The history of the ancient town of Kingston upon Thames goes back to Anglo-Saxon times, and two Saxon kings were crowned there. Historically in Surrey, it has been an important crossing point for the River Thames for centuries and although the town is now part of Greater London, it retains its separate identity despite the massive growth of population in the area. Kingston also has a proud industrial past, being associated with military aircraft design and manufacture by famous names such as Sopwith, Hawker and Hawker Siddeley and British Aerospace. In A–Z of Kingston upon Thames author Julian McCarthy reveals the fascinating and often quirky history behind Kingston upon Thames, its streets and buildings and people connected with the town. Alongside the famous historical connections, he includes some unusual characters, such as Dr Battie, famous for his studies of insanity and arguably the origin of the term ‘being batty’, and Dr Daniel Biddle and T. Clarke, aviation pioneers. Tucked- away places are featured, as well as lesser-known associations, for example, with father and son land and water speed record holders Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbell, and the unusual such as the use of the Cucking Stool and the annual Shrove Tuesday football match. This fully illustrated A–Z of Kingston upon Thames history will appeal to all, especially those with an interest in this historical town.
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Author: Julian McCarthy