Borough of Spelthorne

in the historic County of Middlesex

Spelthorne Borough Council
Coat of arms of Spelthorne Borough Council

Coat of arms
Ad Solem Prospicimus
(Latin: We look towards the Sun)
Spelthorne shown within Surrey County Council
Spelthorne shown within Surrey County Council
Coordinates: 51°26′N 0°30′W / 51.433°N 0.500°WCoordinates: 51°26′N 0°30′W / 51.433°N 0.500°W
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth East England
Non-metropolitan countySurrey
Historic countyMiddlesex
StatusNon-metropolitan district, Borough
Incorporated1 April 1974
Admin HQStaines-upon-Thames
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodySpelthorne Borough Council
 • LeadershipLeader & Cabinet (Conservative)
 • MPsKwasi Kwarteng
 • Total19.75 sq mi (51.16 km2)
Area rank272nd (of 317)[1]
 (mid-2018 est.)
 • Total99,334
 • Rank244th (of 317)
 • Density5,000/sq mi (1,900/km2)
 • Ethnicity
91.8% White
3.8% S.Asian
1.3% Black
1.7% Mixed Race
0.7% Chinese
0.7% Other
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code43UH (ONS)
E07000213 (GSS)
OS grid referenceTQ045715

Spelthorne is a local government district and borough in Surrey County Council, in the historic County of Middlesex England. It contains the towns and villages of Ashford, Laleham, Shepperton, Staines-upon-Thames, Stanwell and Sunbury-on-Thames. It is the northernmost local government district in Surrey.

Boroughs adjacent to Spelthorne are Runnymede and Elmbridge to the south in Surrey, the unitary boroughs of Windsor and Maidenhead and Slough to the west, and Hillingdon, Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames to the north and east in Greater London.[2]


Spelthorne appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Spelethorne, in Middlesex. Spelthorne was a hundred, where local landowners met about once a month. The Spelthorne hundred also covered Poyle, historically a hamlet in the village of Stanwell,[3] Hatton, East Bedfont, Feltham and Hanworth in the modern London Borough of Hounslow and Teddington (not in 1086 a manor) and Hampton (historically including Hampton Wick, Hampton Hill and Hampton Court) in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.[4]

Hundreds dwindled in power as the medieval period drew to a close and were largely sources of revenue for certain overlords by the Tudor period, underlying freeholds and rights over their commons frequently held or divided among royalty or peers in a particular hundred. Ecclesiastical parishes assumed responsibilities for upkeep of public places and roads and apprehending wrongdoers, appointing churchwardens and constables to administer their areas. The poor law unions assumed responsibility for indoor and outdoor relief, later including workhouses:

  • Kingston Poor Law Union in the east[5]
  • Staines Poor Law Union in the west.[6]

In 1875 Sanitary Districts were created covering England and Wales.[7]

In 1889 Middlesex County Council was elected and formed pursuant to the Local Government Act 1888 and principally administered the area until 1965.

Under the Local Government Act 1894 in the area of the current borough responsibilities such as planning, sanitation and surface water drainage were conferred on the new bodies Staines Urban, Sunbury Urban and Staines Rural districts.

The 20th century saw the construction of the Two Staines Reservoirs (1901), Queen Mary (1931), King George VI (1947), and the Wraysbury Reservoirs (1970) in what is today's borough.

In 1930 most of Staines Rural District merged into Staines Urban District, with the remainder given to West Drayton and Feltham Urban Districts.

In 1965 when the rest of Middlesex, except for Potters Bar Urban District, was absorbed into the new county of Greater London, Staines and Sunbury-on-Thames Urban Districts were transferred to Surrey.

From these the Borough of Spelthorne was formed on the abolition of the urban districts and rural districts nationally in 1974.

The borough ceded a small amount of land in 1995 when Poyle was transferred to the Borough of Slough, as it was the only settlement outside the M25 motorway. Spelthorne, like Potters Bar, remained inside the Metropolitan Police District, and was not transferred to Surrey Police until the boundary was realigned to Greater London in 2000.

