Not to be confused with Wadebridge, Cornwall, or weighbridgeCoordinates:
Weybridge shown within Surrey
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Runnymede and Weybridge|
|List of places: UK • England • Surrey|
Weybridge is a town in the Elmbridge district of Surrey in South East England. It is bounded to the north by the River Thames at the mouth of the River Wey, from which it gets its name. It is a suburb in the London commuter belt and is part of the Greater London Urban Area, some of the housing is expensive: as of 2008, six of the ten most expensive streets in South East England (defined as the official government region, which excludes Greater London) were in Weybridge.
Weybridge is made up of a number of distinct areas: town centre shopping area, Monument Hill / Queens Road shopping area, St George's Hill, Brooklands and Oatlands Village.
Weybridge lay within the Saxon administrative district of Elmbridge hundred.
Weybridge appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Webrige and Webruge. It was held partly by Chertsey Abbey; partly by an Englishman from the abbey; and partly by Herfrid from the Bishop of Bayeux. Its domesday assets were: 6 hides; 1½ ploughs, 32 acres (129,000 m2) of meadow, wood worth 9 hogs. It rendered £4.
The early history of Weybridge was simply as a river crossing. In 1537 it became the location of Oatlands Palace built by Henry VIII, which was where he married his 5th wife Catherine Howard. When it was demolished in 1650, bricks from its walls helped to line the then new Wey Navigation canal. Part of the original site of the Palace is now occupied by Oatlands Park Hotel. St. George's Hill was the site of the Diggers' Commune in the 1640s.
At the bottom of Monument Hill, close to the town centre is a monument to the Duchess of York, erected by public subscription in 1820 from the remains of the original Seven Dials Monument that stood in St. Martin's Lane, London until 1773. The Duchess is buried in St. James's Churchyard.
The entomologist, Horace Donisthorpe, visited Weybridge Heath to investigate the ant colony.
The world's first leisure campsite was set up near Weybridge in 1901 and was part of the early history of the Camping and Caravanning Club.
Weybridge railway station was opened by the London and Southampton Railway in 1838. After the station was opened, development of what was up until then only a village began. Large houses were built on St George's Hill from 1911 by local builder & developer Walter George Tarrant of Byfleet; and gradually Weybridge became a town.
In Weybridge Heath, many rare species of insects (particularly ants), rare birds and insectivorous plant formerly occurred. The heath was allowed to become vastly overgrown in recent years, but recently Surrey Wildlife Trust invoked a scrub clearance plan in an attempt to restore this valuable habitat.
Weybridge is the British headquarters of Sony Corporation, Procter & Gamble, and JTI (formerly Gallaher) and also Toshiba Information Systems headquarters is very close by. Abbey Business Centres also have a presence in the town.
Eurotax Glass, owners and publishers of Glass's Guide, pricing bible to the motor industry are based in Weybridge.
In popular culture
- In H. G. Wells' book The War of the Worlds, Weybridge was the location of a battle in which a Martian fighting machine was destroyed. The title of chapter 12 the book is: "What I saw of the destruction of Weybridge and Shepperton".
- The battle also featured in the track "The Artilleryman and the Fighting Machine" from Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds and in a graphic novel by Ian Edginton and D'Israeli, adapted from Wells' book.
Two schools for 11-18-year-olds serve Weybridge, Heathside School and 6th Form Centre in the town itself and St George's College in nearby Addlestone. There is also Brooklands College, for sixth form students in further education focussing particularly in BTECs. Also, there are many primary schools to serve 4-11 year olds.
At the top of Monument Hill, adjacent to the cricket green is a World War I war memorial.
Weybridge also has a variety of sports clubs including the Weybridge Vandals Rugby club, Elmbridge Canoe Club, Weybridge Bowls Club, Weybridge Rowing Club and Weybridge Cricket Club, all serving the area for many years. Addlestone & Weybridge Town F.C. was the main football club in Weybridge until becoming defunct in 1985. However, there are several amateur teams in the local area.
