Walton on Thames - What's in Walton on Thames

Walton on Thames

Walton on Thames

Walton on Thames is a vibrant town on the River Thames featuring a vast array of Shops, Pubs and Restaurants.

The centrepiece of Walton On Thames’ town centre is The Heart shopping centre containing over 50 shops and a pedestrianised central space, The Heart opened in Walton on Thames in 2006 and is considered by many to be a model for town centre redevelopment replacing the original ‘town centre’ which was built in the 1960’s and had fallen into a state of serious disrepair.

Walton lies within the Council Borough of Elmbridge and is separated into 3 wards, Walton Central, Walton North and Walton South.

The town’s name is Anglo Saxon in origin and could mean “settlement, or farm of the Britons”;  “wal” meaning the Britons.   Alternatively, it could mean “hill settlement”; “wald” meaning higher ground, and the town certainly began life on a raised area away from the riverside marshland that we know today as the Cowey Sale.

However, its important “upon Thames” tag has been a part of the town since the 13th century.

*Thanks to Mike Quinn for allowing reuse of the image

Walton on Thames Shopping

Shopping in Walton on Thames is mainly centered around The Heart shopping centre which opened in 2006 though there are many options beyond its confines spreading out to the High Street, Thames Street, Church Street and surrounds…read more

Walton-on-Thames Schools

Walton on Thames is served by a number of well performing state schools both at Primary and secondary level. There is also a wide choice of independent schools locally as well as a couple of specialist need Schools…read more

Walton on Thames Restaurants

Walton on Thames is blessed with a huge choice of local Pubs and Restaurants offering a wide range of entertainment and gastronomic range & style – Gastro, Italian, Indian, Tapas, Thai and many more….read more

Outdoors and Green Spaces in Walton on Thames


Walton on Thames Pubs

Lots of the pubs below will have quiz nights, live music, steak nights, open mic night, etc – please do check the venue website before visiting just in case of last minute changes…read more.

Culture and Art venues in Walton on Thames

Walton-on-Thames is blessed with a number of cultural centre’s, and we should rightly be proud of what they bring to our community…read more.

Please do take some time to visit their websites and maybe even pop along for some cultural entertainment (or even a Hollywood blockbuster at Everymans!)

Walton on Thames History

At  the time of  the Domesday Survey of 1086, when “waletona” was assessed as having a couple of mills, a church and a fishery, the settlement close to the river had already been in existence, or at least the site of human activity, since the Mesolithic era, with a bronze age cemetery lying close to Oatlands Park…read more.


Walton on Thames Shopping

The Heart shopping centre opened in 2006 and offers ‘Mall style’ shopping with a good amount of parking though this can get busy on certain Saturdays of the month when the Farmers Market or Vegan Market are hosted in the pedestrianised area.

Some of the stores you can find in The Heart are:

Accessorize, Baby Gap, Clarks, Debenhams, H&M, Holland & Barrett, Jigsaw, Monsoon, Next, Paperchase, River Island, Sainsburys, The Body Shop, Walton Cameras and Waterstones.

Shopping in Walton on Thames does extend beyond The Heart, just outside is the High Street, Thames Street, Church Street and beyond where you can find:

Boots, WH Smiths,




Walton-on-Thames Schools

Walton on Thames is served by a number of well performing state schools both at Primary and secondary level. There is also a wide choice of independent schools locally.


Primary Schools in Walton on Thames

Ashley C of E Primary School

Ashley Rd
KT12 1HX
Tel: 01932227695

Head Teacher: Mr Richard Dunne

About Ashley C of E Primary School (as published on the Ashley C of E Primary School website):

“There are two key aspects to our vision at Ashley CofE Primary School.  The first is that, in line with the current high expectations around attainment and progress, we want our children to develop the appropriate skills, knowledge and terminology in English and Maths to enable them to be as successful as possible in these key areas.  We know that the expectations are notably higher now, but we are working hard to ensure the children have real confidence in these areas of their learning so that every one of them can make good progress.

