A Conversation for Kingston upon Thames, Greater London, UK
hux Started conversation Jul 31, 2003
"Kingston derives its name from the King's Stone on which the Kings of Wessex were crowned."
Actually "Kingston" is simply a contraction of the original name, "Kings Town". You're right about the Wessex kings being crowned there, but not about the name of the stone: it's called the Coronation Stone. Also it's "Guildhall", not "Guild Hall".
"On the other side of Kingston Bridge is Hampton Court Royal Palace."
Well that's pretty misleading - it's not literally on the other side of the bridge. You have to cross the bridge and drive about five minutes up river before you get to Hampton Court.
"This area is at the north east tip of the county of Surrey and borders what is now Greater London."
No no no! Kingston is part of Greater London. If you look on a map it's the pointy bit in the southwest corner. However, Kingston is also in Surrey, but only for the purposes of the Royal Mail, which ignores the concept of Greater London entirely as it pertains to addressing the post and instead relies on archaic county boundaries (e.g. Hayes is in Middlesex as far as the Royal Mail is concerned, even though that county no longer exists). This is the cause of not inconsiderable confusion!
Other Kingston facts:
- It's twinned with Delft, in Belgium.
- It has a crap railway station on a badly served branch line. The reason for this is that when the railways were first built in the area and Kingston was offered the chance to have a station with a direct link to the centre of London, the powers that be decided against it. Instead the station was built in nearby Surbiton, which still has much better rail access than Kingston, even though the former has all but eclipsed the latter in terms of wealth, size and general importance.
- There are no bushes in Bushey Park, so if looking to indulge in a little al fresco fornication you may well find yourself scuppered. If you're lucky though there may still be a pair of large logs that will keep you safe from the park police. I speak from experience.
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