Tadworth is first recorded as 'Theddewurpe'as early as c.675 A.D. and in the Domesday Survey of 1086 it is shown as being divided into two manors. The meaning of the name is obscure - the second element of the word probably refers to a small enclosure and the first element may represent a personal name i.e. 'Tad's small enclosure'.
By 1086 North Tadworth was held by William de Broase and leased to 'Halsard' and South Tadworth was held by 'Ralph' from the Bishop of Bayeux. The manor of North Tadworth passed through various hands and became divided until, in the period from 1659 to 1663, Christopher Buckle managed to acquire it in its entirety.
The manor of South Tadworth was held by Merton Priory by 1274 until the priory was dissolved in the late 1530s. In 1553 Edward VI granted it to Edward Herendon and in 1620 John Herendon sold it to Thomas Hawes. Before 1650 it had become the property of Robert and Katherine Wilson, who sold it to Leonard Wessel in 1694.
Wessel, a London merchant of Dutch ancestry, soon set about building a new house, Tadworth Court. The house has survived relatively unscathed. It was built in yellow brick using stone dressings and was provided with an imposing entrance with a flight of steps, Corinthian columns and a carved stone lintel.
The architect of Tadworth court is unknown but the result of their efforts is undoubtedly the finest example of the period to be seen in Surrey today. For many years Tadworth Court was the country branch of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children but, in 1984, management was transferred to The Children's Trust.
The Church of the Good Shepherd was consecrated in 1912 and, in 1955, Tadworth became a separate parish.
Tadworth acquired a railway station in 1900, since when there has been substantial residential development, especially during the 1950s.