Weybridge shown within Surrey
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Runnymede and Weybridge|
Weybridge // is a town in the Elmbridge district of Surrey in South East England. It is bounded to the north by the River Thames at the mouth of the River Wey, from which it gets its name. It is a commuter town in the London commuter belt and is part of 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 appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Webrige and Webruge. It was held partly by Chertsey Abbey; partly by an Englishman from the abbey; and partly by Herfrid from the Bishop of Bayeux. Its domesday assets were: 6 hides; 1½ ploughs, 32 acres (129,000 m2) of meadow, wood worth 9 hogs. It rendered £4.
The early history of Weybridge was simply as a very small village with a river crossing. 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 it became the location of Oatlands Palace built by Henry VIII, which was where he married his 5th wife Catherine Howard. When it was demolished in 1650, bricks from its walls helped to line the then new Wey Navigation canal. Part of the original grounds of the Palace is now occupied by Oatlands Park Hotel. St. George's Hill was the site of the Diggers' Commune in the 1640s.
At the bottom of Monument Hill, close to 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.
The world's first leisure campsite was set up near Weybridge in 1901 and was part of the early history of the Camping and Caravanning Club.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Lucy, of The Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", is said to have come from Weybridge.
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.
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 residents, past and present, include:
- Bare Noize (1985–present) electronic music production outfit
- 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
- Dominic List - Entrepreneur, CEO and Founder of Comtact Ltd, investor and Director of Gandys Flip Flops and Channel 4 'Secret Millionaire'
- 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 Čech - Czech footballer, Chelsea F.C.
- Peter Crouch - footballer, Stoke City F.C., on Monument Hill[disambiguation needed]
- 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
Brooklands motor racing circuit
The famous former Brooklands Aerodrome and Motor Circuit is located between Weybridge and Byfleet and is now the location of the Brooklands Museum and is dominated by a combined Tesco / Marks and Spencer shopping area. 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.
- 1st Weybridge (Brooklands Own) Scout Group, est 1907 the oldest scout group in Surrey, if not the UK
- History of Weybridge
- The York Column Monument and Monument Green History
- The River Wey and Wey Navigations Community Site
- Aerial photographs of Weybridge
- Weybridge News & Mail
- Population figures (PDF)
- Walton & Weybridge Film Society
- The most expensive streets in the South West, 2008, The Times, 19 February 2008.
- Surrey Domesday Book
- National Heritage List for England, 2012 ed., entry 4/85 Church of St. James 19.10.51 GV II