Hersham shown within Surrey
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||Walton on Thames|
|Dialling code||01932 and 01372|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Esher and Walton|
Hersham is a village in Surrey, within the M25. Its housing is relatively low-rise and diverse and it has four technology/trading estates. The main A3 London to Portsmouth road runs by Painshill on its southern boundary with a roundabout junction. The only contiguous settlement is Walton-on-Thames, its post town.
Hersham Green, in the nucleus of the village, is 3.4 acres (1.38 ha) of open space where regular events take place throughout the summer. Within a few minutes walk of this suburban-urban bulk of Hersham in the east are green fields and meadows alongside the River Mole and footpaths by fields used for mixed farming; in the south of the village is woodland interspersed by Notre Dame School, Feltonfleet School and Walton Firs Scout Camp and bordered by St George's Hill.
Two golf courses are within its bounds, Burhill Golf Club and Hersham Village Golf Club; considerable other land is wooded, used for mixed farming or Esher Rugby Club[n 1], much of which is Metropolitan Green Belt.
According to Hersham in Surrey:
Hersham began as a strip of woodland beside the River Mole. It was occupied by pre-historic folk whose flint instruments have been found in large numbers beside the River on Southwood Manor Farm[n 2]. These date mostly from the mesolithic period. Somewhere around 200 B.C. a huge defensive earthwork was erected on top of St George's Hill (ecclesiastically in Hersham, but in Weybridge post town), probably as a refuge camp against invaders coming up the Thames Valley.
That this could have been constructed at all indicates a fairly large population in the district, a chieftain of some sort, organised labour and a desperate perhaps recurring danger. Bronze and Iron Age burials have been found on the slopes of the hill which was clearly a feature of some importance in ancient times.
The Anglo-Saxons may well have been the first permanent settlers here; they gave the name to the place and no older remains of actual dwellings in areas not mentioned above have been found. In the 12th century it was written Haverichesham suggesting Haeferick's hamlet or river bend settlement. By contraction the name become Haverisham, Haversham, Harsham or Hersham before finally settling only on the latter.
Hersham's first chapel of ease (Holy Trinity church, which was demolished in 1889 having been superseded) was built of yellow brick in Anglo-Norman style in 1839. Similarly congregationalists had a Round Chapel which existed from 1844 until 1961, the year in which the single dual carriageway in Hersham was created, and enabling its construction.
Instead of merely (for vestry and property owning matters such as poor relief, road maintenance, manorial ownership, land tax and tithes) being the southern hamlet of Walton, Hersham became an ecclesiastical parish in 1851. The dividing line was what then officially termed the "London and South Western Railway line" and all borders remain almost unchanged by later local government and ecclesiastical parish decisions. The present Anglican church of St. Peter was built by Mr. J. L. Pearson, R.A., in 1887. It is of brick and stone in 13th-century style. It has a nave and aisles, of five arcades, chancel, transepts, and a western tower and spire. Its site was given by Lieut. Col. Terry of Burvale, Hersham.
- Moor Hall, Syklesmore or Southwood
Hersham contained one manor alone known as Morehall alias Sylkesmore or Southwood. Mention of a court held at Hersham in 1272 by Reginald de Imworth and Matilda his wife, may indicate that he was then lord of the manor. When Henry VIII built Nonsuch Palace in Cheam as many as eighty loads of timber were obtained from Southwood, or the South Woods, for it. In 1540 he purchased from John Carleton the "manor of Morehall or Sylkesmore" in Hersham, together with lands and woods in Burwood and Hatch in Hersham. The manor remained in the possession of the Crown, and was granted by Philip II of Spain and Mary I of England to David Vincent. In 1579 Queen Elizabeth granted to Thomas Vincent "the manor, site, and demesne lands of Morehall, and the wood called Sylkesmore coppice". In the 18th century and until 1802 at least, the estate, then known as 'the manor of Southwood and Silksmore,' appears to have been held by the Frederick family.
- Whiteley Village
This private retirement village with a percentage of accommodation available for disabled poor residents is set in a lightly undulating, elevated, wooded part of Hersham and was created from a bequest of £1m left by a London department store pioneer William Whiteley.
Hersham is in the borough of Elmbridge, in north-west Surrey and has no particular sub-localities except for Burwood Park, which alongside certain other addresses in the village is, when published for any purposes, due to its proximity to Walton on Thames railway station, done so under the name of Hersham's post town only, Walton on Thames. A planned community also exists in the south almost entirely for the retired, Whiteley Village.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (September 2013)|
On Surrey County Council, Hersham has a Conservative representative, Margaret Hicks. Cllr Mrs Hicks was first elected to the council in 1989. She has been re-elected since then the last time being 3 May 2013 with an increased majority.
Hersham is represented by six councillors on Elmbridge Borough Council.
Hersham North ward is mostly between the A244 Esher Road/A317 Queens Road and the railway line. Representatives have been Labour, Conservative or Residents according to the candidate and popularity of the national parties. Labour councillors were regularly elected in this ward from the 1950s until 2000, notably Paul Vanson and Irene Hamilton. As of 2012, there are two Conservative councillors, Mary Sheldon and Ian Donaldson, and one Hersham Village Society councillor, Roy Green, representing Hersham North.
Hersham South ward is represented by three Conservative councillors, Ruth Mitchell, John O'Reilly and John Sheldon.
In 2000 HVS took two of the three seats leaving Irene Hamilton as the sole other councillor, but she lost her seat to Bob Mott of the HVS on seeking re-election after three years. HVS in turn lost all three seats to the Conservatives between 2006 and 2008,(Mary Sheldon, Ian Donaldson and Doug Packer) and 2008 was the first time the ward had been represented by more than one Conservative.
