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  • Walton
Walton-on-Thames Old Manor House.jpg
The Old Manor House, Walton-on-Thames
Walton-on-Thames is located in Surrey
Area 9.66 km2 (3.73 sq mi)
Population 22,834 (2011 Census)
• Density 2,364/km2 (6,120/sq mi)
OS grid reference TQ103663
Civil parish
  • n/a
  • Elmbridge
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district KT12
Dialling code 01932
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
  • Esher and Walton
List of places
51°23′12″N 0°24′48″W / 51.3868°N 0.4133°W / 51.3868; -0.4133

Walton-on-Thames, locally known as Walton, is a market town on the south bank of the Thames in the Elmbridge borough of Surrey, England. Walton forms part of the Greater London built-up area, within the KT postcode and is served by a wide range of transport links. According to the 2011 Census, the town has a total population of 22,834. The town itself consists mostly of affluent suburban streets, with a historic town centre of Celtic origin. It is one of the largest towns in the Elmbridge borough, alongside Weybridge.


St Mary's Church, Walton-on-Thames
The Church of St. Mary is among the Grade I listed buildings in Surrey.
Ashley Park
Ashley Park House or Manor House (demolished)

The name "Walton" is Anglo-Saxon in origin and is cognate with the common phonetic combination meaning "Briton settlement" (literally, "Welsh Town" – weal(as) tun). Before the Romans and the Saxons were present, a Celtic settlement was here. The most common Old English word for the Celtic inhabitants was the "Wealas" originally meaning "foreigners" or "strangers". William Camden identified Cowey Stakes or Sale, Walton as the place where Julius Caesar forded the River Thames on his second invasion of Britain, which stakes the Venerable Bede spoke of remaining in his time. A fisherman removed several stakes about thigh-width and 6 feet (1.8 m) made of wood that was very black and hard enough to turn an axe, shod with iron, which he sold to John Montagu, 5th Earl of Sandwich, who used to come to the neighbouring Shepperton bank to fish, for half a guinea a piece. Elmbridge Museum requires definitive evidence of these stakes, the evidence at present limited to pre 20th-century secondary sources that conflict as to detail.

Walton lay within the Anglo-Saxon quasi-administrative district, Elmbridge hundred in the shire (later county) of Surrey.

Walton appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Waletona". The settlement was held jointly as overlords in the feudal system by Edward de Sarisber (Salisbury) and Richard de Tonbrige. Its Domesday assets were: 6 hides; 1 church (St. Mary's), 2 mills worth £1 5s 0d, 1 fishery worth 5s, 14 ploughs, 40 acres (16 ha) of meadow, supporting 50 hogs. It rendered £28.

The nucleus of the village is in the north, while later development took place in the southern manors on all sides of the railway station – approximately half of the land was south of the South Western Main Line which was from west to east Walton Heath, Burwood manor and Hersham manor, which all became administratively the independent parish and thus official village of Hersham in the 19th century. On a smaller scale, the majority of Oatlands village which is to the south-west was in the parish until its independence. St. Mary's Parish Church has some Saxon material and an architectural structure of the 12th century, with later additions. The square flint tower, supported by a 19th-century brick buttress has a working ring of eight bells, the oldest bearing the date 1606. In the north aisle is a large monument (1755) by the French rococo sculptor and bust maker Roubiliac to Richard Boyle, 2nd Viscount Shannon, commander-in-chief in Ireland seated at the former manor and house of Ashley Park in the parish which was demolished and its many acres sub-divided in 1920. Also in the north aisle a brass to John Selwyn (1587) keeper of Oatlands Park, with figures of himself, his wife and eleven children. An unusual relic kept in the church is a copy of a scold's bridle presented to the parish in the seventeenth century, which is mentioned in Jerome K Jerome's classic 'Three Men in a Boat'. The royal palace of Oatlands, built by Henry VIII in 1538, was a mile upstream to the west.

John Bradshaw lived in the Tudor manor house in the 17th century. He presided at Charles I's trial. An Inclosure Act 1800 enabled to be enclosed (privatised from common land or manorial land subjected to agrarian rights of others) 3,117 acres (12.6 km2) of the Walton manors which included holdings at Chertsey and 475 acres (1.9 km2) of arable common fields.

A School Board was formed in 1878. A previously existing school was enlarged in 1881. The infant school was built in 1884. The Methodist Church with a spire taller than the tower of the Anglican Church was built in 1887. The Baptist Church was built in 1901.

A now demolished Public Hall, in High Street, was built by Mrs. Sassoon in 1879 who was seated at Ashley Park House at the time.

During World War I, troops from New Zealand were hospitalised in the now-demolished Mount Felix House. They are remembered by a memorial in the cemetery, where those who died at Mount Felix are buried, and one in St Mary's Church where an annual service of remembrance is held. They are also remembered in the street-name New Zealand Avenue, the Wellington Pub (formerly The Kiwi), and a small memorial in the Homebase car park.

In World War II, owing largely to the proximity of important aircraft factories at nearby Brooklands, the town was bombed on various occasions by the Luftwaffe. On 27 September 1940, fighter pilot F/Sgt. Charles Sydney, who was based with 92 Squadron at RAF Biggin Hill, died when his Spitfire (R6767) crashed in Station Avenue. He was buried in Orpington and is commemorated today by a memorial plaque close to the crash site.