Secondly and most importantly, we want to put that learning in a context.  So our planning starts by drawing out our enquiries of learning, working out the questions that will guide that learning over a half-term, agreeing the best way to culminate the learning with our Great Works, and linking and applying our core learning and foundation subjects to these rich, purposeful enquiry based projects.”

OFSTED rate them an OUTSTANDING school.

Full OFSTED, Curriculum & Development visit and Interim Assessment reports

Ashley C of E Primary School Performance Tables

Ashley C of E Primary School Results

Admissions Information

Additional News



Bell Farm Primary School

Hersham Road
KT12 5NB
01932 224009

Head Teacher: Ms Anne Cooper

About Bell Farm Primary School (as published on the Bell Farm School website)

” At Bell Farm we are very fortunate to have such beautiful and extensive outdoor space. We have a number of large playgrounds that are split depending on use; ball playground, adventure playground, middle playground and year 1 playground. Our youngest children in Reception have all-day access to our excellent outdoor play facilities, including climbing equipment, bikes, sand and water, trees, wendy houses and reading areas.

We also have a large playing field, great for PE lessons, outdoor learning, and lots of fun in the summer at lunchtime! On the field we have an outdoor classroom for children to use with plenty of benches under the shade of large trees.

Under the gorgeous cherry blossom the children have an outdoor stage area which they can choose to play on. We also hold performances and occasional talent competitions here.

We have a comprehensive before and after school child care programme for working parents. Breakfast club opens at 8am and children can receive a nutritious breakfast including toast or cereal and orange juice or water to drink should you wish.

Treetops is open to all pupils from Reception to Year 6. Held in our dining room, it is run each afternoon from 3:15pm until 6:00pm by Bell Farm staff. This allows us to cater for as many children as necessary, meaning, we will always be able to accommodate your child, even on an adhoc/last minute basis, for those unforeseen incidents. Regularly booked sessions are £10.50, and ad hoc sessions £11.50. We accept childcare vouchers.

You are more than welcome to pop in after school and to see the Treetops in full swing! Please contact the school office to book a suitable time.

OFSTED rate Bell Farm Primary School a GOOD school in all areas

Full OFSTED and Monitoring Visit reports

Bell Farm Primary School Performance Tables

Bell Farm Primary School Results

Admissions Information

Additional News




Cardinal Newman Catholic Primary School

Arch Road
KT12 4QT
01932 222536

Head Teacher:  Mrs C Burnham

About Cardinal Newman Catholic Primary School (as published on the Cardinal Newman School website)

“Cardinal Newman is a two-form entry Catholic Primary School and is a welcoming community that serves the parishes of All Saints, Hersham and St Erconwald in Walton, fostering close links between families, school and parishes.

Children who join our community experience a rich, imaginative and enjoyable curriculum with high expectations for achievement and behaviour.

I would encourage you to visit the school to experience the warm, friendly and caring environment that enables our children to flourish and prepares them to carry on in their learning journey with confidence and self-esteem.”

OFSTED rate Bell Farm Primary School a GOOD school

Full OFSTED and Short Inspection reports

Cardinal Newman Catholic Primary School Performance Tables

Cardinal Newman Catholic Primary School Results

Admissions Information


Grovelands Primary School

Terrace Road
KT12 2EB

01932 227 816



About Grovelands Primary School (as published on the Grovelands Primary School website)

“Grovelands Primary School is a locally maintained two-form entry primary school, including an on-site nursery and oversight of two children’s centres. We teach the national curriculum to children aged 3 – 11 years following the EYFS framework and Cornerstones scheme of work. At Grovelands, we promote an inclusive environment where our children enjoy school and achieve and aspire in their learning to their full potential, regardless of their background or ability. We are proud of our strong school community that is made up of charming and well-behaved children, committed and skilled staff, dedicated governors and supportive parents. We firmly believe in delivering a broad and creative curriculum complemented by values-driven education, where all of our children can develop to their best academic potential in a supportive, secure environment.