Roy Green's defeat in 2008 was one of four gains which gave overall Conservative control of Elmbridge; the defeat was mainly attributed to Roy Green's sex scandal. The married man was found in bed with 6 transvestite prostitutes and later apologised for his actions and any offence it caused to the Hersham community. In 2010 Doug Packer resigned and a by- election in Hersham North was held on 21 October. The Conservative candidate, Simon Desborough, was elected with 463 votes, a majority of 10 over Roy Green. The May 2011 elections saw Ian Donaldson defeat Roy Green by just 26 votes.
Roy Green (HVS) was re-elected to Elmbridge Council at the 2012 local elections when he regained the seat he lost four years ago to the Conservatives by a majority of 68 votes over the Tory candidate. Labour's Kevin Hamilton -son of former councillor Irene Hamilton - got 261 votes, Roy Green 636 votes
In Hersham South, which extends from the village centre to the edge of Cobham, the Conservatives - Elmbridge Mayor John Sheldon and Council Leader John O'Reilly and Ruth Mitchell - have regularly polled well over 50%, although they did come close to losing one of their seats to the HVS in the 1980s when they won by just two votes.
Famous people past and present
- Gordon Mills, Tom Jones's manager lived here and is buried in the local Burvale Cemetery.
- Frederick Wicks (1840–1910), author & inventor, retired to the village and died there.
- Sarah Payne, (1992–2000), English murder victim, was born in Hersham.
- Jimmy Pursey, founder of punk rock band Sham 69
- Julie Andrews speaks about her early days in Hersham in her book "Home"
In more recent times the punk group Sham 69 with lead singer Jimmy Pursey, had its roots in Hersham. The band's biggest hit was Hersham Boys. Sham 69 took their name from the remnants of a piece of graffiti in the area which made reference to when Walton and Hersham football club secured the Athenian League title in 1969.
Due to its proximity to London and Shepperton Studios, Hersham is frequently a filming location for film and television productions including Nighty Night, The Glass, Monty Python and Being April. The latest series of the TV show, Ashes to Ashes was filmed in Hersham.
Within Hersham is the mixed, secondary Rydens School. The school holds specialist Business and Enterprise College status, and boasts an impressive drama programme. Its roll holds approx. 1200 students. Hersham also has an infant school - Burhill, a junior school - Bell Farm and an all-through RC primary school - Cardinal Newman. Within the Hersham parish boundaries and Cobham post town are Feltonfleet School for boys and girls and Notre Dame School, Surrey for girls.
Esher RFC is a multi-pitch rugby union club in Hersham since approximately 1939 (see notes). Their first men's team is notable in the region and saw 2012-14 among the upper 50% of clubs in RFU National League 1 (the third level of the sport in England), having been relegated in the previous season. Esher play at The Rugby Ground, 369 Molesey Road. The 1st XV play in a black-amber strip.
TV presenter John Inverdale has long been associated with the club, albeit the 2010s saw his involvement diminish.
Hersham's large second golf club is Burhill Golf Club (with North and South courses, the latter of which has been added from Cobham) near Burwood Park; during World War II, Barnes Wallis and several hundred staff were evacuated to Burhill Golf Club from the nearby Vickers-Armstrongs aircraft factory at Brooklands and designed the legendary Dambusters 'bouncing bomb'.
Four technology/trading estates exist in Hersham:
- Hersham Place Business Park
- Hersham Trading Estate
- Riverdene Industrial Estate
- Hersham Green Technology Park
A major nearby conjoined set of trading estates spans the Weybridge/Byfleet border at Brooklands and London Heathrow Airport also has a range of employers, though this is across Walton on Thames itself and the borough of Spelthorne. Most important to the local economy is the accessibility of Central London — see Rail below, with train entries and exits per annum across the two stations bordering and in the town itself, at more than 500,000 per annum.
The very modest High Street contains almost entirely only convenience and socialising stores; fashion and leisure shops are to be found less than 2 miles (3.2 km) to the north, in Walton on Thames.
Notably, house prices vary from small bedsits at below the average for Greater London which is 4 miles (6.4 km) distant, to the most opulent, largest mansions in Burwood Park at in excess of £10 million.
Hersham is served by Hersham railway station and Walton-on-Thames railway station with a minimum of 2 trains per hour even on Sundays and differing types of services on the London Waterloo South Western Main Line. Fast trains stopping at Walton on Thames reach the London terminus within 30 minutes.
Hersham is connected to London via the A3. The A3 also connects the village to Guildford, and Portsmouth, which gives rise to its main pseudonym, "the Portsmouth Road". The M25 Junction 10 is 4 miles away and an A-roads and dual carriageway connect neighbouring (but not contiguous) Esher and Cobham and the almost bordering town of Weybridge, across a narrow strip of Walton on Thames.
Notes and references
- Surrey County Council census data
- Esher RFC - History Retrieved 2013-09-30
- Hersham in Surrey: a brief local history of the parish of St. Peter's, Hersham, in the Borough of Elmbridge in Surrey, George Greenwood, publisher: Elmbridge Borough Council, 1986
- H.E. Malden (editor) (1911). "Parishes: Walton on Thames". A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
- St Peter's Hersham - History Retrieved 2013-09-30
- Whiteley Village Museum Retrieved 2013-09-29
- Burwood Park Residents Association Retrieved 2013-09-29
- Gordon Mills (1935 - 1986) - Find A Grave Memorial
- Parakeet population booming in borough - Molesey News & Mail, 7 July 2004
- Grid square map Ordnance survey website
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hersham.|
- Hersham Conservatives
- Elmbridge Borough Council
- Hersham News & Mail
- Hersham Village Society
- Burvale Cemetery
- Hersham on Facebook