History

A brief historical guide to St Peter’s Church

Summary 

St Peter’s, Old Woking, is an unusually large medieval church for Surrey and is listed Grade I. The building has exceptionally important early 12th century fabric as well as good quality work from most periods of medieval architecture. St Peters also has significant 17th century work remaining which is again unusual. 

History of Woking 

The earliest written record relating to Woking relates to the foundation of a minster dedicated to St Peter by a nobleman, Brordar in 675 AD. 

The Domesday Book of circa 1086 AD lists two major land holdings. The King holds Woking in Lordship. The manor had been held by King Edward before the conquest. Forty two villagers and smallholders are listed and the church and a mill are mentioned. The manor was worth £15 and 25 shillings to the sheriff. 

The second substantial land holding was held by Bishop Osbern who had held it before 1066. There are twenty six villagers and smallholders and there is a mill. The value of the manor is £9.10s. 

At Domesday Woking was a substantial settlement as compared with the rest of Surrey. Guildford was valued at £30. 

Old Woking must have remained a small village through the medieval period probably based on agriculture. The substantial building from the late medieval period in the area is Old Woking Hall, a favoured Tudor Palace and home of Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. A treaty was signed in the Palace in 1490 between the King and Maxmillian, later the Holy Roman Emperor. The manor of Old Woking seems to have been in Royal hands for much of the medieval period. 

By the 17th century Woking was a small market town but little survives from this period. Buildings from the 16th to the 18th century that survive include: 

Old Woking, the former Tudor Palace, with significant alterations; 1515-16 and 1578. The house was given by James I to Edward Zouche in 1620; The manor house circa 17th century in brick; the former market house now cottages 1665; 

Magnolia and old Brew House 1715, and Hoe Place 1708.