- Kingston upon Thames
Infobox UK place
country = England
map_type = Greater London
ceremonial county = Greater London
region = London
official_name = Kingston upon Thames
os_grid_reference = TQ182693
london_borough = Kingston
post_town = KINGSTON UPON THAMES
postcode_area = KT
postcode_district = KT1, KT2
dial_code = 020
constituency_westminster = Kingston and Surbiton
constituency_westminster1= Richmond Park
latitude = 51.4103
longitude = -0.2995
static_image_caption = Kingston's Market Square
Kingston upon Thames is the principal settlement of the
Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thamesin south-west London.
It was the ancient
market townwhere Saxon kings were crowned and is now a suburb situated convert|10|mi|km|1 south west of Charing Cross. It is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London Plan.
Kingston was built at the first crossing point of the Thames upstream from
London Bridgeand a bridge still exists at the same site. Kingston was occupied by the Romans, and later it was either a royal residence or a royal demesne. There is a record of a council held there in 838, at which Egbert of Wessex, King of Wessex, and his son Ethelwulf of Wessexwere present; and in this record it is styled "Kyningestun famosa illa locus". In Old English, "tun", "ton" or "don" meant "farmstead" - so the name "Kingston" may have been thought to mean "farmstead of the kings". Seven Saxon kings are traditionally said to have been crowned at Kingston, while seated on a large stone - The Coronation Stone- that stands outside the Guildhall. There is a local rumour that these Saxon coronations gave Kingston its name, but the records of the 838 council disprove this.Dickens 1887, op. cit.
Kingston upon Thames appears in
Domesday Bookof 1086 as "Chingestone" and "Chingetun(e)". It was held by William the Conqueror. Its domesday assets were: a church, five mills, three fisheries worth 10s, 27 ploughs, 40 acres of meadow, woodlandworth six hogs. It rendered £30. [ [http://www.gwp.enta.net/surrnames.htm Surrey Domesday Book] ]
The first of the
chartersgiven to the town of Kingston was granted by King John in 1200 but the oldest one to survive is from 1208 and this document is housed in the town's archives. Other charters were issued by later kings, including Edward IV's charter that gave the town the status of a boroughin 1481. Some interesting relics have been discovered to support this history, and statues of some of the Saxon kings and of King John were preserved in a chapel. In 1730 the chapel containing the royal "effigies" collapsed, burying the sexton, who was digging a grave, the sexton's daughter and another person. The daughter survived this accident and was her father's successor as sexton. Another chapel, The Lovekyn Chapel, still exists. It was founded in 1309 by a former mayor of London, Edward Lovekyn. It is the only private chantry chapel to survive the Reformation.
Kingston sent members to early Parliaments, until a petition by the inhabitants prayed to be relieved from the burden.
Kingston was one of the Boroughs to be reformed by the
Municipal Corporations Act 1835, becoming a municipal borough. It retained this status until the London Government Act 1963came into force in 1965, merging Kingston upon Thames with Surbitonand Malden & Coombe Councils to form part of the London Borough of Kingston upon Thames. At the request of the Council, Queen Elizabeth IIgranted Kingston another Royal Charter in 1965 entitling it to continue using the title "Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames" for the enlarged Borough. Before becoming part of Greater London in 1965, Kingston was in the county of Surrey, and some confusion continues because the county hall and offices of Surrey County Councilare still in Kingston. For river users, Kingston is still on the "Surrey" bank.
For much of the 20th century, Kingston was a major military aircraft manufacturing centre - first with
Sopwith, then Hawker Aviationand eventually British Aerospace.
The growth and development of Kingston Polytechnic and its transformation into
Kingston Universityhas made Kingston a university town.
Central Kingston is a busy predominantly retail centre, with a small number of commercial offices and civic buildings. It has a great many
car parks, connected by a notoriously difficult one-way system. It is one of the main centres of the south west London bus network, and it is connected to Twickenham, Richmond, Wimbledon, and London Waterloo by overground train.Shopping is well catered for and is generally towards the upper end of expectations, with a good mixture of familiar High Street chains and more select boutiques. The shopping centre includes a shopping mall, "The Bentall Centre", containing the Bentallsdepartment store and large branches of chain storesfound in many British high streets. There is a large branch of the John Lewis department store group, with a Waitrosesupermarket, located in the basement. The Rotunda, located in the former Bentalls furniture depository building (a local landmark), includes a bowling alley, fitness centre, a 14-screen Odeon multiplex cinema and some restaurants. Recent developments along the riverside south of Kingston Bridge have added bars, restaurants and a theatre, the Rose of Kingston which opened in 2007 with Sir Peter Hall as the director. The ancient marketis still held daily in the Market Place.
