1 – Railway Station
2 – Aviator Park
3 – Victory Park
4 – The George
5 – Hatch Farm
6 – The Crouch Oak
7 – Princess Mary’s Village Homes
8 – Baptist Church and Churchill House
9 – Dukes Court and Bank House
10 – The High Street
11 – Chapel Fields
12 – Simplemarsh Road
13 – Firfield
14 – Simplemarsh Farm
15 – St Paul’s First School
16 – St Paul’s Church
17 – Addlestone Park
18 – Sayes Court Lodge
19 – Crockford Bridge
20 – Crockford Bridge Farm
21 – Coxes Lock Mill
22 – Wey Navigation
23 – Aircraft factories
24 – St George’s College and Mormon Church
25 – Albert Road and St Augustine’s School and Church
The station was built in 1848 when the L&SWR completed the Weybridge-Chertsey Railway, with the platform originally on the south side of the crossing. Note the fine cast-iron pillars on the present platforms. The journey to London at first took 50 minutes. The adjacent Woburn Park Hotel, now demolished and replaced by flats, was built in 1884, about the same time as the shops to the west of the crossing, then known as the Broadway (see the plaque above a shop).
From Taxi rank next to the station, take footpath north-west, parallel to the railway. From here parts of the 1916 Bleriot Aeroplane Factory could be seen, until it was demolished in 2001. The higher building was the hangar, later the paint shop. After World War I the factory made the Bleriot-Whippet Cycle-Car, Eric Longden small car and various light aircraft. Weymanns Motor Bodies from 1925 completed buses, ambulances and, later on, military vehicles. In the late 1960s, after Caddy (coachbuilders of Chertsey), Plessey leased the site and developed it. The buildings were demolished in 2001 for the construction of Aviator Park.
This land was once part of Captain’s Farm, owned by Lt. Col. de Visme (who fought in the Peninsula War). The floral gardens and football field opened in 1919 by General Sir James Brunker of Fairoaks, Liberty Lane. The entire park and gates are a dedicated war memorial thus making it the largest in the UK and unique, all thanks to the generosity of Councillor Constantine Doresa. In the 1930s the cricket field and the bowling green areas were added to the Park, while tennis courts were purchased from Addlestone Hard Courts Club.
The George is the oldest inn in Addlestone, over 400 years in origin and rebuilt over 200 years ago. This area formed the centre of the hamlet until Marlheath or Addlestone Common, to the south of “The Prairie”, was enclosed in the early 19th century. The cottages nearby, as well as 114/116 across Chertsey Road, date from c1800 and are listed buildings.
This farm, north of the railway bridge, has parts that date from the 17th century, including a four-bay barn with some original queen post trusses and tie beams. For many years it was the home of the Roake family of yeoman farmers but the present owner lives at Woburn Hill House, an amber brick house c1815 in Regency style.
The Crouch Oak
This is one of Britain’s oldest trees, possibly indicating a boundary of Windsor Forest. Its name comes from either its low, crouching form or from a crutch holding up a main branch or from a cross placed on it as a marker. For long known as Wycliffe’s Oak – after the medieval scholar reputed to have preached here – it was definitely the scene of a sermon by Spurgeon in 1872. Another tradition is that Queen Elizabeth I picnicked here. It was fenced c1810 by de Visme to prevent village maidens stripping the bark to make a love potion! In 2000 a young oak, known as the Millennium Oak, was planted near it; in 2001 a large branch was pruned by Runnymede Council and the wood given to the Historical Society, who obtained an “Awards for All” grant to do tree-ring analysis and other research into the tree. This has revealed that the central ring of this branch was formed in 1670 and so the main (but hollow) trunk is very much older.
Princess Mary’s Village Homes
Only the street name and the iron gates recall on site this once extensive “refuge for daughters of convict mothers, girls from destitute families or otherwise in need of protection”, set up in 1871, pioneering the family type of residential home. It later became an Approved School. It was named after Queen Mary’s mother, the Duchess of Teck, whose portrait together with a turret clock and an iron arch from the gateway have been preserved in Chertsey. Note the fine gates, the posts of which were cast by Herring & Son of Chertsey.
Baptist Church and Churchill House (The Railway Arms / The Magnet / Station House)
The first Baptist church was built here in 1840 to replace one believed to have existed in Prairie Road from 1812. The present building dates from 1872. Note the foundation stone laid by the Rev. Spurgeon.
Churchill House now stands on the site of “The Railway Arms” public house which opened in the 1850’s but was known as “The Magnet” by 1870. For a long time the pub sign was a horseshoe shaped magnet. This was replaced by a picture of Billy Bunter when “The Magnet” comic became popular.
