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Friday, 17 May 2013

History of Kingston

Image: freedigitalphotos

Royal Heritage

The meaning of Kingston can be traced back in history to the location for a royal council of King Egbert. Kinges Tun was the name for a royal estate. It's history dates back to 838 where it's first use was noted.

The Saxons

The city is the proud home of The Coronation Stone. Using the Guildhall to display this piece of English history, which has seen at least seven Saxon Kings crowned in the thousand year history.

Market Place

When the town was moved away from the original settlement around All Saints Church. The trade governed the necessity of the market square, making it the centre of the new town. The life of the market is attested to in the countless references recorded in Kingston's history.

The Royal Charters

The markets started at least as early as the 13th century, when there is historic evidence of Royal Charters which were issued to protect the market. In 1628 Charles I granted a charter which banned other markets being held within seven miles of the town. Two permanent markets are still held in the town, with a Christmas and a Continental market visiting during the festive times.

The Coronation Stone

The Coronation Stone was used by a further two Anglo-Saxon Kings during their coronation. The 10th century saw the possibility of another five Kings' being crowned on the Coronation Stone.

Moving the Stone

The All Saints Church was able to store the stone in its Saxon Chapel of St Mary until 1730, when the chapel suffered structural issues and the stone was relocated in the Elizabethan Guildhall in the Market Place, before being moved again into the Assize Courts yard. Today the stone is in the grounds next to the Hogsmill River after its latest move in 1935.

Market House Building

Found in Kingston's Town Centre, the Market House is a Grade II listed building. When it was originally built by Charles Henman Senior in 1838 to take the place of the old Tudor Town Hall, the Ancient Market Place knew it was in for a change. The front of the House showcases a gilded statue of Queen Anne. When the House was opened in 1840, it was initially used as a Guildhall, before changing to the Market House in 1935.

Community Spaces

When in 2010, the venue was taken over by Kingston first, they turned the space over to the community. They dedicated the venue to be used for events, meetings and exhibitions. They also allowed Pop up shops to use it to showcase new products.

Aviation Heritage

The aviation design and production has taken over the major factor in Kingston's history. In the 20th century, Kingston became more famous for the range of Aeronautical Engineering degree courses run at Kingston University.


The giants of aerospace companies moved their operations to Kingston to ensure they stayed on the cutting edge. Sopwith, Hawker and British Aerospace provided the aircraft that won two world wars. The Sopwith Camel and Hawker Hurricane were instrumental in the outcome of the Battle of Britain.

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