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The historic county of Surrey lies in the southern England, just to the south of Greater London. The administrative centre of Surrey is in fact in Kingston upon Thames which is situated in London itself. Kingston was in Surrey when the administration moved from Newington in 1897, but in 1965 it became part of Greater London . Historically, however, the county town is actually Guildford , which sits centrally in modern Surrey.
It is believed that Surrey was occupied and ruled by the Atrebates tribe, whose capital was in Calleva which is adjacent to modern day Silchester in Hampshire. The Atrebates tribe were known to control the south side of the Thames. The Romans , who noted the uneasy relationship between the Atrebates and the Catuvellauni tribe, which controlled the north side of the Thames, documented this. Just about a year before the Roman invasion of AD43, the Catuvellauni King died and his sons then waged war on the Atrebates. King Verica of the Atrebates was defeated and fled to Gaul, where he asked for Roman aid. As a result of all this, the Atrebates tribe were allies of the Romans during the subsequent invasion. The Romans occupied the territory between this time and their departure in AD410, building the famous Roman Road of Stane Street between Regnentium (renamed subsequently as Chichester by the Saxons) and Londinium (London). This road formed the basis of two modern roads. The A24 between Morden and Ewell closely follows the route of the original road. From a point close to South Holmwood, the road moves towards Sussex and follows a line sighted from London Bridge to Pulborough . Most of this section is still in use today as the A29. The name Surrey is attributed to the Saxons , being a corruption of the Saxon word for 'South Ridge'. The territory was split between Saxons and Britons in the centuries following the Roman departure. Between the 7th and 9th century Surrey was ruled alternately by the kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex, eventually remaining part of Wessex from AD823. Shortly after this the county became the scene of many battles with the Danes, including the Battle of Farnhamand the Battle of Ockley . If you are interested in the history of the county, Surrey spoils you for choice with about 40 museums to choose from. Some of these museums will help you trace the ancient history of Surrey, while others like the Brooklands Museum offer a more modern aspect of Surrey's history. Brooklands was the first ever banked racetrack in the world. It was long held as one of the most important circuits for both motorcar and motorcycle racing in not only England, but the entire world. Now disused as a racetrack, it offers a very large museum dedicated to the history of motor racing and aviation. It describes itself as 'The Birthplace of British Motorsport and Aviation'. Attractions on offer include 'The Concorde Experience'. A high proportion of Surrey is in The Green Belt, an area designated as 'No Build' to halt the spread of conurbations. This helps to preserve the beauty of the county. The county is very proud of its areas of tranquil beauty and rolling green hills and is the most wooded county in England. There are many parks and gardens to visit in Surrey. One of these is world famous Royal Horticultural Society Garden at Wisley . Situated eight miles from Woking , the gardens are open to visitors all year round. On offer are a Fruit Field, Rock Garden, Lakes, Tropical and Formal gardens, Glasshouses, and even Model gardens. Not far to the south of the Gardens can be found 'The Devils Punchbowl' a unique and large natural amphitheatre. The land is owned by the National Trust and is a popular destination for walkers. The area is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, which has helped to stop plans to improve the A3 road that runs around the edge of the Punchbowl. There were suggestions of a bridge over Punchbowl to allow the nearby town of Hindhead to be Bypassed, easing congestion on this major route from Portsmouth to London. Instead the National Trust has cooperated with developers in designing a tunnel through a neighbouring hill to avoid running through the Punchbowl. Fans of Cricket should certainly consider a pilgrimage to Surrey . As well as being one of the top County Cricket sides today, Surrey is home to the earliest known definitive refer.