Chessington is an area in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames within Greater London. Historically part of Surrey, today it is the largest salient of Greater London into that county. As of the 2011 Census it had a population of 18,973. The Bonesgate Stream, a tributary of the Hogsmill River, runs through it. The popular theme park resort Chessington World of Adventures, which incorporates Chessington Zoo, is located in the south-west of the area.
Burnt Stub Mansion
|Population||18,973 (Chessington North and Hook and Chessington South wards 2011)|
|OS grid reference||TQ183641|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Its name came from Anglo-Saxon Cissan dūn = "hill belonging to [a man named] Cissa".
Chessington appears in the Domesday Book as Cisedune and Cisendone. It was held partly by Robert de Wateville and partly by Milo (Miles) Crispin. Its Domesday assets were: 1½ hides; part of a mill worth 2s, 4 ploughs, woodland worth 30 hogs. It rendered £7.
The mansion at Chessington World of Adventures, known today as the Burnt Stub, was originally built in 1348. In the English Civil War it became a royalist stronghold and was razed to the ground by Oliver Cromwell's Parliamentary forces, giving it its modern name. The site became an inn and was then rebuilt on a grander scale from the 18th century by the Vere Barker family in a Neo-Gothic Victorian style. The grounds were turned into a zoo in 1931 by Reginald Goddard. Chessington Zoo became part of the Tussauds Group in 1978 and is now operated as a theme park. Burnt Stub had no public access until 2003 when it became an attraction called Hocus Pocus Hall.
Chessington Hall has a place in 18th-century literary history, as home of Samuel Crisp, a failed playwright and close friend of Fanny Burney. Chessington Road Recreation Ground was purchased on 16 October 1930 for £1,000.
The former RAF Chessington Hospital, demolished in the 1990s, first opened as RAF Hook around 1938 as a regional barrage balloon depot and was operated by RAF Balloon Command. It became a vital part of Britain's defence against the Luftwaffe in World War II and originally featured a number of large barrage balloon sheds as well as extensive garages and workshops for the station's support vehicles.
- Enid Blyton, author of Noddy, the Secret Seven and the Famous Five.
- Jan Brittin, England cricketer
- Helen Chamberlain, TV presenter
- Petula Clark, singer from the 1960s
- George Cohen, member of the 1966 England World Cup-winning team.
- Harry Hawker, well known engineer, test pilot and racing driver, lived in Hook until 1921.
- Kelly Reilly, actress
- Tim Smith and Jim Smith, respectively singer/guitarist/composer and bass guitarist/backing singer in Cardiacs
Sega Amusements Europe has its head office in Chessington.
Chessington houses one of the Europe's leading theme park resorts Chessington World of Adventures. This includes a zoo, a theme park, an aquarium and two four star hotels – the Safari Hotel and Azteca Hotel. In the grounds of the resort lies the historic Burnt Stub Mansion.
Chessington offers a range of countryside activities with many open spaces including the "Chessington Countryside Walk" in the London Green Belt. Chessington Wood, in the south of the area, contains the source of the Bonesgate Stream, a tributary of the Hogsmill River, in turn a tributary of the River Thames.
The areas of Chessington have these names:
- Chessington North, also referred to as North Parade, immediately adjacent to Chessington North railway station.
- Hook, generally referred to as the central point in Chessington, although historically considered a separate entity. It incorporates the majority of bus routes which pass through the area.
- Copt Gilders, named after the farm which was once in this area.
- Chessington South, previously called Fleetwood, incorporating the majority of buildings south of Chessington School and Chessington South railway station.
- Southborough is close to the A3 and nearby Surbiton and Tolworth.
- The Ace of Spades, the area surrounding the roundabout linking Hook Road with the A3/Kingston Bypass.
Chessington World of Adventures (branded, is often referred to simply as "Chessington"), a zoo and theme park with a broader appeal. Within the park there is the Burnt Stub Mansion from the English Civil War. Also one of the main employers in the area.