Kingston's civic buildings include the Guildhall which houses Kingston Council and the
magistrates' court, There is also the county court, a local museumand public library. A short distance away is the new crown courtbuilding, adjacent to the County Hall Building which houses the main offices of SurreyCounty Council. Until local government re-organisation in 1965 when Kingston became one of the 33 boroughs of Greater London, it was the County Town of Surrey. Guildfordnow has this title as Kingston is no longer administered by Surrey. Plans to move these offices to Wokinghave been scrapped.
Kingston's main open space is the River Thames, with its lively frontage of bars and restaurants. Downstream there is a walk through Canbury Park to
Teddington Lock. Upstream there is a promenade crossing the Hogsmillriver and reaching almost to Surbiton. Across Kingston Bridge is a tree lined river bank fronting the expanse of Hampton Court Park.
One of the more unusual sights in Kingston is several disused
red telephone boxes that have been tipped up to lean against one another in an arrangement resembling dominoes. This sculpture by David Machwas commissioned in 1988 as part of the landscaping for the new Relief Road, and is called "Out of Order".
Another recent spectacle is the "
Toilet Gallery", a minimalist art gallery housed in an ex-public lavatory near the Phone Box sculpture.
Kingston is the home of two non-league Association football clubs,
Kingstonian F.C.and AFC Wimbledon, both of which play at the Kingsmeadow Stadium.
Kingston Rugby Club is based on the outskirts of the town and
Kingston Rowing Clubis based on the River Thames. Kingston Regattatakes place on the river at the town in July.
Eating and drinking
Kingston has many pubs and restaurants, though several public houses in centre have closed in recent years to become restaurants or bars. The more traditional pubs tend to be in the northern part of the town (Canbury) and include the Park Tavern and Wych Elm. Further south are found the Druid's Head, the Spring Grove, and several small local pubs around Fairfield. The Druid's Head is notable as one of the first taverns to make the famous dessert
syllabubin the 18th century. There are several Chinese, Indian, Thai and Italian restaurants.
Politics and religion
Kingston straddles two Parliamentary constituencies: the area north of the railway line is part of Richmond Park represented by
Susan Kramer; the area south of the railway line (which includes the ancient town centre) is part of Kingston and Surbiton represented by Edward Davey. Both Members of Parliamentare members of the Liberal Democrat party and the general public are often recognised as liberal in nature despite a large number of wealthy inhabitants.
Ecclesiastically, Kingston lies in the
Church of EnglandDiocese of Southwark and Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark. The suffraganor Area Bishop of Kingston is the Rt Rev. Dr Richard Cheetham.
Kingston is also the home of the [http://www.kingston-synagogue.org.uk/ Kingstom Synagogue] .
Kingston Green Fair
Kingston Green Fair has been held annually since 1987 in Canbury Gardens, next to the river, on the Spring
Bank Holiday. The word "Green" in the title refers to the ethos of the fair as promoting sustainable development. For instance no meat or other products derived from dead animals are allowed to be sold, and no electricity is permitted on the site unless generated by wind, sun, or bicycle power. [http://kingstongreenfair.org.uk/ Kingston Green Fair.org.uk]
:"For education in Kingston upon Thames see the main Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames article."
There are many schools in Kingston including
Surbiton High School, The Hollyfield School, Southborough High School, Chessington Community College, Richard Challoner School, Tolworth Girls School, Kingston Grammar School, Canbury School, The Holy Cross School, Coombe Girls' School, Coombe Boys school, Marymount International School (MMI), Tiffin School(boys) and Tiffin Girls' School. Kingston is also home to Kingston Universityand Kingston College.
The town is served by two railway stations on a line into
Waterloo Stationvia New Malden and Wimbledon or via Richmond upon Thames (the long way round). The local stations are: Kingston and Norbiton. An additional railway station is located on the main line in nearby Surbiton, and has a more frequent service.
The A3 road runs from central London towards Kingston before by-passing the town to the east. The "Kingston bypass road" was one of the first arterial roads to be built in Britain. It was originally proposed in 1912 to relieve the pressure of traffic in the town centre, but World War I delayed the start of work until 1924. It was opened by Prime Minister
Stanley Baldwinon 28 October 1927. Kingston is also served by the A240, the A307 (Portsmouth Road), A308 and A310.
