Thames Street, Sunbury
Sunbury-on-Thames shown within Surrey
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Sunbury-on-Thames, also known as Sunbury, is a town in the Surrey borough of Spelthorne (historically part of Middlesex), England. It lies just outside of Greater London, adjacent to the London Borough of Hounslow, and is part of the Greater London Urban Area. Sunbury is located 14 miles (22 km) southwest of central London, bordered by Ashford, Feltham and Hampton and flanked on the south by the River Thames.
The earliest evidence of occupation in Sunbury is provided by the discovery of Bronze Age funerary urns dating from the 10th century BC. It is mentioned in the Sunbury Charter in AD 962. Many years later the arrival of Huguenot refugees gave the name to French Street.
The riverside St Mary'sAnglican Church and the Ferry House nearby are mentioned in the book Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Other literary references include the difficulty of rowing up Sunbury backwater in "Three Men in a Boat" by Jerome K. Jerome, and Sunbury Cross under a pall of smoke during The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells.
In 1889 a group of music hall stars met in the Magpie Hotel in Lower Sunbury to form the Grand Order of Water Rats. The pub itself was named after the horse that one of the entertainers owned, whilst the Grand Order was named because the Magpie (a trotting pony) had been described as a drowned water rat. The Three Fishes in Green Street is one of the oldest pubs in Surrey, thought to date back to the 16th century.
In the twentieth century, Sunbury was for many years the location of kennels used for keeping greyhounds for racing at the stadiums of Wandsworth, Charlton and Park Royal. The kennels were situated near Sunbury Cross.
Sunbury-on-Thames is historically part of Middlesex, forming the Sunbury-on-Thames Urban District from 1894. In 1965, most of Middlesex was absorbed into Greater London. However, the Sunbury-on-Thames Urban District was instead transferred to Surrey. The Royal Mail did not adopt the change in 1965 and the postal county remained Middlesex; although postal counties are no longer officially in use. In 1974 the urban district was abolished and it has since formed part of the borough of Spelthorne.
The town today 
Sunbury has two areas divided by the M3. Lower Sunbury, colloquially known as Sunbury village, borders the River Thames and makes up the southern portion of the town. This area is buffered residential suburbia and includes the majority of Sunbury's schools, recreation areas and parks. The northern section is Sunbury Common which, along with its tower blocks, has a more urban composition than that of the south; it also houses many of Sunbury's businesses including Chubb and BP. The M3, with its the large roundabout junction at Sunbury Cross, divides the two sections and has a modest shopping arcade.
Marking the western border of the Upper Halliford/Charlton parts of Sunbury ecclesiastical and historic parish is the Queen Mary Reservoir which was constructed in 1925. This is also home to a sailing club and is regularly used by local schools and youth organisations to teach water sports skills. Lower Sunbury has a similar property range and economic profile to neighbouring Hampton. The mixture of Victorian terraces and 1930s semi detached houses in the leafy village offers a favourable and more affordable alternative to London. A conservation area within Sunbury village has been recognised to cover Thames Street and this reflects its historic buildings, numerous pubs, restaurants and a beautiful stretch of the Thames river bank leading up to the church.
Sunbury is a largely residential town however has five or six high rise tower blocks: one commercial; two and a half-size block residential; and two hotels. Similarly it has industrial/business parks clustered generally in the acute angles between the M3/A316 (Country Way) and the A308 (Staines Road West). BP's Engineering and Research Centre, located in the north of Sunbury on the site of Meadhurst House, formerly owned by the Cadbury family evolved into BP's international centre for business and technology and is home to a large number of BP's business units. A number of other major companies, including Chubb, also have premises.
The town has been the home to London Irish Rugby Club since 1932 although since 2001 its premiership team has played at the Madejski Stadium in Reading, Berkshire. However hundreds of minis, youngsters and adults turn out for the club each weekend in Sunbury during the rugby season. A few hundred yards to the east of Sunbury Cross is Kempton Park Racecourse.
Lower Sunbury is the home of the Sunbury Millennium Embroidery which was conceived and designed in the 1990s and completed in 2000. Since July 2006 its permanent home is the purpose-built Sunbury Millennium Embroidery Gallery, in the well-tended, free-to-visit Walled Garden adjoining Sunbury Park. The opening of a café within the gallery building, which architecturally resembles a boat, has increased the leisure time spent in the old Village by locals and tourists alike, just across the road from a picturesque stretch of the Thames. The walled garden also hosts annual concerts and plays in the summer months.
