Situated on the south bank of the River Thames across the river from Hampton Court Palace, its historic centre, around St. Mary’s Church, relates more to the River Mole than to the later bridge across the Thames. The modern settlement is in between.
The northern part of the settlement comprises the more formal layout of the mid and late Victorian period, with tree-lined streets, detached houses and mature gardens, along with the earlier buildings in Bridge Road.
Between 1847 and 1850, Francis Jackson Kent and his son bought a large area of land, laid out roads and started building houses. They were active in what are now Palace, Wolsey, Arnison and Church Roads. St. Paul’s Church was built in the mid 1850s at Kent’s own expense. A high proportion of the Victorian buildings remain as a good example of Victorian domestic architecture and planning, producing a residential environment of a high value.
The older buildings are found in Bell Road, which led to the crossing point of the River Mole, with St. Mary’s Church and the Bell Inn as focal points of this tightly developed part. The horseshoe-shaped Matham Road was built towards the end of the 19th century and is of more open character. The southern side of Walton Road includes several older properties of interest and provides a clear boundary to the area.
Did You Know?
At Hurst Park, on the banks of the Thames at Molesey, excavations show that the area was continuously used from the Neolithic (4000 – 2200 BC) to the Saxon (410 – 1066 AD) period. Key features included a Late Bronze Age (1000 – 700 BC) settlement and six Early Saxon buildings.