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Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Royal Borough of
Kingston upon Thames
Coat of arms of Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
Coat of arms
Kingston upon Thames shown within Greater London
Kingston upon Thames shown within Greater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Created1 April 1965
Admin HQKingston upon Thames
 • TypeLondon borough council
 • BodyKingston upon Thames London Borough Council
 • LeadershipLiberal Democrat (Liberal Democrat)
 • MayorMargaret Thompson
 • London AssemblyTony Arbour (Conservative) AM for South West
 • MPsSir Ed Davey (Liberal Democrat)
Sarah Olney (Liberal Democrat)
 • Total14.38 sq mi (37.25 km2)
Area rank288th (of 309)
 (mid-2019 est.)
 • Total177,507
 • Rank110th (of 309)
 • Density12,000/sq mi (4,800/km2)
 • Ethnicity[1]
63.1% White British
1.7% White Irish
0.1% White Gypsy or Irish Traveller
9.6% Other White
0.8% White & Black Caribbean
0.4% White & Black African
1.6% White & Asian
1.1% Other Mixed
4% Indian
1.9% Pakistani
0.6% Bangladeshi
1.8% Chinese
8.1% Other Asian
1.6% Black African
0.6% Black Caribbean
0.2% Other Black
1.5% Arab
1.2% Other
Time zoneUTC (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
Area code(s)020
ONS code00AX
GSS codeE09000021
PoliceMetropolitan Police

The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames is a borough in southwest London. The main town is Kingston upon Thames and it includes Surbiton, Chessington, Malden Rushett, New Malden and Tolworth. It is the oldest of the four royal boroughs in England. The others are Kensington and Chelsea and Greenwich also in London, and Windsor and Maidenhead. The local authority is Kingston upon Thames London Borough Council.

Districts in the borough

Adjacent local government districts


Kingston upon Thames, on the south bank of the River Thames has existed for many hundreds of years. Many Roman relics have been found in the surrounding areas. A church has stood on the site of All Saints' Church, in the centre of Kingston, for more than a thousand years. An earlier church was sacked by the Vikings in 1009 AD. Kingston was the site of the coronations of seven Anglo-Saxon monarchs:

The Coronation Stone, on which they are said to have been crowned stands outside the local council offices, the Guildhall. A coin from the reign of each of those kings is set into the base of the stone.

The Saxon Coronation Stone
The Saxon Coronation Stone

The borough was formed in 1965 by the merger of the Municipal boroughs of Kingston-upon-Thames (which itself was a Royal Borough), Malden and Coombe and Surbiton. At time of the merger the new borough was transferred from Surrey and since then it has been administratively part of Greater London. The current name of the borough omits hyphens to distinguish it from the similarly named former municipal borough. As well as having its own council, Kingston still contains a County Hall, the seat of Surrey County Council.

It was part of Surrey for postal purposes until postal counties were abolished in 1996. Districts mainly use the KT postcode, except from the parts of Ham in the borough which use the TW code, and the Kingston Vale area in the north-east which has a London SW15 postcode.

Population census
1801 4,612—    
1811 4,960+7.5%
1821 6,050+22.0%
1831 7,212+19.2%
1841 9,587+32.9%
1851 12,080+26.0%
1861 19,863+64.4%
1871 27,647+39.2%
1881 35,430+28.2%
1891 44,106+24.5%
1901 54,956+24.6%
1911 68,481+24.6%
1921 79,468+16.0%
1931 92,220+16.0%
1941 115,055+24.8%
1951 143,545+24.8%
1961 142,448−0.8%
1971 141,375−0.8%
1981 131,230−7.2%
1991 137,453+4.7%
2001 147,295+7.2%
2011 160,060+8.7%


The following table shows the ethnic group of respondents in the 2001 and 2011 census in Kingston upon Thames.

