The Thames at Hampton
St Mary's Church by Pier, Ferry, Garrick's Shakespeare Temple, Garrick House and public riverside
Hampton is located in Greater London
Location within Greater London
Area8.83 km2 (3.41 sq mi)
Population19,372 (2011 census)[1]
• Density2,194/km2 (5,680/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTQ135705
London borough
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townHAMPTON
Postcode districtTW12
Dialling code020
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
51°25′19″N 0°22′01″W / 51.422°N 0.367°W / 51.422; -0.367

Hampton is a suburban area on the north bank of the River Thames, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, England, and historically in the County of Middlesex.[n 1][clarification needed] which includes Hampton Court Palace. Hampton is served by three railway stations, including one immediately south of Hampton Court Bridge in East Molesey.

Hampton adjoins Bushy Park on two sides and is west of Hampton Wick and Kingston upon Thames. There are long strips of public riverside in Hampton and the Hampton Heated Open Air Pool is one of the few such swimming pools in Greater London. The riverside, on the reach above Molesey Lock, has residential islands, a park named St Albans Riverside and grand or decorative buildings including Garrick's House and the Temple to Shakespeare; also on the river is the Astoria Houseboat recording studio. Hampton Ferry provides access across the Thames to the main park of Molesey and the Thames Path National Trail. The Thames Water Hampton Water Treatment Works covers a large expanse of the town in the south west along the river Thames. The site is one of the largest capacity water treatment facilities in Europe producing one-third of London's daily drinking water supply (approximately 650Ml/d).

The most common type of housing in the north of the district is terraced homes; in the south is it semi-detached. At the western edge of London, many workers commute to adjacent counties, or to Central London; education, health and social work, retail, transport and catering businesses are also significant local employers.


The Anglo-Saxon parish of Hampton converted to secular use in the 19th century included present-day Hampton, Hampton Hill, Hampton Wick and hamlet of Hampton Court surrounding Hampton Court Palace which together are called The Hamptons. The combined population of the Hamptons was 37,131 at the 2001 census.[2] The name Hampton may come from the Anglo-Saxon words hamm meaning an enclosure in the bend of a river and ton meaning farmstead or settlement.

The ten years to 1911 saw the highest percentage of population increase, the figures for 1851, 1871 and every 10 years to 1911 being: 3,134; 3,915; 4,776; 5,822, 6,813 and 9,220 respectively. A further 25% rise took place in the 1920s.[3] In his national gazetteer written between 1870 and 1872, John Marius Wilson described Hampton Wick as being technically a hamlet; the real property of which was worth almost as much as the main settlement. He furthered that the total area was 3,190 acres (12.9 km2) and the exact respective figures were £14,445 excluding Hampton Wick, of which £300 was in gas works; inclusive of Hampton-Wick: £25,037, equivalent to £2,480,136 in 2021.[4] Both halves had developed Urban Sanitary Districts recorded in the 1891 census Hampton and Hampton Wick were Urban Districts from 1894 to 1937, preceding the creation of the Borough of Twickenham, which Hampton joined.[5]

At the edge of London, from time immemorial (before the Norman Conquest) until 1965 Hampton was in Middlesex, a former postal county also and this designation is still common in this part of the former county among residents and businesses.[6]

Tagg's Island and much of Hampton's riverside by association became known as Thames Riviera from the 1920s: the island was leased to Fred Karno, an entertainment impresario, who opened an elevated, three-storey rambling mansard roof hotel, the Karsino in 1913, which was demolished in 1971. World War I impacted the business, which rebranded as The Thames Riviera, rivalling the hotel in Maidenhead for the name, followed by The Palm Beach and The Casino. The Riviera aspect is sometimes described in literature by the Council however is controversial among dissenters to the land use, almost wholly private housing, where Hampton's riverside is not open parkland – it is no longer endorsed by London's bus operator with a stop of that name, in the 2010s named after instead a long public meadow known as St Albans Riverside.[7][8][9]