Notable residents, past and present, include:
- Maurice Hewlett - novelist and husband of Hilda Hewlett, was born in the town
- Joseph 'Mutt' Summers - Vickers' chief test pilot at Brooklands, lived at Tythe Barn in St George Avenue in the mid 1930s and is buried in Weybridge Cemetery
- Brian Trubshaw - BAC chief test pilot at Brooklands, lived in Egerton Road in the 1960s
- G.R. "Jock" Bryce - former chief test pilot of BAC, also chief test pilot of Vickers Armstrong has lived in Weybridge since the early 1960s
- John Lennon - lived in Weybridge in the mid to late 1960s, in a mansion on St George's Hill
- Ringo Starr - lived in Weybridge in the late 1960s
- Tom Jones - lived in Weybridge in the late 1960s
- Nina Bawden - lived in Weybridge in the 1960s and 70s, Carrie's War was written at her house in Hanger Hill, since demolished along with the private 'Wallop School'
- Fanny Kemble - author, actor and anti-slavery supporter, lived at Eastlands in Brooklands Road
- E.M. Forster - author, wrote his most famed book, Howards End, in Weybridge, 1908-10
- Michael Aspel - journalist and television presenter, patron of the Weybridge Society, awarded the Freedom of Elmbridge in recognition of his many campaigns and charities in the Borough
- You Me At Six - Amazing rock band. Consisting of Josh Franceschi, Matt Barnes, Dan Flint, Chris Miller and Max Helyer.
- Petr Čech - Czech footballer, Chelsea FC
- Peter Crouch - footballer, Tottenham Hotspur FC
- Eamonn Holmes & Ruth Langsford, broadcasters
- Warwick Deeping, author, most notably for Sorrell and Son, lived in Eastlands on Brooklands Road during the 1920's through 1950s.
- Lucy O'Donnell - the "Lucy" of the 1967 Beatles song "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds"
- Kelvin McKenzie - journalist
- Robert Evans (politician) - Labour European politician lives in Oatlands
- Lily Loveless - Skins actor
- Josh Franceschi - Lead singer of You Me at Six
- Matt Barnes- Bassist of You Me At Six
- Dan Flint- Drummer of You Me At Six
- Chris Miller- Lead guitarist of You Me At Six
- Max Helyer- Rhythm guitar of You Me At Six
- Theo Paphitis - businessman and tv personality, Dragons Den and Entrepreneur
- Cliff Richard - pop singer
- Nicola Roberts - Girls Aloud band member
- Shilpa Shetty - actor
- Pete Ham (1947-1975) and Tom Evans (1947-1983) of the pop group Badfinger lived in Weybridge in the 1970s, and would later hang themselves in their mansions
- J A Lindon - Writer of comic verse,Poet, Muse of the English Palindrome. Word play/puzzle expert
Brooklands race circuit
The famous former Brooklands Aerodrome and Motor Circuit is located between Weybridge and Byfleet and is now the location of the Brooklands Museum. The brainchild of Hugh Locke-King, Brooklands was opened on 17 June 1907 and was the first purpose-built motor racing circuit in the world. Its unique kidney-shaped layout was designed by Colonel H C Holden of the Royal Engineers and featured two steep and distinctive banked sections at opposite ends. Soon after it opened, the sheltered private location attracted early aviators and aeroplane designers such as Roe and Sopwith and the centre of the track soon became one of Britain's first aerodromes and later played a major part in aviation worldwide during much of the 20th century, most notably with the British Aerospace, British Aircraft Corporation, Hawker, Sopwith and Vickers aircraft companies.
- What I Saw of the Destruction of Weybridge and Shepperton ("The War of the Worlds", Chapter 12)
- History of Weybridge
- The York Column Monument and Monument Green History
- The River Wey and Wey Navigations Community Site
- Aerial photographs of Weybridge
- Weybridge News & Mail
- Population figures (PDF)
- ^ The most expensive streets in the South East, 2008, The Times, 19 February 2008.
- ^ Surrey Domesday Book
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