The church shown is one of the oldest buildings standing in the district, built 1861, and owns three community halls of cross-denominational use.
By most roads of Kingston Vale are trees and shrubbery and in some cases daffodil-growing grass verges
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Kingston Vale with Kingston Hill is a district in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames towards outer southwest London. It is a residential area between Richmond Park, much smaller Putney Vale, Wimbledon Common, Coombe/Coombe Hill and the Norbiton part of the very old borough. The main road is the A308 (also called Kingston Vale and Kingston Hill) which is a through route for traffic passing to and from Kingston Hill to the A3 trunk road (locally known as the Kingston By-pass). Many of the branch roads are cul-de-sacs. It includes toward the east and in the Vale the only part of Kingston which drains eastward, that is, into Beverley Brook. The hill expanse, shared with Coombe and a golf course, has a hotel and bed and breakfasts, some tall blocks overlooking Kingston, the edge of Kingston Hospital, the main campus of Kingston University London, faint remnants of dense woodland and a circa 16th century source of piped water for Hampton Court Palace.
The vale part was little-inhabited and known as Kingston Bottom until the middle of the 19th century; the name is featured in a variety of documents dating from 1791 to c. 1850. The Last Will and Testament of one Philip Cawston, dated 26 September 1791, refers to his ownership of the Robin Hood premises in Kingston Bottom at that time; the name also features in maps and wills held by the National Archives dating from 1791 to 1856 inclusive.
The earliest record of the new name Kingston Vale occurs in the 1861 Census Returns, where the area is referred to as 'Kingston Vale Hamlet'. By the time of the 1891 Census, the area is described as a 'civil parish, township or place' under the name of 'Kingston Vale'. A detailed summary of Kingston of 1848 names the recent new churches and describes the one erected in this neighbourhood as "at Robinhood-Gate".
The Kingsnympton Park Estate
The Kingsnympton Park Estate was originally part of "The Knoll", a large house with extensive grounds along Kingston Hill next to Richmond Park. In 1881 it was the scene of the Kingston Hill Murder. The house was then owned by Harry Powys-Keck, a Justice Of The Peace of Stoughton Grange, Leicestershire.
In 1914 Mr Crowther built his mansion, described "as one of the grandest of stately homes that once graced Kingston." The estate was then called "Haygreen" after his original Yorkshire village. The grounds included a golf course, lakes and Dutch gardens. Haygreen Close is named to remember the connection.
In 1927 Mr F N Picket purchased the house and he renamed it "Kingsnympton" after his Dorset village, King's Nympton. The pillars on Crescent Road were once the entrance.
The estate was then owned by Mr Maneckji B Dadabhoy of Nagpur. He installed the automated wrought iron entrance gates by South Lodge; the roundels have his intertwined initials "MBD". It was leased for a time by Montague Burton.
The estate was bombed in 1940, the house was demolished and then purchased by the council for housing.
Kingston Vale is located north east of Kingston on the A308; the village straddles both the A308 and the A3 London – Portsmouth Road. The closest junction of the A3 is the Robin Hood Roundabout, which is located at the north-eastern end of the village.
Kingston Vale is served by three local bus routes, connecting the village with New Malden and Tolworth to the south, Kingston and Surbiton to the south west and Roehampton and Putney to the north east. The bus routes serving Kingston Vale are as follows:
- 85 – Kingston to Putney, via Norbiton, Kingston Vale and Roehampton
- 265 – Tolworth to Putney, via New Malden, Coombe, Kingston Vale, Roehampton and Barnes
- K3 – Esher to Roehampton Vale, via Claygate, Thames Ditton, Surbiton, Kingston, Norbiton and Kingston Vale
Kingston Vale is not directly accessible by rail; the nearest stations are Putney & Barnes to the North East and Norbiton to the South West. Bus connections are also available within a short walk of the stations at Kingston, New Malden, Surbiton, Tolworth and Barnes.
The nearest Tube station is East Putney station on the District line to the east, with direct bus connections to Kingston Vale on routes 85 and 265. An indirect connection with South Wimbledon station on the Northern line is also possible, via New Malden, Kingston or Roehampton.
The vale has its own primary school, the Robin Hood Primary School. The hill hosts Kingston Hill Campus of Kingston University. A Village Hall on middle ground plays host to the Oranges and Lemons Nursery School. A Montessori nursery school and a children's dancing school, Kingston Vale Dance Academy operate from different halls known as the Parish Halls.
