These descriptions largely derive from the Conservation Area publications of the London Borough of Kingston.
Most of Cadogan Road is part of a mid 19th century housing development, forming the second stage of the Surbiton “New Town” conceived by Thomas Pooley and laterly built by Coutts and Company. Many of the houses are predominantly Victorian and of high quality. They range from narrow plots and short terraces in Cleveland Road to large Italianate villas on Cadogan Road and Grove Road.
The Cadogan Road conservation area includes the land between Maple Road and the River Thames, as far south as Cleveland Road. The plot of land originally formed part of “the Raphael Estate” which was sold off by Edward Raphael for residential development, to William Woods, a builder from Kingston.
Interesting buildings in the area include the former Congregational Church at No 103 Maple Road designed by Bath architect James Wilson and built in 1854 by Mr Ricketts. Nos 27-35 Cadogan Road erected in 1883 of red brick in the Flemish style are an interesting contrast to the more classical styles. They represent an early example of the vernacular influence which led to a transition from classical styles to the Domestic Revival styles in domestic architecture. The commercial properties on Maple Road including the Antelope Public House provide a good illustration of Victorian commercial street scene characteristics. “Spring Cottages” and St Leonard’s Square comprise of very small, two storey terraced artisans dwellings and although largely altered, are historically interesting in their layout and forms an offshoot to the more grand dwellings.
John Roques map of 1741-5 shows Canbury Gardens was once an area of woodland. But after the building expansion that followed the arrival of the railway in 1863, the site became a tar factory and rubbish dump. However in 1884 Samuel Gray, whose family had been prosperous maltsters and lightermen in Kingston, proposed to layout a public garden onland known as Cooperation Eyot. Plans were prepared by Borough Surveyor Henry Macaulay and the Mayor opened the Gardens on 8 November 1890. In the early 1900s the Gardens were extended towards the east and a bowling green and tennis courts were laid out on raised ground, adjoining Lower Ham Road.
The part of Berrylands around Christchurch was developed from 1860 as a select residential estate. However, as is typical of the Berrylands area, development was sporadic and buildings in the area were erected over a 25 year period up to about 1885.
Christchurch is Grade II listed and was built from 1862 to 1863. It is made up of red brick with stone dressings in a Gothic style known as early English by local architect CL Luck.
Claremont Crescent Gardens
Surbiton “New Town” was conceived by Thomas Pooley. Development started in 1838, and was centred around the landscaped Claremont Crescent Gardens.
There are a number of robust Victorian, locally listed buildings in Claremont Gardens. In 1890, flamboyant red brick houses were built.
After the arrival of the South Western Railway, Thomas Pooley – a Cornishman and local Malthouse owner, conceived the idea of building a new town next to the railway in Surbiton. He drew up initial plans, commissioned architects and builders and laid out the first phase of development between 1838 and 1842. Subsequent phases were continued after 1842 by the bankers Coutts and Company who commissioned architect Philip Hardwick and Cubitts the builders to create a fashionable middle class residential suburb of modest yet elegant stuccoed semi detached villas and terraces in the Regency style.
Buildings of this early stage of Surbiton’s development, are characterised by being built in the classical style with stuccoed facades. Several original examples survive on the north side of Victoria Road, the east sides of Claremont Road and St Philip’s Road.
Evidence of Bronze age settlement has been found in Coombe Warren Estate. By the time of Edward the Confessor (1086) there were two main settlements recorded in Coombe.
By the mid 19th century the Coombe Hill area comprised of three main estates; Coombe House (circa 1750), Coombe Warren (1869) and Coombe Cottage (1863) and was a major area of farmland up until 1860 before the subdivision of land and development of large houses and gardens. The area of Coombe Hill became well known for its large mansions, many of which were built between 1850 and 1870. The area was home to several wealthy families including the Duke of Cambridge and several prime ministers. As a result it became a popular place to live for wealthy people seeking a country seat alongside its proximity to New Malden Railway Station and access to Central London.
Historic development shows that from 1864, a walled estate known as Coombe Warren occupied the land south of Coombe Hill Road and a second estate known as Coombe Cottage Estate was developed on land to the east of Beverley Lane. Houses and outbuildings on both estates were designed by George Devey (1820-1886).
Dutch Gardens was developed in 1986 in the grounds of what was Kingsnympton Hall.
