From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Diamond Jubilee statue
Esher High Street
Queen's Close, Esher - - 48693.jpg
Apartments in Esher
Esher is located in Surrey
Location within Surrey
Area9.3 km2 (3.6 sq mi)
Population6,743 (2011 census)[1] or 50,904 as to Esher Built-up Area Subdivision[2]
• Density725/km2 (1,880/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTQ145645
• London14.1 miles (22.7 km)
Civil parish
  • n/a
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townESHER
Postcode districtKT10
Dialling code01372
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
51°22′09″N 0°21′54″W / 51.3691°N 0.365°W / 51.3691; -0.365Coordinates: 51°22′09″N 0°21′54″W / 51.3691°N 0.365°W / 51.3691; -0.365

Esher (/ˈʃər/ (listen) EE-shər) is a town in Surrey, England, to the east of the River Mole.

Esher is an outlying suburb of London near the London-Surrey Border, and with Esher Commons at its southern end, the town marks one limit of the Greater London Built-Up Area. Esher has a linear commercial high street and is otherwise suburban in density, with varying elevations, few high rise buildings and very short sections of dual carriageway within the ward itself. Esher covers a large area, between 13 and 15.4 miles southwest of Charing Cross.[n 1] In the south it is bounded by the A3 Portsmouth Road which is of urban motorway standard and buffered by the Esher Commons.

Esher is bisected by the A307, historically the Portsmouth Road, which for approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) forms its high street. Esher railway station (served by the South West Main Line) connects the town to London Waterloo. Sandown Park Racecourse is in the town near the station.

In the south, Claremont Landscape Garden owned and managed by the National Trust, once belonged, as their British home, to Princess Charlotte and her husband Leopold I of Belgium. Accordingly, the town was selected to have a fountain by Queen Victoria and has an adjacent Diamond Jubilee column embossed with a relief of the monarch and topped by a statue of Britannia. Unite, the union, trains representatives at its Esher Place centre, and the town has the offices of Elmbridge Borough Council in its high street.


Esher lay within the Saxon feudal division of Elmbridge hundred.[3][4]

Esher appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Aissela and Aissele, where it is held partly by the Abbey of the Cross in Normandy; partly by William de Waterville; partly by Reginald; partly by Hugh do Port; and partly by Odard Balistarius (probably a crossbowman). Its domesday assets were: 14 hides, 6 ploughs and 2 acres (8,100 m2) of meadow. It rendered £6 2s 0d per year to its feudal overlords.[5]

In the 16th century King Henry VIII annexed several of the manors to the Honour of Hampton Court to form a royal hunting ground, and new residences were permitted by a number of wealthy courtesans.[citation needed] Esher's town slowly grew as a stagecoach stop on the London–Portsmouth road that was later numbered the A3, although it was bypassed in the mid-1970s when it became the A307. Clive of India built the Claremont mansion[n 2] and this later became a royal residence used by Queen Victoria. In 1841 Esher had 1261 inhabitants across 2,075 acres (840 ha).[3] Queen Victoria lent Claremont to the exiled French King Louis-Philippe and his consort Queen Marie-Amelie after the revolution of 1848. Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg lived there until he became King of the Belgians

By 1908, Esher contained the fashionable residences of several important figures including Lady Emma Talbot; Sir Robert Hawthorn Collins,[6][7] the Duchess of Albany and Sir Edgar Vincent, K.C.M.G. who was later created 1st Viscount D'Abernon.[4]

George Harrison of The Beatles had a house (called Kinfauns) in Esher, during the 1960s. The other Beatles were regular visitors to the house, and Harrison's primitive home recording studio.

Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees also owned a house called The Firs in Esher, during 1970s–2004 and sold after his death. This is where the hit single "Juliet" was written and recorded by Maurice and Robin Gibb for brother Robin's solo album project in the 1980s.[citation needed]

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle placed the murder of fictional character, Mr. Garcia, in and around Esher in his Sherlock Holmes mystery, "The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge". In the mystery, Dr. Watson described his and Sherlock Holmes' arrival in Esher by stating, "It was nearly six c'clock before we found ourselves in the pretty Surrey village of Esher, with Inspector Baynes as our companion."


