Hooper Collection

During 2010 the lithics section of the Prehistoric Group continued to reassess lithics collections held by GuildfordMuseum. One of the more interesting collections was that of Dr Wilfrid Hooper, LL D, FSA (1882-1950). There were 86 bags and boxes which included examples of lithic forms from the Mesolithic to the Bronze Age collected largely from parishes between Dorking and Redhill. These items represent only a portion of a collection amassed by an enthusiastic prehistorian and member of Surrey Archaeological Society. Other parts of his collection are held in the Museum of the Holmesdale Natural History Club and in private hands.

Dr Hooper spend most of his life in Reigate and wrote ‘Reigate: Its Story Through The Ages’ which is still a valuable introduction to the history of Reigate and was published by the Society in 1945. With a particular interest in prehistory he did not confine his interests to Reigate alone and his collections contain items from further afield including the rich Mesolithic sites of Chiddingfold and Leith Hill.

Dr Hooper joined Surrey Archaeological Society in 1921 and wrote several papers for the Surrey Archaeological Society Collections. In 1938 he became Honorary Secretary of the Society until 1947, and was elected a Vice-President in 1948. A brief obituary was recorded in volume 52 of the Collections after his death in 1950 and WF Rankine paid tribute to him in the same volume within his paper on the Surrey Mesolithic. Rankine noted that Dr Hooper had been a pioneer in Mesolithic research with papers published in the Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society of East Anglia (now the Prehistoric Society) in 1927 and in the Collections in 1933 which discussed ‘pigmy flints’ (now known as microliths). Indeed, according to Rankine, Dr Hooper was the first to recognise what came to be known as the Horsham point.

The collection reassessed by the group is now available on a spreadsheet held both by the Prehistoric Group and by GuildfordMuseum and a copy of his personal code is attached to this as a pdf.

This work would not have been possible without the contributions of our current members: Roger Ellaby, Judie English, Robin Tanner, Chris Taylor, Ken Waters and Keith Winser. Although space is limited we welcome enquiries from anyone who might wish to participate as the opportunity arises.


Report of the Council, Surrey Archaeological Collections 52, 1950-51,104

Rankine WF, Mesolithic Research in Surrey, Surrey Archaeological Collections 52, 1950-51, 1-10


Rose Hooker & Jen Newell

rosemary.hooker@blueyonder.co.uk(link sends e-mail)

janewell@talktalk.net(link sends e-mail)