Secret Staines-upon-Thames and Laleham
- Jill Armitage
15th February 2024
Staines’ location where the main road from London to the west crossed the River Thames has meant that this Surrey town has always occupied a strategically important position. The Romans who settled here called it Ad Ponte, King Richard erected the London Stone here when he sold the River Thames as far as Staines, and its still an important stop for the annual swan upping ceremony. Staines grew up around an important crossing of the River Thames settled by the Romans. Before meeting King John to sign the Magna Carta at nearby Runnymede, the Barons stayed at Staines. It is now a large market town in Surrey, joined to the village of Laleham which was originally built around its Norman church. On a major coaching route out of London crossing the river at Staines Bridge, numerous hostelries were built in the town for travellers. In the nineteenth century Staines was home to linoleum and it became the town’s dominant industry until the factory ceased production at the end of the 1960s. In 2012 the town changed its name to Staines-upon-Thames and its regenerated centre and role in local business creation has been recognised nationally.
With tales of unusual events and tucked away or disappeared historical buildings and locations, Secret Staines-upon-Thames and Laleham will appeal to all those with an interest in the history of this corner of Surrey. A wander round the town reveals its many secrets, so prepare to be amazed!