Churches include: St Paul's C of E, Hook Road, in the Diocese of Southwark; St Mary's C of E, Church Lane, in the Diocese of Guildford; Chessington Methodist Church, Moor Lane, in the Kingston circuit; St. Catherine of Siena RC, Leatherhead Road, in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark; and Chessington Evangelical Church, the King's Centre, Coppard Gardens.
Within the town there are various sporting organisations including: Non League football clubs Chessington & Hook United F.C. and Epsom Athletic F.C., who both play football in the Combined Counties League; and Kingston RFC based on the Hook Road. Kingston RFC play in Surrey division 2 union league. Chessington also is home to Chessington Cricket Club, founded in 1919, play on the Sir Francis Barker recreation ground on Leatherhead Road, the 1st XI currently play in Division 1 of The Surrey Championship.
On site with Chessington School is Chessington Sports Centre. The sports centre is home to many local sports clubs such as The Kingston Wildcats (2nd and youth teams), Genesis Gymnastics Club, Chessington Badminton Club and many others. The Sports Centre has a multi use sports hall, a fully equipped fitness suite and Kingston's only Climbing Wall, Chessington Rocks.
The main secondary school in Chessington is a mixed public school called Chessington Community College, but nearby secondary schools on the northern border of Chessington are the boys' school Southborough High School in Surbiton and Tolworth Girls' School and Centre for Continuing Education in Tolworth.
- For education in Chessington see the main Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames article.
Chessington has two railway stations: Chessington North and Chessington South. They are half a mile apart with South Western Railway services every half-hour to London Waterloo. Chessington South is the end of the line. The line was originally intended to split at Motspur Park, pass through Chessington and proceed on to Leatherhead, but construction was halted at Chessington South in 1940 as World War II began, and it was then the Green Belt with Ashtead Common's 200+ year protection order that stopped it from continuing.
The line past Chessington South has fallen into heavy disrepair and leads over a concrete bridge into a patch of full-grown trees. The crossover, signal, and rail electricity at this point are still active, even though a passenger train has never passed over this section.
Chessington is about four miles (6 km) from junction 9 of the M25 motorway. The town is situated on the A243 Leatherhead Road, close to the A3 London-to-Portsmouth trunk route to the north. The un-numbered Bridge Road runs through the area from the A243 toward the adjacent district of West Ewell, in the neighbouring borough of Epsom and Ewell (the boundary being marked crossing the course of the Bonesgate Stream).
- Census Information Scheme (2012). "2011 Census Ward Population Estimates". Greater London Authority. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
- Chessington North and Hook and Chessington South wards 2011
- Surrey Domesday Book Archived 15 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- (now known as "room on a broom" attraction)Leisure/tourism Geographies: Practices and Geographical Knowledge By David Crouch, 1999, Routledge,ISBN 0-415-18109-7
- Chessington Road recreation ground Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- "Contacts." Sega Amusements Europe. Retrieved 31 January 2011. "address Sega Amusements Europe Ltd 42 Barwell Business Park Leatherhead Road Chessington Surrey KT9 2NY UK."
- "Chessington Industrial Estate, Chessington - Completely Industrial". completelyindustrial.co.uk. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
- "Centre Information – Chessington Garden Centre".
- "Home – The King's Centre". thekingscentre.org.uk.
- "Kingston Rugby Club". kingstonrfc.com.
- "Carlin – Tomorrow's F1 stars today". Carlin. Archived from the original on 22 August 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
- Local Neighbourhood Information for Chessington & Hook
- Chessington Table Tennis Club
- St. Paul's C of E Church, Hook Road, Chessington, KT9 1EF
- Chessington Methodist Church, Moor Lane, Chessington, KT9 2DJ
- St. Catherine of Siena RC Church, 100 Leatherhead Road, Chessington, KT9 2HY
- Chessington Evangelical Church, the King's Centre, Coppard Gardens, Chessington
- St. Mary's C of E Church, Garrison Lane, Chessington, KT9 2LB