When the Romans arrived in AD 43, primitive bridges over the River Thames and the Colne already existed, and it is believed that this was the basis for the Romans naming Staines ‘Ad Pontes’ which means ‘The Bridges’. Staines developed into a prosperous riverside market town throughout the Middle Ages and as a result of the flat, fertile surrounding land, it was also home to a strong rural farming community. In the 19th century, however, industry arrived in force, mainly accelerated by the arrival of the railway in 1848.
A major redevelopment over recent years has resulted in a pleasant, pedestrianised High Street, with an extended range of shops and facilities. Staines is a commuter haven, with immediate access onto the motorway network via the M25 and the M3 at Junction 12. Heathrow is a mere ten minute drive away, and frequent train services run direct to London Waterloo in around 30 minutes.
You will find a complete mixture of property in Staines-upon-Thames, from immaculate penthouse riverside apartments, to large riverside homes, with their own private moorings, to terraced Victorian cottages and three/four bedroom 1930’s semi-detached family homes. The population for Staines-upon-Thames is approximately 25000.
Despite Ashford’s status as a large town less than 40 minutes from central London, it has successfully retained a village-like charm. There is an extensive range of leisure facilities on offer as well as a number of specialist shops, traditional public houses and restaurants.
New one and two bedroom apartments in Ashford have been recently built. With the variety of properties, Ashford attracts all types of people, from young singles, to families to retired couples. You can travel into London Waterloo in 38 minutes from Ashford Train Station. The population for the Ashford area is approximately 30,000.
Chertsey Abbey was established in 666AD and became one of the wealthiest religious houses in Surrey. Flanked by the Thames, the town was established in the 12th century, and today benefits from an excellent choice of boutique shops, bars and restaurants. Property prices in Chertsey completely vary; the properties on the river are in demand and are at the top end of property market.
You also have Bridge Wharf with many apartments, again located on the banks of the River Thames. The properties range from studio flats to large detached family homes, with great size gardens. The population of Chertsey is approximately 17000.
A busy riverside coaching town in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Egham now offers a pedestrianised town centre, making it a favoured shopping destination. The beautiful Royal Holloway building is of national historic interest, modelled on a French Chateau, now part of the University of London.
Egham offers an exciting choice of bars and restaurants. In the last year, there have been new properties built on the out-skirts of Egham and in Egham town centre. Egham is very popular with families due to the great schools in the area. Hidden away behind the town centre, you will find many semi-detached and terraced Victorian cottages and villas.
There is however a variety of property, ranging from small studio apartments, to large detached family homes. The population for the Egham area is approximately 26000.
Famous for its pretty village green which is the scene of an annual fair, Englefield Green merges into Coopers Hill to the north, offering panoramic views of Runneymede and the Thames.
It is also home to the famous Commonwealth Air Forces War Memorial with its spectacular gardens and vistas of Surrey and Berkshire.
This area is very popular with investors, due to Royal Holloway University being close by.
However it is also a popular place to live for families. You have a complete mix of properties, from studio apartments, to bungalows, to terraced and semi-detached homes to large detached houses. The population for Englefield Green is approximately 11180.
The riverside community of Laleham village is bursting with history: the All Saints Church stands on the site of a Roman Temple, the ‘Three Horseshoes’ on Shepperton Road dates back to the mid-seventeenth century, and the village is home to a number of fine eighteenth and nineteenth century properties.
During the summer, Laleham attracts plenty of visitors who make the most of the communal riverside areas along the Thames.
Many of the properties in Laleham are situated very close to the River Thames. The properties next to the Thames tend to be detached properties; however there are apartments with gardens to the front facing the River. Laleham’s properties tend to be either detached or semi-detached family homes. The population for Laleham is approximately 1511.
Old Windsor was the oldest Saxon town in Berkshire and the seat of Edward the Confessor. It continued in importance up until about 1100 when it was gradually overshadowed by the building of Windsor Castle two miles upstream. The parish includes within its boundaries most of Windsor Great Park, parts of which are open for public enjoyment and offers many pleasant walks. The church of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew was first built in 1216, probably on the site of an earlier building. It was restored and rebuilt in 1863 but still retains its original early English chancel and tower. The churchyard contains the grave of celebrated Georgian actress Nary ‘Perdita ‘ Robinson.
There are numerous facilities for fishing and boating and although there are many modern housing developments adjacent to the main roads, the towpath walks still retain their rural charm. The southeast of the parish adjoins the county of Surrey where the road from Windsor to Staines leads to historic Runnymede. It was here on 15th June 1215 that King John sealed the Magna Carta.
(Including Halliford, Charlton Village & Littleton)
Tradition maintains that in 54 BC the Catuvellauni tribe which ruled the area now known as Spelthorne, fortified the banks of the River Thames near Lower Halliford in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the Romans, under the leadership of Julius Caesar, from crossing. This area later came known as Cowey Stakes, although differing theories exist as to the origins of and the use of these stakes.