General Roy

The Hampton end of the baseline

A cannon in Roy Grove marks the Hampton end of the baseline measured in 1784 by General William Roy in preparation of the Anglo-French Survey (1784–1790) to measure the relative situation of Greenwich Observatory and Paris Observatory.[10] This high precision survey was the forerunner of the Principal Triangulation of Great Britain which commenced in 1791, one year after Roy's death. In the report of the operation Roy gives the locations of the ends of the baseline as Hampton Poor-house and King's Arbour.[11] The latter lies with the confines of Heathrow Airport. The exact end points of the baseline were originally made by two vertical pipes which carried flag-poles but in 1791, when the base was remeasured, the ends were marked by two cannons sunk into the ground. It is certain that the cannons have been disturbed and slightly moved over the intervening years


Main article: List of schools in Richmond upon Thames


The Christian churches in Hampton and Hampton Hill work together as Churches Together around Hampton.[13] The church buildings are a significant presence in the area many of them being architecturally stand-alone listed buildings in otherwise often quite homogeneous 20th century housing estates. The ministers and members provide a range of services for the community.

S Mary's Parish Church Hampton From the River
S Mary's Parish Church, Hampton

The affiliated churches are:

Amenities and entertainment

A three-storey brown brick building with a cupola, and a single storey extension on the left, the foreground is a green lawn
The Library

Garrick's Temple hosts a free Sunday afternoon Shakespeare exhibition (14.00–17.00) from early April to 30 October and a series of summer drama, music and exhibitions.[14]

Hampton Youth Project has been an economically and recreationally resourceful youth centre since 1990. Built in a converted coach depot on the Nurserylands Estate it offers a wide programme of activities for those aged 11–19. Parks include borough-sponsored football pitches and tennis courts in the north and west of the district and children's playgrounds there and in Bushy Park and Hampton Village Green in the east and south.

Hampton railway station is on the Shepperton branch line and is served by South Western Railway services from London Waterloo to Shepperton.

The library is in a Georgian building on Thames Street with a double blue plaque to two former residents, the singer John Beard and William Ewart MP, the Politician behind the Public Libraries Act 1850.


Thames Water's fresh water operations provide a source of local employment. A group of 17 offices and storage premises including warehouse units, which were built in 2008, are in the south-west of the town.[15]

Hampton Water Treatment Works (WTW)

Hampton WTW Victorian buildings on the A308

The large operational Water Treatment Works, owned by Thames Water, is between the Upper Sunbury Road (A308) and the River Thames. The works occupy an area of 66 ha and supplies about 30 per cent of London's mains water. It was built in the 1850s after the 1852 Metropolis Water Act[16] made it illegal to take drinking water from the tidal Thames below Teddington Lock because of the amount of sewage in the tidal river. The works were designed by Joseph Quick and initially comprised sand filter beds to remove suspended solids from the river water and three pump houses[17] on Upper Sunbury Road for three water companies — the Grand Junction Waterworks Company, the Southwark and Vauxhall Waterworks Company, and the West Middlesex Waterworks Company. The companies built additional filtration, water storage and steam driven pumping plant until 1902 when they were amalgamated into the Metropolitan Water Board. The Board continued to develop new facilities at Hampton. The site includes Victorian buildings, filter beds and some larger water storage beds.  

The growth of the works is illustrated by the number of reservoirs and filter beds in use, as summarised in the table.[17][18][19][20]

Growth of Hampton WTW
Date No. of Reservoirs No. of Filter beds
1867/8 4
1894 3 + 1 covered 16
1912 5 24
1938 5 28

Four of the reservoirs are named: Stain Hill West Reservoir, Stain Hill East Reservoir (combined area 15.39 ha), Sunnyside Reservoir (2.74 ha), and the Grand Junction Reservoir (3.84 ha).[19]

By 1934 the works included a site on the north side of Upper Sunbury Road including four filter beds.[21]

