Ashford, Surrey

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Ashford
Ashford StMatthew SSW.jpg
St Matthew's C of E parish church
Church Road, Ashford, Middlesex - geograph.org.uk - 1528396.jpg
Church Road
Ashford is located in Surrey
Ashford
Ashford
Ashford shown within Surrey
Area 6.71 km2 (2.59 sq mi)
Population 27,382 (2011 census)[1]
• Density 4,081/km2 (10,570/sq mi)
OS grid reference TQ065715
Civil parish
  • n/a
District
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ASHFORD
Postcode district TW15
Dialling code 01784
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Surrey
51°26′02″N 0°27′50″W / 51.434°N 0.464°W / 51.434; -0.464Coordinates: 51°26′02″N 0°27′50″W / 51.434°N 0.464°W / 51.434; -0.464

Ashford is a town and suburb of London almost entirely in the Surrey borough of Spelthorne, but with a small part in the London Borough of Hounslow, England.[n 1] Mostly residential, Ashford is 13 12 miles (22 km) WSW of Charing Cross, London, forms part of the London commuter belt, with a minor stop on the Waterloo to Reading Line (which has two branch lines) and has a long commercial high street. It is centred 2 12 miles (4 km) south of London Heathrow Airport, to which a portion of its economy relates, including business premises relating to aviation and the distribution of air freight – the main cargo depot being next to an adjoining village, Stanwell.

More usually referred to as Ashford, Middlesex[n 2] to distinguish it from the larger town of Ashford, Kent, since 1965 when Middlesex County Council was dissolved the town's wards are officially in Ashford, Surrey and for example the current railway services provider uses the present or past county variously throughout its stations and trains. A leading gymnastics club, HMP Bronzefield and one of the sites of Brooklands College are in the town. Ashford Hospital is narrowly within Stanwell and began as Ashford's workhouse. Ashford Common has a parade of shops and is a more residential ward that includes part of the Queen Mary Reservoir and all of its related water treatment works, which is contiguous with and subsidiary to the town itself.

Ashford consists of relatively low density low and medium rise buildings, none of them being high rise. If excluding apartments (at the last census 27% of the housing stock) most houses are semi-detached. Ashford is defined along its northern edge by a dual carriageway and extends no more than 14 mile (400 m) beyond another parallel to the southern boundary. It centrally includes a short section of another and has a driving test centre that serves a wide area.[2] Junctions of the UK's motorway network are 3 12 miles (5.6 km) and 2 miles (3 km) from its borders and it has along the two main dual carriageways official dealers of Ford, Citroën and Suzuki.

On two of the eight chief compass points the town is buffered by green space which covers just over 1 square mile (2.5 km2) and includes The Princes Club, Bedfont Lakes and Shortwood Common.

Topography[edit]

Part of Ashford Park

Ashford is in the almost flat alluvial plain formed by the historic courses of the River Thames[3] on fairly fertile but gravelly soil[4] in centuries past covered by deciduous forest for wood gathering, with clearings of meadow for pasture and to a lesser extent arable farming to supply the London market; sheep grazing continues today around the reservoirs. In common with western fringes of Greater London, gravel commences often within a metre of the surface which has led to 20th century gravel extraction,[3][n 3] which has formed the lakes to the north of the railway line. The extreme west is Shortwood Common, partly converted to a recreation ground, Ashford Park School, a cemetery. North of this is the pair of Staines Reservoirs, the other green buffer is The Princes Club, Bedfont Lakes, spanning the northeast border; these areas constitute Metropolitan Green Belt buffers to the country's largest city. The area includes postally much of Queen Mary Reservoir (which covered most of the parish to the south of Littleton and almost none of historic Ashford) named after the wife of George V, Mary of Teck.

