, and the southwest of England, and the private railway to Brookwood Cemetery, which was developed by the London Necropolis Company as an overflow burial ground for London’s dead. 

Old Woking, one mile to the southeast on the River Wey, was therefore named for the original settlement. The first crematorium in the United Kingdom was Woking Crematorium at St John’s.

Shahjehan, Begum of Bhopal (1868–1901), one of four female Muslim rulers of Bhopal between 1819 and 1926, built the first purpose-built mosque in the UK, the Shah Jahan Mosque on Oriental Road.

During World War I, Martinsyde aircraft company operated a major factory in the town and used nearby Brooklands Aerodrome for delivery and test flights, but it was closed by the mid-1920s. James Walker & Company was based on this site for many years. Lion Retail Park was redeveloped in the 1990s from the Lion Works, which was known as ‘The Lion Works’.