Ethnic Group 2001[3] 2011[4]
Number % Number %
White: British 111,810 75.92% 101,015 63.11%
White: Irish 3,201 2.17% 2,718 1.70%
White: Romani or Irish Traveller 95 0.06%
White: Other 9,381 6.37% 15,391 9.62%
White: Total 124,392 84.46% 119,219 74.48%
Asian or Asian British: Indian 5,322 3.61% 6,325 3.95%
Asian or Asian British: Pakistani 1,916 1.30% 3,009 1.88%
Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi 384 0.26% 892 0.56%
Asian or Asian British: Chinese 2,026 1.38% 2,883 1.80%
Asian or Asian British: Other Asian 3,844 2.61% 13,043 8.15%
Asian or Asian British: Total 13,492 9.16% 26,152 16.34%
Black or Black British: African 1,406 0.95% 2,616 1.63%
Black or Black British: Caribbean 772 0.52% 1,027 0.64%
Black or Black British: Other Black 131 0.09% 378 0.24%
Black or Black British: Total 2,309 1.57% 4,021 2.51%
Mixed: White and Black Caribbean 591 0.40% 1,238 0.77%
Mixed: White and Black African 392 0.27% 700 0.44%
Mixed: White and Asian 1,398 0.95% 2,500 1.56%
Mixed: Other Mixed 976 0.66% 1,831 1.14%
Mixed: Total 3,357 2.28% 6,269 3.92%
Other: Arab 2,439 1.52%
Other: Any other ethnic group 1,960 1.22%
Other: Total 3,723 2.53% 4,399 2.75%
Black, Asian, and minority ethnic: Total 22,881 15.54% 40,841 25.52%
Total 147,273 100.00% 160,060 100.00%


A map showing the wards of Kingston upon Thames since 2002
A map showing the wards of Kingston upon Thames since 2002
The Guildhall in Kingston is the home of the Borough Council
The Guildhall in Kingston is the home of the Borough Council
Logo of the Kingston Council until 2014
Logo of the Kingston Council until 2014


The borough includes the whole of the Kingston and Surbiton Westminster Parliamentary Constituency and part of the Richmond Park Constituency, both constituencies were created in 1997. The previous constituencies re-arranged to form these two had been essentially Conservative.

In 1997 the Liberal Democrats won both seats. Dr Jenny Tonge took Richmond Park constituency and in 2005 Susan Kramer became its Liberal Democrat MP with a majority of 3,731 but she was beaten in the May 2010 election by Conservative Zac Goldsmith with a majority of 4,091. Goldsmith retained his seat at the 2015 general election, with a greatly increased majority of 23,015.[5] Goldsmith stood as an Independent candidate in the by-election held on 1 December 2016, but was defeated by Sarah Olney, a Liberal Democrat, after the Conservative Party decided not to put forward its own candidate.[6] Goldsmith regained the seat for the Conservatives in the 2017 general election with a significantly reduced majority of 45 votes.[7] Sarah Olney then regained the seat during the 2019 General Election.

In 1997 Edward Davey overturned the previous Conservative majority of more than 10,000 in Kingston and Surbiton, to win by 56 votes after three recounts. He retained the seat in 2001 with a majority of 15,676 over the Conservative candidate David Shaw. In 2005 Davey's majority was 8,961 and in the May 2010 general election he again retained the seat with a slightly reduced majority, beating the Conservative candidate Helen Whately. In the 2015 general election, Davey's seat was taken by Conservative James Berry[8] with a majority of 2,834. Davey's was one of six Liberal Democrat losses in London and 49 overall as the party suffered its worst election results since its formation in 1988.[9] Davey regained the seat in the 2017 general election.

Local government

The Borough Council was controlled by the Conservative Party from 1965 to 1986, when a short-lived SDP-Liberal Alliance minority administration took over. It lost several by-elections due to its attempt to abolish the Borough's grammar school system. The Conservatives regained control in 1987. The 1990 election gave no party a majority but the Conservatives kept power with the casting vote of the Mayor.

In 1994 the Liberal Democrats took the Council for the first time.

In 1998 the Liberal Democrats lost their majority on the Council and a minority Conservative Party administration was formed. This minority administration was weakened in 1999 by the expulsion of Tim Brown for expressing concerns about the leadership of the local Kingston & Surbiton Conservative Association. In 2001 St. Mark's ward Councillors Dennis de Lord and Jan Jenner resigned in protest at hypocrisy within the Conservative group on the Council. With Tim Brown they formed a new Independent Group of Councillors with Dennis de Lord as leader and Tim Brown as deputy leader, to put People Before Politics. This was the first time that four parties were represented on the council and the Mayor of Kingston Jeremy Thorn officially opened the new Independent Group's office at the Guildhall. The group did not stand for re-election following the continuing ill-health of Dennis de Lord.

