Although its archaeology is frequently under-rated, Surrey is a unique area of rich history. Numerous nationally-important archaeological sites include Palaeolithic camps, a unique and extensive Mesolithic microlith industry, the Stanwell Neolithic cursus and Badshot Lea long barrow, Bronze Age centres (e.g. Runnymede) and an unusually high number of Iron Age hillforts. Its historic heritage is equally exceptional, including Roman temples, villas and pottery industries, Saxon cemeteries, medieval monasteries, churches and castles, and Tudor palaces such as Nonsuch which are arguably the most spectacular in the country.
The modern era witnessed the development of leisure activities such as racing, cricket and theatre, as well as the establishment of significant historic parks and gardens (e.g. Albury, Wotton and Deepdene). The county claims a noteworthy history of intense industrialisation, from the Tillingbourne gunpowder mills to the stone quarries at Brockham, eased considerably by the early canals and railways. Surrey sites also form a major part of the national database of late 19th/20th-century defence sites.
For more information and resources on the history and archaeology of the county, we recommend the Surrey Archaeological Research Framework, Exploring Surrey’s Past and Surrey Historic Landscape Characterisation, amongst other resources, such as the Historic Environment Record (firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail), which is the leading source of heritage information in the county. More information on specific periods can also be found in the following sub-pages.