About the Parish of Dormansland

The parish of Dormansland is located in the far south-east of Surrey and borders both Kent and West Sussex, illustrated on this map and a Data Sheet here.  Comprising of the main village, Dormans Park and part of Felcourt, the parish is located within the Green Belt.  It is ideally situated for travel with a railway station offering direct trains to London's Victoria and London Bridge stations and within 10 miles of the M25 to the north and Gatwick Airport to the west. 

The earliest known settlement in the parish was at Dry Hill, dating from approximately 500BC. The camp lay at the junction of track ways from the north and east. John of Dereman, who held lands and lived in the area in the Middle Ages is where the name of the village is derived with Dermannysland first appearing in the manorial rolls in 1489. The Quakers, who first settled in the area known as The Platt, are believed to have founded the Old Surrey Village of Dormansland, which was an area sparsely settled, as one of the commons of Lingfield.

Further attention to the spiritual needs of the village was provided by the foundation of the Baptist Church in the High Street in 1796. Early worshippers followed their faith under difficult circumstances, being attacked by armed local groups resulting, it is understood, with the Bow Street Runners being called out and eventually the army had to intervene. From this beginning the Church has grown, with the present church occupying the original site.

The first school opened in 1850 and was still in use until the middle of 2002, housing only the infants on a split site. April 2002 saw the finish of the excellent extension to the village junior school, the infants being moved into the new facilities shortly afterwards, resulting in the infants and juniors being housed in one modern building. Following the opening of the original school, the church of St John the Evangelist was built in 1882 to a design by Arthur Blomfield (consecrated in 1884) as a chapel to ease pressure on Lingfield but it became a parish in its own right soon afterwards.

The introduction of these two buildings led to further rapid expansion of the village which had already begun after the enclosure of the Common of Lingfield in 1816. The new Dormans railway station which opened in 1884 also made the area easily accessible from London. Close by the village is the Dormans Park Estate which has its origin in the late C19th, when the land was purchased by the Bellaggio Estate Company and developed as the "New Bungalow Town and Club", complete with its own hotel. The area was well known for its "nerve restoring air" and also "noted water, one of the best in England".

Dormansland has a small and diverse population, drawn from all walks of life which strongly support the numerous village organisations and activities, such as cricket, football and tennis and the annual carnival. The village has a well-established shop along with a Post Office at its centre as well as three public houses which provide some excellent home-made food.

Dormansland Memorial Hall was built in 1920 on land gifted to the village in memory of those men of the village who lost their lives in the First World War and subsequently the Second World War. The building has fallen into disrepair through lack of funds to maintain it. The trustees of the charity are developing plans to sell the site and relocate a community facility in a more central location.

The village is justly proud of the fact that, in his early days, Winston Churchill was, between 1917 and 1921, a resident of the village, with his children being schooled at "Ridgeway" in Hollow Lane at the same time as fellow pupil, Joyce Grenfell (actress and entertaining writer).

The village enjoys a warm sense of community with many local events and voluntary activity groups contributing directly to daily life in Dormansland.