Up One Level A Walk Round Weston Green

There are no public car parks in Weston Green. Vehicles must therefore, be left by the roadside or as convenient. As most roads are residential please take particular care when parking. Esher and Thames Ditton railway stations are both within easy walking distance. The route described is roughly a figure of eight, and may be started and finished at any suitable point.

The manor of Weston is mentioned in Domesday, when it was owned by the Abbey of Barking. The name derives from the "tun" or farm lying in the western part of the parish of Thames Ditton, of which it formed part until 1934. when it was constituted a separate ecclesiastical district. In the 18th century the area became a favoured spot for wealthy folk to erect their houses, away from the grime of London, some of which still adorn the area.

1. All Saints Church. An elegant whitewashed building, light and airy both inside and out, with an elevated bell-tower, designed by Sir Edward Maufe (the architect of Guildford Cathedral). and consecrated in 1939.

2. Chestnut Avenue. Opposite the church Admiral's Row, a pleasant group of six cottages, so called because they were once owned, and probably built by, Admiral Lambert of Weston House (See No. 14). Nearby is Old Red House, an 18th century house, at one time called Hansler House, after Jacob Hansler, a former owner. Together with the gate piers and garden rails it is a Grade II protected building.

3. Marney's Pond. At one time there were some 16 ponds in the area, which were mostly let by the lord of the manor for fishing rights, part of the rent being paid in the fish netted. Now only two remain. This one is named from a family who for many years carried on a timber business in the yard opposite. Holly Cottages, in one of which the family lived, were demolished in 1967 after being declared unfit by the local council. The woodyard was quite a sight, with the timber stacked roof high. Mrs. Marney was the last person to exercise the right to graze animals on the nearby common. The site of the woodyard is now the garden to the Alma Arms public house, a late 18th century building, formerly a private house.

4. Ditton Common. Also known as Ditton Marsh. "Marsh" in this case possibly derives, not from low lying land, but from Old English "mearc", meaning a boundary - the boundary between Thames Ditton and Esher. The railway embankment was laid across the common in 1838, and the station now called "Esher" was originally "Ditton Marsh". From here is a most pleasant view across the pond to All Saints Church, beloved by artists and photographers alike.

5. Jubilee Villas. Built in 1897, the year of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, at a cost of £36 per pair, plus materials, and the agreement, dated May 1897, stipulated that the houses were all to be completed in five months.

6. Lamb and Star. The present house dates from 1932, replacing a little old pub which was demolished to make way for the construction of Hampton Court Way. This ancient wood and lath building may well have been the inn known in 1762 as the Bricklayers Arms. The present name commemorates Surrey's two former regiments - the Star from the cap badge of the East Surreys, and the Lamb from the Wests (The Queen's). Both badges are depicted on the inn sign. In the devastating cholera outbreak of 1866, the landlord, his wife, a lodger, the nurse who looked after them, and even the undertaker who laid them out, all succumbed to the killer disease. Note the royal warrant painted above the doorway of the butcher's shop opposite.

Now cross Hampton Court Way, for safety's sake using the pedestrian crossing traffic lights, turning right upto:

7. Milbourne's Pond. Named after a family who, since 1855, kept the nearby village store, now rebuilt. The pond usually provides a home for wild ducks. On the north side is The Elms, a handsome Queen Anne house, with pilasters and frieze.

8. Weston Green. A medley of houses, cottages, shops, and pubs, facing across the green and Hampton Court Way, with examples of most ages and styles from the eighteenth century onwards. Note the unusual sundial on Claremont Cottage, and the Royal Exchange fire insurance plate, issued about 1820, above the doorway of "Kenwyn", now also known as "Orchard House".

9. Weston Park. Nos. 64 and 66, known respectively as "Rosewood House" and "Bramham Cottage", were originally a group of 17th century cottages, probably the oldest surviving buildings in Weston Green, but much altered later with a classical facade added. The depression between the road and the railway marks the site of "Muke's Pond".

10. Hill's Almshouses. Originally four small mud and plaster houses, built at the expense of Lady Elizabeth Hill before 1630, and rebuilt with two others added in 1873. The present building dates from 1980.

11. All Saints Parish Hall. In Weston Park Close. Built in 1900 as a mission church, and enlarged in 1909, to the design of A.J. Styles, the Thames Ditton architect. Since the opening of the present All Saints Church in 1939 it has been used as a parish hall.

12. Newlands. Undoubtedly the most important of Weston Green's large houses to survive. It is now one of the "Rosemary Simmonds" housing schemes. The house is a Grade II listed monument, dating from the late 17th century. It ceased to be a private residence about 1925, when it became a boys' college. During the last war it was a Home Guard headquarters, and later a children's home. On the green by the side of Newlands was the village pound, the remains of which could still be traced up to a few years ago.

13. Weston Green Road. On the eastern side of the road: St. Helen's, a sheltered housing scheme for the elderly, built on the site of a large house called "Kingwater", later a boys' school, demolished in 1963; beyond is Longmead Estate, a well-planned municipal housing estate, designed by Eric Lyons in 1952; Camm Gardens, named after Sir Sydney Camm, was built in 1966, on the site of a house known as "Winterdown Lodge"; Keepers Cottage and Walnut Cottage are two pleasant 18th century listed buildings; next to which is the remains of Thames Ditton Cottage Hospital, opened in 1894 and enlarged in 1911 and 1958, which in spite of vigorous protests by local people was closed down this year (1986) due to cuts in the national health service. On the western side of the road: Esher College, built on the site of Weston Manor Farm, which had a medieaval farm house and an Elizabethan barn, all (sad to relate) demolished in 1962; Weston Grange, mentioned in 1764, but enlarged later, it was occupied for a time by the lord of the manor and called "Weston Manor"; Blandford Cottage, next door, named after James Blandford a former owner, was probably originally two cottages; Ye Olde Harrow Inn, is mentioned as early as 1745, but is greatly altered, note the old rhyme on the front; nearby is a Victorian Pillar Box, cast by Handyside Co. about 1887.

14. Upper Weston Green. Otherwise known as Harrow Green, this was the venue for the annual Weston Green Fair, which was suppressed in 1907 because of the rowdyism it caused. The large depression on the far side of the green is the dried-up remains of Lambert's Pond, so called from Admiral Lambert who lived in Weston House, an 18th century mansion which stood opposite between where Weston Avenue and Lime Tree Avenue now run.

Now return to start.

This walk was planned and described by Rowland Baker, Chairman of the Esher District Local History Society. The text is his copyright.

Cartography by Steven Baker.

The "Walks" are printed and published by Elmbridge Borough Council, Town Hall, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, for the Elmbridge Museum Service, Weybridge Museum, Church Street, Weybridge, Surrey.

Other titles in this series include:-

map Upper Weston Green Weston Green Road Newlands All Saints Parish Hall Hill's Almshouse Weston Park Weston Green Milbourne's Pond Lamb and Star Jubilee Villas Ditton Common Marney's Pond Chestnut Avenue All Saints Church

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Images © 2006 M J Baker and S A Baker, all rights reserved.
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