Most of the land is devoted to suburban and low-rise urban housing[5] – as well as recreational areas, green belt in part of the Bedfont/Feltham fringe exists in the form of meadows used for walking, horse grazing and equestrianism around Feltham Young Offenders' Institution. A few parks such as the Ashford Reservoirs or Spelthorne Park are remnants of Ashford Common which give the eastern part of the town a reminder of its past status as a grazing common; these include recreation grounds such as Thames Water-sponsored Spelthorne Sports Club and the BP recreation ground.[6]

In The Clumps, 37 houses in the Ashford post town, which has the postcode TW15, are in the London Borough of Hounslow, Greater London, alongside the Princes Club watersports lakes partly in Ashford post town but mostly in East Bedfont, Feltham post town, London. The other road with this status is the western half of Challenge Road, which has only business addresses.[7][8]

History[edit]

Bronze Age artefacts have been found in Ashford (at 51.432708N, 0.485174W) giving rise to the name Bronzefield and a henge may have been present in that period.[9] The settlement as indicated by its name but small assets[clarification needed][in Domesday Book?] just after the Norman Conquest was part[clarification needed][what was the rest?] agricultural settlement in Saxon times.

Ashford appears on the Middlesex Domesday map as Exeforde, held by Robert, Count of Mortain. Its Domesday assets were: 1 plough, meadow for 1 plough; a separate manor in 1066, it was part of the manor of Kempton in 1086. It rendered (in total) 14s 0d.[10] Throughout the early medieval period the place was also referred to as Echelford.[11]

A stone bridge was built over the ford in 1789 by the Hampton and Staines Turnpike Trust, part of which[part of the original bridge?] is used as the rather scenic Fordbridge roundabout with its large weeping willow trees at the centre.[11]

Ashford Common was a large area of common land in the south and east of the town that the British Army used for military displays in the reign of George III. It was inclosed in 1809.[11]

Ashford Manor Golf Club was established in 1902 at the property which was the Manor Farm House[12] but the large manorial estate and manor house that were held by Solomon Abraham Hart from 1870 to 1882[n 4] had before 1902 been broken up among many small owners, and all trace of the manor house was lost.[11][n 5]However the title of Lord of the Manor was acquired by Scott Freeman in 1890,[13] and after passing to another partner of the solicitors Horne, Engall Freeman the title passed in more recent times to Russell Grant.[14]

Ashford's housing stock is modern, with chiefly a mixture of detached and semi-detached housing built between 1885 and 1960.[n 6]

The Welsh School when new in 1857

Former schools[edit]

The Welsh School (later St David's School) was founded in 1857. Its building north of Ashford railway station is Gothic Revival, designed by Henry Clutton.[15] St David's School is now defunct, but in 2010 its buildings and playing fields were the premises of St James Senior Boys School.[16]

The former Ashford County Grammar School after Inland Homes plc tried to demolish it

Ashford County Grammar School was founded in 1911. It became Ashford Sixth Form College in 1965 and Spelthorne College in 1975. In 2007 it merged with Brooklands College. A property developer, Inland Homes plc, has since acquired the former grammar school buildings in Church Road. In 2017 it started to demolish the buildings without planning permission. Spelthorne Borough Council stopped the work after demolition had started.[17]

Civic administration[edit]

In 1894, under the Local Government Act 1894, Ashford became part of the Staines Rural District of Middlesex.[18] In 1930 the rural district was abolished and joined Staines Urban District. In 1965, under the London Government Act 1963, Middlesex County Council was abolished and the urban district was transferred to Surrey.[19] In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, Staines Urban District was abolished and its area combined with that of Sunbury-on-Thames Urban District to create the present borough of Spelthorne.