In the 1990’s the name changed to “The Station House”, with a sign depicting a steam train, a reflection of its original name. The Station House eventually closed and was unoccupied for several years leading up to its demolition.
Churchill House – a new residential development began shortly after demolition of The Station House and was completed in 2011.
Dukes Court and Bank House
“The Duke’s Head” was built following the enclosure of the Chertsey Beomonds manor which covered most of modern Addlestone. This pub was constructed at the new crossroads in 1815 by John Drewett, Inn keeper of Chertsey. It was probably named after the Duke of York, then a major local landowner resident at Oatlands Park.A single storey extension was formerly a billiard room opening onto a bowling green on which the establishment prided itself in the 1880’s.For a long time The Duke’s Head was the main residential hotel, with a clientele of “tradesmen and respectable working class” (according to Rawlings Directory). The pub is now demolished and replaced by apartments. In the latter part of the 20th Century it became the headquarters of the Chertsey and Addlestone Band. The adjacent bus stop is still referred to as “The Dukes Head Coach Stop”
“Bank House” was constructed opposite “The Duke’s Head”. It originally opened as The London County & Westminster Bank in the First World War (and previously at No.3 High Street). Both this and the current Citizens Advice Bureau (dating from 1954) in Church Road were built on the site of Kingthorpe, home of Mr. T. Weeding, JP, a local dignitary. Part of the original boundary wall can be seen in Kingthorpe Gardens to the rear of the Citizens Advice Bureau.
The High Street
“Glendinning House” is now on the site once occupied by Tavener’s, also known as “The Bentalls of Addlestone”. Demolished in December 1995. Developed from two cottages, the original shop was occupied by Fox, later Wyles. From 1921 to 1950 it became Taverners, a large draper’s, and finally, in 1988,Brouder & Wilshire, a carpet and furniture shop.
Opposite, the dry cleaner’s building hides an earlier post office while the row of small shops of 1870 on the west side were known as Devonshire Terrace.
A pub stood on the Holly Tree site as early as 1841
Opposite is the light cream brick fronted house (24-24A, High Street) built for his son by John Cree, who owned a nursery where the Bank House now stands. In 1829 Cree published a catalogue Hortus Addlestonensis, giving local gardening information. This site later became Kingthorpe: part of its boundary wall can be seen near the Citizens Advice Bureau in red brick.
The name of this road may come from Schimpe (small marsh) and Pul (pool), or may refer to where “simples” (medicinal herbs) were gathered. In the 1840s John Mitchell Kemble, Anglo-Saxon scholar and brother of actress Fanny Kemble, lived here Chapelfields. This name and that of streets to the north comes from land owned by a chapel of Chertsey Abbey. No. 47 (Keighley Cottage) looks like a church , and indeed was the Methodist centre from 1885-1897, when the present church was completed in Station Road. The Waggon and Horses pub was originally a corrugated iron shack of a beerhouse next to No.45; hence the nickname “The Tin House”. Just south of the road can be seen Tipton Cottages, a row of back-to-backs c1840. No.39 with its crooked eaves and Gothic style, dates from 1886 (though its chimneys were reduced in 1981) – survivor of a popular villa style in Addlestone.
Now St. Augustine’s Convent/Home, this was previously owned by Mr. T.A. Tulk (after whom the Tulk Hall in the Community Centre is named). Before then, in the 1840s, it was the residence of authors Samuel Carter Hall (who edited an art journal) and Anna Maria Hall (who wrote many novels and The Book of the Thames). Both were benefactors of St. Paul’s Church and School. The lady’s portrait is in Chertsey Museum along with a copy of her popular book. Charles Dickens was part of their extensive literary circle of friends and is said to have visited their home.
These 1985 houses are now in front of the site of Simplemarsh Farm, originally part of Chertsey Abbey lands with a long list of occupiers, including Viscount Castlemaine, Thomas la Coste (a Chertsey banker) and Joseph Vincent (a member of the first Chertsey Urban District Council of 1894). The site is now accessible only from Green Lane near the bridge carrying St Peter’s Way. The entrance is to a gated residential development constructed after the remnants of Simplemarsh Farm were demolished.
St. Paul’s First School
This school was started in 1841 with 67 boys and 60 girls, and enlarged in 1851. The small semi-detached cottages in front were for the schoolmaster and schoolmistress. All are now demolished and St. Paul’s Close is on the site.