Hersham and Walton Motors (HWM) constructed its own racing car in the early 1950s. Stirling Moss competed in his first Formula One Grand Prix in an HWM. HWM was the world's first Aston Martin dealership that diversified into Alfa Romeo in 2009.

Ashley Park Golf Club was laid out in the 1890s, which ceased to exist prior to 1918. Burwood Park Golf Club was laid out in the 1890s in the half-century-old breakaway bounds of Hersham and continues.

Demography and housing

2011 Census Homes
Output area
Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and
mobile homes
Walton Ambleside 241 840 244 237 1 0
Walton Central 825 545 429 1,257 0 7
Walton North 323 841 884 736 3 0
Walton South 924 585 399 735 0 0

The accommodation included 28% detached houses, and 22.6% apartments.

2011 Census Key Statistics
Output area Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan hectares
Walton Ambleside 4,291 1,563 26 44 145
Walton Central 6,790 3,063 33 34 190
Walton North 6,511 2,787 21 41 455
Walton South 6,545 2,643 37 41 176

The proportion of households in the town who owned their home outright compares to the regional average of 35.1%. The proportion who owned their home with a loan compares to the regional average of 32.5%. The remaining % is made up of rented dwellings (plus a negligible % of households living rent-free).

Demographic change

For information on the 1851–1901 change in population see Transport below. In 2001 and after boundary changes the population was just over 1,500 lower at 22,834. According to the 2001 census, the population of central Walton was 5,862, with Elmbridge's population being 121,936. Central Walton had a male population of 2,791 against Elmbridge's male population of 58,867, and the female population of central Walton was 3,071 against Elmbridge's 63,069.


Walton-on-Thames is served by Walton-on-Thames railway station, which provides 4 trains per hour to London Waterloo, consisting of 2 semi-fast services and 2 stopping services, with the semi-fast services taking only 25 minutes to reach the terminus. This has proven pivotal to the demographics and to the nature and degree of the town's development – in 1851 its population was 4,106 which more than quadrupled in the 60 years to 1911, when its population reached 19,142.

Walton has regular bus services supported by Surrey County Council to nearby towns Weybridge, Shepperton, Hersham, Molesey and Kingston-upon-Thames. A pleasure boat service runs regularly on a stretch of the river that includes a loop around Desborough Island.

Local taxis: there is taxi rank at the Walton-on-Thames Station for approximately 12 taxi cars, which is served between 6:30am and 1:00am.

Walton Bridge

Barges moored by the towpath – Walton Marina in the background

Six versions of Walton Bridge have crossed the Thames, each westward, to Shepperton. Before the first bridge there was a ferry which went back at least to the early 17th century.

Walton Bridge - Aug 2013
Walton Bridge – opened 2013.

The first bridge, constructed between 1748 and 1750, was a timber structure that stood until 1783. Canaletto painted a picture of this bridge in 1754. The painting, which shows the rococo-style of this bridge, may be seen in the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

The second bridge was constructed in 1788 and stood until 1859. Constructed of brick and stone, it lasted much longer than its predecessor. This bridge was painted by J. M. W. Turner in 1805 following his sketching tour of the River Thames and River Wey.

After the second bridge collapsed a ferry crossing resumed until the construction of the third bridge in 1864. This was a girder bridge on stone piers. At the same time, a brick viaduct was constructed to span the flood plain to the south of the river. The viaduct is still standing.

The third bridge was damaged during World War II in 1940, leading to a permanent weight restriction. To alleviate this a fourth temporary bridge was constructed in 1953 on the downstream side of the old bridge; this was relegated to use by cyclists and pedestrians only until finally demolished in 1985.

The fourth bridge was constructed from prefabricated sections designed by A. M. Hamilton in 1930; built by Callender Cables Ltd, it was called the Callender-Hamilton Bridge. In 1999, the fourth bridge was replaced by yet another temporary, fifth bridge occupying the line of the original bridges. This initially had several problems and had to be resurfaced a number of times causing huge traffic disruptions. The fourth bridge was restricted for use by cyclists and pedestrians only once the fifth bridge was completed.

Building a sixth bridge began in 2011 and was completed in summer 2013, being opened to traffic on 22 July. The two previous bridges were removed. The supplemental brick viaduct to the east remains for cycle and pedestrian use. The £32.4 million bridge is single span (has no piers in the river, which increases views from upstream and downstream and particularly navigation for boats – the first such bridge heading up the River Thames. This is also the only parabolic tied-arch bridge without piers across this river.

In film and television

Some of the sketches for Monty Python were filmed in Walton. The old town hall can be seen in one sketch. Another sketch shows an Admiral Nelson dummy being thrown from one of the flats in Wellington Close and the public toilets near the pub "The Regent" are in the background of another sketch.

Location scenes for the cinema film Psychomania (1973) were shot in Walton, including the town's centre.

ITV sitcom Is It Legal? was shot in Walton. The Adventures of Robin Hood was filmed at Nettlefold Studios in Walton.


