High Street, Egham
Egham shown within Surrey
|Area||2.64 km2 (1.02 sq mi)|
|Population||6,384 (2011 Census: Egham Town ward, see also Egham Hythe)|
|– density||2,418/km2 (6,260/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|– London||19.3 miles (31.1 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Runnymede and Weybridge|
Egham // is a town in the Runnymede borough of Surrey, in the south-east of England. It is part of the London commuter belt and Greater London Urban Area and has its own railway station. It adjoins, narrowly, junction 13 of the M25 motorway and is centred 19 miles (31 km) WSW of London. It can be considered a university town as it has on its higher part, Egham Hill, the campus of Royal Holloway, University of London. Not far from this town at Runnymede Magna Carta was sealed.
Egham predates 666 AD when Chertsey Abbey was founded with many square miles of land, which included that of Ecga's Ham, one of the very oldest surviving charters (detailed records) of the country.
Egham appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Egeham. It was (as mentioned) held by Chertsey Abbey and kept by that institution after the conquest when its assets were: 15 hides; 12 ploughlands, 120 acres (0.49 km2) of meadow, together with woodland, 'herbage and pannage' worth 75 hogs. It rendered one of the largest sums in Surrey to its feudal overlords per year, £30 10s 0d.
The village of Egham was before 19th century losses an ancient parish covering land totalling 7,435 acres (30 km2) in the counties of Berkshire (briefly) and Surrey; incorporating Egham, Egham Hill, Coopers Hill, Englefield Green, Virginia Water, Shrubs Hill, Runnymede, Egham Hythe, and a considerable portion of Windsor Great Park. In the medieval period it was divided into four roughly equal tythings:
- Hythe (which was on fairly similar boundaries to Egham Hythe)
- Strode (later also known as Stroude), but which now denotes a much smaller, and inconsistent area
- Englefield, which is partly Englefield Green, partly Virginia Water
The manor of Egham, which includes Runnymede belonged formerly, and in 1215, to Chertsey Abbey, and after the dissolution (around 1540) became the property of the Crown, though granted to various tenants (holders) at different times.
Magna Carta was sealed at nearby Runnymede in 1215, and is commemorated by a memorial, built in 1957 by the American Bar Association, at the foot of Cooper's Hill (a small rise adjacent to the Thames floodplain, immortalised in verse by such luminaries as John Denham ('Cooper's Hill') and Alexander Pope ('Windsor Forest')). A Sculpture by artist David Parfitt portraying King John and Baron Fitzwalter in the act of sealing Magna Carta is also in Church Road in the centre of town.
Another memorial at the top of the hill in nearby Englefield Green, the Air Forces Memorial commemorates all Commonwealth air force personnel killed in World War II. It was the first new-built British building to be listed in the post-war era. The memorial is administered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and freely open to the public year-round. It has excellent views towards London, Windsor and the Surrey Hills, as well as being a place of quiet contemplation and reflection.
Egham at one time held horse races which took place at the Runnymede meadow, which interfered with the Inclosure Act of 1814 (54 G. III, c. 153), and the consequent award made in 1817, which divided up the meadow, as the Act stipulated that any enclosures which should interfere with the holding of Egham races at the end of August upon its usual course must be removed every year. In 1836 the races was presided over by William IV, who gave a plate to be run for at the meeting, which coincided with festivities at Windsor for his daughter's marriage. The races ceased in 1884.
Other than two forming the hub of today's Virginia Water (including Wentworth), the principal properties were 'Egham Manor and Park', 'Egham Wick', 'Kenwolde Court', 'Markwood', 'Kingswood' and 'Alderhurst' for a time home of Lord Thring.
During World War II, American author Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss was briefly stationed in Egham as part of his work on the propaganda film Your Job in Germany. He did not settle well in the town, despite the efforts of his RAF host Flight Sergeant Sam Beckinsale to draw the local amenities to his attention. When it was pointed out how green the area was, due in part to its proximity to Windsor Great Park he retorted "I do not like green Egham". Geisel later cited this as the inspiration for his 1960 best-selling book Green Eggs and Ham and the often-repeated line in the book "I do not like them Sam I Am. I do not like green eggs and ham".
Parts of Egham have featured in national and international news in the 21st century. On 12 September 2007 a case of foot-and-mouth disease was found in Egham, 12 miles (19 km) from the previous outbreak found in early August 2007. In December, 2008, Egham was at the centre of a controversy due to possible traffic impact on the 3 level crossings in the town to be kept in situ under the abandoned Heathrow Airtrack project. Occasional flooding of Runnymede and parts of Egham Hythe have taken place following exceptional Thames Valley winter rainfall, including the deployment of units of the army to assist with defences to the main national damage, flooding, flowing from the 2013-14 winter storms.
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Egham once lay within the Godley hundred, which lay in the early medieval period within Windsor Forest in a part of it which was subject to a long-running dispute as to whether it lay within the historic county boundaries of Surrey or Berkshire.
Egham Rural District was a Local Government District within the administrative county of Surrey. It was created in 1894 and replaced in 1906 with Egham Urban District, which was later abolished in 1974. Since 1974, Egham has been part of the Runnymede borough of Surrey.
