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An Early History

Staines-upon-Thames

Evidence of neolithic settlement has been found at Yeoveney, on Staines Moor & there has been a crossing over the River Thames at Staines since Roman times. The emperor Claudius sent the Romans into Britain in AD 43, and they settled in Staines the same year. Soon afterwards the first Staines Bridge was constructed to provide an important Thames crossing point on the road from Londinium (London) to Calleva Atrebatum, near the present-day village of Silchester. The name Staines comes from the Old English, and means “[the place at the] stone”. The equivalent Roman name was “ad Pontes” (“at the bridges”) implying that there was more than one bridge and it is believed that these bridges traversed Church Island.

linoStaines, albeit spelt Stanes, appears in the Middlesex section of the Domesday Book of 1086, as a property held by Westminster Abbey. It was stated to occupy 19 hides of land, and had 6 mills worth £3 4s 0d, 2 weirs worth 6s 8d, 24 ploughs, meadows for 24 ploughs, and some cattle. It rendered £35. 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.

The barons assembled at Staines before they met King John at Runnymede in 1215, and Stephen Langton held a consecration there shortly after the sealing of the Magna Carta.
Staines has had a long history of innovation & production.

Linoleum

Frederick Walton invented Linoleum in 1864 & became the main industry and major employer in the area until the 1960’s producing approx. 2,675 sqm each week. The term Staines Linoleum soon became a worldwide brand. The site is now occupied by the Two Rivers shopping centre and a bronze statue of two Lino workers has been erected in Staines High Street to commemorate the Linoleum factory.

Lagonda

British luxury car marque Lagonda was founded in 1906 in Staines by and American Wilbur Gunn (1859 – 1920) a former opera singer of Scottish ancestry who named the company after Lagonda Creek near Springfield, Ohio, the town of his birth. He started building motorcycles in the garden of his home in Staines with reasonable success including a win on the 1905 London–Edinburgh trial. In 1907 he launched his first car, the 20 hp, 6-cylinder Torpedo, which wonn the Moscow – St. Petersburg trial of 1910. Greater success followed when his M45 Rapide, driven by John “Johnny” Hindmarsh and Luis Fontes won the Le Mans race in 1935.

Present Day

lagondaWith the towns close proximity to London and easy access to the airport, Staines-upon-Thames has attracted a large number of international companies and research centres.

The town centre has a wide pedestrianized high street with many famous names in the retail world & a large number of smaller independent retailers, with one of the largest & busiest street markets in Surrey. Elmsleigh shopping centre is located directly behind the high street and the Two Rivers Retail park was opened in 2002 and is bisected by the confluence of the rivers Wraysbury and Colne.

The public landscape by the riverside conservation area also built in 2002 has seating and sculptures to enhance the waterfront as a place to walk, with large areas of green spaces including Staines Moore, Shortwood Common, Knowle Green & Lea Croft. Many of the parks belong to the former grand houses and border the river with picnic areas & playgrounds. The Area has a large range of schools, colleges and a number of famous universities and with a host of sports available from boating to boxing and swimming to Olympic weightlifting.

The area has everything you could wish for.