Church Square is particularly attractive and boasts two Hotels, the popular Public House the Kings Head and the picturesque Church. Shepperton has a wealth of riverside homes, an attractive lock and two popular island communities – Hamhaugh and Pharaoh’s. Along the High Street are numerous boutique shops, a library and several restaurants.
The areas of Upper & Lower Halliford, and Littleton are communities within their own rights, although they also run into Shepperton without any noticeable boundaries. Shepperton itself tends to be split into two sections, Shepperton Green and Shepperton Village. You have a few different housing estates in Shepperton, dating back to the early 1960’s. The properties tend to be three/four bedroom semi-detached homes or bungalows. In the last ten years, Shepperton has seen numerous re-developments. One of which, the apartments, located close to the train station. The population for Shepperton is approximately 13864.
STANWELL / STANWELL MOOR
Stanwell, which has won the South East in Bloom Urban Village award on a number of occasions, still manages to maintain the atmosphere of a village, with the graceful leaning spire of St Mary’s Church at the end of the Green forming a distinctive landmark. Within the High Street, along with the individual shops that are offered, two Public Houses date back to the 18th century. The ‘Five Bells’ was recorded as being a tavern back in 1795 and ‘The Swan’ ; is recorded as an inn in 1730.
The River Colne borders Stanwell Moor, which lies to the west of the village. Because of the river, a number of mills were located in this area over the years, and the remaining land has traditionally been used for agriculture. Even today Stanwell Moor is not densely populated and manages to retain the character of a rural community.
SUNBURY ON THAMES
The name Sunbury derives from the 10th century Saxon Lord Sunna, who built a ‘Burgh’, or settlement on the Sunbury riverside. Sunbury is made up of two separate areas, Lower Sunbury, which is also sometimes referred to as Sunbury Village and Sunbury Common which incorporates Sunbury Cross. Many of the links with the past are set in the former village alongside the Thames.
The Sunbury Clock at Sunbury Cross was erected in June 1897 in celebration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and has become a distinctive Spelthorne landmark. Refurbishment of the shopping centre has made Sunbury Cross more prominent and attractive with a wider range of shopping and car parking facilities for shoppers, in a modern, pleasant environment.
Sunbury Park comprises 32 acres of open space, most of which remains in a rural and natural state. The park has many mature trees, including several majestic cedars. In sharp contrast to this ‘wild’ area is the beautifully maintained Walled Garden, which contains many examples of plants from all over the world, and exhibits numerous examples of past gardening styles. The Garden provides a magnificent setting for local events and exhibitions and is the venue for regular Sunday afternoon band concerts.
There is a complete mixture of properties in Sunbury upon Thames. From one bedroom starter homes, to large riverside dwellings in Lower Sunbury. Sunbury train station has two trains an hour to London Waterloo, which takes approximately 48 minutes. The population for this area is approximately 24500.
Thorpe was mentioned in the Doomsday Book as ‘Torpe’, so we can see that the name has changed little in 900 years. Great Fosters, now a hotel stands on the site of a Tudor Hunting Lodge which was constructed by a courtier of Elizabeth I. Thorpe is also home of the distinctly modern Thorpe Park, a famous theme park which attracts over a million visitors a year. Suffice to say children and adults alike love it! The owners of Thorpe Park have set a good example to other businesses in the borough by landscaping and tending the roundabout outside the main entrance to Thorpe Park and the Company has established a good rapport within the Borough.
Thorpe Place, currently the home of the American School in Switzerland (TASIS), was for many years the home of the Lord of the Manor. The core of the current building dates from 1801, but earlier manor houses had stood in the grounds since at least the 12th century, and the existing barn and stable complex date back to 1650.
The small village of Virginia Water takes its name from the nearby Virginia Water Lake which was created in 1746 by the Duke of Cumberlandand which lies within the boundaries of Windsor Great Park. Ostensible destroyed by flooding in 1768 the construction of the current much larger lake was started in 1780 and included an artificial waterfall and obelisk pond, both still present today. The lake provides an idyllic environment to walk or cycle around with around half of the route paved.
With good rail links into Central London (Waterloo) the village itself is perhaps best known for the private Wentworth Estate, which incorporates the famous Wentworth Golf club, and which is popular with celebrities including most notably Sir Bruce Forsyth. The houses are mainly large and detached although there are some flats and smaller houses. There is small selection of shops in the village and a couple of good schools.
The first written spelling appears in the Doomsday Book of 1086 as ‘Wirecesberie’, with many variations cropping up since. Doomsday also tells us that the Manor of Wraysbury was given by William the Conqueror to one of his Norman Barons.
The railway came to Wraysbury in 1848 forming part of the service from Waterloo to Windsor. As far as we are aware Wraysbury has more Clubs & Societies than any other village within the UK and therefore has a real community spirit.
There are many bungalows and detached homes in Wraysbury, many of which set on good size plots.
The population for this area is approximately 4500.