Nearby are Staines-upon-Thames, Bagshot, Sunningdale, Englefield Green and Virginia Water, Windsor Great Park, Old Windsor and Windsor itself. The area between Egham and Staines town centres is known as Egham Hythe.
North of Egham is Wraysbury, home of the British Disabled Waterski Association. South is Thorpe Park, a large theme park of rides and attractions. Also near Egham is Ascot Racecourse - another big attraction.
Egham is home to a large research centre for Procter & Gamble, the London Innovation Centre, on Rusham Park, formally owned by Shell oils. P&G has over 550 employees in Egham, working on Fine Fragrance, Beauty Care and Health Care brands, such as Hugo Boss, Olay, and Vicks although in May 2012 P&G announced plans to shed 125 of these jobs. Other notable employers include HCL AXON (an information technology consultancy), Belron (parent company of Autoglass), the EMEA Headquarters of Future Electronics, and the national headquarters of Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Egham is also home to CAB International Europe UK, which holds one of the world's largest collections of microorganisms.
Egham and the eastern part of its historic parish, Egham Hythe share connections with the development and enhancement of prestige sports cars. Egham has been Ferrari's spiritual home in the United Kingdom in the listed Tower Garage. Lagonda was based here. Egham today contains a Ferrari, Maserati, and a Porsche dealership.
Egham has many pubs including The Foresters, The Crown, The Monkey's Forehead and The Red Lion. The Spring Rise area of Egham is home to the United Services Club which was formed in 1921 and has recently become well known nationally for the three Real Ale festivals it holds every year.
Sport and leisure
Egham has a Non-League football club, Egham Town F.C., who were promoted as Champions from the Combined Counties football league in the 2012-13 season and are now established in the Southern League Central division. Egham Town F.C. play at The Runnymede Stadium, Wards Place just beyond the Pooley Green playing field on Thorpe Lea Road.
Egham Cricket Club is a club with several sides and an Academy grouped into four age groups from age 11. This dates to 1913 and is in Vicarage Road, just south of the railway line and within the Thorpe Lea outlying neighbourhood of Egham.
On Pooley Green Road, on the near side of the town centre in the neighbourhood Pooley Green, is Egham Leisure Centre which has a large set of gyms and workout/pilates classes available.
The Egham Royal Show takes place every August. 23–24 August 2014 was the 156th show.
Egham has a small museum based in the Literary Institute.
Egham railway station is on the railway lines from London Waterloo station to Reading and Weybridge. Passenger services are operated by South West Trains. Egham has three level crossings, which could become problematic if the proposed Heathrow Airtrack scheme comes to fruition. Several bus routes connect the town and Royal Holloway to Staines-upon-Thames, Windsor and London Heathrow Airport.
Strode's College is an institution in Egham dating back to 1704 and was a grammar school before being designated a sixth form college in 1975.
Royal Holloway College, a part of the University of London is south of Egham along the A30 road at Englefield Green. It provided accommodation for London 2012 competitors who competed at Eton Dorney.
St John's Church Egham is on Church Road, the continuation of the High Street, and is an evangelical Anglican church in the Diocese of Guildford. There are approximately 350 members and a usual Sunday attendance is around 450. The incumbent Vicar is the Revd Jeff Wattley.
Runnymede Christian Fellowship is an international group of people that meet to worship and have fellowship together. They are Pentecostal in nature and part of the Assemblies of God (UK). They meet at Manorcroft School, Wesley Drive, Egham.
Demography and housing
|Output area||Detached||Semi-detached||Terraced||Flats and apartments||Caravans/temporary/mobile homes||shared between households|
|Egham - UK ward||500||932||438||836||1||2|
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|
|Egham - UK ward||6,384||2,709||26.9||29.6||264|
The proportion of households in the civil parish 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).
- Ruth Bowyer, convict and member of Australia's First Fleet
- Hilda Braid, actor, lived in Egham
- Edward Budgen, provisions merchant, resided in Egham
- William Chaloner, counterfeiter, ran a coining operation in Egham.
- John Denham, wrote poetry about Egham in the 17th century
- Charles de Worms, chemist and lepidopterist
- Frederick James Furnivall, co-creator of the Oxford English Dictionary
- Hugh Reginald Haweis, cleric and writer
- Frank Muir, comedy writer and broadcast personality lived in Egham towards the end of his life.
- Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 21 November 2013
- Grid Reference Finder distance tools
- 'Parishes: Egham', in A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3, ed. H E Malden (London, 1911), pp. 419-427 Accessed 24 December 2014
- Surrey Domesday Book
- John Marius Wilson, depiction of Egham in the Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)
- H.E. Malden, M.A. Magna Carta Commemoration Essays, 1917
- 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles
- Judith Morgan (1 August 1996). Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel: A Biography. Da Capo Press. pp. 207–211. ISBN 978-0306807367.
- Suspected case of foot-and-mouth, BBC News, 12 September 2007
- H.E. Malden (editor) (1911). "Parishes: Egham". A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
- Egham Cricket Club pages Retrieved 2013-10-01
- "Egham Museum". Egham Museum.
- "London 2012 Venues".
- "St Johns Egham".
- "St Paul's Church, Egham Hythe".
- "City & County Information, Town & Community Information - ePodunk".