Esher is within the Esher and Walton parliamentary constituency which has been represented by Dominic Raab, a member of the Conservative Party, since 2010.[8] The predecessor Esher parliamentary constituency was replaced on boundary changes before the 1997 general election.[9]

Esher is part of the East Molesey and Esher ward of Surrey County Council. The ward is represented by a Residents' association councillor.[10]

The town is covered by the Esher ward of Elmbridge Borough Council, which has elections in three years out of four (is elected in thirds) represented by:

Last Elected Member[11][12] Ward
2012 Tim Oliver Esher
2011 David J. Archer Esher
2010 Simon J. Waugh Esher


Esher has a mix of state and private schools. There are four state primary schools across the area of Esher, Esher Church School, Cranmere, Hinchley Wood and Claygate.[13] Esher Church of England High School is the state secondary school in the town of Esher.[13] Hinchley Wood School in Hinchley Wood has been an Academy since February 2012.[14] Hinchley Wood is also one of the Further education establishments in the area.[15] Esher College is in nearby Thames Ditton. Esher is also home to the West End Playgroup & Forest School, a pre-school for 2-5 year olds.


Esher has office buildings in the High Street and its continuation, Portsmouth Road, which has a cluster of entertainment and dining venues. Esher has a local (roughly county-level) farmers market held on one Saturday every month, moving forward one week each month. Vendors sell locally sourced produce and two riverside farms on the edge of town, one with large shop and grow-your-own are open to the public. A light smattering of small businesses, particularly in construction and landscaping pervades the town. A large hospice in Esher serves North Surrey, with field staff providing relief to cancer patients. Otherwise the town's residents do business or create products from home or elsewhere, such as in the M4 corridor and the City of London.

Culture, community and sport[edit]


The Everyman (formerly Odeon) cinema is a central feature of Esher's High Street with four screens.


Esher Cricket Club was established in 1863.[16] They play matches in the Esher Park private estate, in New Road and have a youth cricket training and playing squad.

The members of the cricket club also wanted to play tennis and established the Esher Lawn Tennis Club in 1889.[17]

A second cricket club arrived in 1875 as West End (Esher) Cricket Club.[18]

Esher has a history with horse racing since the purpose-built Sandown Park race course opened in 1875.[19]

In 1881 Esher Leopold football club was established which was formed out of the ashes of the dissolved Weybridge Swallows club. The club played at Sandown Park, close to the racecourse.[20] The club's sole contribution to the national game was its one appearance in the FA Cup, a 5–0 home defeat to the holders, Old Carthusians, in 1881–82,[21] although the club did reach the semi-finals of the Surrey Senior Cup, losing to Reigate Priory.[22] The club continued into the 1883–84 season.[23]

Esher Rugby Club was established in 1923 and play on the Hersham borders at the Molesey Road stadium, where they have several training grounds there.[24]

A smaller football club AFC Westend was established in 2003.[25]

Amenities, local events and media[edit]

King George's Hall is multi-functional conferencing technology-equipped venue available for corporate or group hire, a non-for-profit community facility.[26]

Moore Place, on the outskirts of Esher, bar and restaurant Esteem, featured as the restaurant in the 4th episode of the first series of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.[27]

Esher West End hosts an annual flower show and the Hampton Court Flower Show is nearby. Similarly, Surrey Wildlife Trust manage Wisley and Ockham Commons, partly within the borough of Elmbridge and Esher is approximately midway between the two leading Surrey and International Gardens, the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew and RHS Garden, Wisley.

A weekly newspaper, Esher News and Mail, closed down in 2009. Current newspapers include the Surrey Herald: Cobham, Esher and Claygate edition and Living Within monthly magazine/newspaper.

Elevations range from 10m to 47m above sea level. Vantage points – Esher's promontories – include various outcrops of Esher Commons close to Hersham, Cobham and Oxshott for free public use, Esher Place (national training centre of Unite, the union) where a grass garden amphitheatre was built by Lutyens for what was the manor house, the facilities at Sandown Park racecourse and Claremont Landscape Garden.


2011 Census Homes
Output area Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes Shared between households[1]
(ward) 1,341 417 332 542 0 6

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]
(ward) 6,743 2,638 39 33 930

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 residents[edit]

In film, fiction and the media[edit]

Claremont House, some way to the south of the town centre

The housing in Esher supports a view of its being presented in some parts of the media as a particularly middle class part of suburbia. Very few places with town status in England have an absolute majority of detached houses.

