Capel is a village and civil parish in southern Surrey, England. It is equidistant between Dorking and Horsham - both about 5 miles (8.0 km) away. To the west of Capel skirts the A24 road. Capel is approximately 2.5 miles (4.0 km) north of the West Sussex border, 26 miles (42 km) south of London and 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Guildford and is in the Mole Valley District. The village is in the north of a landscape called the Weald, meaning forest, which forms a significant minority of the land today, particularly towards the Greensand Ridge.
The large civil parish at the 2001 census had a population of 3,624, which had increased to 3,832 by 2011.
(The description of an ancient monument has been omitted.)
Capel in the Middle Ages developed only as much as to deserve a chapel of ease, as a chapelry within the parish of Dorking. The chapel which gives its name to the village was first mentioned in a confirmation (1129–71) of a grant to the Priory of Lewes by the Earls of Warenne consisting of 'Ecclesiam de Dorking cum Capella de la Wachna.'
The original settlement of Capel consisted of approximately 30 farms, most of which still exist today bearing the names of their tenants in the early 14th century. Timbers in some of the farmhouses have also been dated to 14th century.
By 1848 there were 989 inhabitants over 5,522 acres (2,235 ha), of which 105 acres (42 ha) were common or waste. Samuel Lewis summarised Capel in that year as:
The 13th century church, pictured in Wikipedia, was enlarged in 1836, paid for by a Mr Broadwood and was restored in 1858 by architect Henry Woodyer, who installed a spiral staircage and bell cage in the same style as the church in Buckland.
Friends Meeting House
In the 17th and 18th centuries Capel was the centre of a thriving Quaker community which met at the houses of the local Bax family. The Quaker Sussex Quarterly Meeting recorded the fact that Thomas Patching "who then lived at Bonwick's Place in Ifield" met with George Fox (1624-1691), and then later "there was settled the first Monthly Meeting that was set up in this county .... and has since been removed to the house of Richard Bax at Capel in Surrey by reason of Thomas Patching's removing from that place". It is known that George Fox visited Surrey in 1668 and held a Meeting at Plaistow Farm, Capel, the home of Richard Bax. The Friends Meeting House is in the main conservation area of the village; it is also a listed building.
Beare Green is a separate locality in the same parish with a population of 1,323, made up of 607 households (2012 estimate). It is located about 1 mile (1.6 km) north of Capel; Beare Green's roundabout, to its north, is at one end of the A29 road to Bognor Regis on the English Channel.
Coldharbour is a community within the civil parish 3 miles (4.8 km) to the northwest. It is situated on the southern and eastern slopes of Leith Hill; Leith Hill is the second highest point in southeast England and lies on the Greensand Ridge that runs from near Hindhead to the south of Maidstone, Kent. Coldharbour has a conservation area along its highest roads with two listed buildings: Christ Church is a chapel built in 1848; members of the Wedgwood and Vaughan Williams families lived at Leith Hill Place.
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Administrative boundaries of the county of Surrey (Surrey History Centre)