Bookham is first recorded in c.675 A.D. in a charter of the Saxon sub-king Frithuwald, when twenty dwellings here were included in the estates that he granted to Chertsey Abbey. At some time well before the Norman invasion of 1066 Bookham became divided into Great Bookham and Little Bookham. In the Domesday Survey of 1086, the former was still held by the monks of Chertsey Abbey but Little Bookham was owned by William de Broase and occupied by 'Halsard'.
Domesday records a church at Great Bookham and the parish church of today has features which may date from the 11th century. No church is mentioned in Domesday for Little Bookham but the present church has much which can be dated to the 12th century. Curiously, its dedication is unknown having, presumably been forgotten at some point in the last 900 years.
Great Bookham was recorded as 'Magna Bocham' in 1270 and remained the property of Chertsey Abbey until the abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1537. During this period the monks had the right to hold a weekly market on Tuesday and a two-day fair on the Eve and Day of Michaelmas (28th and 29th of September). The fair survived until the late 18th century.
Little Bookham, 'Parva Bokham' in 1255, was sold in 1324 to Hugh le Dispenser, a supporter of Edward II. Unfortunately for Hugh he had backed the wrong man - his king was deposed and later murdered. Hugh was executed in 1326. By 1480 Little Bookham was held by Richard, Duke of York who, together with his older brother, Edward V, aged twelve, was imprisoned in the Tower and murdered there in 1483. It then passed to their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, who became king as Richard III.
In 1550 Great Bookham was granted to Lord William Howard, son of the Duke of Norfolk, and it remained the property of several generations of Howards until it was sold in 1801.
Polesden Lacy is situated in Great Bookham parish and the house, now in the care of the National Trust, was famous during the first decades of 20th century when it belonged the society hostess, Mrs Greville. The rich and famous, politicians and royalty, all came to stay at Polesden Lacy. These included Edward VII, George V and the Duke of York, later George VI, who spent his honeymoon here in 1923.
The railway came to Bookham in 1885 and it was not long before the two villages began to expand as an attractive and popular home for London commuters.