Our ethos is to ensure that every child’s experience at Grovelands provides them with varied and stimulating academic, artistic and social opportunities, alongside development of the interpersonal skills they will need for the future. Our focus on core values, interwoven with modern British values, produces well-rounded individuals who are confident, enthusiastic, personable, generous in spirit and deed, and who grow and develop through their love of learning. We aim to ensure that when our pupils leave us they possess a strong moral compass, the tools and knowledge to successfully enquire, assess and evaluate, and a desire to go into the world and improve it. At Grovelands, we believe that striving for the best academic achievement, alongside exceptional personal, social and emotional development is fundamental to shaping a child’s character, confidence, happiness and success. We endeavor to nurture and encourage, stretch without stressing, and challenge without pressurising.”

OFSTED rate Grovelands Primary School a GOOD school

Full OFSTED and Monitoring Visit reports

Grovelands Primary School Performance Tables

Grovelands Primary School Results

Admissions Information


Walton Oak School

Ambleside Avenue
KT12 3LN

01932 259604

Head Teacher:  Miss M Watts

About Walton Oak School (as published on the Walton Oak School website)

“We are committed to ensuring all our children thrive during their time at Walton Oak and that they leave prepared for their future success at secondary school and beyond.

It is our mission to deliver the highest possible standards across all areas of school life and we are confident that our children will reach and exceed their potential during the time they spend with us. Our personalised learning and creative approach to the curriculum makes learning fun and encourages pupils to do their best. This is driven by our passionate team of teaching and support staff who place great emphasis on ensuring your child’s needs are met, their abilities are understood and their aspirations are encouraged.

Our stimulating curriculum is supported and enriched by a cross-curricular programme of activities which pupils have the opportunity to take part in before, during and after school. Many of these activities are made possible by the abundance of outdoor and indoor space we have, the benefits of which are not just practical and logistical.”

OFSTED rate Walton Oak School a GOOD school

Full OFSTED and Monitoring Visit reports

Walton Oak School Performance Tables

Walton Oak School Results

Admissions Information

Additional News




Secondary Schools in Walton on Thames

Three Rivers Academy

Hersham Road
KT12 5PY

01932 242 994

Head Teacher:  Mrs A-L Payne

About Three Rivers Academy (as published on the Three Rivers Academy website)

“As a brand new school Three Rivers Academy is at a very exciting time in its development. During the academic year 2017-18 we will move into a brand new building with outstanding facilities, which will support us in our aim to deliver a first-class education for all young people.

Since joining The Howard Partnership Trust the school has benefited in many areas from the strategic direction and support to move the school forward. As a result Three Rivers Academy is a school that maximises opportunities for young people to develop academically and socially in an environment that is stimulating, caring and supportive.

As Head of School my aim is for all students to flourish during their time at Three Rivers Academy by enjoying high-quality teaching, a challenging and robust curriculum and enrichment opportunities that will develop a love for learning both within and beyond the classroom. Our high quality, professional staff are dedicated to “bringing out the best” in all our students through a personalised approach, enabling them to achieve more than they ever thought they could.

Three Rivers Academy is fully committed to working in partnership with all stakeholders including parents, Governors, and our local community, to bring out the best in all our young people.”

OFSTED: RES became a re-brokered academy within The Howard Partnership Trust on the 1st September 2016. At the current time there is no existing Ofsted grade or report for the school.

Three Rivers Academy Results

Admissions Information

Additional News




Surrey County Council maintained Secondary Special School

Walton Leigh School

Walton Leigh School
Queens Road
Walton on Thames
KT12 5AB

01932 223243

Acting Head: Mrs Anne Paget

About Walton Leigh School (as published on the Three Rivers Academy website)

“We are a Surrey County Council maintained Secondary Special School for 11-19 year old students with severe/profound and complex learning difficulties, some of whom have an autistic spectrum disorder in addition to their learning difficulty.

