Ashford, Surrey

Coordinates: 51°26′02″N 0°27′50″W / 51.434°N 0.464°W / 51.434; -0.464
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(Redirected from Ashford, Middlesex)

St Matthew's C of E parish church.
Church Road, Ashford's high street. The town clock installed in 2011 is on the right.
Ashford is located in Surrey
Location within Surrey
Area6.71 km2 (2.59 sq mi)
Population27,382 (2011 census)[1]
• Density4,081/km2 (10,570/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTQ065715
Civil parish
  • n/a
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townASHFORD
Postcode districtTW15
Dialling code01784
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
51°26′02″N 0°27′50″W / 51.434°N 0.464°W / 51.434; -0.464

Ashford is a town in Surrey, England, 14 mi (23 km) west of central London.[n 1] Its name derives from a crossing point of the River Ash, a distributary of the River Colne. Historically part of Middlesex, the town has been part of Surrey since 1965.[2] 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 railway station, on the Waterloo to Reading Line, is served by South Western Railway. Heathrow Airport is 2.5 mi (4 km) north of the town.

A leading gymnastics club, HMP Bronzefield and one of the sites of Brooklands College are in the town. Ashford Hospital, which began as a workhouse, is to the north of the town centre. Ashford Common has a parade of shops and is a more residential ward that includes part of Queen Mary Reservoir and all of its related water treatment works. The town is surrounded by some areas of green space including The Princes Club, Bedfont Lakes and Shortwood Common.


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 2] 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]


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] 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[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 3] had before 1902 been broken up among many small owners, and all trace of the manor house was lost.[11][n 4]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 chiefly a mixture of detached and semi-detached housing built between 1885 and 1960.[n 5]

Former schools[edit]

The Welsh School when new in 1857

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 became 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 1975 and Spelthorne College later. 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. The developer stopped the work at the request of Spelthorne Borough Council after demolition had started,[17] but later continued the demolition, having received planning permission to build 357 new homes on the site.[18]

Civic administration[edit]

In 1894, under the Local Government Act 1894, Ashford became part of the Staines Rural District of Middlesex.[19] 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.


St Hilda's Church of England parish church

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 Feltham hill Road.[27]

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

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


The main street, Church Road, has local businesses, including Co-op, Tesco Express, Costa Coffee, Sainsbury's, several estate agents, three funeral directors, and several places to eat. Church Road is also home to Ashford Library and a prominent World War I memorial.[30]

War memorial on Church Road with St Michael's church in the background

There are several pubs in the town including the King's Fairway, the District Arms, the King's Head, the Freemans Arms, and the Bulldog (a Harvester gastropub).[31]

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 formerly Suzuki are along the town's outlying dual carriageway roads.

The town previously had multiple high street banks including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and Santander, however all of these have since closed. The Barclays branch located on Church Road was the site of an attempted robbery in June 2010, when a man armed with an imitation gun and a fake bomb took multiple hostages, demanding £800,000 and a helicopter. All of the hostages were either released or escaped before the perpetrator surrendered to police.[32][33][34][35]


Ashford railway station


Ashford is on the Waterloo to Reading Line, with South Western Railway 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. The station is referred to in timetables as Ashford (Surrey) in order to avoid confusion with Ashford International station in Kent.[36]


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.


The town is on Hallmark Connections route 555 from Heathrow Airport to Walton-on-Thames, on three Transport for London routes, the 117, 216 and 290, also serving Isleworth, Kingston upon Thames and Twickenham respectively, and more occasional routes, including special school services run by other operators.[37]


Primary schools[edit]

  • St Michael's Roman Catholic Primary School (4th best on benchmark of English and mathematics in the county)[38]
  • Ashford Church of England Primary School
  • Echelford Primary School
  • Spelthorne Junior School
  • Ashford Park Primary School
(above in order of best combined England and Maths benchmark score 2011 primary schools)[39][40]
  • 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. In 2016 the Ashford Campus relocated to a new building adjacent to Thomas Knyvett College, and the former Spelthorne College site was demolished. It serves 16 to 18 year olds from a wide area of Surrey.


Ashford Park – part of fields and Football 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. In 1921, the golf course was the site of the murder of British spy Vincent Fovargue by the IRA.

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.


River Ash in Fordbridge Park

Ashford has one river, the River Ash, one of the six distributaries of the River Colne 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.

The Staines Reservoirs Aqueduct (built 1902) flows from west to east across Ashford. It carries water from the Staines Reservoirs and King George VI Reservoir to Hampton water treatment works via Sunbury and Kempton Park.


Ashford is part of the Spelthorne parliamentary constituency which has been represented by the Conservative Kwasi Kwarteng since 2010.[42]

In Surrey County Council, 4 of the 81 councillors are elected by Ashford in whole or in part:[43] Ashford is represented by a Conservative councillor, as is Staines South and Ashford West; Sunbury Common and Ashford Common is also represented by a Conservative councillor, and part of north Ashford is in the division of Stanwell and Stanwell Moor, represented by Robert Evans, a Labour Councillor.[44]

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

  Member[45] Ward Party
Marion Bushnell Ashford Common Spelthorne Independent Party[46]
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 (1832–1904), 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]


  1. ^ Two side roads in Ashford post town (Challenge Road and The Clumps) are in the London Borough of Hounslow. See Google maps: 'TW15', Royal Mail Postcode Finder free service, Spelthorne Borough Council maps, cited below.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ who died in 1887 aged in the Holborn district of London (General Register Office ref: 1b 538)
  4. ^ See the source book, where in 1911, the name of the club was at that point the Ashford Manor Farm Golf Club
  5. ^ William Page stated

    The aspect of the whole parish is rapidly changing. Until a few years ago it was almost completely rural

    in Page, William, ed. (1911). "Spelthorne Hundred: Ashford". A History of the County of Middlesex. Victoria County History. Vol. II. Westminster: Archibald Constable & Co. pp. 306–309.


