Weybridge

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Template:About Template:Hatnote Template:Infobox UK place Weybridge Template:IPAc-en is a town by the River Wey in the Elmbridge district of Surrey. It is bounded to the north by the River Thames at the mouth of the Wey, from which it gets its name. It is an outlying suburban town within the Greater London Urban Area. Real estate prices are well above the national average: as of 2008, six of the ten most expensive streets in South East England (defined as the official government region, which excludes Greater London) were in Weybridge.

Weybridge, based on its parish bounds, forms three wards of the United Kingdom or can be divided into the Thames Street and town centre area, the Queens Road area on top of Monument Hill, most of Brooklands and St George's Hill. Within the post town, rather than Weybridge's other boundaries is Oatlands or Oatlands Village.

History

Weybridge lay within the Elmbridge hundred.

Weybridge appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Webrige and Webruge held partly by Chertsey Abbey; partly by an Englishman from the abbey; and partly by Herfrid from the conqueror's brother, the Bishop of Bayeux. Its domesday assets were: 6 hides; 1½ ploughs, Template:Convert of meadow, wood worth 9 hogs. It rendered £4 per year to it feudal system overlords. It was much smaller than today's post town, and about one quarter of the size of neighbouring Walton.

In 1235 Henry III granted to William son of Daniel Pincerna, for his homage and service, two mills on the River Wey, one above the 'bridge of Wey,' and the other at Feyreford (a place which no longer exists) at an annual rent of five silver marks.<ref name=m>Template:Cite web</ref>

Until the late 18th century Weybridge was as a very small village with a river crossing, seed milling to make flour and nurseries would continue to provide the major source of home-grown income until the 20th century<ref name=m/> but no tanneries, major coaching houses, shops, markets, forges or gunpowder works are documented for example in the medieval period. The earliest monuments on the tower wall of St James's C of E Church are 15th century plaques, and the Church was rebuilt in 1848 with a south aisle added in 1864. In 1537 the south-west of Walton on Thames extra-territorially a manor house affiliated to Weybridge on what was a border of Weybridge and Walton, Oatlands Palace, was built by Henry VIII, which was where he married his fifth wife Catherine Howard. When it was demolished in 1650, bricks from its walls helped to line the then new Wey Navigation canal.

In 1571 commissioners were appointed to report on the condition of the bridge across the Wey. They stated that for some years it had been so decayed as to be "unsafe for passengers, and that it was now ruinous...if the queen (Elizabeth I of England) should be at her house at Oatlands and the waters should rise, 'as often they do,' she could not pass to her forest to hunt". It was accordingly ordered that a new bridge – a horse-bridge like the last – should be built, wood being used for its construction, as stonework would be too costly. The expense was to be borne by the queen, as the land on either side belonged to her.<ref name=m/>

St. George's Hill was the site of the Diggers' Commune in the 1640s.

At the bottom of Monument Hill, within the definition of the town centre is a monument to the Duchess of York, erected by public subscription in 1820 from the remains of the original Seven Dials Monument that stood in St. Martin's Lane, London until 1773. The Duchess is buried in St. James's Churchyard.

In the 19th century Oatlands broke away from the parish of Walton on Thames to become a village in its own right, eventually to have three places of worship. Influenced by the secondary manor of Weybridge, the forerunner of Oatlands Palace palace (at which time the heart of the grounds became the Oatlands Park Hotel), the post town adopted Oatlands as its only village in the 19th century.

The entomologist, Horace Donisthorpe, visited Weybridge Heath to investigate the ant colony.

One of the first campsites of an enthusiasts' body requiring set amenities was built within Weybridge's boundaries in 1901 and was part of the early history of the Camping and Caravanning Club and no longer exists.

Weybridge grew into a commuter town with the advent of the fast train link into London Waterloo and a lot of 'new' houses have been built around the Oatlands Park and Broadwater Lake area.

