War Of The Worlds And Woking

Why H.G. Wells Found Inspiration in Woking for "The War of the Worlds"

war of the worlds sculpture in Woking

The historic town of Woking in Surrey holds a unique claim to fame. It’s the primary setting of H.G. Wells’ famous science fiction novel, The War of the Worlds. 

At Gorse Hill, our 4-star hotel is proudly situated just minutes from Woking town. As a guest you can easily visit the sites that featured prominently in Wells' imaginative tale. 

Read on to discover more about Woking’s connection to The War of the Worlds.

woking town centre

How Woking Inspired Wells' War of the Worlds

The prolific author H.G. Wells took up residence at “Lynton” on Maybury Road, Woking, in 1895. 

He spent his mornings writing, checking over proofs, and handling letters. In the afternoons he enjoyed going out for walks or bike rides in the nearby countryside.

Although Wells stayed in Woking for less than a year and a half this turned out to be an incredibly creative period, perhaps the most productive of his entire writing career.

During his short time living there, Wells completed and published several of his most famous works including: The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man and When the Sleeper Awakes.

The initial spark for The War of the Worlds came to him during one of his walks when his brother Frank speculated about the scenario of aliens suddenly descending upon Earth and attacking. 

Woking will forever be known as the place where one of the greatest alien invasion stories was born in the brilliant mind of H.G. Wells.

war of the world sign in woking

War Of The Worlds Locations in Woking

A significant part of the early events in The War of the Worlds happens in Woking and the neighbouring villages. The narrator lived in Maybury, likely on Maybury Hill. 

Horsell Common is the first landing site of the Martian invasion force. This place is a large open space near Wells' residence at the time while he was writing the story. 

In his autobiography, H.G. Wells shared how he enjoyed riding a bicycle around that area and envisioning the Martians' heat-rays causing destruction to specific cottages and houses.

War Of The Worlds Tripod Statue

In Woking town centre you'll find numerous references to The War of the Worlds novel.

The Wellsian Martian Tripod is a seven meters tall sculpture made of chrome electropolished stainless steel created by Michael Condron and unveiled by TV presenter Carol Vorderman in April 1998. 

The War Of The Worlds Tripod Statue reflects the town’s Wellsian literary heritage through the slogan "Woking: where modern science fiction took off".

war of the worlds tripod statue in woking, surrey

Theres several paving slabs representing the bacteria that killed the aliens in the book. One of these slabs is under the tripod statues leg, which portrays the bacteria creeping up to kill the alien.

war of the world tripid statues leg in woking

Nearby there’s a cylindrical ‘pod' that resembles the crafts that the aliens arrived in from Mars. The ground around the pod has patterns around it to represent the shock waves caused from the crash when they arrived at Horsell Common. 

cylindrical ‘pod from war of the worlds novel in woking


We hope you liked learning about Woking's link to H.G. Wells novel, The War of the Worlds.

If you're interested in exploring The War Of The Worlds locations and public art in Woking, why not choose to stay with us at Gorse Hill? We're just a short drive away from these wonderful places.


Frequently Asked Questions Related To: War Of The Worlds and Woking

Q: Was War of the Worlds filmed in Woking?
A: In 2019 a film crew had set up at Horsell Common in Woking to film a new edition of the War of the Worlds story.

Q: Why is War of the Worlds set in Woking?
A: HG Wells lived in Woking and found inspiration for The War of the Worlds there.

Q: When did H. G. Wells live in Woking?
A: H.G. Wells came to Woking in May 1895. He stayed at a place called 'Lynton' on Maybury Road, which is now known as 141 Maybury Road. Today, there's a special plaque from English Heritage on the front of the building. 

Q: Is War of the Worlds set in Surrey?
A: A big part of The War of the Worlds story takes place in Woking, Surrey, and the surrounding villages close by.