In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Surrey like this:
Surrey, co. in SE. of England, bounded N. by the Thames, which separates it from Bucks and Middlesex, E. by Kent, S. by Sussex, W. by Hants, and NW. by Berks; greatest length, N. and S., 26 miles; greatest breadth, E. and W., 40 miles; area, 485,129 ac., pop. 1,436,899. The co. is traversed from E. ...
to W. by the North Downs range, from which the surface slopes gently down towards the Thames on the N., while on the S. it descends into an extensive flat plain (partly also in the cos. of Kent and Sussex) called the Weald. Except a small portion in the SW., and another small portion in the SE., the whole of the co. is drained by the Thames and its tributaries, the Wey, Mole, and Wandle. There are many varieties of soil, including plastic and alluvial clays, rich vegetable loam, calcareous earth, and almost barren heath. On the plastic clays the crops are wheat and beans; the alluvial soils, particularly in the vicinity of the metropolis, are chiefly occupied by orchards, market gardens, and farms for the culture of medical and aromatic plants; on the loamy soils the crops are barley, oats, and pease, carrots and parsnips; while the chief products of the calcareous soils are hops and clover. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) There are some industries in oil, paper, calicoes, woollen goods, &c., and those places situated on the Thames share in the trade of the port of London, but (except in that part of the co. included within the limits of the metropolis) the trade and raft's, are not of great importance. The amenities of climate and scenery, the vicinity of the metropolis, and the complete means of railway communication, have caused many parts of Surrey to be studded over with mansions and villas. The co. contains 14 hundreds, 152 parishes with parts of 2 others, the parl. and mun. bor. of Croydon (1 member), the par], bors. of Battersea and Clapham (2 members), Camberwell (3 members), Lambeth (4 members), Newington (2 members), Southwark (3 members), and Wandsworth (1 member) - all the parl. bors. being metropolitan except Croydon - and the mun. bors. of Godalming, Guildford, Kingston upon Thames, and Reigate. The co. is in the dioceses of Canterbury, Rochester, and Winchester. For parl. purposes it is divided into 6 divisions - viz., North-Western or Chertsey, South-western or Guildford, South-Eastern or Reigate, Mid or Epsom, Kingston, and North-Eastern or Wimbledon, 1 member for each division.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Surrey | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 26th March 2017
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