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Subject: Staines-upon-Thames, Ashford, Surrey, Shepperton, Matthew Arnold, Spelthorne
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West front of All Saints' parish church

Laleham Abbey
Laleham is located in Surrey
 Laleham shown within Surrey
Area  5.33 km2 (2.06 sq mi)
Population 4,782 (2011 Census) (area notionally includes Queen Mary Reservoir)[1]
   – density  897/km2 (2,320/sq mi)
OS grid reference
   – London  18.5 miles (29.8 km) 
District Spelthorne
Shire county Surrey
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district TW18
Dialling code 01784
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Spelthorne
List of places

Laleham is a village beside the River Thames, immediately downriver from Staines-upon-Thames in the Spelthorne borough of Surrey. Until 1965 the village was in Middlesex. One village sign and the residents' association call the village Laleham on Thames.

In its south is Laleham Park by the River Thames. Across green belt farmland to its north and south east are Ashford and Shepperton, to its east are woods then Queen Mary Reservoir. Penton Hook Lock is on the border with Staines and Laleham Burway is directly across the river. Centred 1 mile (1.6 km) south along the towpath or the humped river road is Chertsey Bridge, just within the boundaries of Shepperton, marking the easternmost point of the town of Chertsey. The north of the area has a number of sports fields, including the Staines and Laleham Sports Ground, and two family pubs, on the Laleham and Ashford Roads respectively.

Laleham is just over 3 miles (5 km) from three motorway junctions. The nearest railway station is Staines, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north, on the Waterloo to Reading Line, which has branch lines to Windsor & Eton Riverside and Weybridge. Two Surrey County Council bus routes run by Abellio serve the village.

The poet Matthew Arnold (1822–88) lived here, dividing his time between Laleham and Rugby School.


  • History 1
  • Amenities 2
    • Churches 2.1
  • Notable people 3
  • Demography and housing 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The toponym "Laleham" probably comes from lael meaning twig and ham meaning water meadow or village.[2]

There may have been a 1st-century Roman marching camp on the field which is now part of Matthew Arnold School.[2]

Iron Age spearheads from the 5th century have been found in the River Thames at Laleham Ferry. 10th-century charters record the village of Laelham.

The Middlesex section of the Domesday Book of 1086 records the village as Leleham. The manor was held partly by Fécamp Abbey from Robert of Mortain and partly by Estrild, the nun. Its Domesday assets were: 10 hides of land, 6½ ploughs, 5 ploughlands, meadow and cattle pasture. Its villagers and chief tenants rendered £5 per year to its feudal overlords.[3] The manor of Laleham was later held by Westminster Abbey.

The Church of England parish church of All Saints dates from the 12th century but was largely rebuilt in brick about 1600 and the present tower was built in 1780.[4] It is a Grade I listed building.[5] The church has a stained glass window by Wilhelmina Geddes.[6] In the 13th century Westminster Abbey had a grange and watermill on the banks of the Thames near the site of Laleham Abbey. In 1970 the nucleated village centre of Laleham was designated a conservation area. The traditional borders resemble Staines in being a long tract of land, rarely more than 1 mile (1.6 km) east – west.

Laleham Abbey was Laleham House until 1928. It was designed by J.B. Papworth, wholly rebuilt in 1803–06 as the country seat of Richard Bingham, 2nd Earl of Lucan and altered, again to Papworth's designs, in the 1820s and 30s. It is a Grade II* listed building.[7] Its park covered 83 acres (34 ha), some of which is now Laleham Park, the largest park in Spelthorne. The house is neoclassical with a Doric portico. Inside are marble floors and columns, a semi-circular staircase and a cupola. Maria II of Portugal stayed here for her English stay, touring three European courts during Miguel of Portugal's 1826-1834 insurrection.[8] The house was divided into apartments in 1981.[2]

Laleham has 25

  • All Saints' Parish Church Laleham
  • Staines and Feltham Methodist Circuit
  • Kingdom Living Church, Laleham
  • Laleham-on-Thames Residents' Association

