|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (June 2011)|
St. John's Church (C of E), Queens Road, Belmont, Sutton
Belmont shown within Greater London
|OS grid reference|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Sutton and Cheam|
|London Assembly||Croydon and Sutton|
Belmont is a village in the London Borough of Sutton in southwest London, England. It is located off the A217 road and near to Banstead Downs in Surrey. It is a suburban development situated 10.8 miles (17.4 km) south-southwest of Charing Cross.
Belmont did not exist until the late 19th-century. Belmont railway station opened in May 1865 and was originally called 'California Station', named after the California Arms public house on the opposite side of Brighton Road which was built by John Gibbons in approximately 1858. The station was renamed 'Belmont' in 1875, and the name was attached to the village that emerged subsequently. The original pub was heavily damaged by German bombing in the Second World War. The new building, built on the site in 1955, is now known as 'The Belmont'. St. John's Church (C of E) stands in Queens Road, near the end of the small High Street ("Station Road").
Banstead Hospital and the emergence of Belmont
The village of Belmont strongly owed its development to the presence of Banstead Asylum. Although located in the parish of Banstead, the asylum was much closer to the village and railway station of Belmont than those of Banstead. Originally known as Banstead Asylum, the hospital opened in 1877 as the third county lunatic asylum for Middlesex. Around 1890 it came under the auspices of London County Council. Later a psychiatric hospital under the name Banstead Mental Hospital, then Banstead Hospital, it closed in 1986 and was largely demolished in 1989. The site is now occupied by the prison High Down (HM Prison).
Belmont Hospital and the South Metropolitan District School
Belmont Hospital was a psychiatric hospital. It closed and was demolished in the 1980s. The site is now occupied by the 'Belmont Heights' housing estate, which is situated to the west of Brighton Road, to the north of Belmont village. Belmont Hospital opened after the Second World War. The premises had previously fulfilled a number of different institutional purposes. For example, during World War II it was used as an emergency hospital for military and civilian casualties, including psychiatric cases. The oldest buildings on the site, built in the early 1850s, had originally been a large Poor Law residential 'district' school belonging to the South Metropolitan Schools District. This institution catered for pauper children from several parishes in south-east London. Along with its nearby annex site, built in 1884 in Cotswold Road (formerly Banstead Road), this establishment closed in 1902. The premises at both sites were then acquired by the Metropolitan Asylums Board. Some of the buildings of the Cotswold Road site still exist.
Notable Former Residents
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (January 2010)|
- James Blades (1901–1999) orchestral percussionist.
- James Hunt (1947–93), World Formula One motor-racing champion 1976.
- Lord Judd (born 1935) former director of Oxfam. As Frank Judd he was MP for constituencies in Portsmouth from 1966 to 1979.
- Don Lusher (1923–2006), trombonist and jazz band leader
- Lord Ritchie-Calder (1906–82), journalist and environment expert
- Lionel Tertis (1876–1975), viola-player
- Barry Wordsworth (born in Cheam 1948), orchestral conductor - music director.
- David Bellamy Botanist, author and academic.
- Sparkes, Roland (2009) Belmont: A Century Ago.
Further reading (local history)
- Belmont: A Century Ago by Roland Sparkes, published December 2009. Paperback. ISBN 978-0-9563424-0-9. . This is first book dedicated to the history of the village. The introductory chapter provides a resume of Belmont's history and development in the Victorian era and the early 20th century.
- Articles by local historian Roland Sparkes for the Belmont Local History group (established 2009). E.g. Belmont: 1865 - A description of the Belmont area as it existed in 1865 , and Dr Carl Warburg, his Belmont laboratory, and his famous fever drug.
- Sutton Guardian newspaper - heritage page articles and features. 
- Sutton Scene (London Borough of Sutton's official newsletter), Oct/Nov 2009 edition. Feature on Belmont. 
- Two booklets have been produced about the history of Belmont's churches, both now out of print: (i) Splendid the Heritage: the story of Belmont and its Methodist Church (Craig, 1965); and (ii) A Village Church: the story of the first 75 years of St John’s with Belmont Methodists (Reed, 1992).