Long Ditton

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Long Ditton is a suburban village in Surrey, England, on the boundary with the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, London, founded as an agricultural village in the medieval period. Neighbouring settlements are Claygate, Chessington, Thames Ditton, and Surbiton, which is its post town. Its northernmost part is Template:Convert south-west of central Kingston upon Thames, approximately 11.3 miles from Charing Cross, and Template:Convert north-east of Guildford, the county town of Surrey. Long Ditton occupies a long strand of land, as its name suggests and is briefly bisected by the South Western Main Line and an urbanised motorway standard section of the A3, which is however not accessible directly from the village. Instead the old Portsmouth Road passes by the River Thames at the northern end of the village.


thumb Ditton was a Saxon settlement in England which, by Domesday, was in lay but not ecclesiastical terms split in two, as it remains. This split was between the riverside manor and parish of Thames Ditton, and the longer, eastern area, Long Ditton, which is a long rectangle of land extending from developed land by the River Thames to Ditton Hill. In modern layout Ditton Hill reaches beyond the wide A3 which is joined on it by a spur of the A309 to Woodstock Lane South partially now in Claygate (and in address wholly in Esher post town).

Two Dittons appears in the Domesday Book of 1086: Ditone and Ditune. The one that became known as Long Ditton was held by Picot from (i.e. under) Richard Fitz Gilbert. The one that became known as Thames Ditton was held by Wadard under Bishop Odo. Long Ditton's Domesday assets were: 4 hides; 1 church, 1 mill worth 9s, 3½ ploughs, woodland worth 15 hogs, 1 house in Southwark paying 500 herrings. It rendered £2 10s 0d.

The ancient church dated in its earliest sections, partly from the 12th century and which had fallen into a bad state of decay by the 18th century. Various manors here supported the church and in return the vestry supported its inhabitants, including two in Tolworth.<ref name=malden>Template:Cite web</ref>

Merton Priory received all four neighbouring chapelries to Kingston under Henry I, therefore it is uncertain whether the manor had a church or chapel here at that period. Until the early 20th century the parish existed in two non-contiguous parts, Long Ditton proper and Tolworth. A strip of Kingston parish, its hamlet of Hook lay between the two parts. The traditional, western portion considered Long Ditton proper which remains was Template:Convert<ref name=malden/> and on near-identical boundaries to today's ecclesiastical parish.

In the 18th century a replacement church was built on its site, with a small Greek cross plan, built of brick.<ref name=malden/>

With only the church listed buildings many properties are Victorian - its rectory house became very derelict in the early 20th century and the decision was therefore made to remove it. Its greater part was half-timber, it is pictured in Malden's book on the county as a whole and is probably of the 16th century.<ref name=malden/> In that century what is known of the village is its manor fell into the hands of a George Evelyn, whose family took a dynastic hold over the village's prosperity. The Evelyns had the foresight, or good fortune, to be producing gunpowder during a rather explosive period of history. Gunpowder mills proliferated across Long Ditton and beyond to keep up with demand, and the Evelyns set about buying up much of the country that was from 1640-1660 busied in self-conflict suing the profits the family's noted powder.<ref name=malden/>

George's grandson John Evelyn, who gained posthumous fame for his Diary, had to flee the country during the civil war as swathes of family land fell awkwardly between Royalist and Parliamentarian strongholds. It was John who gleaned further prestige for the family name with his assimilation into the Royal Court of Charles II. When St Mary's Church was re-built in 1880, and monuments erected to commemorate local dignitaries, there were few other Long Ditton celebrities to celebrate, and the place became something of an Evelyn shrine.<ref name=malden/>

Burials in the churchyard include that of global business-founder and civil structural engineer Terence Patrick O'Sullivan, Sir Sydney Camm (aircraft designing engineer for Hawker) and Austin Partner, a victim of the sinking of the Titanic.

Remains of the 18th century on-site replacement to the medieval church can be seen in the churchyard's garden of rest, strewn with flat, crypt-style church floor memorials to the Evelyn family and which is therefore listed in the Grade II category. Only one of its memorials was moved to the present C of E (parish) church built in 1880, designed by George Edmund Street. Built of expensive stone material, it is primarily of buff-covered coursed marble stone with Bath stone dressings overlying this in part, such as forming decorative arches.


A small minority of the census ward is in that part of the ecclesiastical parish of Esher which is immediately south of Hinchley Wood railway station and is therefore can equally be deemed Hinchley Wood, since the latest boundaries of Elmbridge wards have been drawn.

Long Ditton ward's population at the 2011 census was 6,343 living in 2,504 households. The total area was unchanged from ten years before at Template:Convert and density had increased to 27.2 to 29.6 persons per hectare.<ref name=ons/>


Template:Geographic location The place is one of only two small portions of Elmbridge that is part of a post town outside its area, in this case, Surbiton which is in the neighbouring borough of Kingston upon Thames.

Whereas Kingston, the current administrative headquarters of the county, is centred a mile and a half away across the very small Seething Wells part of Surbiton's riverside, Long Ditton is Template:Convert north-east of the traditional county town, Guildford.

Soil and Elevation

Long Ditton's soil is chiefly London clay, but to the north is Thames alluvial topsoil, gravel and sand, and it contains two patches of Bagshot Sand in the southern part.


thumb which has a non-stopping service to London]] Long Ditton has lost its agriculture in favour of residential estates and has become a satellite suburb to Esher, Kingston upon Thames and Surbiton. As such it can be considered a dormitory settlement and a leafy suburb accessible by a reasonable commute to the two outlying but nearest railway stations, Thames Ditton in respect of a few roads such as Portsmouth Road by the River Thames and, for the remainder of inhabitants, Surbiton station. Also providing links to London is more than one Transport for London bus service.

Active members of the limited expressions of the community, including organisers of village hall events and those on its Residents Association contribute to the case that Long Ditton has more of the character of a village; Long Ditton also has a cricket club which holds the heart of the town, including a members' bar and annual events for residents at large. A clustered village, which has now developed its riverside it has modest green spaces which intersperse housing in the area, principally recreation grounds and do not form buffer zones from other settlements, except some commercial plant nurseries and garden centre businesses which separate Claygate.

Residents' Association

The Long Ditton Residents' Association (LDRA) is a subscription-based body whose aims are to preserve Long Ditton from overdevelopment, maintain its character, improve its amenities and defend its remaining surrounding Metropolitan Green Belt.

Demography and housing

2011 Census Homes
Output area Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes Shared between households<ref name=ons/>
(ward) 703 706 669 419 7 0

The average level of accommodation in the region composed of detached houses was 28%, the average that was apartments was 22.6%.

Output area Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan hectares<ref name=ons/>
(ward) 6,343 2,504 33 44 214

The proportion of households in the settlement who owned their home outright compares to the regional average of 35.1%. The proportion who owned their home with a loan compares to the regional average of 32.5%. The remaining % is made up of rented dwellings (plus a negligible % of households living rent-free).



External links

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