Spelthorne also retains its historic links with Middlesex through the Church: it remains part of the Church of England Diocese of London and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Westminster, while the remainder of Surrey falls into the Anglican dioceses of Guildford and Southwark, and the Roman Catholic diocese of Arundel and Brighton.

Floods in 2014 caused internal damage to 891 (or 2.2%) of homes in Spelthorne due to record rainfall causing Thames flooding. This compared to internal damage to more than 30% of homes in the neighbouring settlement of Wraysbury in the borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.[8]

In August 2014 a campaign group of local business leaders called for the borough - along with others close to the capital - to be transferred from the county of Surrey to Greater London, however, the proposal was generally opposed by local representatives of each of these areas.[9]

Parks, lakes and the River Thames

The borough estimates it has 750 acres (300 ha) (3 km²) of parks, including, from Shepperton upstream the Thames Path.[10] Its sixteen main parks with recreational/sports facilities[11] are supplemented by various small greens and linear parks, such as by the River Thames and include the two largest parks which have substantial areas of flowering meadow with diverse and rare grasses, invertebrates and birds: Laleham Park and Sunbury Park.

The borough has five reservoirs, covering more than 15% of land, which apart from their main use of ensuring a stable and energy-efficient drinking water supply to London are bird reserves and in the case of the Queen Mary Reservoir, a sailing training centre.

Of recognised high importance to nature is Staines Moor, which alongside Sheepwalk Lake and wetlands, Shepperton are the sites of special scientific interest (SSSI).[12]

Two Rivers Retail Park and Elmsleigh Shopping Centre in Staines-upon-Thames. In 2016 there were 5,365 businesses / retailers situated in Spelthorne. 10 screen cinema with Dolby Digital Surround Sound. 12 miles of river frontage for picturesque walks. 65% green belt land - the first countryside upon leaving London. Within 5 miles to top UK attractions - Windsor Castle, Thorpe Park, Hampton Court. Just over 30 minutes on train to Central London.

Other land use

A January 2005 enhanced basemap study by the Office for National Statistics managed to classify 50.8 square kilometres (19.6 sq mi), 99% of land in Spelthorne. This showed that in this borough 20.954 square kilometres (8.090 sq mi) was Greenspace (fields, verges, woods and parks) and 11.165 square kilometres (4.311 sq mi) was water. The remaining land uses were:[13]

Domestic gardens 8.495 square kilometres (3.280 sq mi)
Road 3.919 square kilometres (1.513 sq mi)
Other land uses 2.491 square kilometres (0.962 sq mi)
Domestic buildings 2.403 square kilometres (0.928 sq mi)
Non-domestic buildings 1.045 square kilometres (0.403 sq mi)
Path 0.209 square kilometres (0.081 sq mi)
Rail 0.134 square kilometres (0.052 sq mi)

Spelthorne Borough Council

Elections are held every four years for the whole council, rather than third-of-council elections (for district and borough councils there is an approximately equal bias towards both methods).

The 2 May Spelthorne Borough Council elections results produced 23 Conservative seats, 8 Liberal Democrat seats, four Labour seats, two Green party seats and two Independents. The Conservative Party thus maintained their overwhelming majority on the council. The Leader is Cllr Ian Harvey and Deputy Leader is Cllr Tony Harman.

The next borough council elections are scheduled to take place on May 2023.

Spelthorne Borough Council management team consists on Daniel Charles Mouawad - Chief Executive, Terry Collier - Deputy Chief Executive and Lee O'Neil - Deputy Chief Executive.

The Mayor for Spelthorne is Councillor Mary Madams

Sport and leisure

The borough has two publicly sponsored leisure centres. Within the borders are two private fitness clubs also with pools, the Thames Club Staines, Pure Gym Staines, and Virgin Active Sunbury and two golf courses.

The three school-taught English sports of rugby, cricket and football are played at pitches widely. In rugby union, the London Irish Training Academy is in Sunbury-on-Thames and Staines Rugby Club play next to the Feltham-Sunbury border.