Railway

Template:OpenStreetMapThumb Weybridge railway station was opened by the London and Southampton Railway in 1838. After the station was opened, development of what was until then only a village began and gradually Weybridge became a town. Large houses were built on St George's Hill from 1911 by local builder and developer Walter George Tarrant of Byfleet.

Plant life

thumb In Weybridge Heath, many rare species of insects (particularly ants), rare birds and insectivorous plant have been recorded. The heath was allowed to become vastly overgrown in recent years, but recently Surrey Wildlife Trust invoked a scrub clearance plan in an attempt to restore this valuable habitat.

Industry

Weybridge is the British headquarters of Alliance Boots, Sony Corporation, Procter & Gamble, JTI (formerly Gallaher) and Toshiba Information Systems headquarters is very close by. Abbey Business Centres also have a presence in the town.

Eurotax Glass, owners and publishers of Glass's Guide, pricing bible to the motor industry, and regional paper publisher Newsquest are based in Weybridge.

In popular culture

  • In H. G. Wells' classic novel The War of the Worlds, Weybridge was the location of a battle in which a Martian fighting machine was destroyed. The title of chapter 12 of the book is: "What I saw of the destruction of Weybridge and Shepperton".
  • The battle also featured in the track "The Artilleryman and the Fighting Machine" from Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds and in a graphic novel by Ian Edginton and D'Israeli, adapted from Wells' book.
  • In John Wyndham's novel The Kraken Wakes, the main characters are stopped in their attempt to reach Cornwall on a dinghy, through a flooded England, in the whereabouts of Weybridge.

Education

Two schools for 11-18-year-olds serve Weybridge, Heathside School and 6th Form Centre in the town itself and St George's College in nearby Addlestone. There is also Brooklands College, for sixth form students in further education focussing particularly in BTECs. There are 2 primary schools to serve 4-11 year olds: St James Primary School and St Charles Borromeo Catholic Primary, as well as 2 infant schools: Oatlands and Mamby Lodge and Cleves Junior School.

Sport

At the top of Monument Hill, adjacent to the cricket green is a World War I war memorial.

Weybridge also has a variety of sports clubs including the Weybridge Vandals Rugby Club, Weybridge Vandals Cricket Club, Elmbridge Canoe Club, Weybridge Bowls Club, Weybridge Rowing Club, Weybridge Mariners Recreational Rowing Club, Weybridge Sprinters Club and Weybridge Cricket Club, all serving the area for many years. Addlestone & Weybridge Town F.C. was the main football club in Weybridge until becoming defunct in 1985. However, there are several amateur teams in the local area. Like Abbey Rangers Football club.

Notable people

Template:Unreferenced section Notable residents, past and present, include:

