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County 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 acres, population 1,436,899. The County 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 counties 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 County 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 vegatable 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. 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 County included within the limits of the metropolis) the trade and manufactures 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 County contains 14 hundreds, 152 parishes with parts of 2 others, the parliamentary and municipal borough of Croydon (1 member), the parliamentary boroughs of Battersea and Clapham (2 members), Camberwell (3 members), Lambeth (4 members), Newington (2 members), Southwark (3 members), and Wandsworth (1 member) - all the parliamentary boroughs being metropolitan except Croydon, and the municipal borough of Godalming, Guildford, Kingston upon Thames, and Reigate. The County is in the dioceses of Canterbury, Rochester and Winchester. For parliamentary 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. (Transcribed from Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887. -C.H.)
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This page was last updated on 2 Nov 2012.