Esher (/ˈʃər/ (listen) EE-shər) is a town in Surrey, England, to the east of the River Mole.


The Diamond Jubilee statue
Esher High Street

Apartments in Esher
Location within Surrey
Area9.3 km2 (3.6 sq mi)
Population6,743 (2011 census)[1] or 50,904 as to Esher Built-up Area[2]
 Density725/km2 (1,880/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTQ145645
 London14.1 miles (22.7 km)
Civil parish
  • n/a
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townESHER
Postcode districtKT10
Dialling code01372
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
EU ParliamentSouth East England
UK Parliament

Esher is an outlying suburb of London near the London-Surrey Border, and with Esher Commons at its southern end, the town marks one limit of the Greater London Built-Up Area. Esher has a linear commercial high street and is otherwise suburban in density, with varying elevations, few high rise buildings and very short sections of dual carriageway within the ward itself. Esher covers a large area, between 13 and 15.4 miles southwest of Charing Cross.[n 1] In the south it is bounded by the A3 Portsmouth Road which is of urban motorway standard and buffered by the Esher Commons.

Esher is bisected by the A307, historically the Portsmouth Road, which for approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) forms its high street. Esher railway station (served by the South West Main Line) connects the town to London Waterloo. Sandown Park Racecourse is in the town near the station.

In the south, Claremont Landscape Garden owned and managed by the National Trust, once belonged, as their British home, to Princess Charlotte and her husband Leopold I of Belgium. Accordingly, the town was selected to have a fountain by Queen Victoria and has an adjacent Diamond Jubilee column embossed with a relief of the monarch and topped by a statue of Britannia. Unite, the union, trains representatives at its Esher Place centre, and the town has the offices of Elmbridge Borough Council in its high street.


Esher lay within the Saxon feudal division of Elmbridge hundred.[3][4]

Esher appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Aissela and Aissele, where it is held partly by the Abbey of the Cross in Normandy; partly by William de Waterville; partly by Reginald; partly by Hugh do Port; and partly by Odard Balistarius (probably a crossbowman). Its domesday assets were: 14 hides, 6 ploughs and 2 acres (8,100 m2) of meadow. It rendered £6 2s 0d per year to its feudal overlords.[5]

In the 16th century King Henry VIII annexed several of the manors to the Honour of Hampton Court to form a royal hunting ground, and new residences were permitted by a number of wealthy courtesans. Esher's town slowly grew as a stagecoach stop on the London–Portsmouth road that was later numbered the A3, although it was bypassed in the mid-1970s when it became the A307. Clive of India built the Claremont mansion[n 2] and this later became a royal residence used by Queen Victoria. In 1841 Esher had 1261 inhabitants across 2,075 acres (840 ha).[3] Queen Victoria lent Claremont to the exiled French King Louis-Philippe and his consort Queen Marie-Amelie after the revolution of 1848. Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg lived there until he became King of the Belgians

By 1908, Esher contained the fashionable residences of several important figures including Lady Emma Talbot; Sir Robert Hawthorn Collins,[6][7] the Duchess of Albany and Sir Edgar Vincent, K.C.M.G. who was later created 1st Viscount D'Abernon.[4]

George Harrison of the Beatles had a house (called Kinfauns) in Esher, during the 1960s. The other Beatles were regular visitors to the house, and Harrison's primitive home recording studio.

Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees also owned a house called The Firs in Esher, during 1970s-2004 and sold after his death. This is where the hit single "Juliet" was written and recorded by Maurice & Robin for brother Robin's solo album project in the 1980s.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, placed the murder of fictional character, Mr. Garcia, in and around Esher in his Sherlock Holmes mystery, "The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge". In the mystery, Dr. Watson described his and Sherlock Holmes' arrival in Esher by stating, "It was nearly six c'clock before we found ourselves in the pretty Surrey village of Esher, with Inspector Baynes as our companion."


Esher is within the Esher and Walton parliamentary constituency which has been represented by Dominic Raab, a member of the Conservative Party, since 2010.[8] The predecessor Esher parliamentary constituency was replaced on boundary changes before the 1997 general election.[9]

Esher is part of the East Molesey and Esher ward of Surrey County Council. The ward is represented by a Residents' association councillor.[10]

The town is covered by the Esher ward of Elmbridge Borough Council, which has elections in three years out of four (is elected in thirds) represented by:

Last ElectedMember[11][12]Ward
2012 Tim OliverEsher
2011 David J. ArcherEsher
2010 Simon J. WaughEsher


Esher has a mix of state and private schools. There are four state primary schools across the area of Esher, Esher Church School, Cranmere, Hinchley Wood and Claygate.[13] Esher Church of England High School is the state secondary school in the town of Esher.[13] Hinchley Wood School in Hinchley Wood has been an Academy since February 2012.[14] Hinchley Wood is also one of the Further education establishments in the area.[15] Esher College is in nearby Thames Ditton.


Esher has office buildings in the High Street and its continuation, Portsmouth Road, which has a cluster of entertainment and dining venues. Esher has a local (roughly county-level) farmers market held on one Saturday every month, moving forward one week each month. Vendors sell locally sourced produce and two riverside farms on the edge of town, one with large shop and grow-your-own are open to the public. A light smattering of small businesses, particularly in construction and landscaping pervades the town. A large hospice in Esher serves North Surrey, with field staff providing relief to cancer patients. Otherwise the town's residents do business or create products from home or elsewhere, such as in the M4 corridor and the City of London.