Churches[edit]

The present Church of England parish church of St Matthew in Church Road[20] was built in 1856–58 with financial help from the Welsh School. It was sited some yards west of Ashford's earlier parish church of St Michael, parts of which were Norman. St Michael's was demolished, but internal monuments and a 12th-century arch from it were incorporated into St Matthew's.[citation needed] William Butterfield designed St Matthew's in a Gothic Revival style. The tower was not completed until 1865.[21]

St Hilda's parish church at the junction of Stanwell and Woodthorpe Roads was founded as a daughter church of St Matthew's to serve the rapidly expanding community around the railway station. Construction started in 1912 and most of the church was built in the first few years, but the chancel and some other parts were not completed until 1928.[22] St Hilda's original design included a spire that would have been one of the most significant landmarks in the area,[citation needed] but it was never built. St Hilda's was initially a conventual district of St Matthew's parish, but is now a separate ecclesiastical parish.[23] The easternmost parts of Ashford Common are in the parish of St Saviour's, Sunbury.

St Michael's Roman Catholic church

The Roman Catholic Church of St Michael in Fordbridge Road was begun in 1927 and the uncompleted building was consecrated in 1928.[24] It was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in a Romanesque Revival style. Building continued in 1938, but the tower was not completed until 1960.[25]

Ashford has two Methodist churches: one on Clarendon Road[26] and the other in Ashford Common on Felthamhill Road.[27]

There is a Congregational church in Clarendon Road.[28]

The Salvation Army has a citadel in Woodthorpe Road.[29]

Economy[edit]

The main street, Church Road, has local businesses, including Co-op, Tesco Express, Costa Coffee, Sainsbury's, three funeral directors, and several places to eat. Church Road is also home to the Ashford campus of Brooklands College (formerly Spelthorne College), Ashford Library and a prominent World War I memorial.[30] Ashford, in common with most of London suburbia[citation needed], has very low unemployment rates. A great deal of local employment is directly related to Heathrow Airport. BP International is another major employer. Many other residents work in London or in the Thames Valley. Main dealers of Ford, Citroën and Suzuki are along the town's outlying dual carriageway roads.

Transport[edit]

Ashford railway station

Railway[edit]

Ashford is on the Waterloo to Reading Line, with South West Trains stopping services from London Waterloo on two of its three routes, those to Windsor & Eton Riverside and to Weybridge on the South West Main Line via the Chertsey Line. These two routes split after Staines. The third route forms the second main line run by the company, with quicker trains available from the next stations east and west.[clarification needed] The current railway services provider uses the present or past county[clarification needed] variously throughout its stations and trains.[31]

Roads[edit]

Not far north of the station is the A30 dual carriageway, which marks much of Ashford's northern border. It follows the old route from London to Devon and Cornwall. The alignment of this road is WSW–ENE.

A straight relief road, roughly WNW–ESE, was built by the Hampton and Staines Turnpike Trust. Now the A308, it has become a dual carriageway from Sunbury Cross to the junction with the A30 at Staines. This road marks some of the town's southern border. Ashford is close to the M25, M3 and A3 roads.

Buses[edit]

The town is on two main Heathrow bus services provided by Abellio, to Walton-on-Thames and to Woking, on three services on routes to Staines under the Transport for London fare scheme (the 117, 216 and 290, also serving Isleworth, Kingston upon Thames and Twickenham respectively), and more occasional routes, including special school services run by Abellio and other operators.[32]

Education[edit]

Primary schools[edit]

(above in order of best combined England and Maths benchmark score 2011 primary schools)[34][35]
  • Ashford Infants School
  • Spelthorne Infant and Nursery School
  • Clarendon primary school and children centre

Secondary schools[edit]

In addition, three secondary schools were established in Sunbury-on-Thames, including the borough's religiously denominated senior schools, The Bishop Wand Church of England School and St Paul's Catholic College.

Further education[edit]

Ashford's further education college, Spelthorne College, became a Brooklands College Campus in 2007. It serves 16 to 18 year olds from a wide area of Surrey.

Sport[edit]

Ashford Park – part of fields and tennis court

Active sports clubs in Ashford competitive at many levels are: Ashford Town F.C., Ashford Casuals F.C. and Ashford Cricket Club. Clubs exist for hockey, tennis, table Tennis, aikido, karate, golf and bowls, with leading clubs in acrobatic gymnastics and sailing which offer professional coaching from Olympic-level coaches.