Spelthorne has three football clubs, which are semi- or non-professional as the top men's sides compete in the lower leagues:

Club Ground
Ashford Town (Middlesex) F.C The Robert Parker Stadium, Short Lane, Stanwell
Spelthorne Sports F.C. Spelthorne Sports Club, Ashford
Staines Town F.C. Wheatsheaf Park, Staines-upon-Thames

Spelthorne is also home to one of the county's major Archery Clubs, Spelthorne Archers.

Fishing is open to all, subject to obtaining a rod licence,[14] from the Thames Path National Trail and adjoining islands in Laleham and Staines as well as at lakes in Shepperton and Ashford. One rowing club is in the borough, at Laleham, with others nearby including Staines Boat Club across Staines Bridge from the town centre which organises a regatta to Penton Hook in July for racing shells. Sunbury Skiff and Punting Club is the newest of six nearby on the Thames, several of which incorporate dongola racing, dragon boat racing and canoeing and organises an August regatta with fireworks. In May the Staines 10k charity run takes place organised by two local running/'strolling' clubs and the Borough Council. Other sports venues hosting annual events in a range of sports are Kempton Park Racecourse and Staines Lammas Park.

Towns and villages

The stated proportion of land that is absorbed by domestic dwellings tends to be housing with gardens forming suburbs to London and otherwise has mid rise urban town centres with exceptional offices (in Staines-upon-Thames) and apartments (in Sunbury-on-Thames) which are high rise, including a minority of the social housing.

The non-urban parts, inclusive of the embanked water retaining reservoirs, are today for the most part Spelthorne's parks and lakes. The bulk of the rest is mostly narrow buffering land being arable farming, horse-grazing meadows and sheep grazing on the reservoir embankments and fringes with Green Belt legal status. Shopping is available in each of the towns and in the village of Shepperton but not in the other small villages which are connected by road and bus to the nearby towns. Kempton Park Racecourse and Shepperton Studios are in Spelthorne. Staines is the largest town and has local government and judicial buildings. Each of the towns has libraries and schools.

In July 2017, Shepperton was named as the UK’s most courteous town by the National Campaign for Courtesy.

Subsumed hamlets or manors

  • Kempton
  • Astleham: see Littleton, above and Queen Mary Reservoir, above.


See also

Notes and references


  1. ^ In Staines upon Thames post town. As with the first four places, these are ancient parishes, manors and were also in local services/improvements civil parishes from 1895 until 1974.[15]
  2. ^ [3]
  3. ^ Former hamlet of Stanwell. In Staines upon Thames post town. Its verges, grazing and hay meadow parts have mostly become part of Staines Moor from which they have been indivisible since the 1820s when both were inclosed (privatised) from an area of common land alongside the River Colne and later transferred to the local authority.[3]
  4. ^ a b Former hamlet of Sunbury-on-Thames. In Shepperton post town.[16]
  5. ^ Covers a small area as covered most of the Queen Mary Reservoir. Of sporadic use: half-rural, half-suburban streets with trees and verges. The streets adjoin other housing across the Ash in Shepperton Green; within Shepperton post town and this is the home of Shepperton Studios.[15]


  1. ^ Office for National Statistics
  2. ^ "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Susan Reynolds (Editor) (1962). "Stanwell: Introduction". A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 4 July 2013.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Domesday Map website with details of 13 manors in the Hundred of Spelthorne
  5. ^ Samuel Lewis (publisher) (1848). "Teddington, St Mary". A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  6. ^ Samuel Lewis (publisher) (1848). "Hanworth, St George". A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  7. ^ Public Health Act 1875
  8. ^ "No flood defence work for worst hit towns" Chris Caulfield. Surrey Advertiser/Surrey Herald newspaper group. 20 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-02
  9. ^ "Calls for Surrey towns to be part of London". BBC News. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014
  10. ^ Spelthorne BC Park and Open Spaces. Retrieved 2013-07-04
  11. ^ Spelthorne BC Sports Facilities. Retrieved 2013-07-04
  12. ^ SSSIs List and Management: Surrey Wildlife Trust.
  13. ^ Land Use Statistics (Generalised Land Use Database) (2001 - 2005) Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  14. ^ When you need a licence
  15. ^ a b William Page (Editor) (1911). "Ashford, Laleham, Littleton [and others outside of the borough]". A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 2. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 4 November 2014.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  16. ^ Susan Reynolds (Editor) (1962). "Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell, Sunbury [and others outside the borough]". A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 4 November 2014.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  17. ^ Twinning with Melun, Île de France and Grand Port, Mauritius