In July of each year, Lower Sunbury is the start of the colourful traditional ceremony of swan upping, where two livery companies carry out marking of the swans on all upper reaches of the River Thames. In August, the traditional Sunbury Amateur Regatta takes place on the stretch of the river around Rivermead Island.
Millennium Embroidery 
The town is also home to the Millennium Embroidery, a large commissioned artwork that commemorates Sunbury's ascension to the new millennium. It was designed by John Stamp and David Brown to be a large patchwork of Sunbury landmarks, including St. Mary's Church, the Admiral Hawke and the river. The finished piece is actually composed of several embroideries, the largest of which measures 9 by 3 feet (3 m × 1 m). It took four years to complete and enlisted the help of over 140 volunteers and artists. Queen Elizabeth II visited the Embroidery in 2001 and a dedicated gallery for it was built in 2006.
The town has four primary schools, Chennestone Primary School, St Ignatius RC Primary School, Springfield Primary School and Kenyngton Manor School.
Secondary schools 
- St. Paul's Catholic College, volunatary aided
- Sunbury Manor School, Foundation school, a specialist humanities school
- The Bishop Wand Church of England School, voluntary aided
Local leisure and entertainment 
- London Irish Rugby Club — Although the senior side now play home matches at Madejski Stadium in Reading, the club still has its headquarters and training facilities in Sunbury, and its youth and senior academy teams play at Sunbury.
- Sunbury Cricket Club
- Sunbury and Walton Hawks Hockey Club
- Kempton Park Racecourse
- Kempton Park Steam Engines at the Kempton Park waterworks
- River Thames boat trips
- The Riverside Arts Centre.
- 862 (Sunbury) Air Training Corps
- West Surrey Racing - BTCC competitors
- Virgin Active Health Club
- (327) Sea Cadet Corp
Notable people 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2009)|
- David Gilmour - guitarist and lead singer of Pink Floyd - 1980s
- Diana Dors - actress
- Mal Evans - Beatles roadie
- Adam Faith - singer and actor
- John Glen - film editor, and director of five James Bond movies
- Joe Gormley - trade union leader (N.U.M.)
- Admiral Edward 1st Baron Hawke - died in Sunbury
- Gordon Hill - Manchester United and England footballer
- Rosie Jones - Page 3 girl
- Kerry Norton - Bad Girls, actress and singer
- Karl Green - bassist, Herman's Hermits
- David Bowie - musician
- Tom Jones - singer
- Dickie Valentine - singer, 1960s
- Flt Lt Dominic Bruce OBE MC AFM KSG MA RAF (Colditz escapee)
- Eddie Calvert - The man with the Golden Trumpet - from 1956
Nearest places 
|Upper Halliford||across Stain Hill Reservoirs and
Hampton Water Treatment Works:
|across Vicarage and Watersplash farms:
|across the River Thames:
|across the River Thames:
- A316, becomes the start of the M3 motorway.
- A308, directions towards Staines-upon-Thames and Kingston-upon-Thames.
- A244, directions towards Hounslow and Walton-on-Thames.
- London Heathrow Airport is 5 miles away.
Emergency services 
Sunbury is served by these emergency services:
- Surrey Police (it was within the boundary of the Metropolitan Police district until 2000.)
- South East Coast Ambulance Service as of 1 July 2006, formed from the former Surrey Ambulance Service, Sussex, and Kent Ambulance services.
- Surrey Fire & Rescue Service.
- One of those pleasant villages lying on the Thames, near Hampton Court Rev. Gilbert White described Sunbury, in The Natural History of Selborne, letter xii, 4 November 1767.
- Museum of London exhibit
- Surrey Domesday Book
- A history of the Country of Middlesex Vol3
- "Greyhound Knowledge Forum". greyhound-data.com. Retrieved 08-04-2013.
- Vision of Britain - Sunbury UD (historic map)
- Royal Mail, Address Management Guide, (2004)
- Arnold-Baker, C., Local Government Act 1972, (1973)
- Latest 2010-2011 data on mouseprice.com
- Acquired for construction in the 1720s by John Witt, believed to be a retired master builder and developer see Details from listed building database (1180231). National Heritage List for England. English Heritage., Grade II* listed building listing of Sunbury Court
- WSR address