The origins of Staines are ancient with evidence of pre-Roman occupation in the area.

The Roman settlement was referred to as Ad Pontes, a name which probably indicates bridges across the Rivers Thames and Colne. Continuing archaeological excavation is revealing many finds of this period. The first recorded mention of Staines is in a Saxon Charter of 969. In the Domesday Survey of 1086 it is recorded as belonging to the Abbot of St. Peter’s, Westminster. During the Middle Ages three Annual Fairs were held in the town.

The London Stone, a site of county importance, marked the western extent of the City of London jurisdiction over the Thames. The town was always important in association with river traffic and as a crossing point over the river. There are 13th century references to grants of timber for bridge repairs.

A print from 1792 showing the wooden Staines Bridge,  shortly before it was dismantled. Surrey History Centre ref. PX/133/11

A print from 1792 showing the wooden Staines Bridge,
shortly before it was dismantled
Surrey History Centre ref. PX/133/11

The present Staines Bridge, designed by Sir John and George Rennie, was opened in 1832 by King William IV and Queen Adelaide. Clarence Street was constructed at the same time and the land had to be raised several feet. It is a good example of market town development of this period from which many buildings remain.

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