infobox UK place
country = England
official_name = Staines
map_type = Surrey
population = 24,097
shire_district = Spelthorne
shire_county = Surrey
region = South East England
constituency_westminster = Spelthorne
post_town = STAINES
post_county = MIDDLESEX
postcode_district = TW18
postcode_area = TW
dial_code = 01784
os_grid_reference = TQ045715
latitude = 51.433315
longitude =-0.497382

Staines is a Thames-side town in the Spelthorne borough of Surrey and part of the London Commuter Belt of South East England, but remains within the postal county of Middlesex. It is a suburban development within the western bounds of the M25 motorway and located 17 miles (27 km) west south-west of Charing Cross in London.


Early history

The name Staines is thought to derive from Old English for 'stones', due to a long-lost site of monoliths in nearby Stanwell. Others believe the name to derive from 'St Anne's in the Thames'.fact|date=April 2008

There has been a bridge since Roman times (hence the Roman name of the town "ad Pontes" which translates as "at the bridge"). Claudius led the Romans into Britain in 43 AD and they settled in Staines the same year. Soon after this invasion the first Staines Bridge was constructed to provide an important Thames crossing point on main road from Londinium (London) to Calleva Atrebatum, near the present-day village of Silchester.

Staines appears on the Middlesex domesday map in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Stanes". It was held by Westminster Abbey. Its domesday assets were: 19 hides. It had 6 mills worth £3 4s 0d, 2 weirs worth 6s 8d, 24 ploughs, meadow for 24 ploughs, and some cattle. It rendered £35. [ [ Surrey Domesday Book] ]

A border "stana", or stone, on the bank of the River Thames, dated 1280, still remains, indicating the western limit of the City of London jurisdiction over the Thames. (Although familiarly known as the 'London Stone', it is not to be confused with the more famous (and probably more ancient) London Stone in Cannon Street in the City of London).

The situation of Staines as a major crossing point over the River Thames, its position on the main road from London to the southwest, and its proximity to Windsor has led to the town being involved in national affairs. The barons assembled there before they met King John at Runnymede in 1215, and Stephen Langton held a consecration there shortly after the issue of Magna Carta. Sir Thomas More was tried in 1535 in a Staines public house, to avoid the outbreak of plague in London at that time. Kings and other important people must have passed through the town on many occasions: the church bells were rung several times in 1670, for instance, when the king and queen went through Staines.'Staines: Introduction', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3: Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell, Sunbury, Teddington, Heston and Isleworth, Twickenham, Cowley, Cranford, West Drayton, Greenford, Hanwell, Harefield and Harlington (1962), pp. 13-8. URL: Date accessed: 4 February 2006.]

During the period 1642–48 there were skirmishes on Staines Moor and numerous troop movements over Staines Bridge during the Civil War.

Modern history

Staines was the major producer of linoleum, a type of floor covering, after the formation of the Linoleum Manufacturing Company in 1864 by its inventor, Frederick Walton. Linoleum became the main industry of the town and was a major employer in the area up until the 1960s. In 1876 about 220 and in 1911 about 350 people worked in the plant. By 1957 it employed some 300 people and in 1956 the factory produced about 3,200 sq yd. of linoleum each week. The term 'Staines Lino' became a world-wide name but the factory was closed around 1970 and is now the site of the Two Rivers shopping centre. A bronze statue of two lino workers in Staines High Street commemorates the Staines Lino Factory. The Spelthorne Museum in Staines has a display dedicated to the Linoleum Manufacturing Company.

Staines was the site of the Staines air disaster in 1972, at the time the worst air crash to have occurred on British soil, until the Lockerbie disaster of 1988. The crash was commemorated in June 2004, with the opening of a dedicated garden, created at the request of relatives, near to the crash site, and the unveiling of a stained glass window at St. Marys Church, where a memorial service was held.

taines Urban District

In 1894, the Local Government Act 1894 created the Staines Urban District of Middlesex. In 1965, under the London Government Act 1963, most of the rest of Middlesex became part of Greater London while Staines Urban District was transferred to Surrey. In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, the Staines Urban District was abolished and its area combined with that of the former Sunbury-on-Thames Urban District to form the present-day borough of Spelthorne.


The proximity to London and Heathrow have attracted a number of companies: BUPA (medical insurance), LogicaCMG (telecommunications and IT consultants) have major offices, NDS (conditional access DRM provider), Siemens Building Automation Division have their national headquarters here and British Gas (part of Centrica). Samsung Electronics Research Institute (SERI), Samsung's U.K. R&D Division, is based in Staines.


Staines is the home of the fictional character Ali G, rock band Hard-Fi and indie rock band Folie A Deux both who have been influenced lyrically by the surroundings and everyday lifestyle in Staines.

Exterior shots of the ITV sitcom Is It Legal? were filmed in Staines.