The sitcom On the Up starring Dennis Waterman was set in Esher.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Esher post town is about twice the size of its electoral ward and historic parish as it takes in Claygate and two former parts of Thames Ditton: Hinchley Wood and parts of Weston Green.
  2. ^ Claremont was originally Esher Episcopi Manor, bought by Sir John Vanbrugh, who built a smaller house for himself, and began to ornament the grounds (Guest's poem 'Claremont' attributes the first improvements to Vanbrugh). The Earl of Clare (created Duke of Newcastle in 1715) bought the property in 1714 on coming of age and called the property after his own title 'Clare Mont.' On his death in 1768 the whole was bought by Lord Clive, who employed Capability Brown to build the present mansion (now Claremont School)
  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 Retrieved 21 November 2013
  2. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Esher Built-up area sub division (1119884889)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b Samuel Lewis, ed. (1848). "Erith – Essex". A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  4. ^ a b H.E. Malden, ed. (1911). "Parishes: Esher". A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  5. ^ Surrey Domesday Book Archived 30 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ The Annual Register for the Year 1908, p. 146, reads: November. ... On the 2nd, aged 67, Sir Robert Hawthorn Collins, K.C.B., K.C.V.O., tutor of the Duke of Albany (H.R.H. Prince Leopold) and afterwards Comptroller of his household. The Times, 3 November 1908 p. 11 Obituary reads: Sir Robert Hawthorn Collins, K.C.B., K.C.V.O. died shortly after 1 o'clock yesterday morning at Claremont Palace, Esher...had acted as comptroller of the household of the Duchess of Albany
  7. ^ England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1908. Sir Robert Hawthorn Collins of Broom Hill Esher Surrey K.C.B. K.C.V.O. died 2 November 1908 at Claremont Esher aforesaid Probate London 30 December to Henry John Collins solicitor and Edward Arthur Wightwick stockbroker. Effects £40153 11s. 6d
  8. ^ "Members of Parliament for Elmbridge". Elmbridge Borough Council. Archived from the original on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  9. ^ Oliver Florence (23 April 2010). "Ian Taylor looks back on 23 years as an MP". Get Surrey. Archived from the original on 27 December 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  10. ^ Web Operations Team (25 August 2009). "Cooper, Nigel". Surrey County Council. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  11. ^ "The Borough of Elmbridge – Councillors". Archived from the original on 23 December 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  12. ^ Election Results by Year Archived 28 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ a b Hannah Blackburn (7 March 2012). "Surrey County Council – Schools by Location". Surrey County Council. Archived from the original on 19 October 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  14. ^ Ian Fuoco (2 March 2012). "School status changes in academic year 11-12". Surrey County Council. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  15. ^ "Hinchley Wood School and Sixth Form Centre". BBC News. 19 October 2005. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  16. ^ "History". Esher Cricket Club. Retrieved 18 January 2023.
  17. ^ "Our History". Esher Lawn Tennis Club. Retrieved 18 January 2023.
  18. ^ "About West End Esher Cricket Club". West End Cricket Club. Retrieved 18 January 2023.
  19. ^ Plumptre, George (1985). The Fast Set - The World of Edwardian Racing. London: Andre Deutsch. p. 11. ISBN 0233977546.
  20. ^ "Esher Leopold 0-5 Old Carthusians". Athletic News: 5. 9 November 1881.
  21. ^ "report". Field: 709. 12 November 1881.
  22. ^ "Reigate Priory 5-0 Esher Leopold". West Surrey Times: 4. 17 March 1883.
  23. ^ "Esher Leopold v Kingston". Sporting Life. 4. 7 December 1883.
  24. ^ "History of Esher Rugby Club". Esher Rugby Club. Archived from the original on 28 April 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
  25. ^ "About the Club". AFC Westend Football Club. Retrieved 18 January 2023.
  26. ^ King George's Hall – Elmbridge Borough Council Archived 5 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares: Moore Place –". Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2007.
  28. ^ Norris, Gerald. A Musical Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1981), p. 273
  29. ^ "Roots Manuva on mental health, Bleeds and his 'nasty little mutant' sound | Roots Manuva | the Guardian". Archived from the original on 8 October 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2020.

External links[edit]