The Cockerel Press

The Cockerel Press is the publishing arm of Dorking Museum; it was started in 2012, and has published 12 books.

All these books are available to buy online. Simply click on each link below. The books are new – but are not shrinkwrapped.

Abinger Common and Wotton are two small villages on the north slope of Leith Hill. Neither conforms to the text book picture of the English village. Until about 1900 both villages consisted of a few isolated cottages and farms, and hamlets of half-a-dozen cottages, along with a handful of ‘big houses’. Terence O’Kelly’s book traces the geography and history of these two villages from Roman times to the present day.

The book is priced at £5.00

Click here to buy through our online bookshop.

Dorking’s Famous Caves: Discover the hidden history of Dorking beneath your feet!

Dorking has long been known for the number and extent of its caves and passageways, particularly in the town centre. None of them are believed to be natural. They were used for storing wine and beer.  This booklet is 12 pages long with coloured photos and drawings. Published in 2015.

The book is priced at £2.50

Click here to buy through our online bookshop.

Early Medieval Dorking covers the period between 600 and 1200AD, from the first Anglo-Saxon settlement in Dorking through the Norman Conquest and beyond. Dorking Museum’s Susannah Horne has drawn on evidence from history, archaeology, art and literature to create a description of life as it was lived in Dorking in the early medieval period, illustrated with original drawings.

  • 7th to 8th centuries: the initial settlement and Anglo-Saxon life in general
  • 9th to 10th centuries: the Danish attacks and Dorking as a royal estate
  • 11th to 12th centuries: the Norman Conquest and Domesday Book

This book is priced at £8.00

Click here to buy through our online bookshop.



An illustrated history of the National Gardens Scheme’s Open Gardens in Mole Valley.

This book is priced at £10.00

Click here to buy through our online bookshop.



Discover the familiar: Box Hill, Deepdene, the Dorking Cockerel, EM Forster and Vaughan Williams. Be surprised by the unexpected: rioters, suffragettes, innovators, campaigners and radical thinkers. The Museum Guide to Dorking combines text from the panels of Dorking Museum’s permanent exhibition with reproductions of paintings, posters, photographs and artefacts from its collection, many not on display and most never published before. This quirky-thought provoking and beautifully illustrated book provides the reader with a unique insight into the history of Dorking, its people, and the surrounding countryside and villages. The author, Kathy Atherton, is a well-known local historian and runs the Exhibitions Team at Dorking Museum.

88 pages with full colour photographs.

This book is priced at £10.00

Click here to buy through our online shop

Dorking’s Part in Motor Racing History

New 72 page book by Tom Loftus tells the story of Rob Walker and his ground-breaking private Grand Prix winning team from a Dorking perspective – the small town where the cars where the cars were developed, built and tested: the successes, the challenges, the people.

Many previously unseen photographs and with a foreword by Rob’s son, Robbie Walker.

This book is priced at £7.00

Click here to buy through our online shop

George Collins was a Dorking resident at the turn of the 20th century. His paintings are displayed at Dorking Museum.

A mixture of a history and Collins’ diary, this beautifully illustrated book is Collins’ love letter to the Tillingbourne Valley –  an area just west of Dorking.

This book is 108 pages with black and white drawings. Reprinted in 2015.

This book is priced at £7.50.

Click here to buy through our online shop.


Today, Dorking contains 18 public houses. By contrast in 1892, it boasted 46 with one pub for every 238 residents, including children, women and men who didn’t drink. This book recounts the history of these pubs using a wide range of sources, including a great deal of previously unpublished material. We cover not only the history of the buildings, but tales about the landlords, the clientele and their behaviour, visits by distinguished guests, the impact of stagecoaches and railways, the efforts of some pubs to fight for their very existence and the background of the town’s breweries.  In reading this book, you will learn not only a great deal about the drinking establishments but also much about the town’s history and social life.

This book is priced at £9.50

Click here to buy through our online shop



Dorking is truly proud of the famous ‘Dorking Cock’, a special and rare breed of chicken recognised across the world. Often known as ‘the five-claw’d-un’, a reference to the breed’s particular distinguishing feature, the cock has become recognised as the town’s symbol. Depictions can be seen throughout the town, most strikingly, a 10ft high silver cockerel that has graced the Deepdene roundabout since 2007.

This booklet is priced at £2.50

Click here to buy through our online shop.


From Gentleman’s residence to award-winning laboratory. Brockham Park was a Victorian mansion which became the site of one of the most important pharmaceutical discoveries of the 20th century.

In this book, the author traces the history of the property as a private home and then moves on to the ground-breaking research carried out in the Beecham laboratories. This work led to the award-winning development of many new penicillins which continue to relive suffering and save lives worldwide.

This book is priced at £5.00 – and will be available to order online soon.

Click here to buy through our online shop.



The women of the Surrey Hills were particularly active in the militant ‘suffragette’ campaign. Many of its most colourful characters were drawn from the villages around Leith Hill and the Pankhursts planned campaigns for the village of Holmwood, the home of Fred and Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence. But it was also home to non-militant campaigners, and those who opposed the vote for women. This is the story of a community and its involvement in the national debate on women’s freedom and equality from the 1860s to the 1960s.

This book is priced at £10.00

Click here to buy through our online shop.