In addition to water abstracted locally from the Thames the works also receives water from other sources. Water is supplied via the Staines Reservoirs Aqueduct (built 1902) from the King George VI Reservoir (1947) and Staines Reservoirs (1902) which receive their water from the River Thames at Hythe End, just above Bell Weir Lock. The aqueduct passes, and transports water from, the Queen Mary Reservoir (1924) and the Water Treatment Works at Kempton Park, which used to be connected to Hampton via the Metropolitan Water Board Railway. Water was also supplied from the Knight and Bessborough Reservoirs (1907) and the Queen Elizabeth II Reservoir (1962) on the opposite (south) side of the Thames. The Hampton works is also the starting point of the Thames-Lea tunnel (1960) which transfers water to the reservoirs in the Lea Valley.

Thames Water completed a five-year modernisation in 1993 and has installed advanced water treatment facilities at the plant to filter out pesticides.


The site well demonstrates the successful accommodation of nature conservation with operational considerations. The Water Treatment Works is next to the Sunnyside Reservoir and the Stain Hill Reservoirs – sites of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation and contains flower-rich grassland and habitats for water birds. The extensive areas of open water, especially the Grand Junction Reservoir in the north-west of the site, are used by large numbers of birds, particularly in winter. Most of the site is still in operational use so marginal vegetation, where it occurs, is generally sparse. However, the grasslands surrounding the filter beds and buildings are among the most herb-rich grasslands in the Borough and contain several scarce London species often associated with chalk grassland.[22]

Notable inhabitants

Main article: List of people from Richmond upon Thames

A Blue plaque on a white wall with the words "Alan Turing 1912–1954 CODE BREAKER lived here from 1945 – 1947
Blue plaque to Alan Turing at 78 High Street, Hampton
A Blue plaque on a brick wall with the words "John Beard C1717 – 1791 Singer and William Ewart 1798 – 1861 Promoter of Public Libraries
Plaque on Hampton Library to John Beard and William Ewart

Living people

Historical figures

Queen Mary II's Bedchamber at Hampton Court Palace, also known as Queen Caroline's State Bedchamber
The Old Court House, Hampton Court Green, home of Sir Christopher Wren

Sport and leisure

Hampton Sailing Club with boat landing stages occupies all of Benn's Island above Molesey Lock
Team sports

Hampton has a Non-League football club Hampton & Richmond Borough F.C. who play at step 2 of Non-League football in the National League South at the Beveree Stadium by Station Road, one of the parallel high streets by Hampton railway station.

Rugby Union is well catered for within four miles: Twickenham RFC play in the west of Hampton. Staines RFC and Feltham RFC play at their own Hanworth grounds; London Irish RFC juniors play at Sunbury, London Harlequins RFC play at Twickenham.

Leisure facilities

The borough supports Hampton Heated Open Air Pool and Gym by Bushy Park and the old High Street, 200m south of the border of Hampton Hill. Private gyms are by Bushy Park and Twickenham Golf Course. A local community association provide social and leisure activities including short mat bowls.


Molesey Boat Club is across the river in Molesey, 500m west of Hampton Court Bridge.

Hampton SC has a clubhouse and boatyard occupying all of Benn's Island. Aquarius SC is by Hampton Court Palace stable yard.

These have rival rowing and sailing clubs on neighbouring reaches of the Thames, and in respect of sailing, on the Queen Mary Reservoir.

In films, other fiction and the media

The 1857 novel The Three Clerks by Anthony Trollope is set in Hampton, which was then a village on the western outskirts of London: "There are still, however, some nooks within reach of the metropolis which have not been be-villaged and be-terraced out of all look of rural charm, and the little village of Hampton, with its old-fashioned country inn, and its bright, quiet, grassy river, is one of them..." The area is also featured briefly in two Charles Dickens novels. In Oliver Twist, Oliver and Bill Sikes stop in a public house in Hampton on their way to the planned burglary in Chertsey. In Nicholas Nickleby, Sir Mulberry Hawk and Lord Frederick visit the 'Hampton Races', which refers to a racecourse at 'Moulsey Hurst'. It is also briefly mentioned in The War of the Worlds. The Bell public house in Hampton is mentioned in T S Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. Hampton is also mentioned in humorist Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat. In 24: Live Another Day terrorist Margot Al-Harazi's first hideout is stated to be in Hampton.