At Walton Leigh we have a strong focus on supporting our students on their journey to adulthood, taking their individual needs into account at each step. Our experienced and committed staff work closely with students and their families to develop independence and confidence in a safe environment, as well as supporting their emotional health and well-being. Every pupil is valued and challenged to succeed to the best of their ability in all aspects of their learning, with progress recognised and celebrated.”

OFSTED rate Walton Leigh School an OUTSTANDING school

Full OFSTED and short Inspection reports

Admissions Information



Walton on Thames Restaurants

Many of the Walton on Thames restaurants listed below will have special offers and fixed menu availability – we have listed all that are currently available but please do check their website for any last minute updates.

babucci-150Babucci – Indian

Babucci has combined this wealth of talent and experience to deliver some of the most authentic Asian food to be found in the United Kingdom. Our team of chefs carefully prepare a variety of dishes daily to bring you the multi flavours of Asia.

16/20 Bridge Street, Walton On Thames, Surry, KT12 1AD 01932 222364




la-terraza-150La Terraza – Tapas

La Terraza is a modern, stylish Spanish Tapas bar and restaurant offering tasty authentic tapas and a delicious choice of meals from our a la carte menu.

40 Hersham Road, Walton on Thames, KT12 1JH – 01932 240867




mr-chongs-150Mr Chongs – Chinese

Mr Chong’s Restaurant is fully licensed and air conditioned. 10% reduction for all Take-Away and Delivery orders over minimum £20.

111 Hersham Rd, Walton-on-Thames KT12 1RN – 01932 246986




prima-fila-150Prima Fila – Italian

Our dishes range from pastas and pizzas to steaks and fish all cooked using good quality ingredients and all at a modest price. Vito and the team are friendly and helpful, they will happily guide you through the menu and ensure you enjoy your dining experience.

14 Bridge St, Walton-On-Thames, KT12 1AA – 01932 228 222




khao-sarn-150Khao Sarn – Thai

26 Bridge St, Walton-on-Thames, KT12 1AH – 01932 245005





zios-150La Dolce Vita – Italian

Since the late 70’s Zio’s Ristorante has gained great popularity in Walton bringing fresh Italian recipes. In the spirit of Sicilian culture, our dishes are served family style.

9 Ashley Road, Walton on Thames, KT12 1HY – 01932 222974




cappadocia-150Cappadocia – Turkish

Those of you discovering Cappadocia for the first time will find a warm, friendly and relaxed atmosphere, and of course excellent authentic Turkish dishes.

64 High Street, Walton-On-Thames, KT12 1BU – 01932 259 881



back to top


olive-150Olive – Italian

Anyone who has sunk their teeth into the juicy topping and crisp flavoursome crust of a completely hand-made artisanal pizza instantly wants more.

71 High St, Walton-on-Thames KT12 1DN – 01932 220084




khyber-pass-150Kyber Pass – Indian

The restaurant ambient with charming staff, discreet service and tantalising dishes that few can compete with, ensures guests to come back for more.

54 Terrace Road, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, KT12 2SA – 01932 225 670




full-moon-150Full Moon – Chinese

We serve mainly Canton and Szechuan cuisine.  Over the years we have adopted our menu to serve a wider selection of food from different regions of Asia.

84 Molesey Rd, Hersham KT12 4RG – 01932 225531



emperor-150The Emperor – Chinese

At the Emperor we believe in offering high quality standards of food and service at a reasonable price. We go to great lengths to select the very best and fresh ingredients and make this our first priority.