At the 2002 elections, the Liberal Democrats took control of the Council with a majority of twelve seats and they retained control in 2006 with a majority of two. This was the first time any party had retained control of the Council since 1986. The only neighbourhood where the Liberal Democrats increased their majority was Surbiton, where they took control of Berrylands ward, ousting Kevin Davis the leader of the Conservative Group on the Council. Kevin Davis was subsequently replaced as the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Kingston & Surbiton by Helen Whately.

In 2007 Sheila Griffin, one of the two Labour Councillors, resigned the Labour whip and became an Independent.

In the 2010 local elections, the Liberal Democrats increased their majority from two to six seats, and retained control of the Council for a third term. Councillors unseated included the veteran Steve Mama (Labour), Kingston's longest serving Councillor; the Conservative election campaign co-ordinator Nick Kilby from his previously safe Surbiton Hill ward; and Paul Johnston, the former local Conservative Association chairman and trustee.

In 2011, Councillor Tim Dennen resigned from the Liberal Democrat group to sit as an independent member.[10]

On Tuesday 11 June 2013 Derek Osborne was arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children, following his release on bail he resigned the Liberal Democrat group, as leader of Kingston Council and as a councillor for Beverley Ward.[11] Osborne pleaded guilty and was subsequently jailed for 2 years in October 2013.[12] The Conservatives comfortably won the by-election following the resignation of the former leader of the council.[13]

In 2014 the Conservatives gained a majority of 8 at the local elections, bucking a trend of the Liberal Democrats retaining control in their heartlands.[14]

The Liberal Democrats regained control of the council in 2018 with a large majority of 39 seats compared to the Conservatives' 9 seats.[15]

Modern Kingston

Surrey County Hall Clock Tower
Surrey County Hall Clock Tower

Kingston benefits from one of the biggest and most visited shopping areas outside of central London, with a varied selection of high street stores, and a large number of independent boutiques and retailers.

The most famous shop in Kingston is Bentalls, started by Frank Bentall in 1867 in Clarence Street, where it (or at least the completely rebuilt Bentall Centre) stands.

Close to Kingston, and located between Kingston, Richmond and Roehampton, is Richmond Park, one of the oldest of London's royal parks.

The borough is home to the highest number of South Koreans in Europe, in the town of New Malden.

Tourism in Kingston

Kingston has many attractions in and near it, ranging from nature attractions and historical attractions to theme parks.

Some of the borough's attractions are:

  • Chessington World of Adventures Resort in the south of the borough. The closest railway station is Chessington South. Chessington is one of the UK's premier theme parks attracting thousands of visitors from all around the UK to its rides, roller coasters, aquarium and zoo.
  • Thames Riverside – Flowing beside Kingston and Surbiton. The River Thames gives visitors a peaceful getaway either feeding the swans or enjoying a cup of coffee next to the river. The riverside is also home to a variety of restaurants. Closest railway stations are Surbiton or Kingston plus moderate walks.
  • Coronation Stone – Situated outside The Guildhall in Kingston, this ancient rock was the crowning point of some of England's early kings.
  • Richmond Park – One of the world's largest urban parks, three times the size of Central Park in New York City. Richmond Park's Kingston Gate is situated within the borough's boundary.
  • Kingston Town Centre – One of London's biggest shopping destinations, with hundreds of shops, cafes and restaurants, as well as a large entertainment complex consisting of Pizza Express and other restaurants, Odeon Cinema and Tenpin Bowling. Also in the town centre is a historic market which has been running for hundreds of years.
  • Rose Theatre is at the centre of Kingston which is home to several musicals.
  • Bentall Centre (a shopping centre). It is home to over 75 shops (including the Bentalls department store), restaurants and other services.


Kingston is the 3rd largest retail centre by employment, in London.