A murder at the outset of 2001 took place in a spate across a wide suburban area at the hands of Levi Bellfield since which there has been relatively few unprovoked attacks of such a scale in this district.

Demography and housing

2011 Census homes
Ward Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes/houseboats Shared between households[1]
Hampton 750 1,247 983 1,125 66 3
Hampton North 653 1,056 1,276 1,053 9 39
Fulwell and Hampton Hill
(mostly in district)
423 1,062 1,349 1,390 2 26
2011 Census households
Ward Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan hectares[1]
Hampton 9,985 4,086 32 36 688
Hampton North 9,387 4,455 30 33 195
Fulwell and Hampton Hill
(not included in summary)
10,131 4,450 30 42 192

2011 Census ethnicities

In all three wards, White British is the largest ethnic group, ranging between 73.1 per cent in Hampton North to 79.6 per cent in Hampton. The second largest ethnicity in all three wards is Other White, between 7 and 8 per cent. The third largest ethnicity is Indian in Hampton; Other Asian in Hampton North; and White Irish in Fulwell and Hampton.[44][45][46]



In keeping with its lack of high rise buildings, the district has no dual carriageways, its main routes the A308 and A312, have in their busiest sections an additional filter or bus lane.

Bus routes that serve Hampton are the 111, 216, R68 and R70. The 411 and 285 serve Hampton Court and Hampton Hill respectively.[47]


Hampton railway station is towards the south-west and by the main parades of shops on either side of the line; just north of Hampton Hill is Fulwell railway station; both are on the Shepperton Branch Line. Just south of Hampton Court neighbourhood, clustered about the Tudor, Stuart and Georgian Palace and Gardens is Hampton Court railway station on the Hampton Court branch line. Hampton Wick railway station is on the Kingston loop line. The London terminus for both lines is London Waterloo.