External links

Ashford, Surrey

Ashford is a town and suburb of London almost entirely in the Surrey borough of Spelthorne, but with a one side road (Challenge Road) in the London Borough of Hounslow, England. The Clumps is in Feltham. Mostly residential, Ashford is 13 1⁄2 miles (22 km) WSW of Charing Cross, London, forms part of the London commuter belt, with a minor stop on the Waterloo to Reading Line (which has two branch lines) and has a long commercial high street. It is centred 2 1⁄2 miles (4 km) south of Heathrow Airport, to which a portion of its economy relates, including business premises relating to aviation and the distribution of air freight – the main cargo depot being next to an adjoining village, Stanwell.

Historically part of Middlesex, the town's wards have been part of Surrey since Middlesex County Council was abolished in 1965. South Western Railway uses the present or past county variously throughout its stations and trains. A leading gymnastics club, HMP Bronzefield and one of the sites of Brooklands College are in the town. Ashford Hospital is narrowly within Stanwell and began as Ashford's workhouse. Ashford Common has a parade of shops and is a more residential ward that includes part of the Queen Mary Reservoir and all of its related water treatment works, which is contiguous with and subsidiary to the town itself.

Ashford consists of relatively low density low and medium rise buildings, none of them being high rise. If excluding apartments (at the last census 27% of the housing stock) most houses are semi-detached. Ashford is defined along its northern edge by a dual carriageway and extends no more than 1⁄4 mile (400 m) beyond another parallel to the southern boundary. It centrally includes a short section of another and has a driving test centre that serves a wide area. Junctions of the UK's motorway network are 3 1⁄2 miles (5.6 km) and 2 miles (3 km) from its borders and it has along the two main dual carriageways official dealers of Ford, Citroën and Suzuki.

On two of the eight chief compass points the town is buffered by green space which covers just over 1 square mile (2.5 km2) and includes The Princes Club, Bedfont Lakes and Shortwood Common.

Humphrey Atkins

Humphrey Edward Gregory Atkins, Baron Colnbrook, (12 August 1922 – 4 October 1996) was a British politician and a member of the Conservative Party. He served in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher from 1979 to 1982.

Kempton Park Racecourse

Kempton Park Racecourse is a horse racing track together with a licensed entertainment and conference venue in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, England, 16 miles south-west of Charing Cross, London and on a border of Greater London. The site has 210 acres (85 hectares) (0.85 km²) of flat grassland surrounded by woodland with two lakes in its centre. Its entrance borders Kempton Park railway station which was created for racegoers on a branch line from London Waterloo, via Clapham Junction.

It has adjoining inner and outer courses for flat and fenced racing. Among its races, the King George VI Chase takes place on Boxing Day, a Grade 1 National Hunt chase which is open to horses aged four years or older.

Poyle Halt railway station

Poyle for Stanwell Moor Halt railway station was on the outskirts of London, on the now closed line of the Staines and West Drayton Railway.

It opened on 1 June 1927 to serve the village of Poyle; originally named Stanwell Moor and Poyle Halt, it was renamed Poyle for Stanwell Moor Halt on 26 September the same year. It closed on 29 March 1965, when passenger services on the line ceased. The line north of Colnbrook remains open for goods services. The M25 runs near and over much of the branch south of the station. Part of the former route is involved in the Heathrow Airtrack proposal to connect Staines with Heathrow Airport. It should not be confused with Poyle Estate Halt, a small station to the north of it which opened in 1954 to serve the nearby industrial estate, and which also closed in 1965.The Staines-West Drayton route never attracted many passengers as the hoped-for growth at the villages of Colnbrook, Poyle and Yeoveney did not occur.