Coombe House was a large estate built in the 1750s. The house, now demolished, was located at the southwest corner of the intersection of present-day Coombe Lane and Traps Lane. Its red brick boundary walls can still be seen on the west side of Traps Lane.
Remains of the 16th century mansion include all stretches of the high brick walls on Warren Rise, and Fitzgeorge Avenue; the listed stretch of wall on Traps Lane; and the two storey cottage incorporated into Vane House on Warren Rise.
George Road is a private road running through Coombe Wood.
Coombe Wood Conservation Area is unique in that it includes a very large area of open space, with the Victorian and early 20th century layout of roads and properties within the triangle of open land enclosed by Kingston Hill, George Road and Warren Road which has produced a semi-rural enclave.
After the occupation of Coombe by the Romans, centuries passed when the wooded valley, The Coombe, remained a natural wildlife habitat. Coombe became Crown Land when it was confiscated from Merton Priory as monastic property by King Henry VIII. Coombe Manor and its estate of 1300 acres then passed from Queen Elizabeth I to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Earls of Spencer. In 1837 the estate was sold to the 1st Duke of Cambridge, son of George III.
The land now bounded by Kingston Hill, George Road and Warren Road was owned by the Duke of Cambridge and used as arable land, rough pasture and meadows with small pockets of woodland. The only buildings which existed at this point were The George Inn (now Kingston Lodge), Coombury Cottage (now demolished) both at the junction of Kingston Hill and George Road and Telegraph Cottage (also now demolished) on a track which is now Warren Road.
In 1850 the Coombe Estate was inherited by George, the second Duke of Cambridge from his father. This began a period of change in this part of Coombe as the 2nd Duke of Cambridge began leasing out land for building.
One of the first people to recognise the possibilities of building on this near to London rural site was John Galsworthy, the father of the author of the Forsyte Saga and other notable books. He bought 93 acres of Coombe Hill fronting George Road occupying what is now the upper section of the Coombe Hood Golf Course. He proceeded to build three fine mansions, which were his family’s homes for a few years each, before the Galsworthy family left Coombe in 1886.
By 1867 the first mansion known as “Coombe Harren” and later “Coombe Court” was completed but was unfortunately demolished in 1931. It is now the site of Robin Hall Cottage set in the grounds of Holy Cross Preparatory School.
This mansion was very grand comprising 17 bedrooms and lodges, set in 22 acres of landscaped gardens. The house had a distinguished history during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century when the owners Lord and Lady Ripon and subsequently their daughter Lady Juliet Duff engaged in entertaining great artists, and aristocrats including Nijinsky, the Russian dancer, and Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. The grounds, particularly the pond, were also one of the principal settings for the Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy junior. Today although the site of the mansion and grounds is occupied by a number of 1930s detached dwellings, most of the fine boundary walls along George Road including the gate pillars, the original lodge, now known as Robin Hill Cottage and much of the original landscape (set in the grounds of Holy Cross Preparatory School) are still preserved.
By 1874 Galsworthy had finished his next mansion in George Road, immediately adjacent to “Coombe Harren”, known as “Coombe Leigh” and later “Coombe Ridge House”. The family lived here until 1884. The house and lodge and much of the landscaping are well preserved as the Holy Cross Convent School. The mansion is Victorian Gothic in style, of an irregular composition, in red brick with stone dressings.
Galsworthy’s third and last house in George Road was Coombe Croft finished in 1884 and now occupied by Rokeby School. The house design, which is well preserved, is much livelier than ”Coombe Leigh” with extensive diapered brickwork and decorative bargeboards.
There are two other properties still standing in George Road which also reflect the style of the period after Coombe Manor was divided. “Ballard Coombe” was erected in 1906 by the Rt. Hon. William, Earl of Listowell but much of the building was destroyed by fire in 1927 and the present building was reconstructed on the same site. The house was also occupied by the Guinness family in its early days. The mansion now Marymount International School, is of red brick with tile hanging with deep sprocketed eaves and many gables in an asymmetrical composition. Similarly Fouracres, of a grand mock Tudor design, built in the first part of this century, also reflects the qualities of a rural mansion protected by two lodge buildings. Fouracres was built in 1929 in the Vernacular Revival Style by George Warren. Commander Hollbrook VC and the Allied Armed Forces used the headquarters during World War II, including where the plans for the invasion of Normandy were directed. It is now used as a Management Training Centre by Unilever International.
