St Barnabas

For many years St Barnabas has been known as ‘The Church on the North Downs Way’ and one unusual feature is that the main door faces away from the road since it was designed to be entered from the Great House.

Ranmore, Surrey

Opening times

We are happy to welcome visits from societies and groups and are currently discussing ways to make the church more accessible to visitors.


Ranmore Common Road

For a hundred years St Barnabas was the centre of life on the Estate, answering the frequent question posed now when Mansion and original Estate are long gone, ‘Why this extraordinary building is here, apparently in the middle of nowhere?’

George Cubitt, later 1st Baron Ashcombe, was the founder of St Barnabas. Always interested in church matters, he wished to be ordained, but was prevented by his wealthy father Thomas Cubitt. The death of Thomas in 1855 left George immensely rich, and in 1857 he had plans drawn up for a church for the people who lived and worked on the Estate.

The exterior of the church is comparatively austere, and it looks like many another country church, but inside it is obvious that no expense was spared. The lavish decoration makes extensive use of marble and elaborate carving, so much so that, when the Bishop of Guildford visited St Barnabas for the first time, he remarked ‘I have discovered that I have another cathedral in the woods’.

The church was built in eighteen months, with the famous Sir George Gilbert Scott as architect. He was particularly fond of Gothic architecture and took the opportunity at Ranmore to build a High Victoriana scaled down cathedral for his weathy client.

The church has the advantage of an outstanding site on the ridge of the North Downs. Its tall slender spire, 700 feet above sea level, can be seen from all the hills in Surrey, even on a clear day from the Crystal Palace.

St Barnabas is a two mile taxi ride from Dorking, or a very nice walk from the Denbies Wine Estate.

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Social heritage stories

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Dog friendly

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Church of England

Contact information

Other nearby churches

Chapel of Ease

Westhumble, Surrey

A little weather boarded chapel that was once a barn.

Dorking URC

Dorking, Surrey

Dorking URC was founded in 1662 by two clergymen who had been ejected from the Church of England because they refused to subscribe to the Act of Uniformity.