Hersham Centre 79 Hersham Green, KT12 5EU – 01932 226208
back to top


Outdoors and Green Spaces in Walton on Thames


1 – Elmgrove Recreation Ground

Highfield Road, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey KT12 1LH

  • Play Equipment
  • Bowls,
  • 1 Football Pitch
  • 4 Tennis Courts – these are free to access but you need to register and pre-book here
  • Basketball available at Walton Youth Centre

2 – George Froude Park

Sidney Road, Walton on Thames, KT12 2LU

  • Teen play equipment
  • Zipline
  • Practice goal

3 – Felix Road Recreation Ground

Felix Road, Walton on Thames, KT12 2SN

  • Play Area
  • Practice Goal

4 – Stompond Lane Sports Ground (Privately Managed)

Stompond Lane, Walton on Thames, KT12 1HF

  • Athletics
  • Football
  • Tennis available from private company on site

5 – Grovelands Recreation Ground

Grovelands, West Molesey, KT12 2RB

  • Traditional and natural play areas
  • Practice football goal
  • 2 Tennis Courts – these are free to access but you need to register and pre-book here

6 – Hersham Recreation Ground

Pratts Lane, Hersham, Walton-on-Thames, KT12 4RR

  • Play area
  • Splash pad
  • Teen swing
  • Basketball
  • Play wall

7 – Molesey Hurst Recreation Ground

Molesey Hurst Recreation Ground, East Molesey KT8 1PD

  • Play area
  • 2 football pitches
  • 1 cricket square
  • 3 tennis courts

8 – Coronation Recreation Ground

Molesey Road, Hersham KT12 4QR

  • Play area
  • Paddling pool
  • Bowls
  • 2 cricket squares
  • 3 senior football pitches
  • 1 junior football pitch
  • 1 mini football pitch
  • 4 Tennis courts – these are free to access but you need to register and pre-book here
  • 1 netball court
  • 1 mile route


Walton on Thames Pubs

back to top

the-ashley-park-150The Ashley Park

Ashley Park Rd, Walton on Thames KT12 1JP
01932 220196

Located just opposite Walton-on-Thames station The Ashley Park offers authentic British cooking, Real Ales and an open fire!

They offer food from 10am till late, a brunch menu, set menu options, main menu as well as children’s menu and full Sunday Roast!

Don’t miss the twice weekly quiz night on Wednesday and Sunday from 9pm.

They often have the terrestrial TV channels showing (No Sky Sports).

Open Monday to Sunday 10am to Midnight.
back to top



the-anglers-150The Anglers

Riverside Cottages, Manor Rd, Walton on Thames KT12 2PF
01932 223996

The Anglers has a lovely riverside location with a vast outside (heated) seating area where you can relax and watch the boats go by!

Self billed as a ‘gastro pub’ expect your sausages to be venison, your burger to be in a brioche, ham to be glazed with mulled wine and your mash to be smoked!

Good selection of sharing platters covering Meat, Fish and Vegetarian selections.

back to top


barley-mow-150The Barley Mow

67 Molesey Road, Hersham, KT12 4RS
01932 227293

The Barley Mow sits at the entrance to Hersham Village and is gifted with a large outside seating area which has recently been enhanced to include some booth style seating in addition to its numerous tables and chairs.

The Barley Mow is well known locally for its live music, with its fantastic resident jazz band, Blue Moon, every Wednesday from 8pm as well as live bands every Friday and Saturday night.

Whatever your sport you’ll find it on one of the many screens, showing Sky Sports, BT Sport as well as terrestrial channels.

With an extensive pub menu (and dedicated kids menu) they also have food themed nights, currently running Steak Night on Mondays.

Kids are very welcome – so much so that they have their own climbing frame and swings in the beer garden.

back to top




the-bear-150The Bear

30 Bridge St, Walton-on-Thames KT12 1AH
01932 253420

This is an interesting one as The Bear is now known as the The Bear Bar and Barbers and, yes, you can get your haircut between 9am and 6pm Monday to Saturday!

They have a number of different themes throughout the week. Monday is Steak Night. Quiz Night on Tuesday and Poker Night on a Sunday. They run regular pool nights – check their Facebook page for current details.

They also do breakfasts between 10am and 12pm. You can get a great Sunday roast 12:00 to 15:30.

