Vale Crescent, SW15

Place Name

A reference to Kingston Vale, which was first marked on the Ordnance Survey map of 1876,  but was also known as Kingston Bottom, it being a reference to the valley through which Beverley Brook runs through. This area was once the haunt of highway men. The name Kingston comes from its royal connections for more than a millennia. It first featured in an Anglo-Saxon charter of AD838 at the time of Egbert, King of Wessex, as Cyninges tun from the Old English words caning and tūn literally the king’s manor or estate. Certainly, it was an important enough holding that between AD899 and AD982 all kings were crowned here – starting with Alfred the Great’s son Edward the Elder and continuing until Ethelred II. Nothing had changed following the Norman Conquest and by the time of the Domesday Book of 1086 it was being called Chingestune; by 1164 it was Kingeston. Despite these long-standing connections, it didn’t have a Royal Charter until King John granted one in 1200, making it the oldest Royal Borough. By 1321 it had become Kyneston super Tamisiam and in 1589 Kingestowne upon Thames. In 1927, King George V confirmed Kingston’s status as a Royal Borough and in 1965, Elizabeth ll granted another Royal Charter which entitles Kingston to continue to use the title Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. David Mills in a Dictionary of London Place Names writes: “The affix (upon Thames)distinguishes it from other place sacked Kingston, of which there are examples in several English counties.”


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