The land to the west of the gravel pits, now the golf course, was being developed in a similar manner to George Road during the second half of the nineteenth century. The large detached dwellings, often set well back from the highway, which once lined much of Kingston Hill are not typical of todays developments. However two examples are well preserved at “Tankerville”, and “Henleighs” which has a Regency style canopy.
Renfrew Road was laid out in 1908 and is lined with smaller scale detached dwellings. This development is comparable with Stokes Road laid out a few years later. The properties are of varied designs typical of the Domestic Revival style of domestic architecture which incorporates elements of the Queen Anne, Arts and Crafts and early vernacular styles.
Warren House on the north side of Warren Road, was built in 1865 and is a good example of a Victorian purpose built country house. The original house with its additions of 1884 and later by George Devey, is of an asymmetrical composition in red brick with a variety of late Gothic and Tudor motifs. The historical growth of the building is portrayed in the complex roof form, and many gables, chimneys, towers and bay windows. The house, like those in George Road was another favourite haunt of Royal and famous visitors, visiting the various families in ownership.
This part of the estate also contains the famous Japanese Water Garden laid out in 1863 by James Veitch, the noted horticulturist, as part of his Coombe Wood Nursery to the north of Warren House. He created a series of lakes, linked by a stream fed from one of Coombe’s underground springs, and enhanced by Japanese style bridges, sculptures, summerhouses and rare trees and shrubs which have matured into a creation of breathtaking beauty. The garden was inspired by the plate design of willow pattern china and was the first Japanese garden created in Britain.
The earliest building in this conservation area is Fishponds House which was built between 1740 and 1742. A map of 1880 shows to the south of the house a “brick field” where bricks were clearly being manufactured. It is thought that the various ponds in the park have probably been created by the excavation of brick earth for the brickworks, especially to the north of the house where a series of linked ponds and other landscape features add to the interest of the gardens. Kings Charles Crescent was built between 1880-1898 and occupies the former brickfield.
Fishponds Park today is notable for its ponds, streams, steep banks, pathways and dense hedging along the boundaries. A group of five late 19th century detached villas in Ewell Road, in Victorian Gothic style, are prominent from Fishponds Park.
Evidence of Middle Stone Age and Bronze Age settlement in the immediate vicinity has been well recorded and it is likely that the existence of the Hogsmill River provided an attractive site for the manufacture of goods. In the Medieval period this conservation area was farmed on an open field system and was later enclosed between the mid-15th and mid-17th century.
Grove Crescent was laid out around 1863 at the same time as the opening of Kingston Railway Station – the station provided a new railway link to London and made commuting an attractive option. Kingston consequently became more built up and areas of housing started to radiate out from the new railway station. Evidence of the first housing, before 1865, was on the corner of Grove Crescent and Penrhyn Road (formerly Grove Road). The streetscape subsequently evolved in an easterly direction, in relation to the various interests of many builders.
In the 19th century, the Hogsmill River was deeper and faster flowing and a lack of bridges slowed the rate of building. It was not until the 1890s that Springfield Road Bridge was built connecting the southern and northern halves of Grove. The idea of constructing the Blue Bridge, built by local landowner William Mercer, is central to an understanding of how the area started to identify itself at this time. The river crossing became a symbol of one man’s social and engineering vision, hoping to elevate the new estate to a status equal to Knights Park which was developed over the same period 1861-1871.
Heatherdale Close is a 1970s development of six blocks of 3-storey town houses following the demolition of the Victorian Meadow House.
While Neolithic and Bronze Age finds have indicated early settlement of the area, Kingston Hill has always been known as a busy road. From the Middle Ages it was on the strategic route from London to Portsmouth and it formed part of the direct link between the City and Hampton Court, which became a royal palace from the 16th century. Therefore this route was established well before Charles I enclosed Richmond Park with the wall of 1637.
Kingston Hill became an area of large minor estates established in the late 18th and early 19th century. Coombe Park was acquired in 1837 by the Duke of Cambridge, a cousin of Queen Victoria, and this began a period of royal patronage, particularly at Kingston Vale, and also a process of progressive sub-division. As a result, the mid-19th century saw a succession of large houses on diminishing plots from Kenry House and Kingston Hill Place to Harewood, Holmwood and Galsworthy House. The latter was the birthplace of the novelist and playwright John Galsworthy. Florence Nightingale was another local figure who came to the area to stay with her aunt at Coombe Hurst (now Kingston University). The gradual intensification of development was encouraged by road improvements in the 19th century, which eased the gradient of the hill with a cutting near the summit and an embankment below. This brought the City within an hour’s drive by horse-drawn carriage and, subsequently, less by car. Development was not, however, fuelled by the railway age, which rather passed over Kingston in favour of Surbiton. Instead, road traffic increased greatly and Kingston was one of the earliest towns to have a bypass, which was opened in 1927 by Stanley Baldwin.
