Rocking Dorking’s Rooster!

Dorking Cockerel courtesy of Visit Dorking

The Dorking Cockerel, Deepdene Roundabout, courtesy of Visit Dorking

There’s a large silver rooster sitting in a roundabout, just outside of Dorking town centre.  Why, you might ask? Well, I’ll do my best to answer.

Dorking Cockerel courtesy of Visit Dorking

The Dorking Cockerel, Deepdene Roundabout, courtesy of Visit Dorking

It is better known locally as The Dorking Cockerel and the inhabitants of Dorking are very protective of their bird. It’s actually an acknowledged rare breed which may have originally come over to Britain with the Romans and which is recognised throughout the world by having a key distinguishing feature – a five-talon claw!

The Dorking Cockerel in Dorking Museum by Sue Lowry

Two Dorking Cockerels in the Dorking Museum

For centuries, Surrey and Sussex have become known for the quality of their poultry with Dorking as the centre for the poultry trade, which regularly supplied the dining tables of the local and London elite.

Dorking Cockerels in the Bar at Mercure Box Hill Burford Bridge Hotel

Five English Hens – at Burford Bridge Hotel

Queen Victoria was a fan too of the tender flesh of the rare bird and in particular, the eggs. In fact, her entourage noticed that something was wrong with her on the day she died, as apparently she turned away her boiled Dorking egg that day.  Might she have become a fan when she stayed as a Princess at the Mercure Box Hill Burford Bridge Hotel?  Who knows.

The Dorking Cockerel emblem by Sue Lowry

They are the emblem for the Dorking Heritage Trail

The Dorking Cockerel may also have travelled to America with the Pilgrim Fathers – it’s well known that William Mullins lived in Dorking’s West Street and he was one of the first settlers. No customs officers to stop him taking a cockerel and hens with him.

Anyway – look for images of the cockerel throughout Dorking and the Mole Valley as it has been adopted since the last century as the town’s emblem.

The Dorking Cockerel at Dorking Museum

Standing proud at Dorking Museum

So when you next spot that 10 foot silver aluminium cockerel produced by Peter Parkinson on the Deepdene Roundabout, you’ll know why it’s there!  Go on, shake those tail feathers and get down like a local!

Contributer & photographer: Sue Lowry

Follow A3Traveller on Twitter: @A3Traveller and Sue Lowry on Google +, YouTube, Linkedin, Flickr and Pinterest. I also operate another blog for my company, Magellan PR – They can be followed on Twitter: @MagellanPR, on Google+, on YouTube, on Pinterest and on Facebook.

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