Situated on the Surrey side of the River Thames and opposite Hampton Court Park where the river takes a wide loop to the south. It forms a tightly knit settlement with a complex, local road pattern, which makes it more roadside than riverside.

The Swan Hotel, Thames Ditton, 1928 Photographic Record and Survey of Surrey no. 9203

The Swan Hotel, Thames Ditton, 1928
Photographic Record and Survey of Surrey no. 9203

Thames Ditton has an interesting industrial history. In 1874, a bronze foundry was built in Summer Road by Cox and Company, celebrated Victorian ecclesiastical craftsmen and furnishers, specifically for the casting of statues. A series of important commissions were undertaken and included Cromwell (outside the House of Commons), Dr. Livingstone (Glasgow) and Captain Cook (Sydney, Australia). Production ceased in 1939 and the craftsmen were dispersed into war work.

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10 Responses to Thames Ditton

  1. Keith Evetts says:

    Much information about Thames Ditton and recent back numbers of the quarterly magazine \’Thames Ditton Today\’ may be found at and you may well want to add a link to that site from this site.

    • Debbie Crowther Bauer says:

      I may be mistaken but I believe Keith is the person I spoke to over the phone last week, Feb. 4. I was visiting Thames Ditton and trying to find information on my ancesters. William Crowther and Dr. John Dawson are my great, great grandparents. I found much information at the library. I was particularly interested in finding where the Crowthers lived in the 1800’s, a home they all referred to as The Chestnuts. In Mercer’s book C it said that Fred Crowther, who was one of William Crowther’s sons lived at The Chestnuts and that it was on Angel Road near the Hollies, Laurel Lodge #9 and the Red House and that those were the only houses on Angel Road at the time. I walked over and it looks like all the houses are still there except The Chestnuts. I would like to find out what happened to it. It was described to me by my grandfather, Charles Dawson Crowther, as having a stable on one side and tennis court on the other and about an acre of land behind it with fruit trees, in the front were 4 or 5 chestnut trees. It may be the the houses 7a, 7b, 9a and 9b were built on the property. Any information would be appreciated.

      • Richard Pancoast says:

        Hi Debbie- Wm Crowther and Dr. John Dawson were my great-great grandfathers also. My great-grandmother Marian Crowther was the sister of Charles, Dudley and Wilfred Crowther. She married Samuel Pancoast in New Jersey, and Samuel Jr. was my grandfather and my father was Charles Pancoast, no doubt named for Charles Crowther. I have a letter from Dudley to Wilfred’s son Howard which I transcribed and would love for you to have a copy.

      • Mark Hamilton says:

        Hi Debbie, I visited Church of St. Nicholas yesterday with my wife and father in law, Lyn ( nee Crowther and James Henry Crowther) We came from South Australia and photographed the headstone of William and Eleanor Crowther. Have you got a photo or would you like one sent?
        Regards, Mark Hamilton South Australia

  2. Bill Langley says:

    Does anyone remember the Solatron company? It was housed in what at one time had been a form of night club, right on the bank of the river with broad stone steps leading into the water. Whilst I worked there, in the prototype shop around 1955, Stone urns and a tall flagpole stood in the remains of the garden. On good days the staff would spend the lunch break in the garden feeding the seagulls and the competing crows. At home In Surbiton we had to call on our local plumber to fix a leak in the old lead piping. Mister Pero was a well built man whose hobby was single sculls and he had the arms to prove it. Chatting over a cup coffee he asked me where I worked, on telling him he asked if the flagpole was still there, he smiled when he found it was. He then told me about the night club, when the young starlets would arrive by boat and be entertained, may be on a casting couch. Mister Pero played the trumpet and played in the band at the club and more than once had shinned up the flagpole clutching his trumpet during the odd police raid. He said he would sit on the truck, and watch the police search around the grounds, wait until they had gone then slide down and go home . He was so pleased that it was still there. Do you remember those days? .

    • Lynn Antill (nee Hedges) says:

      I lived in Alexandra Road in the 1950’s & 60’s and the Solatron Factory was at the bottom of Queens Rd & Alexandra Rd. I remember all the Children who lived in those roads ( me included ) were treated to a Christmas Party & gift and I think an outing sometimes.
      I remember going down in the Summer evenings talking to the Security men and they used to let us ride our bikes round the car park. Sometimes when he wasnt looking we would climb over the wall by the river and camp out on an old boat moored there called Katrina. Funnily enough when I married and moved to Farnborough in 1971 I was rather bemused to find Solatrons had re-located there too but were by then known as Schlumberger.

  3. g l says:

    does anyone happen to know of a wildlife project based on ditton island or other ait in elmbridge in the 60s and 70s. this was mainly for medium-sized cats and large owls. it seems to have been sited at the upstream end near a neglected orchard. quite well-known at the time, the cats featured in photo shoots for rock stars and one of the owls went on to ‘act’ in a cult sci-fi series. [note this sounds like something on eel pie but t.d. isle is the best guess here]

  4. Mike Ormian says:

    My grandmother lived at Alexandra Terrace, Thames Ditton between 1934 and 1937, when she moved to 55 Alexandra Road.
    On Goggle Earth I can find pictures of Alexandra Road, but not Alexandra Terrace – do you know where it was and what happened to it?
    My father was a partner in the Highfield Press, a print works in Alexandra Road and I started my working life in a company called Surrey Travel Service on Winters Bridge about 1959.
    Before working at the Highfield Press I think he worked at Rola Celestion (?) as a french polisher. As I am writing about my family history I would love to know if there are any photos etc., that I could include?
    As a young boy in the 1950s I would walk from the trolleybus terminus down to Alexandra Road to see my father at work. I was always fascinated by the foundry which was almost opposite the riverside pub (name unknown)
    Many thanks

  5. David Green says:

    The pub by the Rola Celestion works was The Swan. The pub was owned by Earnie and Dorrie Cartright, this was in the 50’s and 60’s. They had a very fine restaurant quite unusual for a pub in those days. There was a public bar on the right hand side looking from the river terrace and car park. On the left side was the car entrance and the saloon bar. If you were privileged to be invited to the signet bar that would have been above the saloon and only operated on Sunday. Charles and John Cooper (Cooper racing) were frequent customers together with Sir Fred Pontin of holiday fame. Once a month Dorrie and Earnie would invite the lads round to their home Church Cottage in Church Lane. There you would be given Walkers Black Label and Earnie would tell you about the days racing at Sandown Park and Hurst Park.
    I think it was 1969 or 70 on Earnies death that Dorrie sold the pub to Grand Metropolitan Hotel group for 75,000 pounds freehold. Wonderful days. Mention also The Angel (Frank and Eileen Beezley) and all the other Ditton pubs.

  6. Nicholas Simpson says:

    I am researching the history of my 1932 Alvis car. It’s first owner was Mr William Leslie Herbert of Drucemoor, Weston Green Road, Thames Ditton. I have written to that address but received no response. Does the property/address still exist? Was Mr Herbert well known? I was hoping to trace the address and copy a picture of the property from Google Earth, but I cannot identify it from the address I have.
    Anyone help?

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