The effect was to ease the pressure on Kingston Hill by removing traffic and opening other areas to development, such as the Robin Hood Estate. Despite further infilling, Kingston Hill has retained its low-density character. In the 1960s, Coombe Hurst and Kenry House became the nucleus of Kingston Polytechnic. This campus has since grown into a modern university with the addition of many further buildings.
Kingston Hill is notable for its strong relationship with Richmond Park and its listed boundary wall, the quality of the public realm as a result of its mature landscaping and the notable views from Kingston Vale, Coombe Hill and Wimbledon Common.
Kingston Bridge was rebuilt in 1828 and subsequently widened in the 20th century. Clarence Street was formed as the new approach to Kingston Bridge.
The special architectural and historic interest of this area lies in its historic status as an important market town, port and river crossing from the early medieval period. It is close to the historic royal estates at Hampton Court, Bushy Park and Richmond Park and the old core of the town around All Saints Church and Market Place, with its recognisably medieval street pattern, is the best preserved of its type in outer London.
Kingston Old Town has a rich and interesting history which has been well researched and documented. Archaeological investigations in Kingston Town Centre have been fruitful in revealing surviving archaeological deposits dating from the prehistoric period through to the post-medieval period.
Archaeological evidence suggests that the Old Town occupies an area that was once an island bounded to the east by a channel running almost parallel to the River Thames. The bulk of archaeological finds relate to Kingston Old Town’s importance as a medieval trading settlement, taking advantage of its riverside location as a form of transportation. Excavations have revealed waterside structures and piers, and timber-framed buildings, around the Market Place.
Kingston became a recognised town in the late 12th century when Kingston Bridge was first formed across the River Thames. During this period Kingston became a focus for trading agricultural products and raw materials by road and river. In addition, pottery manufacturing and leather production flourished.
Kingston later benefited from being a stopping-off point on the route between London and Portsmouth as well as being close to a number of Royal Palaces. Numerous inns and public houses flourished in the town centre and were supported by local breweries. In addition to the latter, other industries blossomed, including tanning, milling, fishing, brick-making, candle making and corn milling.
The 19th century saw the rapid expansion of Kingston Town, improved road and rail communications and the expansion of Local Government. Kingston Bridge was rebuilt in 1828 and subsequently widened in the 20th century. New roads were created on the edge of the Old Town. During the 20th century local industry declined and there was a consequent redevelopment of much of the riverside for offices, housing and food and drink premises. Due to further expansion of local government, the Guildhall was built in the 1930s followed in the 1970s and 1980s by further administrative accommodation. Transport initiatives in the late 20th century have enabled the pedestrianisation of much of the Old Town.
The Old Town is notable for the retention of an essentially Medieval street layout within its core. The buildings that enclose All Saints’ Church churchyard, and the Apple Market and forming the eastern sides to the Market Place and Church Street essentially retain their Medieval building plot widths albeit the buildings themselves are predominantly of later origin. The plot widths range from as narrow as 3m wide (No. 12 Church Street) to an average of between 5m and 8m. Due to late-Victorian and 20th century development, the narrow Medieval plots have been combined and the historic grain compromised in a number of areas (e.g. the west side of the Market Place and Thames Street), although the building line is essentially retained.
Kingston Vale is a continuation of Kingston Hill and has always been a busy road. From the middle ages it has been part of a strategic route from central London to Portsmouth and it formed part of the direct link between the City and Hampton Court, which became a royal palace from the 16th century. Robin Hood Lane led south to Cambridge Lodge and Robin Hood Farm which was set in open countryside well into the 20th century. There was very little development in the area until a small hamlet developed to serve local agriculture, the maintenance of Richmond Park and the needs of the travelling public.
The Robin Hood Inn (now converted into flats) was established at the junction of Kingston Vale and Robin Hood Lane. By the 1820s it had become an important staging post for the increased coach traffic. This significantly developed and in 1870, it was rebuilt across the road in its present form with stabling for 30 horses.