Nearest places

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ The latter has the most fluctuating boundaries in the borough which are arbitrary and that accordingly has been conjoined in the wards system with Fulwell, London.
  1. ^ a b c Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density Archived 11 February 2003 at the Wayback Machine United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Note: the towns and villages in this borough relatively neatly overlap with a number of wards. Hampton was split in 2001 into a neat three or four ward fit is listed, depending on whether Hampton Hill is included within its definition; the two places have their own amenities but much of these remain 'shared' to a greater or lesser extent. Hampton Wick is a buffered parish incorporated in the 19th century with its own railway station so is treated separately. Retrieved 21 November 2013
  2. ^ Office for National Statistics 2001 census Archived 11 February 2003 at the Wayback Machine Hampton, Hampton Hill, Hampton North (a separate ward of Hampton Hill parish generally considered within Hampton not Hampton Hill) and Hampton Wick. Retrieved 2012-4-11
  3. ^ Population in the 19th and early 20th centuries Vision of Britain University of Portsmouth and others. Retrieved 2013-12-19
  4. ^ Hampton Vision of Britain University of Portsmouth and others. Retrieved 2013-12-19
  5. ^ Hampton UD Vision of Britain University of Portsmouth and others. Retrieved 2013-12-19
  6. ^ Pub listings in "Hampton, Middlesex" Dental listings in "Hampton, Middlesex" Archived 5 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine Places to Rent in "Hampton, Middlesex" Archived 22 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine Towns guide placing Hampton in Middlesex Archived 24 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ (Bus) stop info. Transport for London. Retrieved 26 December 2013
  8. ^ The Islands Our Hampton. Retrieved 2013-12-26
  9. ^ Greater London stops Livebus.org Retrieved 26 December 2013
  10. ^ "A Cannon at Hampton". The Twickenham Museum.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ Roy, William (1785). "An Account of the Measurement of a Base on Hounslow-Heath". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. 75: 385–480. doi:10.1098/rstl.1785.0024. S2CID 186208328.
  12. ^ Top 100 independent senior schools in the UK for 2017
  13. ^ "Churches Together around Hampton". Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  14. ^ "Garrick's Temple". Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  15. ^ Kempton Gate Retrieved 26 December 2013
  16. ^ An Act to make better Provision respecting the Supply of Water to the Metropolis, (15 & 16 Vict. C.84)
  17. ^ a b Ordnance Survey, Six-inch map, Surrey VI surveyed 1867/8, published 1871.
  18. ^ Ordnance Survey , 25-inch map, Surrey VI.14 surveyed 1894, published 1897.
  19. ^ a b Ordnance Survey , 25-inch map, Middlesex XXV.6 & 10 surveyed 1912, published 1915.
  20. ^ Ordnance Survey , Six-inch map, Middlesex XXV. NW surveyed 1938, published 1946.
  21. ^ Ordnance Survey , 25-inch map, Middlesex XXV.7 surveyed 1934, published 1936.
  22. ^ Mayor of London London Wildweb[dead link]
  23. ^ Porter, Charlie (31 December 2014). "The Rise of Evgeny Lebedev". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  24. ^ Sally Williams (22 March 2008). "Son of Rambow: ready for action". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  25. ^ "May, Dr Brian Harold, (born 19 July 1947), guitarist, songwriter and producer; Owner, London Stereoscopic Company, since 2008". Who's Who & Who Was Who. 2008. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U247368. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4.
  26. ^ John Summerson (1969). Great Palaces. London: Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd. pp. 12–23. ISBN 0-600-01682-X.
  27. ^ a b c d "Blue Plaques in Richmond upon Thames". Visit Richmond. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Archived from the original on 14 January 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  28. ^ "Richard Doddridge Blackmore (1825–1900)". Local History Notes. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  29. ^ 'John Blow', Twickenham Museum
  30. ^ "Brown, Lancelot 'Capability' (1716–1783)". English Heritage. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h "Royal Richmond timeline". Local history timelines. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  32. ^ Robin McKie (7 July 2002). "Topic of cancer". The Observer. London. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  33. ^ "Sir Francis Farmer". The Times (London). 27 December 1922. p. 13 – via The Times Digital Archive.
  34. ^ Simon Thurley (2003). Hampton Court: A Social and Architectural History. Yale University Press. p. 255. ISBN 978-0300102239.
  35. ^ "Harry Hampton". Victoria Cross holders buried in the borough. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. 3 August 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  36. ^ "Norman Cyril Jackson". Victoria Cross holders buried in the borough. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. 3 August 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  37. ^ "Captain W. E. Johns". The Twickenham Museum. Retrieved 7 November 2022.
  38. ^ Thomas Byerly; Reuben Percy; John Timbs (1832). "Chapel of St John the Baptist at Hampton Wick". The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. John Limbird. 19: 376.
  39. ^ Johnston, Howard (June 2018). "617 publications so far...". The Railway Magazine. Horncastle: Mortons Media Ltd. ISSN 0033-8923.
  40. ^ "John Templeton 1802–1886 Opera singer lived here". Open Plaques. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  41. ^ "Alan Turing: The father of modern computer science". Twickenham Museum. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  42. ^ John Summerson (1969). Great Palaces. London: Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd. pp. 12–13. ISBN 0-600-01682-X.
  43. ^ Van der Kiste, John (2004). Once a Grand Duchess: Xenia, Sister of Nicolas II. History Press. ISBN 9780752499291.
  44. ^ "Fulwell and Hampton Hill - UK Census Data 2011".
  45. ^ "Hampton - UK Census Data 2011".
  46. ^ "Hampton North - UK Census Data 2011".
  47. ^ "Main London Bus Routes". London Bus Routes. Retrieved 26 December 2013.