  1. ^ a b c Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density Archived 11 February 2003 at the Wayback Machine 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. ^ "Historic Middlesex flag flies above Westminster once again". Archived from the original on 24 July 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b Surrey Archived 2 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine Natural England. Retrieved 12 October 2012
  4. ^ "Soilscapes". Cranfield University. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  5. ^ 2001 Census: density and land use statistics Archived 11 February 2003 at the Wayback Machine[clarification needed]
  6. ^ "Spelthorne maps, see in Planning section: Maps: Green Belt". Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Google map of TW15 versus Greater London boundary". Archived from the original on 13 October 2001. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  8. ^ "Postcode Finder – Find an Address". Royal Mail. Archived from the original on 31 May 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  9. ^ "Ashford Henge details from history website". Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2005.
  10. ^ "Surrey Domesday Book". Archived from the original on 30 October 2007.
  11. ^ a b c d Page, William, ed. (1911). "Spelthorne Hundred: Ashford". A History of the County of Middlesex. Victoria County History. Vol. II. Westminster: Archibald Constable & Co. pp. 306–309. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  12. ^ "Golf Club website, as the New Manor Golf Club Ashford Company". Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Archives in London and the M25 area". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  14. ^ a b "Press article on Suffolk manors cites Russell Grant's ownership of the [[incorporeal hereditament]], though not its land". 6 November 2003. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  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. Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. 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. Archived from the original on 12 April 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  18. ^ Eyres, Zosia. "Brooklands College demolition: Controversial housing plan approved after developer cuts proposed number of new homes... by nine". Surrey Live. Archived from the original on 18 December 2019. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Staines Rural District". Vision of Britain. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.
  20. ^ Archbishops' Council. "St Matthew Ashford, Ashford". A Church Near You. Church of England. Archived from the original on 13 April 2017. 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. Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  24. ^ "Ashford". Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster. Archived from the original on 17 June 2016. 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. ^ "Contact". Woodthorpe Methodist Church. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2023.
  27. ^ "Ashford Common Methodist Church". Archived from the original on 5 October 2016.
  28. ^ "Ashford Congregational Church". Archived from the original on 12 April 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  29. ^ "Staines". The Salvation Army. Archived from the original on 19 March 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  30. ^ Historic England. "Ashford War Memorial (Grade II) (1392259)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  31. ^ "pubs near 'Ashford (Middlesex)' station". WhatPub. Retrieved 20 July 2023.
  32. ^ "Gunman arrested after Ashford Barclays Bank siege". BBC News. 28 June 2010. Retrieved 3 November 2023.
  33. ^ "Ashford bank raid hostage speaks of gun ordeal". BBC News. 29 June 2010. Retrieved 3 November 2023.
  34. ^ "Armed robber admits siege at Ashford Barclays Bank". BBC News. 22 October 2010. Retrieved 3 November 2023.
  35. ^ "Bomb-threat bank robber jailed for raid at Barclays". BBC News. 26 November 2010. Retrieved 3 November 2023.
  36. ^ "Station Facilities for Ashford (Surrey)". National Rail. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  37. ^ "Bus Timetables". Surrey County Council. Archived from the original on 21 June 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  38. ^ "Department of Education performance of this school". Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  39. ^ "BBC 2011 summary of schools in Surrey". Archived from the original on 23 July 2018. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  40. ^ "Department for Education performance of this school". Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  41. ^ "Thomas Knyvett College". Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  42. ^ "Spelthorne: Constituency". The Guardian. 2010. Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  43. ^ "Conservatives still in control in Surrey". Get Surrey. 5 June 2009. Archived from the original on 18 May 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  44. ^ "Surrey Countil Council - Your Councillors". Surrey County Council. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  45. ^ "Borough Councillors by ward 2011–2015". Spelthorne Borough Council. 2011. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  46. ^ Councillors by Party – Spelthorne Independent Party Retrieved 2 June 2013
  47. ^ "Nicholas Bond-Owen". Internet Movie Database. Archived from the original on 26 May 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  48. ^ "Christopher Coleman". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  49. ^ "Davro tells 'snobs' to leave Staines alone". Surrey Live. 2 July 2013 [8 November 2010]. Retrieved 24 October 2023.
  50. ^ Larkin, Colin (2016). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Mungo Jerry. ISBN 978-0-1953-1373-4.
  51. ^ Stern, John (5 April 2017). "Wisden 2017's Cricketers of the Year". The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 October 2023.
  52. ^ Loretto, Lawrence (1 August 2012). "Olympics rowing: Greg Searle reflects on men's eight bronze". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 October 2023.
  53. ^ "Spelbound win Britain's Got Talent final". Surrey Herald. Trinity Mirror. 7 June 2010. Archived from the original on 10 June 2010.
  54. ^ Knibbs, Jessica (27 February 2023). "Who is Ruth Wilson as she is set to star in The Second Woman at the Young Vic". Evening Standard. Retrieved 24 October 2023.
  55. ^ Dean, Thomas (9 August 2018). "Born in Ashford, raised in Staines and trained at Chelsea. Meet the Phillippines' record goalscorer". Surrey Live. Retrieved 24 October 2023.

External links[edit]