If you like live sport this is your place they show all the football and rugby and multiple screens.

back to top


bricklayers-150The Bricklayers

6 Queens Rd, Walton-on-Thames, Hersham KT12 5LS
01932 220936

A traditional pub that always has amazing year round flower displays outside.

The Bricklayers Arms, Hersham serves fantastic food and a lovely Sunday roast but please take note that they do not allow children under 14.




craft-and-grill-150Craft & Grill

29-31 High St, Walton-on-Thames KT12 1DG
01932 254431

Located on the High Street in Walton on Thames, The Craft and Grill has something for everyone!

A bar full of fantastic craft beers and a amazing smokehouse menu (they smoke all food on site!) you can also catch all the big sporting events on their huge screen – their Facebook page says its Walton’s biggest screen, pop along and decide for yourself!

Check their website for details of daily food promotions (ranging from a free starter or desert, half price burgers, two for one cocktails and many more). They also have a special menu just for kids.

The Craft and Grill have an extremely popular Quiz on Thursday night and usually have live music every Friday (check their Facebook page for specific details).

back to top



george-inn-150The George Inn

Bridge St, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey KT12 1AH
01932 223622

The George is a traditional local pub just down the road from the River Thames.

There is always plenty going on here: Live sport on 5 screens, Live Music and DJ nights, Karaoke and Quiz nights as well as a pool table and beer garden.

back to top


morts-150Morts Wine Bar

29 Bridge St, Walton-on-Thames KT12 1AF
01932 886996

Morts Wine Bar is one of Walton on Thames’ hidden gems and is well worth seeking out.

A fantastic bar for lovers of live music – every Friday, Saturday and Sunday you will be able to catch something different with all tastes catered for!

If you’re a sports fan you will be able to see all the big events in Football, Rugby and Cricket shown at Morts Wine Bar.

They have a high quality food menu with everything home made – don’t miss their lunch and dinner meal deals with a set menu for £10.


back to top


oatlands-150The Oatlands Chaser

25 Oatlands Chase, Weybridge, KT13 9RW
01932 253277

The Oatlands Chaser is a big pub nestled between Walton on Thames and Weybridge and has a fantastic outside seating area..

They have an extensive menu covering Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Roast and Children’s Menu.

They have various offers throughout the week:

A ‘Midweek Treat’ menu every Wednesday from 6pm which includes 2 or 3 courses and a bottle of wine.

‘Pop, Fizz, Clink’ with exclusive prices on a range of sparkling wines & Champagnes – available on Thursdays and Fridays.

A fixed priced menu runs from Monday to Friday 12pm-6pm and offers 2 courses for £11.95 and 3 courses for £14.95 (which seems great value to us!)

back to top


manor-inn-150Old Manor Inn

Small, traditional pub located in front of the grade one listed Old Manor House in Manor Road, Walton-on-Thames.

Ideally placed between the pubs in Walton and the ones by the river they often have hog roasts and BBQ’s throughout the summer

113 Manor Rd, Walton-on-Thames KT12 2NZ
01932 221359


the-swan-pub-150The Swan

50 Manor Road, Walton, KT12 2PF
01932 225964.

The Swan is in a prime location on the River Thames and has a large river-facing grassy outside area with lots of seating, they have also recently introduced 3 wooden covered seating areas in the garden which are a great addition!

They have an extensive menu serving good seasonal British food as well as a separate Burger Shack should you want something a little less formal!

The Swan, Walton, has occasional live music and frequent specialist food and drink tasting events (check website for details) not to mention their regular quiz night from 8pm every Wednesday.


watermans-arms-150The Watermans Arms

1 Queens Road, Hersham, KT12 5LT
01932 254 580

Traditional pub situated in the heart of Hersham Village they often have entertainment on a Saturday night ranging from live bands to karaoke.

They serve food daily and also have Bed and Breakfast facilities.



Culture and Art venues in Walton on Thames

Walton-on-Thames is blessed with a number of cultural centre’s, and we should rightly be proud of what they bring to our community.