Culture, Community and Sport


The Everyman (formerly Odeon) cinema is a central feature of Esher's High Street with four screens.


  • Esher Rugby Club play on the Hersham borders (at the Molesey Road stadium) and have several training grounds there.
  • Esher Cricket Club play 1st and 2nd team matches in the Esher Park private estate, in New Road, have a youth cricket training and playing squad and have seven corporate sponsors.
  • AFC Westend Football Club
  • West End (Esher) Cricket Club (Est. 1875)
  • Esher Lawn Tennis Club have 5 hard courts and 5 grass courts (Est. 1898)
  • Horse Racing at Sandown Park
  • Esher was on the route for the Cycling Road Race and Time Trial for the London 2012 Olympics

Amenities, local events and media

King Georges Hall is multi-functional conferencing technology-equipped venue available for corporate or group hire, a non-for-profit community facility.[16]

Moore Place, on the outskirts of Esher, bar and restaurant Esteem, featured as the restaurant in the 4th episode of the first series of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.[17]

Esher West End hosts an annual flower show and the Hampton Court Flower Show is nearby. Similarly, Surrey Wildlife Trust manage Wisley and Ockham Commons, partly within the borough of Elmbridge and Esher is approximately midway between the two leading Surrey and International Gardens, the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew and RHS Garden, Wisley.

A weekly newspaper, Esher News and Mail, closed down in 2009. Current newspapers include the Surrey Herald: Cobham, Esher and Claygate edition and Living Within monthly magazine/newspaper.

Elevations range from 10m to 47m above sea level. Vantage points Esher's promontories include various outcrops of Esher Commons close to Hersham, Cobham and Oxshott for free public use, Esher Place (national training centre of Unite, the union) where a grass garden amphitheatre was built by Lutyens for what was the manor house, the facilities at Sandown Park racecourse and Claremont Landscape Garden.


2011 Census Homes
Output areaDetachedSemi-detachedTerracedFlats and apartmentsCaravans/temporary/mobile homesShared between households[1]

The average level of accommodation in the region composed of detached houses was 28%, the average that was apartments was 22.6%.

Output areaPopulationHouseholds% Owned outright% Owned with a loanhectares[1]

The proportion of households in the settlement who owned their home outright compares to the regional average of 35.1%. The proportion who owned their home with a loan compares to the regional average of 32.5%. The remaining % is made up of rented dwellings (plus a negligible % of households living rent-free).

Notable residents

In film, fiction and the media

The housing in Esher supports a view of its being presented in some parts of the media as a particularly middle class part of suburbia. Very few places with town status in England have an absolute majority of detached houses. Monty Python referred to Esher at least three times.

The sitcom On the Up starring Dennis Waterman was set in Esher.

Channel 4's Time Team episode 146 called "The First Tudor Palace?" based on a tudor tower and palace built by William Waynflete.

See also

Notes and references

  1. Esher post town is about twice the size of its electoral ward and historic parish as it takes in Claygate and two former parts of Thames Ditton: Hinchley Wood and parts of Weston Green.
  2. Claremont was originally Esher Episcopi Manor, bought by Sir John Vanbrugh, who built a smaller house for himself, and began to ornament the grounds (Guest's poem 'Claremont' attributes the first improvements to Vanbrugh). The Earl of Clare (created Duke of Newcastle in 1715) bought the property in 1714 on coming of age and called the property after his own title 'Clare Mont.' On his death in 1768 the whole was bought by Lord Clive, who employed Capability Brown to build the present mansion (now Claremont School)
  1. Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 21 November 2013
  3. Samuel Lewis, ed. (1848). "Erith - Essex". A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  4. H.E. Malden, ed. (1911). "Parishes: Esher". A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  5. Surrey Domesday Book Archived 30 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. The Annual Register for the Year 1908, p. 146, reads: November. ... On the 2nd, aged 67, Sir Robert Hawthorn Collins, K.C.B., K.C.V.O., tutor of the Duke of Albany (H.R.H. Prince Leopold) and afterwards Comptroller of his household. The Times, 3 November 1908 p. 11 Obituary reads: Sir Robert Hawthorn Collins, K.C.B., K.C.V.O. died shortly after 1 o'clock yesterday morning at Claremont Palace, Esher...had acted as comptroller of the household of the Duchess of Albany
  7. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1908. Sir Robert Hawthorn Collins of Broom Hill Esher Surrey K.C.B. K.C.V.O. died 2 November 1908 at Claremont Esher aforesaid Probate London 30 December to Henry John Collins solicitor and Edward Arthur Wightwick stockbroker. Effects £40153 11s. 6d
  8. "Members of Parliament for Elmbridge". Elmbridge Borough Council. Archived from the original on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  9. Oliver Florence (23 April 2010). "Ian Taylor looks back on 23 years as an MP". Get Surrey. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  10. Web Operations Team (25 August 2009). "Cooper, Nigel". Surrey County Council. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  11. "The Borough of Elmbridge – Councillors". Archived from the original on 23 December 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  12. Election Results by Year Archived 28 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  13. Hannah Blackburn (7 March 2012). "Surrey County Council - Schools by Location". Surrey County Council. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  14. Ian Fuoco (2 March 2012). "School status changes in academic year 11-12". Surrey County Council. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  15. "Hinchley Wood School and Sixth Form Centre". BBC News. 19 October 2005. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  16. King George's Hall - Elmbridge Borough Council Archived 5 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  17. Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares: Moore Place -
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