Chessington More Than A World of Adventure

Published: 23rd September 2011
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The borough of Kingston upon Thames is home to a town called Chessington. Nearby towns include Ewell, Claygate, Leatherhead, Tolworth, Surbiton, Oxshott, Epsom, Kingston upon Thames Esher and Worcester Park.

The areas of Chessington are known as Hook, usually known as the centre of Chessington, Copt Gilders, taking its name from the farm that used to be here, Chessington North and Chessington South, once known as Fleetwood.

In Anglo Saxon Chessington means hill that belongs to Cissa. In the Domeseday book Chessington appears under the names of Cisendone and Cisedune with shared ownership between Milo Crispin and Robert de Wateville.

In 1348 the mansion, now known as the Burnt Stub, was built. It takes its name from the civil war times, when as a stronghold of the royalists it was demolished by the parliamentary forces of Oliver Cromwell. Then up until the eighteenth century the site was used as an inn. In the eighteenth century the Vere Barker family built the neo-gothic Victorian mansion which still stands today. In 1931 the grounds were turned into a zoo before becoming part of the Tussauds group in 1978 and Chessington World of Adventures theme park being opened. Chessington World of Adventures is now one of the main employers in the town. The mansion today is still in use as the haunted house Hocus Pocus Hall.

During World War II the RAF Chessington Hospital became the regional barrage balloon depot. RAF Balloon Command moved in and the hospital became a vital part of the nation's defence against Luftwaffe bombers. With extensive garages, large numbers of barrage balloon hangers and workshops to support the stations vehicles in the 1990s the hospital was finally demolished.

In Hook Road a Blue Plaque at number 207 commemorates the four years that author Enid Blyton, famous for characters such as the Secret Seven, Noddy and the Famous Five, lived in the town. Other famous residents include Petula Clark (singer from the 1960s), Helen Chamberlain (TV presenter) and George Cohen (member of the 1966 England World Cup-winning team).

With 5 churches and 2 secondary schools in the town, Chessington is an excellent location for families. For the sporting residents the town boasts several sporting organizations including Chessington and Hook Untied F.C. and Kingston R.F.C.. Chessington Community College is co-located with Chessington Sports Centre. The sports centre is home to many local sports clubs such as Chessington Badminton Club, The Kingston Wildcats, Genesis Gymnastics Club to name but a few. The Sports Centre has a sports hall, fitness suite and a climbing walled called Chessington Rocks.

For the residents who wish to be kept abreast of community news the town operates a website called Chessingtonlive and also publishes two newspapers the Kingston Guardian and the Surrey Comet.

Served by two train stations, Chessington North and Chessington South, the town has half hourly trains into London Waterloo. Chessington South is the end of the line and more commonly known as the Chessington World of Adventure station. Located on the A3 London to Portsmouth road and only 4 miles from the M25 Chessington also has excellent road links for those wishing to travel further afield.

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