Few places in London can boast to have as much as Kingston upon Thames. It has a rich history and thriving retail and leisure facilities. It is in the south-west of London and a part of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. It is a suburb located south-west of Charing Cross and is bordered by Ham, Petersham and Richmond in the north, New Malden and Wimbledon in the east, Surbiton, Hook and Chessington in the south and Hampton, Hampton Wick and Hampton Court in the west. Other nearby places include Teddington, Coombe, Kingston Vale, Richmond Park, Berrylands, Tolworth and Thames Ditton. Itís postcode districts are KT1 ad KT2.
The area was known as Cyninges in 826 and listed as Chingestune in the Domesday Book, with itís name becoming Kingston upon Thames over time. The area was built at a Roman crossing and a bridge was constructed here at this time. It belonged to a king in the Saxon era and was the earliest Royal Borough, with several Anglo-Saxon monarchs crowned here in the former church St. Maryís. William I controlled the area during his reign and an early chapel dates back to 1309. In the 20th century, Kingston upon Thames was known for the manufacture of aircraft with legendary planes the Sopwith Camel, the Hurricane, the Harrier, among others being designed and built here. The area is contemporarily known as a university town as it homes Kingston University.
Today the area has many transport links with bus routes and railway stations all over the town. It is major shopping centre with many brand stores and boutiques. There is also the Bentall shopping centre as well as a few department stores. Market Place has continued to hold regular markets for centuries. The Rotunda houses a bowling alley, a fitness centre, a cinema and restaurants. The Rose Theatre was opened in 2008 and has held many different productions and the Crack Comedy Pub opened in 2002.The River Thames in the areaís major open space and includes bars and restaurants, with the Canburry Gardens, a promenade and a picturesque riverbank nearby.
Kingston upon Thames is home to many pubs and restaurants, both traditional and modern. The Out of Order sculpture by David Mach is located in relief Road. There are many religious sites in the region including 12th century All Saints Church and buildings belonging to several other faiths. Sport is a big part of Kingston upon Thames with four football teams based here, as are a rugby side, Kingston Rowing Club and the Kingston Regatta is held here in July.
The town has been home to many notable people including authors John Galsworthy, John Cleveland and Jacqueline Wilson, photographer Edward Muybridge and playwright R. Sheriff. The area has been featured in many popular works of fiction through the written word, television and cinema.
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