|All Saints Parish Churchyard, Kingston||Kingston|
There was a large parish church in Kingston by the C12th, an earlier church having been rebuilt by Gilbert, Sheriff of Surrey, who gave it to Merton Priory. The foundations of a small chapel of earlier date, which was possibly the site of coronations, were excavated in 1926 and are visible in the churchyard, with a plaque marking the site. The churchyard to the north of the church has been cleared of gravestones, except for some table tombs and a sarcophagus, and some headstones have been placed on the boundary facing the east end of the church and on the south side. The ornamental gates were donated as a war memorial. Trees in the churchyard include mature limes, a yew and a number of chestnuts.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/03/2004
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The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
Kingston's early importance arose from its ancient river crossing, a bridge having been in existence here since 1193. The early name of the settlement was Moreford (the Great Ford), then becoming Cyningestum meaning the King's Estate, and later Kingston, so-called for once being the residence of Surrey under-kings, as well as of King John. Kingston was also the place where 7 West Saxon kings were reputedly crowned, although the number of coronations that took place is disputed. Kingston was granted a town charter in 1200. Among its former industries were brewing, malting, tanning, milling, boat-building, river barge traffic and fishing, and the borough crest still features 3 salmon. The old town centre was around the Market Place and Nikolaus Pevsner described it as 'the best preserved medieval street plan in outer London' (Buildings of England, London 2: South). Until 1863 Kingston was bypassed by the railway, because the town officials had refused to accept the line in the 1840s, as a result of which the railway ran to Surbiton before Kingston.
The parish church of All Saints still stands in a prominent position in the centre of Kingston, the body of the present church dating from the C14th and C15th. It was restored in 1862-6 by R Brandon and then in 1883 by J L Pearson, its C18th tower restored in 1973. The church has fine monuments dating from the C15th onwards. Among those buried here was William Cleave (d.1667), the benefactor of Cleave's Almshouses (q.v.), which still stand in Old London Road, among the oldest buildings in Kingston. At one time the famous Coronation Stone was in the churchyard, later moved to Market Place and then in 1935 to its present site by the Guildhall and Clattern Bridge. The original main entrance gates to the church lie on the south side and have been restored; a path leads from this to the market place. In 1826 an overflow burial ground was opened nearby, now Memorial Gardens (q.v.) and until Kingston Cemetery (q.v.) was opened in 1855 these two burial grounds served Kingston.
Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South (Penguin) 1999; Shaan Butters, 'The Book of Kingston', Baron, 1995; Tim Everson 'Kingston, Surbiton and Malden', Phillimore, 2000 ed; Sue Swales, Ian Yarham, Bob Britton, 'Nature Conservation in Kingston upon Thames', Ecology Handbook 18 (London Ecology Unit) 1992; Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); History on church website