Surrey portal Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

External links

  1. ^ a b c Neighbourhood Statistics; Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density] United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Ashford makes up 2011 lower output areas Spelthorne 003, 005 and 006. Note: the towns and villages in Spelthorne have one ward each which covers part of a neighbouring town or village. Laleham is the exception which covers less than two wards but gives its name to half of both. Retrieved 21 November 2013
  2. ^ a b c d e "Laleham Village – Around and About". Spelthorne Borough Council. 
  3. ^ "Surrey Domesday Book". 
  4. ^ "Church History". All Saints' Laleham. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  5. ^  
  6. ^ Gordon Bowe, Nicola. "A window with a punch".  
  7. ^  
  8. ^ Wyld's South Western London and Southampton Railway Guide Portsmouth, Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands...containing a topological...account of the country and of the towns and villages within 10 miles of the railway Publ. W. Clowes and Sons, London, 1839. Retrieved 2015-03-02
  9. ^  
  10. ^ """Lord Lucan "officially dead.  
  11. ^  


The proportion of households in the town who owned their home outright compares to the regional average of 35.1%. The proportion who owned their home with a loan compares to the regional average of 32.5%. The remaining % is made up of rented dwellings (plus a negligible % of households living rent-free).

2011 Census Key Statistics
Output area Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan hectares[1]
Spelthorne 007A (north) 1,537 623 34.5 38.8 71
Spelthorne 009A (north-west) 1,701 638 48.7 45.3 41
Spelthorne 012A (south and
Littleton west and north)
1,544 619 39.4 38.1 421

The average level of accommodation in the region composed of detached houses was 28%, the average that was apartments was 22.6%.

2011 Census Homes
Output area Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes shared between households[1]
Spelthorne 007A (north) 86 234 220 83 0 0
Spelthorne 009A (north-west) 163 436 23 16 0 9
Spelthorne 012A (south and
Littleton west and north)
186 236 149 76 7 0

Demography and housing

Coal and mining administrator, Alfred Robens, Baron Robens of Woldingham lived at with his wife at Laleham Abbey after his retirement in 1982.

The Reynell Baronets, originally from Devon, were substantial landowners at Laleham.

Other notable family names are Buckland and Honor and the four houses at Laleham school are Buckland (Red), Arnold (Blue), Honor (Yellow) and Lucan (Green). The Reverend John Buckland was Matthew Arnold's uncle; Buckland School in Laleham was named after him.

In 1803 George Bingham, 5th Earl of Lucan and their countesses are buried in the churchyard. One of the village pubs was called the Lucan Arms pub for many years until it was renamed in the late 1990s.

Grave of the 4th and 5th Earls of Lucan

The poet and critic Matthew Arnold was born in the village and is buried in All Saints' parish churchyard. A local county-supported comprehensive school is named after him. His father Dr Thomas Arnold was headmaster of Rugby School, travelled widely and settled his family in Laleham.[11]

Matthew Arnold's grave

Gabrielle Anwar, actress and star of the Fox television series Burn Notice was born in Laleham and attended Laleham C of E Primary and Middle School 1975–82.

Notable people

As well as All Saints' parish church, Laleham has a Methodist church in Edinburgh Drive. An Elim Pentecostal Church Kingdom Living Church, also meets at the Methodist church.


Laleham has a Church of England primary school, an archery club and Burway Rowing Club.

Laleham Methodist church


There is a Lord Bingham, 3rd Earl of Lucan (1800–88). He was the Field Marshal who gave the order for the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava in 1854.

[10]. Eight years later the 7th Earl was suspected of a murder, and disappeared in the early hours of 8 November 1974.7th Earl by the [2] bailiff and was sold by in 1966Lucan's On either side of the central chimney is a living room and the entrance is through a tiled two-storey porch, the stairs filling the space on the opposite side of the chimney. It once housed the [9]

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