The area was passed over by the railway age and with a decline in agriculture in the 19th century, housing in this area developed slowly. In 1927 the Kingston Bypass was opened by Stanley Baldwin which started a building boom, fuelled by the sale of the remainder of the Coombe Estate land. This resulted in the construction of the Robin Hood Housing Estate through the 1930s. The 1931 census records 618 people in Kingston Vale but by 1953, the population was 3500. In recent years new development includes the Sherwood Grange Care Home and the conversion of the Robin Hood Public House into flats.
Windmill Rise was developed in 1986 in the grounds of what was Kingsnympton Hall.
In 1850 this conservation area was farmland and open meadows until Victorian villas were built on Orchard Road in 1860. Following the opening of Kingston Railway Station in 1863, the value of land increased rapidly and during the 1860s and 1870s, houses were built on Fairfield North, Knights Park and Mill Street with Fairfield Recreation Ground opening in 1889 (a recreational open space since 1855).
Unlike today, in the 19th century, the Hogsmill River was deeper and faster flowing and a lack of bridges slowed the rate of development in this area. It was not until the 1890s that Springfield Road Bridge was built, connecting the southern and northern halves of Grove. Today the Hogsmill River to the south and the A307 encapsulates the area creating a tranquil environment with houses which are rich in architectural detail and townscape character.
The development of Liverpool Road and Crescent Road is shown on maps as far back as 1868 with substantial completion by the turn of the 20th century. The earlier Victorian houses are two storey, detached, elegant houses with sweeping roofs and rich in detailing. Front gardens are well planted with shrubs and trees and front boundaries are mostly intact.
Oakhill remained almost completely undeveloped until the start of the 19th century. Much of the area formed an extensive area of open space, totalling around 190 acres, known as Surbiton Common. The area was traversed from North to South by the high road from Kingston to Ewell and Epsom, which we now call Ewell Road. Changes in the appearance of the Common began in 1808 when an Act of Parliament was passed for its enclosure.
The salubrity of Surbiton Hill led to the development of a few large houses and a number of cottages. However the rate of development was fairly slow until 1838 when the opening of the London and Southampton Railway in 1838 led to extensive building up until 1865. After this period development slowed down until the 1880s. The only major building erected during this time was the large Arts and Crafts style mansion now known as Hillcroft College. This property was built in extensive landscaped grounds in 1877 to the designs of Sir Rowland Plumb, and is also Grade II listed.
The boundary of the Oakhill Conservation Area excludes as much of the architectural development which dates after the Second World War as possible. However within the area there are a number of developments which include mid 19th century blocks of flats including: Palmerston Court, Leighton House, Russell Court and Georgian Terrace.
Malden takes its name from Maeldune which means ‘cross upon the hill’. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book as having two manors, Meldone and Cisendone. The cross upon the hill is thought to have formed from the foundations of the Church of St John the Baptist, which still retains Saxon features and is Grade II listed. The area around the Church was also the original centre of the village and it is evident that there is a long history of settlement on the hill. Remains of an Iron age pottery have been found off Church Road, Roman remains in Manor Drive and some Norman and Medieval remains near the Vicarage.
At the end of the 16th Century the Church was almost in ruins but was repaired in 1610. The nave and the tower were rebuilt in brick but the chancel only needed repairing and the old flint and stone walls still remain. By the 16th Century the Manor House had also fallen into into disrepair and was almost completely rebuilt in the 17th Century and further alterations took place in the 18th and 19th Centuries.
At the east end of Church Road are Plough Green (Upper Green), the Plough Inn which is Grade II listed, the original village pond and a nearby group of old cottages.
Archaeological evidence suggests there has been settlement in the area from approximately 4500BC. Findings also suggest there was a Middle Stone Age settlement on Coombe Hill and farming from the Neolithic period. Flint and stone axes from this period have been found on Kingston Hill and in Richmond Park. It is highly likely that there was a late Bronze Age settlement on Kingston Hill, a short distance to the north-east of this conservation area. There is also evidence of continuous activity through to the Roman occupation, the hill’s freshwater springs undoubtedly attracting settlement. These were exploited in the 16th century to pipe a water supply to Hampton Court Palace.
Park Road remained agricultural until 1868 when the London and South West Railway line was extended from Kingston to Norbiton. This then gave rise to speculative development and extensive building activity. As a consequence there are no buildings in the area which date earlier than the 1860s. By the end of the 1880s the Victorian development of this area was virtually completed so that during the 19th century the few remaining plots were infilled by additional building.