With exact definition
  • Ashley Park
Variously defined
  • Apps Court (a former manor)
  • Old Walton
  • Halfway
  • Rydens (a former manor)
  • Ambleside
  • Oatlands broke away from the parish and was made part of Weybridge post town in the 19th century

Nearest places


The Walton riverside

The Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Centre is to the east of the town, near the Thames. The centre includes two swimming pools, an extensive gym, indoor courts and a climbing wall.

The River Thames offers extensive opportunities for water-based sports, including rowing, canoeing, kayaking, skiffing, punting and sailing. Walton Rowing Club, Thames Valley Skiff Club and St George's College, are on the river towpath between the town centre and the Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Centre. Weybridge Rowing Club is further upstream in Weybridge.

Walton Athletics Club was founded in 1942 and is based at the new Waterside Drive Athletic Arena. The club has around 200 members ranging in age from 9 years to over 60 years old. The club provides qualified coaching in all athletics disciplines and participates in a number of different leagues to provide appropriate competition for all age groups in track and field, cross country and road running.

Walton-on-Thames Cricket Club are based in Ashley Park with the first team captained by Daniel Roberts. They will play in the Surrey Championship Division two in 2020, having previously won Division Two in 2015 & 2018. Over the years, Walton have had a host of players who have gone on to further honours including Mark Bainbridge (Surrey CCC & England Under-19s), Stephen Murdoch (Wellington), Anthony Alleyne (West Indies Under-19s) and Greg Lamb (Hampshire CCC & Zimbabwe). The club has four Saturday league senior sides and enjoyed a successful 2015 with three of the four sides gaining promotion. The club's training is run by Brian Berthoud.

Walton Casuals are a football club who are currently in the Isthmian League Division One South, a level above their neighbours Walton & Hersham. Nicknamed the Stags, they play at Church Road in a ground share with Whyteleafe while developments take place at the Waterside Drive Sports Hub. They previously played at the Waterside Stadium, just off Waterside Drive and adjacent to the modern Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Centre. They are expected to move into their new home ahead of the 2017–18 season. The club play in a tangerine orange and black home kit and a blue and white away kit.

Walton & Hersham are a football club who are currently in the Combined Counties League Premier Division. Nicknamed the Swans, they play at the Elmbridge Xcel Sports Hub. The club play in a red and white home kit and a yellow away kit. In 1973, they won the FA Amateur Cup in its penultimate year, beating Slough Town 1–0 in front of 41,000 spectators (the third largest crowd of the day) at Wembley. Later that year, they achieved a shock 4–0 win over Brian Clough's Brighton & Hove Albion (then a Football League Third Division side) in the FA Cup.

Motor cycle racing was staged at Walton Bridge in October 1938. An event was staged on October 30 records that Walton Bridge raced a team from Hounslow at a venue described as Walton Bridge Speedway (on the programme). It is not clear if the event was a grass track meeting or a speedway meeting.

Notable people

The following were born in Walton:

  • Julie Andrews, actress, singer and author, in 1935.
  • George Brydges Rodney (1718–1792), Royal Navy Admiral.
  • John Carver Meadows Frost, aircraft designer, in 1915.
  • Samuel Croxall (c. 1690–1752), noted for his edition of Aesop's Fables.
  • Sean Emmett, Grand Prix motorcycle road racer, in 1970.
  • Susan Ertz (1894–1985), author.
  • Bede Griffiths, theologian and mystic, in 1906.
  • Luke Haines, pop musician, in 1967.
  • Nick Lowe, singer-songwriter, musician and producer, in 1949.
  • Natascha McElhone, actress, in 1969.
  • Ian Rank-Broadley, sculptor and designer of previous British coinage, in 1952.
  • Julian Russell Story, American painter, in 1857.
  • Danny Sapsford, tennis player, in 1969.
  • John Somers-Smith, Olympic sportsman.
  • Gail Trimble, nationally headlining contestant on University Challenge, in 1982.
  • Tony Walton, set and costume designer, in 1934.
  • Anthony Watson, England International Rugby Union Player.

In 1909, composer Jerome Kern took a boat trip on the Thames with some friends and when the boat stopped at Walton, Kern went to the old inn, the Swan, to have a drink. The proprietor's daughter, Eva Leale, was working behind the bar and on 25 October 1910, the two were married at the traditional parish church.

The following have been residents of Walton:

  • Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State, lived in the town during World War II.
  • Bill Manuel, aeroplane designer and British gliding pioneer, retired and built his Ladybird powered glider in Walton.
  • Richard Murdoch, actor.
  • Fay Ripley, actress, grew up in Walton.
  • Janek Schaefer, artist, won the 'British Composer of the Year Award in Sonic Art' 2008, and UK 'Best Mobile DJ Award' 2020.
  • Eileen Sheridan, model.
  • John Strachan MC (1896–1988), cricketer and British Army officer.
  • Barry Thomas, author and TV script editor, especially of BBC TV drama series including The Onedin Line, Dr Finlay's Casebook, Z Cars and also writer and creator of the 1970s series Wings.
  • Lee Mack, comedian and actor, currently lives in Walton.
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