Sega Amusements International, responsible for the production of arcade games outside Japan, has its head office in Chessington, Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.[16] Lidl is relocating its UK Headquarters to Kingston in 2020[17]


Sopwith Aviation Company had a factory in the Canbury Park area of Kingston, where the famous Sopwith Camel was produced during World War I. The Hawker Hurricane was designed in a site in Kingston town centre and built in the aviation factory near Ham now known as the Hawker Centre.


Primary responsibility for education in the borough lies with the local education authority.


Community schools:

Free schools:

Academy schools:

Further education

Higher education


Kingston is one of six London Boroughs which have no London Underground stations. Also, like the London Borough of Bexley, none of its railway stations are served by TfL operated systems such as the London Overground that serves adjacent Richmond or Tramlink that serves Wimbledon in the neighbouring borough of Merton. It has nine South Western Railway stations and two centrally located bus stations. In 2008, 64 bus routes served Kingston.


Coaching interests in Kingston opposed the plan of the London and Southampton Railway to run its line to Southampton near Kingston. The line consequently avoided the town with a station opened in 1838 southwest of the town; it was later resited to the present site of Surbiton station.

In 1863 a branch was built from Twickenham to a terminus in Kingston. That line was extended to the main line in 1869 to form the Kingston Loop Line.

All rail services in the borough are operated by South Western Railway, who provide regular services to and from London Waterloo.

Railway stations in the borough:

Travel to work

In March 2011, the main forms of transport that residents used to travel to work were: driving a car or van, 26.1% of all residents aged 16–74; train, 7.1%; bus, minibus or coach, 7.1%; on foot, 6.9%; work mainly at or from home, 4.3%; bicycle, 2.8%; underground, metro, light rail, tram, 2.5%.[18]

Coat of arms

The Kingston coat of arms displays three salmon and its shield is almost identical to the coat of arms of the Swedish municipality of Laholm. Both coats of arms can be traced back to the 16th century. The arms of the Norwegian town of Mandal is also similar, but more recent.

International links

Although not officially 'twinned', The Royal Borough of Kingston has a partner city of Oldenburg in Germany and Gwanak-gu, an administrative subdivision of Seoul, in South Korea. Some road signs announce that Kingston is linked with Delft in the Netherlands but this official link has ended.[19]

Sport and leisure

The Borough of Kingston upon Thames has several football clubs in its area:


  1. ^ 2011 Census: Ethnic group, local authorities in England and Wales, Office for National Statistics (2012). See Classification of ethnicity in the United Kingdom for the full descriptions used in the 2011 Census.
  2. ^ "Kingston: Total Population". A Vision of Britain Through Time. Great Britain Historical GIS Project. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  3. ^ "KS006 – Ethnic group". NOMIS. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Ethnic Group by measures". NOMIS. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Zac Goldsmith MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Zac Goldsmith quits as MP over 'doomed' Heathrow expansion decision". The Guardian. 26 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  7. ^ "GE2017 – Constituency results". Britain Elects (Google Docs). Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  8. ^ "James Berry". UK Parliament. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Kingston & Surbiton parliamentary constituency – Election 2017". BBC News. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  10. ^ Barnes, Tom (12 May 2012). "Kingston councillor speaks out over party split". Surrey Comet. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  11. ^ "Kingston council leader quits over child porn arrest". BBC News. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Former Kingston Council leader jailed for child abuse images". BBC News. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  13. ^ "2013 Beverley Ward by-election results". Archived from the original on 25 May 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  14. ^ Cecil, Nicolas (23 May 2014). "Nick Clegg's dismal election night topped with defeat in Kingston". The Standard. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  15. ^ "Kingston Upon Thames London Borough Council".
  16. ^ Contacts Sega Amusements Europe
  17. ^ Thames, The Royal Borough of Kingston upon. "Lidl to move UK headquarters to Tolworth following £10m deal with Kingston Council". Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  18. ^ "2011 Census: QS701EW Method of travel to work, local authorities in England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 November 2013. Percentages are of all residents aged 16–74 including those not in employment. Respondents could only pick one mode, specified as the journey’s longest part by distance.
  19. ^ International Relations – European and International Partnerships Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames

External links

This page was last edited on 14 March 2021, at 04:01
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