Riverboats run regularly between Kingston and Hampton Court as well as Richmond all during the summer season. There are also direct services to Putney and Westminster from Hampton Court.
Kingston has been covered in literature, film and television. It is where the comic Victorian novel "
Three Men in a Boat" by Jerome K. Jeromebegins; cannons aimed against the Martians in H. G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds" are positioned on Kingston Hill; in "The Rainbow" by D. H. Lawrencethe youngest Brangwen dreams of a job in Kingston upon Thames in a long, lyrical passage; Mr. Knightly in "Emma" by Jane Austenregularly visits Kingston, although the narrative never follows him there. Kingston is referenced (and used as a filming location) in episodes of Monty Python. More recently, a scene from "Mujhse Dosti Karoge", a Bollywoodfilm, was filmed by the toppled telephone boxes. This had Hrithik Roshanas the leading actor. A scene in the television programme "The Good Life" sees Richard Briersget on a 71 bus in 'The Avenue' towards Kingston town centre, albeit this route never served that east side of Surbiton. Nipper, the famous "His Master's Voice" dog, is buried (1895) in the town under Lloyds Bank. His owners lived nearby in Fife Road. Also, the 2008 series of 'Primeval', shown on ITV1 in January, featured almost an entire episode filmed inside the Bentall Centre and John Lewis department stores.
:"See also alumini of local schools, colleges and the university"Notable people born in the town include
James Squire(transported convictand brewer in Australia) (1754), John Cleland(1709) and John Galsworthy(1867) (both authors), Eadweard Muybridge(photographer) (1830), John Cooper (auto engineer) (1923), Derek Bourgeois(composer) (1941), Dave Swarbrick(folk fiddle player), Nigel Barley(anthropologist) (1947), Jonny Lee Miller(1972), and Kelly Reilly(1977) (both actors), and Steven Reid(1981) (footballer).
; Sources consulted
* Cite book
author = Dickens, Charles, Jr
origyear = 1887, 1879
year = 1994
Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames, 1887
edition = facsimile
location = Devon
publisher = Old House Books
id = ISBN 1-873590-12-1 – A guide to the Thames written by the novelist's son.
* [http://www.kingston.gov.uk/ Kingston Council official website]
* [http://www.localhistories.org/kingston.html "A Brief History of Kingston upon Thames" by Tim Lambert]
* [http://www.kingston.gov.uk/museum Kingston Museum official website]
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Look at other dictionaries:
Kingston-Upon-Thames — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Kingston. Place du marché Kingston upon Thames est l agglomération principale du district l … Wikipédia en Français
Kingston-upon-thames — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Kingston. Place du marché Kingston upon Thames est l agglomération principale du district l … Wikipédia en Français
Kingston upon Thames — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Kingston. Place du marché Kingston upon Thames est l agglomération principale du district l … Wikipédia en Français
Kingston-upon-Thames — (spr. kingst n öpp n temms) Stadt in der engl. Grafsch. Surrey, r. an der Themse, (1901) 34.375, mit der Vorstadt Surbiton 49.394 E.; alte Krönungsstadt der angelsächs. Könige. [Karte: Großbritannien und Irland I, 11.] … Kleines Konversations-Lexikon
Kingston upon Thames — borough of SW Greater London, England: pop. 133,000 … English World dictionary
Kingston-upon-Thames — 51° 24′ 37″ N 0° 17′ 58″ W / 51.4103, 0.2995 … Wikipédia en Français
Kingston upon Thames — Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Lage in Greater London Status London Borough, Royal Borough Region … Deutsch Wikipedia
Kingston upon Thames — /temz/ a borough of Greater London, England. 135,900. * * * ▪ royal borough, London, United Kingdom royal borough and outer borough of London, part of the historic county of Surrey. It lies on the south bank of the River Thames (Thames,… … Universalium
Kingston upon Thames — Original name in latin Kingston upon Thames Name in other language Kingston, Kingston apon Tems, Kingston na Temzi, Kingston upon Thames, kingstana apona temsa, Кингстон апон Темс, Кінгстон на Темзі State code GB Continent/City Europe/London… … Cities with a population over 1000 database
Kingston upon Thames — Kings′ton upon Thames′ [[t]tɛmz[/t]] n. geg a borough of Greater London, England. 135,900 … From formal English to slang