A key feature of this area is 1-13 Park Road. Built in the 1870s, with retail at ground and flats above, this group of buildings retains traces of the original 1870s shop fronts.
This area of New Malden originally formed part of Norbiton Common but by the mid 19th century it had been completely enclosed as farmland. The land was used exclusively for agricultural use until the 1880s when the London and Suburban Land Company laid out Presburg Road, Westbury Road and Thetford Road. Progress in the development of the area as a residential neighbourhood was slow and by 1899 only 15 houses were built in this conservation area.
Presburg Road was the last area to be developed, before the outbreak of the first World War put a temporary stop to domestic building activity. Presburg Road conservation area takes in the best of this pre-war development which has a distinctive character and appearance of its own. The 20 houses identified are all of the “Queen Anne” or “Renaissance” style which was used extensively during this period for both domestic and prestigious public buildings such as Sessions House in Ewell Road (1898) and Kingston Library (1902).
Vincent Davison who built these houses worked extensively in the New Malden area. Characteristic of his work are the fine jointed red brick aprons under the windows and the rubbed brick arches to door and window openings. Greater use is made of reconstituted stone dressings and patterned render on the west side of the street.
Although Davison seems to have made extensive use of pattern books and standard details for his designs, the buildings are well composed with good proportions. The high standard of design and mature gardens add to the visual amenity of the area.
Originally the turnpike road between London and Portsmouth, a map from 1762 shows a rural nature as Portsmouth Road enters Surbiton with very few buildings built along it. A map from 1820 shows the genesis of the Queens Promenade in two stretches of parallel road. Between 1840 and 1866 numerous villas were built along the riverfront. Blocks of flats have since replaced these mansions.
In 1838 Queens Promenade was just a swamp used for gravel extraction. Until the 1850s this part of the river frontage was dangerous as gravel working along the foreshore had undermined the base of the road. Between 1852 and 1854 William Woods laid out and constructed Queens Promenade and the bank and the riverbend were infilled from the construction of Chelsea Waterworks Co. The promenade attracted many visitors but was neglected five years after it was opened by Queen Victoria. Using stone from the Old Blackfriars Bridge, it was rebuilt and widened from six to nine meters. In 1896 it was extended to join the High Street and terminate at the boathouses outside Ravens Ait.
The land between Albany Park Road and Richmond Road originally formed part of the Bank Grove Estate which on the death of the owner Sir Charles Freake in 1884, was subdivided into 35 lots and offered for sale as freehold building land for housing.
The houses in Albany Park Road and Richmond Road were the first to be built in this conservation area with 47 out of 55 houses within these roads built over an 8 year period between 1891 -1898. While seven different developers were responsible for these buildings, only two architects designed 44 of them, which explains the close harmony of architectural treatment between the group of detached houses on Albany Park Road and the group of semi detached houses on both sides of Richmond Road.
The houses are good examples of middle class housing in the Vernacular Revival style; which is a style which became fashionable in the 1890s. The buildings have a robust, picturesque appearance with gabled fronts, bay windows, tile hanging and decorative brickwork.
The boundary walls, mature gardens and trees are also of townscape interest and make a positive contribution to the visual amenity of the area.
St Andrews Church
The Church was built between 1871-1872 to the designs of Sir Arthur Blomfield. It is Gothic in style and was largely funded by the banking family Coutts. The main building is well known for its unusual features and is made up of yellow and red brick and Bath Sandstone. The tower fronting St Andrew’s Road was added later as a memorial to the recovery from illness of the Prince of Wales.
St Andrews Square
St Andrew’s Square is one of the few remaining Victorian squares in SW London and is the only example of traditional Victorian square development in the borough. Three sides of the square are lined with closely knit three storey brick Victorian terraced houses built between 1876-1884 by local developers Corbett and McClymont in the Gothic style. In addition to these houses the conservation area also includes St Andrews Church, the central garden of the Square and the interesting group of Victorian houses on Maple Road in the Classical style.
Seething Wells occupies the site of a spring. The Wells became the site of the Chelsea and Lambeth Waterworks, later the Metropolitan Water Board and now the Thames Water Authority. The solid Victorian masonry are landmarks and examples of Italianate Gothic. While the former water works complex has been adapted by Kingston University for student accommodation, they remain the best surviving example of the Victorian approach to public works.