Please do take some time to visit their websites and maybe even pop along for some cultural entertainment (or even a Hollywood blockbuster at Everymans!)


cecil-220Cecil Hepworth Playhouse

The newly refurbished Cecil Hepworth Playhouse is the most prominent arts venue in Walton with distinctive 1920’s features and is available for public and private hire
Hurst Grove, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, KT12 1AU



thyme-at-riverhouse220Riverhouse Arts Centre

Since opening in 1989 Riverhouse has built a reputation as a high quality arts centre servicing the community. We are proud of that reputation and will continue to build on it in the future.

Manor Road, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, KT12 2PF



everyman-220Everyman Cinema

2 Screens. Sofas and armchairs (Premier) with footrests. Projection: Sony 4K Digital, 3D, Satellite, DVD, Blu-ray

85-89 High St, Walton on Thames, KT12 1DN



Chertsey Museum


Pike Lectures


elmbridge-museum-rectangle-logoElmbridge Museum

Our mission statement is to ‘engage people with their past, present and future by collecting, preserving and presenting selected and significant objects from the history of Elmbridge, for the purposes of learning and enjoyment.’



brooklands-220Brooklands Museum

The world’s first purpose-built motor racing circuit, constructed at Weybridge, Surrey in 1907 – was more than a great sporting arena. Brooklands was the birthplace of British motorsport and aviation, home of Concorde and the site of many engineering and technological achievements throughout eight decades of the 20th century.



Walton on Thames History

back to top

At  the time of  the Domesday Survey of 1086, when “waletona” was assessed as having a couple of mills, a church and a fishery, the settlement close to the river had already been in existence, or at least the site of human activity, since the Mesolithic era, with a bronze age cemetery  lying close to Oatlands Park.

The town’s name is Anglo Saxon in origin and could mean “settlement, or farm of the Britons”;  “wal” meaning the Britons.   Alternatively, it could mean “hill settlement”; “wald” meaning higher ground, and the town certainly began life on a raised area away from the riverside marshland that we know today as the Cowey Sale.  However, its important “upon Thames” tag has been a part of the town since the 13th century.

Roman Activity in Walton on Thames

Proof of Roman activity in the area exists, but is scant, despite the legend that during his second invasion of the country, Julius Caesar crossed the Thames at a shallow ford at Walton, to meet  Cassivellaunus, King of the British Catuvellauni tribe, whose arrangement of wooden stakes in the river meant the crossing was made, according to Caesar himself “with difficulty”.    Evidence that Caesar actually crossed the river here is only circumstantial, but it is most likely that the wooden stakes were not defensive anyway, but served  to make a narrow path to contain cattle as they were driven across the river at this point, hence its original name, “Coway Stakes”.

An established settlement existed in the pre-Domesday Saxon period, with a large number of artefacts having been discovered in the area, including pottery, jewellery and weapons, as well as a number of barrows, suggesting high status burials, near Walton Bridge.

The Norman conquest of 1066 changed the country forever and that included Walton on Thames.  The complicated manorial system of land ownership came into play, and William the Conqueror began by giving the settlement to Edward of Salisbury, which passed to his daughter Maud, when she married Humphrey de Bohun, while the adjoining settlement of Walton Leigh was granted to Richard of Tonbridge, Lord of Clare.

St. Mary’s Church was founded in 1150; the earlier church mentioned in the Domesday survey was locally important and within the ownership of Richard of Tonbridge, but otherwise, the site of it is unknown.

Over the next few hundred years, the Walton manor was in the possession of the Bohun family until 1380, when Mary de Bohun married Henry Bolingbroke, who in 1399 was crowned Henry IV of England.  The manor of Walton Leigh remained with the Lords of Clare for nearly three centuries before it too came into the possession of the Crown in the mid 1400s.