St. Paul’s Church
The church was completed in 1838 at a cost of £3,760, altered and enlarged several times, especially 1883 and 1903. Memorials and windows inside are well worth study. Addlestone became a separate parish in 1857. To the west was the Vicarage, built for £986, including piggeries to the back; this is now demolished, the present vicarage being adjacent to the church. To the east lie the Gardens, formed out of former burial ground, to mark the 1953 Coronation. Nearby, forming part of the RAOB Club, is the “Red Room”, a late Victorian parish reading room, later used as a workshop by the school.
Two stone knights, nearly life size and now in safe storage by Runnymede Council. They used to stand on brick pedestals at the entrance to this road before 1972. They may have been located by Sir Charles Wetherell of Sayes Court in 1823, or later by Daniel Thorne, antique dealer of Addlestone Park House, or come from Tudor House (Darley Dene) on the site of the Civic Offices in Station Road (extended in 1985).
Sayes Court Lodge
This was probably here in 1772 and became the entrance lodge to Jacobean style Sayes Court, reached by an avenue of lime trees (still visible). Walter de Saye owned land south of the Thames in 1276; among later occupiers were Sir Bartholemew Reed (Lord Mayor of London), Sir Richard Weston (whose family constructed the Wey Navigation) and James Paine (architect of Chertsey Bridge). The last owners of the house, the Rastricks, allowed it to decay till its demolition in 1928.
Situated between Brighton and New Haw Roads, the present structure replaced a narrow, rutted bridge with wooden-railed sides. The new bridge also straightened the direction of the road, covering the watersplash (ford) previously there; indeed, Crockford may mean “crooked ford”. Some kind of bridge must have existed here since 1666 because records state that Henrietta Maria, widow of Charles I and Lady of the Manor, was liable for its repair in that year.
Crockford Bridge Farm
Following the bending footpath some parts of the farmhouse may be seen, including 400-year-old buildings and the Granary (which is listed). A Dutch gable here was demolished during World War II. The Locke-King family (of Woburn Park and Brooklands fame) owned this farm c1900, then known as Pyle’s Farm.
Coxes Lock Mill
Beyond the extensive mill pond which used to power the machinery with a good head of water, the footpath passes by this mill complex, possibly named after a lock-keeper called Coxe. From 1783 an iron mill on this site, owned by iron-master Alexander Raby, handled ore possibly mined on St. George’s Hill. It went through a number of changes of use until converted for flour milling in 1829. It was extended in 1887 and a new silo tower was erected in 1969, but flour production ceased in 1983. It has now been converted into flats.
Beyond the former level crossing, now a footbridge, is the first true canal in England since Roman times, today lined with small craft. An Act of Parliament in 1651 approved the canal’s course from Weybridge to Guildford (later extended south) and it opened to traffic in 1653, bypassing the River Wey’s meander to the south. The Pelican may have originally been built to serve the bargees.
At the centre of the Trading Estate was Airscrew Howden, (on the site of the IBM Offices) where some 80% of propellers used by British World War II aircraft (up to 2,000 blades a week) were produced. Nearby, the World War I Lang Propeller Factory, incorporated into the former Peabody Foods buildings, was a large-scale enterprise. Aero engines were tested in this area during the 1914-18 war, some by Gordon Watney, who also tuned early cars here.
St. George’s College and Mormon Church
St. George’s College was opened here in 1884 by Roman Catholic Brothers of the Josephite order from a core of school buildings previously owned by Baron Petre about Woburn Park House. Some 61 boys moved over from the 1869 St. George’s College, Croydon. Woburn, meaning “crooked stream”, gave its name to the medieval family living on the estate and to the Bourne crossing Chertsey Meads. In 1735 Philip Southcote purchased the land and created an “ornamental farm” with grotto and follies, arches and gateways – some of them designed by William Kent, including the rusticated entrance seen from the main road (now not used as the present main entrance is off the roundabout). The adjacent Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) is on the site of the second St. Augustine’s Church in Addlestone, known as the “Tin Church”, built in 1891.
Albert Road and St. Augustine’s School and Church
The footpath across the Bourne leads into the 1880s period Albert Road. In 1882 the second school in Addlestone was built here, St. Augustine’s School, which was also the first St. Augustine’s Church, used as such until the “Tin Church” was built across the Weybridge Road. The present (third) St. Augustine’s was built in 1939. Its organ is much older – an eighteenth century one given by the Locke King family. The Albert Dairy used to stand on the corner with Station Road, which became Steadman’s builders. It is now demolished and replaced by flats; the school was demolished in 1986 and replaced by Regency Court. The allotments by the footpath are now St. Augustine’s Green, a small public open space.