The Southborough conservation area originally formed part of the grounds of Southborough Estate, which centred on Southborough House. Thomas and Sarah Langley commissioned the famous Regency architect, John Nash, to build Southborough House on the former Kingston Common in 1808. The main house (14 Ashcombe Avenue), the garden building to the west, and Southborough Lodge (16 Ashcombe Avenue) are Grade II listed buildings and the oldest buildings within the area. The Ordnance Survey dated 1868 shows Southborough House and Southborough Farm (now demolished) as the only properties within the boundaries of Brighton Road, Ditton Road, and the Portsmouth to London Railway line.
Between 1880 and 1895 the south side of Langley Avenue and the east side of Corkran Road were sold off in large plots and developed forming part of the wider suburbanisation of Kingston. A comparison between the 1895 and 2008 Ordnance Survey shows that 2, 4, 6, 10, 12, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 28, 30 Langley Avenue and 17, 31, 33 Corkran Avenue have survived to date. Southborough House was purchased by James Cundy in 1885. It retained a generous plot and gained a gardener’s lodge at the entrance in Langley Avenue in 1884, and a coachman’s lodge adjacent to the gateway to Carriage Drive in 1891. Both lodges still remain in their original form at 25 Langley Avenue and 22 Corkran Road.
Until the early 19th century, this part of Surbiton was a rural area with a network of small farms and estates, with some scattered development along Ewell Road, Claremont Road and Victoria Road. Properties in this area were first laid out at the time that Thomas Pooley was building houses in the 1840s around Claremont Gardens, to the north of the area.
By 1865 both sides of Victoria Road, Claremont Road and the north side of Brighton Road were lined with terraced and semi-detached houses giving the town a residential dormitory character. However by 1900 Surbiton had changed to become an important commercial centre and resulted in the conversion of residential to retail and commercial units. Examples of some purpose built commercial properties include the Post Office in Victoria Road and properties along the east side of Claremont Road.
Surbiton Station, designed by Architect James Rob Scott is Art Deco in style and is a landmark feature of the area. There are also many Flemish style buildings, including the Old Post Office at 38 Victoria Road.
Surbiton Hill Park
This area was originally farmland and remained largely undeveloped until the start of the 19th century when the coming of the London and Southampton railway in 1838 led to extensive building activity in the Surbiton area. The Victorian houses seen today were built from 1864 to 1887, as a middle class residential estate. It was constructed by a number of developers, reflected by the different architectural styles to be found in this conservation area.
Many of the houses on the north side of Surbiton Hill Park form part of the original estate built in the 1860s. These houses are in the Italianate style. The consistent use of the same building materials in this group of early houses contributes to the visual attractiveness of the streetscene and high townscape quality.
Like many parts of the borough, the land which occupies the Groves conservation area was open farmland up until the Victorian period when the coming of the railway made the area attractive for housing with New Malden Station opening in 1846. It was the first part of New Malden Town Centre to be laid out and includes Acacia, Chestnut, Elm, Lime, Poplar and Sycamore Road which were all planted with trees to match their names.
The National Freehold Land Society bought the land which occupies The Groves conservation area in 1850. They were one of a number of early building societies whose aim was to sell small parcels of land to the rising middle classes with the intention to make society in Britain more democratic as only freeholders were allowed to vote in Parliamentary elections during this period.
It seems that the philanthropic aims of the Society for the Groves area were less successful than anticipated compared to other site areas they had purchased for redevelopment. The OS map of 1866 shows that less than 20% of the plots had been developed 16 years after the land was bought. It is thought this could have been due to their failure to provide sewers, mains water pipes, reliable gas provision and well surfaced roads. By 1895 approximately half the plots had been built and by this point the area had gained a reputation of being less prosperous. The infilling of vacant plots continued right up until 1960 when all plots were finally filled.
This area of Surbiton was agricultural land until the early 1890s, and is shown on early maps as being laid out in three large fields. In 1893 houses began to be erected in Victoria Avenue in two phases over an 11 year period (1893 – 1904) by two builders. 39 of the houses (nos 2-38 and 3-41 Victoria Avenue ) were constructed by Henry Dally, a builder from Twickenham, all to the same design between 1893 – 1899. Henry Dally was also responsible for the erection of two detached villas (No 46 Victoria Avenue and No 2 Endsleigh Gardens) each house being a one off design.