- For education in Kingston Vale see the main Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames article.
The vast bulk of all housing, such as all of Kingston Vale's, was built by the private sector. Most was built before the 1970s, later infill in keeping with the standard and density, with about half of all housing units today built between 1840 and 1920. Of this older stock most is ornate, well-landscaped in small grounds and detached and semi-detached houses or converted apartments from such houses. Much of this reflects the distance from the former town centre and railway stations, as well as its natural geographic setting.
There is a literary institution, founded in 1839...
...from the excellent situation of the place...from the pleasing scenery with which the neighbourhood abounds, and from the salubrity of the air, the district promises to become of some importance.
- Samuel Lewis (publisher) in A Topographic Dictionary of England, 1848
St. John the Baptist
The first church in the area was built in 1839 and became the centre of its own Parish in 1847. Its replacement is the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist on Robin Hood Lane. It was consecrated on 22 July 1861 and after various additions, was completed in 1886 by the addition of the Choir Vestry. It is an Anglican church in the Deanery of Kingston and the Archdiocese of Southwark. In addition to its religious functions, the church acts as a focal point for community activities, see above in education and dancing lessons. Other events are social clubs, table tennis and space for parties and local associations. Every year the Church holds a summer fete and a fireworks night on varying dates. The Parish Office manages the booking of four halls (three on the site at St. John's and the Village Hall).
St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church, Kingston Hill
A 1960s neo-Georgian brick church with a brick campanile giving it an Italianate touch.
There are no known facilities specifically for other faiths within the village of Kingston Vale. A guide to the places of worship in the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames can be found via the Kingston Inter-Faith Forum.
Kingston Vale is almost surrounded by open spaces, much §reflected in the range of local activities; the east of the village/suburbs hosts Stag Lodge Stables, adjoining Richmond Park, for horse-riding in and around Richmond Park and Wimbledon Common. The Richardson Evans Memorial Playing Fields, adjacent to Wimbledon Common, host many sporting activities including football, rugby football, cricket, Australian rules football and frisbee. The site hosts the UK Ultimate Frisbee Championships in 2007 and the European Ultimate Frisbee Championships in 2008. The site is also home to the annual National Schools Rugby Sevens Tournament.
It has an active local amenity group – the Kingston Vale Residents Association (KVRA). This is a democratic body which deals with matters such as planning, conservation, transport, environment and social.
There area's newsletter called the "Bottom Line" taking its name from the original Middle Ages name of the vale part of the area: Kingston Bottom. The name changed to Kingston Vale among many instances in gentrified parts of the country in Victorian times, to give more aesthetic connotations, "Bottom" in many cases now reserved for a bog, such as in moorland.
Kingston Vale's halls are used to host a variety of community activities including an Art Club, the local Operatic and Dramatic Society, a coffee club, meetings of the Residents' Association and many open-door events.
The village has a self-managed allotment site, which caters to some 60 plot holders from around the Borough and organises a range of social events.
- Ronnie Wood – member of the Rolling Stones
- George Carey – ex-Archbishop of Canterbury
- Rich Johnston – cartoonist and writer
- John Galsworthy – Author and Nobel prize winner
- Vanessa Greene – Screenwriter and film producer
- Causton One-Name Study "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 July 2009. Retrieved 29 October 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- 'Kingston Bottom' in the National Archives http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/search/search_results.aspx?&st=q&queryText=%22kingston+bottom%22&queryType=ALL
- 1861 Census Returns http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATLN=6&CATID=3903737
- 1891 Census Returns http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATLN=7&CATID=-1421265
- 'Kingston-upon-Thames', describing Kingston in A Topographical Dictionary of England, ed. Samuel Lewis (publisher) (London, 1848), pp. 680-683. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-dict/england/pp680-683
- The Kingsnympton Park Estate history board, unveiled 20 February 2014
- Historic England. "GATEWAY TO KINGSNYMPTON PARK BESIDE SOUTH LODGE (1300077)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
- Parish of St. John the Baptist http://www.inthevale.org.uk/history
- Parishes in the Diocese of Southwark "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 July 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Kingston Hill - St Ann". Taking Stock.