Queen Mary Reservoir

The Queen Mary Reservoir is one of the largest of London's reservoirs supplying fresh water to London and parts of surrounding counties and is in the borough of Spelthorne in Surrey. The reservoir covers 707 acres (2.86 km2) and lies 450 ft (140 m) above the surrounding area.

River Ash, Surrey

The River Ash is a small, shallow river in Surrey, England and its course of 10 km or 6 miles is just outside Greater London. Work has been carried out to straighten, sluice control, dredge and hem in sections over centuries. It flows as one of the seven present distributaries of the River Colne from just south of Staines Moor by the M25 motorway eastwards through the rest of the borough of Spelthorne before meeting the River Thames. It is not navigable to craft and is rich in plant and insects, particularly reeds and butterflies.

Shepperton Studios

Shepperton Studios is a film studio located in Shepperton, Middlesex, England with a history dating back to 1931. It is now part of the Pinewood Studios Group. During its early existence the studio was branded as Sound City.

Shepperton railway station

Shepperton railway station is a passenger station serving Shepperton, a small town in Surrey, England. It is 18 miles 73 chains (30.4 km) down the line from London Waterloo.

The station and all trains serving it are operated by South Western Railway. The station is a terminus with one platform operational and a large station/office building.

Ian Allan Publishing has its offices at the western end of the station, and the company bought the Pullman car "Malaga" for hospitality sited near the terminus buffers.

Spelthorne Borough Council elections

Spelthorne Borough Council in Surrey, England is elected every four years. Since the last boundary changes in 2003, 39 councillors are elected from 13 wards.

Spelthorne Sports F.C.

Spelthorne Sports F.C. is a football club based in the borough of Spelthorne in Surrey. They play in the Combined Counties League Premier Division.

Staines Urban District

Staines was a local government district from 1894 to 1974 named after the English town of Staines.


Stanwell is an urban and suburban village in the historic County of Middlesex and the borough of Spelthorne, 16 miles (26 km) WSW of Charing Cross and centred 1⁄2 mile (800 m) from the southern boundary of London Heathrow Airport, adjoining its cargo depot. It is the northernmost settlement in Surrey.

The semi-rural neighbourhood of Stanwell Moor has its own village association and is separated from the village centre by a field, large reservoir and dual carriageway, and includes most of the remaining village farms. However, it is included within a ward and parish of Stanwell. In common, both localities have large areas of reservoir and are within 2 miles (3 km) of a junction of the M25 London Orbital Motorway. To the west of the village proper stretch further areas of open land, much of which is part of the Metropolitan Green Belt and is important primarily for fish and bird life, including the Staines Moor SSSI and the Colne Valley regional park.

Stanwell lost land to a fraction of the adjoining airport and to Berkshire in the mid- and late 20th century respectively. Its main industrial and business area, Poyle, was detached and added to Colnbrook, Berkshire, in 1995 due to the completion of the M25 London Orbital Motorway. Stanwell is adjoined by two towns and includes Ashford Hospital and the Staines Reservoirs named after these. The largest of its neighbours is Staines upon Thames which is a retail, entertainment, dining and leisure venue and has corporate offices. The nearest railway station is centred 1 mile (1.6 km) south, or 1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km) south of the conservation area which has a partly medieval parish church, village green and brief winding section of street with buildings from the 17th to early 19th centuries, some with earlier elements.

Stanwell Moor

Stanwell Moor is a rural and suburban clustered settlement, informally known as a village, in Surrey, England, immediately east of the M25 London Orbital Motorway, south-west of Heathrow airport and west of the village of Stanwell. It has a separate community hall and residents' organisation.

Distributaries of the complex River Colne run past Stanwell Moor where it forms a broad part of the Colne Valley regional park. Stanwell Moor is buffered from all other settlements. Its south is covered by the King George VI Reservoir after which is Staines upon Thames. South-west is the Wraysbury Reservoir.