The administrative offices of Spelthorne Borough Council are located at Knowle Green. The town has recently unveiled a revitalised Thames-side with landscaping and sculptures. The Town Hall (now a bar) is a pleasant Victorian blend of Italian and Flemish influences set in a small square. Some well preserved Georgian town houses line Clarence Street (named after the Duke of Clarence). Church Street and The Lammas house some lovely Georgian and Victorian properties clustered around the parish church of St Mary. Most housing in the town is middle class in nature with plenty of green spaces (Staines Moor, Shortwood Common, Knowle Green, Leacroft, The Lammas and Laleham Abbey to the immediate south). Staines Bridge spans the Thames with a graceful three arch structure completed in 1832. Until the 14th century Staines was the tidal limit, now downstream at Teddington.

Thorpe Park, an amusement park with several distinctly themed areas, is near to the town.


Staines has a fairly compact town centre mainly focused on a wide pedestrianised High Street, housing most familiar names such as Waterstones, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, TK Maxx, Monsoon and HMV where Hard-Fi organised a CD signing on 10 March, 2008. Smaller independent units can be found in Church Street including Iris Bloomfield Florists and Refresh Juice Cafe, Clarence Street and the eastern end of the High Street. A market in the pedestrianised High Street is held every Wednesday and Saturday. It is one of the largest and busiest street markets in Surrey. A moderately-sized shopping centre (Elmsleigh) is directly behind the High Street. A retail park was opened in 2002 called Two Rivers which is bisected by the confluence of the rivers Wraysbury and Colne. Retailers include Waitrose as well as a Vue cinema, gym and cafes.

Outside the High street there are also many other parades of shops like Stainash and Edinburgh drive.

Best Buy the largest electrical chain in the US, and the Carphone Warehouse there UK partner announced that one of the first UK Best Buy stores will be opened in Staines in early 2009.


Staines has two secondary schools and one independent school:
*The Magna Carta School, with over 1,200 students and 60 prefects.
*Matthew Arnold School, a specialist Business and Enterprise College
*Staines Preparatory School, an independent 3-11 ages school


Staines has two football clubs; Staines Town F.C. and Staines Lammas F.C.. Staines Town play at the newly rebuilt Wheatsheaf Park ground and are currently in the Ryman Premier League. Staines Town enjoy a strong rivalry with Hampton & Richmond Borough. Staines Lammas were champions of the Combined Counties League Division One in 2007/08 and additionally run various age group teams. Staines is also home to a number of successful junior football clubs: Staines Town, Staines lammas and Staines Albion.

There are also many local gyms in the area including The Matthew Arnold Sports Centre along Kingston road. There are also local sports clubs including Tennis, Rowing and various football and Rugby teams


The nearest station is Staines railway station serving London Waterloo, Weybridge, Windsor and Eton Riverside and Reading. Taxis are available from the station. The bus station is a five-minute walk from the railway station. Staines is also a short ride south of Heathrow Airport.

There are proposals to build a new line, called Heathrow Airtrack, from Staines to Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5 station. As part of these proposals, a new station, to be called Staines High Street railway station would be built between the existing Staines station, and Wraysbury railway station.

Nearest places

Staines neighbouring towns and villages are Egham, Wraysbury, Ashford, Stanwell and Laleham. About 4 miles north east of Staines is the large Heathrow airport.

The area between Egham and Staines town centres is known as Egham Hythe.

Famous residents

* The Lucan Family (at Laleham Abbey until the 1930s)
* Norman Hunter (author)
* Matthew Arnold
* Denny Laine
* Christine Keeler
* Terence Dackombe (Writer - Spitting Image; Actor - The Krays)
* Bobby Davro
* Bill Nankeville
* Richard Murdoch (Murdoch Close off Cherry Orchard was named after him)
* "Ali G" (Fictional character played by Sacha Baron Cohen)
* Hard-Fi
* Richard Archer
* Jon Tickle
* Steve Allen (LBC radio presenter)

Local media

A number of local newspapers are available in Staines, these include:

*Staines Informer
*Staines Leader
*Staines Guardian
*Staines and Ashford News
*Staines and Egham News
*Surrey Herald


External links

* [ Staines] - 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article
* [ Open Directory category: Staines]
* [ Staines Guardian]
* [ Staines Rugby Football Club]
* [ Staines Boat Club]
* [ Staines Partnership]
* [ Staines Town FC Supporters Club]
* [ Staines Salvation Army]
* [ Staines and Laleham Cricket Club]
* [ Aerial photographs of Staines]
* [ Proposed AirTrack Rail Link]
* [ Staines Arts magazine]
* [ Staines Bridge article and illustration Extract: The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, by Various, Vol. 19. No. 548, Saturday, May 26, 1832.]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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