Last Updated on February 19, 2020 by Kingston Society

Wednesday 18th March 2020

A-Z of Kingston-upon-Thames, Places-People-History

Author Julian McCarthy will reveal the history behind Kingston upon Thames, its streets and buildings and the people connected with the town. Alongside the famous historical connections, he includes some unusual characters, such as Dr Battie, famous for his studies of insanity and arguably the origin of the phrase ‘batty’ and Mrs Morton who died aged 93 having ‘lived to see 400 issued from her loynes’, tucked away places, less well known associations, for example with land and water speed record holders Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbell, and unusual events such as the Shrove Tuesday football match.

The history of the ancient town of Kingston upon Thames goes back to Anglo-Saxon times, and two Saxon kings were crowned there. Historically in Surrey, it has been an important crossing point for the River Thames for centuries and although the town is now part of Greater London, it retains its separate identity despite the massive growth of population in the area. Kingston also has a proud industrial past, being associated with military aircraft design and manufacture by famous names such as Sopwith, Hawker and Hawker Siddeley and British Aerospace.

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