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Guided walks of Historic Kingston by the Kingston Tour Guides

Kingston’s History

Saxons 838

King Egbert of Wessex holds ‘Council of Kingston’ attended by nobles, archbishop and bishops.

900–979

King Athelstan, King Ethelred the Unready and possibly five more Kings crowned here.

Normans 1086

Domesday Book lists 3 salmon fisheries, 5 mills, one church and about 500 people in the Royal Manor of Kingston.

1130

All Saints Church built alongside the older and smaller Saxon chapel.

In 1256 an eight day November fair was the first of three annual fairs granted by Royal Charter
Middle Ages c1190s

Kingston’s first bridge across the Thames constructed.

1200

King John awards Kingston’s first charter of privileges as a town.

1309

Edward Lovekyn builds a family chantry chapel.

Tudors 1554

Townspeople wreck Kingston bridge during Sir Thomas Wyatt’s rebellion against Queen Mary I.

1561

Queen Elizabeth I endowed Kingston Grammar School to be housed in old Lovekyn Chapel.

May Games in the 1500s entertained the crowds and made money for the church
Two 18th century characters—Esther Hamerton (above) and Cesar Picton (below). Cesar was brought from Senegal in 1761 aged six and became a rich coal merchant
17th Century 1628

King Charles I awarded Kingston Market the right to have no other market held within a seven mile radius of the town.

1640s

Both sides occupy Kingston in turn during English Civil War.

18th Century 1706

Gilded statue of Queen Anne raised in Market Place.

1729

Sexton and gravedigger killed in churchyard when old Saxon chapel collapses, and Sexton’s daughter Hester Hamerton famously wears men's clothes to carry on father’s work.

1790

Highwayman Gerry Abershaw begins career robbing coaches in Kingston area.

19th Century 1828

New stone bridge across Thames to replace old medieval bridge declared open by Duchess of Clarence.

1830

Pioneer photographer Edweard Muybridge born in High Street Kingston.

1838

First trains to ‘Kingston-on-Railway’ at Surbiton.

1840

New Market House replaces old medieval building, and Queen Anne’s statue transferred to present site.

1850

Civic ceremony accompanies placing of Coronation Stone at southern end of the Market Place.

1867

Retailer Frank Bentall opens small store.

The traditional Shrove Tuesday football game was banned in 1867 as being too riotous
20th Century 1912

Sopwith Aviation commences aircraft manufacture, to become Hawker Siddeley and then British Aerospace and Kingston’s biggest ever employer.

1914

Kingston bridge widened to accomodate trams.

1927

Status as Royal Borough confirmed by King George V.

1935

Guildhall built, Coronation Stone moved to present site, Bentalls new store built.

1990

John Lewis store built.

1998–2001

Bridge widened again.

21st Century 2002

Queen Elizabeth II visits Kingston to commemorate 1100 years since the coronation of her ancestor, Saxon monarch Edward the Elder.