Ashford Manor Golf Club is described above, a golf course that has 18 holes; one other is in the borough, Sunbury Golf Course in Charlton.

Spelthorne Atoms (previously known as Ashford Atoms) are one of the best youth basketball teams in the country having been to the national finals on a number of occasions.

Spelthorne Gymnastics club is one of the World's premier clubs for acrobatic gymnastics, having won eight World championship gold medals.

Watercourses[edit]

Ashford has one river, the River Ash, one of the six distributaries of the River Colne, Hertfordshire which runs in line with the Staines bypass under the Fordbridge roundabout at the far end of Fordbridge Road, its upper reach being the traditional border with Staines and then entering Laleham, passing close to the other side of the Queen Mary Reservoir.

Government[edit]

Ashford is part of the Spelthorne parliamentary constituency which has been represented by the Conservative Kwasi Kwarteng since 2010.[37]

In Surrey County Council, 4 of the 81 councillors are elected by Ashford in whole or in part:[38] Ashford is represented by a Conservative councillor,[39] Staines South and Ashford West by UKIP councillor, Daniel Jenkins, part of north Ashford is in the division represented by Robert Evans, Labour Councillor for Stanwell and Stanwell Moor, and Sunbury Common and Ashford Common is represented by a Liberal Democrat councillor.[40]

Ashford has 12 representatives on Spelthorne Borough Council, headquartered in Staines-upon-Thames. The details below are for the 2011 election:

  Member[41] Ward Current party (if changed)
[clarification needed]
Marion Bushnell Ashford Common Spelthorne Independent Party[42]
Nick Gething Ashford Common
Frank Ayers Ashford Common Spelthorne Independent Party
Asif Ayub Ashford East
Chris Frazer Ashford East
Tony Mitchell Ashford East
Marian Rough Ashford North and Stanwell South
Joanne Sexton Ashford North and Stanwell South
Sam Budd Ashford North and Stanwell South Spelthorne Independent Party
Gerald Forsbrey Ashford Town Spelthorne Independent Party
Denise Grant Ashford Town Spelthorne Independent Party
Caroline Spencer (Independent) Ashford Town Spelthorne Independent Party

Demography and housing[edit]

2011 Census Homes
Output area Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes Shared between households[1]
Spelthorne 3,5 and 6 2,388 4,380 1,672 2,618 7 0

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

Output area Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan hectares[1]
Spelthorne 3, 5 and 6 27,382 11,065 29.0% 33.9% 671

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).

Notable people[edit]

Grave in St Matthew's parish churchyard of James Hawksford (1832–1907), who served 53 years in the British Army. The inscription on his headstone says he was in the Rifle Brigade, served in the Crimean War, and later transferred to the Yeomen of the Guard.

Notes and References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Two side roads are in the London Borough of Hounslow in west London, in Ashford post town: Challenge Road and The Clumps. See Google maps: 'TW15', Royal Mail Postcode Finder free service, Spelthorne Borough Council maps, cited below.
  2. ^ In the same way as Potters Bar, Staines upon Thames, Laleham, Shepperton and Sunbury on Thames, it is in that historic county which has a continued use for cricket purposes.
  3. ^ Page wrote in 1911: There are 1,401½ acres in the parish, and of these 495¼ acres are arable, and 398¼ acres are grass. The principal crops are oats, wheat, barley, turnips, and peas. The soil is gravelly, and the subsoil gravel.
  4. ^ who died in 1887 aged in the Holborn district of London (General Register Office ref: 1b 538)
  5. ^ See the source book, where in 1911, the name of the club was at that point the Ashford Manor Farm Golf Club
  6. ^ William Page stated in Page, William, ed. (1911). "Spelthorne Hundred: Ashford". A History of the County of Middlesex. Victoria County History. II. Westminster: Archibald Constable & Co. pp. 306–309. 

