County Hall, Kingston upon Thames

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County Hall, Kingston upon Thames
Surrey County Hall Clock Tower.png
LocationKingston upon Thames
Coordinates51°24′18″N 0°18′17″W / 51.4049°N 0.3046°W / 51.4049; -0.3046Coordinates: 51°24′18″N 0°18′17″W / 51.4049°N 0.3046°W / 51.4049; -0.3046
ArchitectCharles Henry Howell
Listed Building – Grade II
Designated6 October 1983
Reference no.1184834
County Hall, Kingston upon Thames is located in Greater London
County Hall, Kingston upon Thames
Location of County Hall, Kingston upon Thames in Greater London

County Hall is the main government building for Surrey County Council in England. It was opened 13 November 1893, and is located in Kingston upon Thames. County Hall is a landmark in Kingston and contains a clock tower entrance, sculptures, plaques of Surrey MPs and Lord Sheriffs, and the council chamber. It is located on Penrhyn Road, named in honour of the first chairman of the county council. It is a Grade II listed building.[1]


Surrey Council Chamber in County Hall

Surrey had been administered from Newington since the 1790s. Following the implementation of the Local Government Act 1888, which established councils in every county, a sessions house in Newington was used as the meeting place of Surrey County Council.[2] However as Newington was included in the County of London from 1889 and therefore lay outside the area administered by the council, a site for a new county hall within the administrative county was sought. By 1890 six towns were being considered: Epsom, Guildford, Kingston, Redhill, Surbiton and Wimbledon.[3] A decision to build the new County Hall at Kingston was made in 1891.[4]

The building, which was designed by Charles Henry Howell, County Surveyor and partner in Howell and Brooks, was built by Higgs and Hill[4] between 1891 and 1893. It was officially opened with bands playing on 13 November 1893. An extension was opened by the Duke of Gloucester in 1930. The Ashcombe Block, which creating a quadrangle behind the entrance, was completed in 1938. The Ashcombe block was destroyed by a flying bomb in July 1944 and rebuilt in 1953. The main building was further extended in 1963 and 1982, completing a second quadrangle.[4]

Following local government reorganisation in 1965, County Hall was no longer within the administrative county of Surrey, but within the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames in Greater London. In July 2003 it was decided to move county government to a new building in Woking and Kingston University planned to acquire County Hall.[5] That project was scrapped in January 2006,[6] but in March 2019 it was announced that the council would move to Midas House in Woking, and County Hall in Kingston would be sold.[7]

Film location[edit]

Film and television productions that have made use of County Hall for location filming have included:[8]


  1. ^ Historic England. "Surrey County Hall (1184834)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Local Government Act 1888". Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  3. ^ The Times, March 27, 1890
  4. ^ a b c Robinson, David. "A brief history of County Hall" (PDF). Surrey County Council. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  5. ^ Relocation of Surrey County Hall Moves Closer Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Surrey County Council – County Hall Archived 2007-03-20 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "New location for Surrey County Council". Surrey Matters. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  8. ^ "Kingston film and TV locations". KingstonOnline. Retrieved 14 January 2018.