Exploring the Power of Land Ownership: Unraveling the Legacy of Influential Families in Property Development – A Focus on Tolworth in the South of the Borough

On October 18th, we are going to take the opportunity to focus on that historical development, in one part of our Borough – the southern end that points out into Surrey.

Land ownership is always a major influence on development, and the history of land ownership in this part of the world lies with a few influential families.  We will consider where the influence of those families came from, and how their ownership transformed into a force for property development with changes in the 19th century.

We will take one section of the south of the Borough to focus in on changes – Tolworth.  The family of the Earls of Egmont are the historic landowners here, and we will follow the end of their influence and its transfer to someone much more like a modern developer.  There is a bit of a history detective story here as we track down the identity of this developer.

The focus comes in even closer as we study the steps that this new landowner and his family took to realise the value of their investment.  There were many influences on that development, including the development of public transport at the beginning of the 20th century.  We can examine in detail the choices made about where to develop and the type of residential building.  As the focus narrows, we take just one street as an example that illustrates the coming together of all these forces.

The end result will show how residential development evolved in this corner of the Borough, as an illustration of the forces at work more widely that created the cotext within which we identify excellent examples of contemporary development.


Please note: We will also be revealing the winners of the Townscape Awards and People’s Choice Awards. The Kingston Society Townscape Awards are the most prestigious accolade in Kingston for excellence in architecture and landscape. They have served for many years as an essential component of the Society’s mission to maintain and elevate excellence in the development of the townscape of our beautiful part of London.  And our part of London is, of course, always developing.

We will celebrate the winning entries on 15th November at a dedicated event. Mark your calendars and look out for further details close to the time!!

Coming to our public meetings

Unless otherwise noted, all our meetings are held in the Judge Lecture Theatre, Tiffin School, Kingston upon Thames KT2 6RL. Click here to see a map of the area.

Access is from the London Road entrance where there is free parking available, subject to other events happening at the school. There are bus stops outside and opposite the school entrance, and the main bus and railway stations are within short walking distance. The Judge Lecture Theatre is accessed through the main doors next to the new circular school cafeteria. It is on the ground floor and we believe you will find it accessible.

Free Admission for members of Society. Non members £2.

Meetings begin promptly at 7:30pm. Doors are open at 7:00.

Last Updated on October 20, 2023 by Kingston Society