  • John Austin (1790-1859), legal philosopher
  • Sarah Austin (née Taylor) (1793-1867), writer, translator and wife of John Austin
  • Maurice Hewlett - novelist and husband of Hilda Hewlett, was born in the town
  • Jacqueline Bisset - actress, was born in the town
  • Sir Colin Davis - conductor, was born in the town.
  • Joseph 'Mutt' Summers - Vickers' chief test pilot at Brooklands, lived at Tythe Barn in St George Avenue in the mid-1930s and is buried in Weybridge Cemetery
  • Brian Trubshaw - BAC chief test pilot at Brooklands, lived in Egerton Road in the 1960s
  • G.R. "Jock" Bryce - former chief test pilot of BAC, also chief test pilot of Vickers Armstrong has lived in Weybridge since the early 1960s
  • John Lennon - lived in Weybridge in the mid to late 1960s, in a mansion on St George's Hill
  • Ringo Starr - lived in Weybridge in the late 1960s
  • Tom Jones - lived in Weybridge in the late 1960s
  • Nina Bawden - lived in Weybridge in the 1960s and 70s, Carrie's War was written at her house in Hanger Hill, since demolished along with the private 'Wallop School'
  • Fanny Kemble - author, actor and anti-slavery supporter, lived at Eastlands in Brooklands Road
  • E. M. Forster - author, wrote his best known book, Howards End, in Weybridge, 1908–10
  • Michael Aspel - journalist and television presenter, patron of the Weybridge Society, awarded the Freedom of Elmbridge in recognition of his many campaigns and charities in the Borough
  • You Me at Six - Pop rock band. Consisting of Josh Franceschi, Matt Barnes, Dan Flint, Chris Miller and Max Helyer.
  • Petr ?ech - Czech footballer, Chelsea F.C.
  • Peter Crouch - footballer, Stoke City F.C.
  • Abbey Clancy - model
  • Eamonn Holmes & Ruth Langsford, broadcasters
  • Warwick Deeping, author, most notably for Sorrell and Son, lived in Eastlands on Brooklands Road during the 1920s through 1950s.
  • Lucy O'Donnell - the "Lucy" of the 1967 Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
  • Pete Ham (1947-1975) and Tom Evans (1947-1983) of the pop group Badfinger lived in Weybridge in the 1970s.
  • Kelvin MacKenzie - journalist
  • Robert Evans - Labour European politician lives in Oatlands
  • Lily Loveless - actor, Skins
  • Theo Paphitis - businessman and TV personality, Dragons' Den and entrepreneur
  • Cliff Richard - pop singer
  • Nicola Roberts - Girls Aloud band member
  • Shilpa Shetty - actress
  • Will Hughes - footballer, second youngster player in the history of England U21'S

Nearest places

  • Oatlands
  • Byfleet
  • Shepperton - weirs, Shepperton Lock and Old Shepperton can be seen the other side of the Thames and an on demand Shepperton to Weybridge Ferry runs seasonally
  • Addlestone - the Hamm Court neighbourhood adjoins

Localities

Brooklands

What was Brooklands Aerodrome and Motor Circuit is visible in topography in the south-western most part of Weybridge and part of the north of Byfleet. The track area has Brooklands Museum, the Brooklands Hotel, Mercedes Benz World and is home to a large combined Tesco / Marks and Spencer, a Mothercare store and Argos outlet. The brainchild of Hugh Locke-King, Brooklands was opened on 17 June 1907 and was the first purpose-built motor racing circuit in the world. Its unique kidney-shaped layout was designed by Colonel H. C. Holden of the Royal Engineers and featured two steep and distinctive banked sections at opposite ends. Soon after it opened, the sheltered private location attracted early aviators and aeroplane designers such as Roe and Sopwith and the centre of the track soon became one of Britain's first aerodromes and later played a major part in aviation worldwide during much of the 20th century, most notably with the British Aerospace, British Aircraft Corporation, Hawker, Sopwith and Vickers aircraft companies.

The high manor house area in the north of the site has been turned into a major college since the mid 20th century, see above.

St George's Hill

Template:Main The neighbourhood for its most narrow definition refers to the private estate, which includes the wide summit of the hill. Lower slopes leading to the summit and some of the properties on Brooklands Road, whether in the Brooklands or Weybridge station area of the parish have an arguable geographic case for inclusion within the hill, particularly as these lie within the current local government ward of St George's Hill. The vast majority of the ward's housing is either detached or apartments. A small number of care homes have been established in the north of this area. A tennis club and golf club for residents are at the heart of the hill. A minimum acreage of gardens on the private estate itself and similar provisions in respect of most of the adjoining streets characterise the area.

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/>
Weybridge North 439 435 398 642 0 0
Weybridge South 499 328 336 908 2 15
St Georges Hill 1,152 379 340 696 0 0

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

2011 Census Key Statistics
Output area Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan hectares<ref name=ons/>
Weybridge North 4,347 1,914 27 37 233
Weybridge South 4,600 2,088 31 33 202
St Georges Hill 6,502 2,567 33 40 938

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).

Wikisource link

  • What I Saw of the Destruction of Weybridge and Shepperton ("The War of the Worlds", Chapter 12)

External links

References

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