References

  1. ^ a b c Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Ashford makes up 2011 lower output areas Spelthorne 003, 005 and 006. Note: the towns and villages in Spelthorne have one ward each which covers part of a neighbouring town or village. For example, Ashford is two wards and part of a third ward (see Government). Retrieved 21 November 2013
  2. ^ "Middlesex". Department for Transport. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Surrey Archived 2 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Natural England. Retrieved 12 October 2012
  4. ^ "Soilscapes". Cranfield University. 
  5. ^ 2001 Census: density and land use statistics[clarification needed]
  6. ^ Spelthorne maps, see in Planning section: Maps: Green Belt
  7. ^ Google map of TW15 versus Greater London boundary
  8. ^ "Postcode Finder – Find an Address". Royal Mail. 
  9. ^ Ashford Henge details from history website
  10. ^ Surrey Domesday Book Archived 30 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ a b c d Page, William, ed. (1911). "Spelthorne Hundred: Ashford". A History of the County of Middlesex. Victoria County History. II. Westminster: Archibald Constable & Co. pp. 306–309. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  12. ^ Golf Club website, as the New Manor Golf Club Ashford Company
  13. ^ Archives in London and the M25 area
  14. ^ a b Press article on Suffolk manors cites Russell Grant's ownership of the incorporeal hereditament, though not its land.
  15. ^ Historic England. "Welsh School  (Grade II) (1204676)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  16. ^ "Ashford Move 2010 – Press Release". St James independent school. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  17. ^ Eyres, Zosia (21 February 2017). "Brooklands College demolition: Developer starts demolishing building despite letter insisting it 'stops work immediately'". Surrey Herald. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  18. ^ Vision of Britain – Staines Rural District[dead link]
  19. ^ Vision of Britain – Staines Urban District
  20. ^ Archbishops' Council. "St Matthew Ashford, Ashford". A Church Near You. Church of England. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  21. ^ Historic England. "Parish church of St Matthew  (Grade II) (1187026)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  22. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Hilda  (Grade II) (1187067)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  23. ^ Archbishops' Council. "St Hilda Ashford, Ashford". A Church Near You. Church of England. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  24. ^ "Ashford". Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  25. ^ Historic England. "Roman Catholic Church of St Michael, including boundary wall and entrance screen  (Grade II) (1428691)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  26. ^ Ashford Methodist Church
  27. ^ Ashford Common Methodist Church.
  28. ^ Ashford Congregational Church
  29. ^ "Staines". The Salvation Army. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  30. ^ Historic England. "Ashford War Memorial  (Grade II) (1392259)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  31. ^ "Station Facilities for Ashford (Surrey)". National Rail. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  32. ^ "Bus Timetables". Surrey County Council. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  33. ^ Department of Education performance of this school
  34. ^ BBC 2011 summary of schools in Surrey
  35. ^ Department for Education performance of this school
  36. ^ Thomas Knyvett College
  37. ^ "Spelthorne: Constituency". The Guardian. 2010. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  38. ^ "Conservatives still in control in Surrey". Get Surrey. 5 June 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  39. ^ "County council elections 2013". Surrey County Council. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  40. ^ Web Operations Team (5 March 2012). "Surrey's County councillors". Surrey County Council. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  41. ^ "Borough Councillors by ward 2011–2015". Spelthorne Borough Council. 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  42. ^ Councillors by Party – Spelthorne Independent Party Retrieved 2 June 2013
  43. ^ "Nicholas Bond-Owen". Internet Movie Database. 
  44. ^ "Robber jailed for 'terrifying' Barclays bank siege". Surrey Advertiser. Trinity Mirror. 26 November 2010. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  45. ^ "Spelbound win Britain's Got Talent final". Surrey Herald. Trinity Mirror. 7 June 2010. [dead link]

External links[edit]