Sunbury-on-Thames is a suburban village in the borough of Spelthorne, in the historic County of Middlesex and administrative county of Surrey in England. It extends from the left bank of the River Thames and the south-west of the Greater London boundary and is approximately 13 miles (21 km) from Charing Cross, London. Suburban neighbourhoods make up most of its area, Lower Sunbury, added to which is part of the Metropolitan Green Belt including Kempton Park. The town centre is by the London end of the M3 motorway, elsewhere are three shopping parades and riverside public houses. In tourism Lower Sunbury holds an annual fair and regatta each August.

Sunbury railway station is on a branch line from London Waterloo. Lower Sunbury contains most of the town's parks, pubs and listed buildings, Kempton Park Racecourse, served by its own railway station and a public walled garden which has a large millennium tapestry in its art gallery/café. Offices and hotels form part of its labour-importing economy. Most of Sunbury's riverside forms privately owned houses or lodges with gardens, including Wheatley's Ait and Sunbury Court Island which are attached by footbridges. Many schools are based in the town including large secondary schools in the Catholic and Anglican traditions; some maintain sixth form colleges.

Sunbury adjoins other settlements Feltham to the north, Hampton to the east, Ashford to the northwest, Shepperton to the southwest and Walton-on-Thames to the south on the opposite bank of the Thames.

TW postcode area

The TW postcode area, also known as the Twickenham postcode area, is a group of 20 postcode districts in England, which are subdivisions of 13 post towns. These postcode districts cover parts of south-west London and north-west Surrey, plus a very small part of Berkshire.

Mail for this area is sorted at the Jubilee Mail Centre, Hounslow, and the area served includes most of the London Boroughs of Richmond upon Thames and Hounslow, the southernmost part of the London Borough of Hillingdon (including London Heathrow Airport) and very small parts of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. In Surrey it covers virtually all of the borough of Spelthorne, the northern part of the borough of Runnymede and very small parts of the borough of Elmbridge, and in Berkshire it covers the village of Wraysbury in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

Thamesmead School

Thamesmead School is a secondary academy school for boys and girls located in Shepperton, England. It for students aged 11 to 16, and does not have a sixth form. The school motto is "Where Learning Comes First".

Thomas Knyvett College

Thomas Knyvett College () is a small-to-medium sized mixed school with Academy Converter status (conversion to an Academy is underway during the 2014-2015 academic year) educating students aged 11–16 in Ashford, Surrey, England. The college is part of the Howard Schools Trust which includes the Howard of Effingham School in Effingham in the county, the schools within which are and supported by an Executive Headteacher, the prototype arrangement of its kind in the United Kingdom.

Upper Halliford

Upper Halliford is a small linear village, part of the Shepperton post town, in the borough of Spelthorne, Surrey, England within the Metropolitan Green Belt. Its railway station is on the northern boundary and by part of Sunbury on Thames (which remains its Anglican parish) on a branch line from London; the M3 is just beyond. Upper Halliford is within the circle of the M25. Its closest settlements are Shepperton, Charlton and Walton on Thames.

The village is partially on and partially by the A244 which alternates here between a dual carriageway and a single carriageway. All of the settled area is however on or beside a single carriageway as the corollary dual carriageway section takes through traffic around the south, village green part of the settlement. Part of this brief dual section has been harmonised to one lane, and Walton Bridge to the south along with almost all of the route is not dualled. No high rise buildings are in the village. Mid-rise flats are near to the village green and it has a conservation area.

Upper Halliford railway station

Upper Halliford railway station is immediately north of the border of Upper Halliford in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, England. It is 17 miles 34 chains (28.0 km) down the line from London Waterloo.

The station and all trains serving it are operated by South Western Railway.

Borough of Spelthorne
Towns, villages and localities
Key parks
Large listed buildings
Railway stations
Buildings and structures
Destroyed landmarks
East Sussex
Isle of Wight
West Sussex


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