Surbiton: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 51°23′32″N 0°18′11″W / 51.3923°N 0.3030°W / 51.3923; -0.3030

Surbiton is located in Greater London

 Surbiton shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ180673
London borough Kingston
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town SURBITON
Postcode district KT6
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Kingston & Surbiton
London Assembly South West
List of places: UK • England • London

Surbiton, a suburban area of London in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, is a town next to the River Thames, populated with a mixture of Art-Deco courts, spacious and grand late-19th century townhouses blending into a sea of semi-detached 20th century housing estates.



There is evidence that a settlement has existed at Surbiton since at least 1178. At the time, it was known as Suberton(e), [from the Old English south buritum' or granary]. Norbiton lies to the northeast, and is separated from Surbiton by the Hogsmill River. Before the arrival of the railway, Surbiton was little more than a farm. Maps from as late as the early 19th century show it as little more than a crossroads, but far nearer Kingston than the current station. It was at the base of the hill, not far south of the current Kingston University site on Penrhyn Road.

The town started to prosper when a plan to build the main railway line down to the south coast closer to nearby Kingston was rejected by Kingston Council, fearing the detrimental effect it would have on the busy coaching trade. This resulted in the line being routed further south, through a cutting in the hill south of Surbiton. Surbiton railway station opened in 1838, and was originally named Kingston-upon-Railway.[1] It was only renamed Surbiton to distinguish it from the new Kingston railway station on the Shepperton branch line, which opened on 1 January 1869.

Surbiton railway station at night

As a result, Kingston is now on a branch line, whereas passengers from Surbiton, smaller in comparison, can reach Central London in about 18 minutes on a fast train, as well as places further afield, including Portsmouth and Southampton. This has made Surbiton a convenient location from which to commute into Central London, reflected in the size of its population.

Starting in the early 2000s, a West London Orbital underground railway, which would terminate at Surbiton, has been promoted by the influential West London Business group.

In popular culture

The Pre-Raphaelite painters John Everett Millais (1829-1896) and William Holman Hunt (1827-1910) came to Surbiton in 1851, 26 years before Richard Jefferies (1848-1887). Millais actually used the Hogsmill, close to Tolworth Court Bridge, as the background for his painting ‘Ophelia’. Holman Hunt used the fields just south of this spot as the background to ‘The Hireling Shepherd.’

In the mid 1870s the novelist Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) lived in a house called 'St. David's Villa' in Hook Road, Surbiton for a year after his marriage to Emma Gifford. The writer Enid Blyton (1897-1968) was governess to a Surbiton family for four years from 1918, at a house called 'Southernhay'.

A 1972 episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus featured a mock documentary which investigated whether the residents of Surbiton had been long-ago ancestors of the people of Hounslow, another London area suburb, "who had made the great trek north."[2]

Surbiton's main claim to popular fame is as an icon of suburbia in such British television programmes as The Good Life (starring Richard Briers, Penelope Keith, Paul Eddington and Felicity Kendal, though location filming was done in Pinner, North-West London), and John Sessions' comedy series Stella Street, which has on occasion led to the town being nicknamed "Suburbiton". Other related trivia: the character from the 1980s ZX Spectrum computer games Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy was described as a Surbiton resident, and Black Sabbath played at the Surbiton Assembly Rooms on 19 May 1970. The council sold the Assembly Rooms to Surbiton High School in the 1990s. The Surbiton train station features in the 2009 film version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Blood Prince with actors Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter and Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore. Filming took place in November 2007.[3]

Transport links


London Bus services through Surbiton

  • 65 - (Chessington to Ealing Broadway via Surbiton, Kingston, Richmond and Brentford)Night Service
  • 71 - (Chessington to Kingston via Surbiton)
  • 281- (Tolworth to Hounslow via Surbiton, Kingston, Teddington, Twickenham and Whitton) 24 Hour
  • 406- (Epsom to Kingston via Tolworth and Surbiton Hill Road)
  • 418- (Epsom to Kingston via Ruxley Lane, Tolworth and Surbiton Hill Road)
  • K1 - (New Malden to Kingston via Malden Manor, Tolworth Hospital and Surbiton)
  • K2 - (Hook to Kingston Hospital via Tolworth, Berrylands, Surbiton and Kingston)
  • K3 - (Roehampton Vale to Esher via Kingston Hospital, Surbiton and Claygate)
  • K4 - (Mansfield Park to Kingston Hospital via Hook, Surbiton and Villiers Road) Not Sundays


For education in Surbiton see the main Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames article.


From 1998 to 2008 Surbiton hosted the first round of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) season. The Surbiton Trophy was part of the ATP Challenger Series and in 2009 the venue was moved to Nottingham as part of a reorganisation by the LTA.

Surbiton is the current home of both male and female football team's, Surbiton Wanderers and Surbiton Town Ladies FC.

Notable residents

Nearby places


See also

External links


  1. ^ "Railways South East". Retrieved 2007-08-10. "A township developed on the hill near the railway. This was named New Kingston, New Town and Kingston-upon-Railway before becoming Surbiton"  
  2. ^ Monty Pyhton's Flying Circus, Episode #28, first aired 28 October 1972
  3. ^

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SURBITON, an urban district in the Kingston parliamentary division of Surrey, England, 13 m. S.W. of Charing Cross, London; on the London & South-Western railway. Pop. (1891), 12,178; (1901), 15,017. It has a frontage upon the right bank of the Thames, with a pleasant esplanade. The district is largely residential. Surbiton is the headquarters of the Kingston Rowing Club and the Thames Sailing Club.

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