Henry VIII impact on Walton on Thames

Henry VIII’s activities had an impact on the town.   He used the site of a nearby ancient manor house to build Oatlands Palace for Ann of Cleves – his ex wife, and in the end, very good friend and granted Walton licences to hold fairs in Easter Week and in October.  But it was not all good.   Like much of the wider area, Walton was subject to Forest Law, due to its close proximity to Hampton Court Chase, fenced off to be Henry’s personal deer park.   Although local aristocracy may have had licences with which to utilise aspects of the park, the average Walton villager could no longer freely access the land for firewood or grazing, and as for bringing home any game for supper …. not if they valued their lives!     No doubt they were (privately!) very glad when Henry VIII died; royal interest in Hampton Court as a hunting park ceased and venison was back on the menu.

After hundreds of years of the damp inconvenience of crossing the Thames at the Cowey Sale ford, and half a century of the relative luxury of a basic ferry, in 1750, a wealthy local man, Samuel Dicker, who owned the Mount Felix estate, obtained an Act and erected the first wooden bridge across the Thames at Walton, financed by tolls.  Thirty years later, his nephew built a stone bridge with additional tolls.    Although the river was still vital for transportation, the bridge created an important north-south road link.   This bridge stood for 109 years, collapsing in 1859, to be replaced  in 1864 by an iron bridge.

Church Street, High Street, Thames Street and Bridge Street – Walton on Thames

There is little information as to how the town was laid out in medieval times, beyond traces of buildings on Church Street and of a metal works in the area.   But the Rocque map of 1768 – one of the first good maps of the town – gives a clearer picture of a compact village, with the church and buildings spread along Church Street, High Street, Thames Street and Bridge Street.  A parsonage is marked on what is now Walton Grove and there is the suggestion of a market place, while archaeological  excavations have found evidence of a kiln, and clay extraction that was taking place on Church Street     The Walton manor was large, but sparsely populated, with the building of Ashley Park in about 1605 for Lady Jane Berkeley, which commandeered all the land south west of the High Street, with Oatlands Park to the west,  Walton Common to the south, and the Dicker family’s Mount Felix estate to the north and east restricting the growth of the town.

The effect of the Inclosure  Acts of the 18th century, culminating in the Inclosure Consoliation Act of 1800, are not documented, but must have been profound.  Over the course of thirty-odd years, more than 3,000 acres of common land – almost half the total area of the manor – was lost to the village.   The arrival of the railway in 1838, bringing much-needed wealth and employment to the town must have been very welcome.      Another advantage of the railway is that it reclaimed a great deal of land that had belonged to the old private manors to the south, allowing development and growth.


Oatlands Park

In 1827, the Oatlands Park estate was dismantled and sold off, and in the same year, Walton’s first school was built at the end of the High Street.  In 1858, a new school was built on Ashley Drive for older children, while the infants school was rebuilt in 1884.  The village Pound and Lock-up appear on maps in the mid 19th century also at the southern end of the High Street, and a Public Hall was erected in 1879.   The village was rapidly evolving into a town.

The Mount Felix mansion of the Dickers was demolished and rebuilt by the Earl of Tankerville in 1840, and was utilised as a military hospital during WWI for the New Zealand War Contingent Association.  They are remembered in the names New Zealand Avenue, built in 1933 and in the Wellington pub.


Flight Sergeant Charles Sydney – Walton on Thames

Walton on Thames was targeted in WWII, with the bridge incurring bomb damage that ultimately rendered it unsafe for traffic.  A “temporary”  bridge was added in 1955, which as we all know, has only recently been replaced ……..!    A tragedy occurred in 1940 when a Spitfire piloted by Flight Sergeant Charles Sydney crashed in Station Avenue.

All of the old Walton manorial estates have now disappeared.  Oatlands Palace was destroyed by Parliamentarians in 1650 at the end of the Civil War.  Ashley Park House was demolished in 1925 and the land sold off for development in 1977, which did at last allow the High Street to be widened.

Mount Felix was demolished in 1967, but the bakehouse and brewery still stand,  converted into offices complete with 18th century clock tower.


Back to the What’s in Walton Homepage


Make sure you don’t miss updates or future posts by leaving your email address below