Monday, May 13, 2013

The culture in Kingston

Image: freedigitalphotos


Dating back to 838, Kinges Tun or you would know it by its modern name, Kingston, has held a place in history. The first time it appeared was as the location for a royal council for King Egbert, where the name meant a royal estate.

Saxon Kings

The estate's history includes the crowning of seven Saxon Kings and a thousand years of displaying The Coronation Stone. The Guildhall, located near to the 12th Century Clattern Bridge, houses the stone.

Historic Ancient Market Place

There are many references to the frequent hosting of markets in Kingston. It first started in 1170, when the new town was created, moving it south of the original settlement which was based around All Saints Church.

Royal Charters

The market is featured in records from the 13th century. It was the subject of several Royal Charters, including one from Charles I, which proclaimed that no other markets could be held within a seven mile radius of the town. Two permanent markets can still be found in Kingston and the Christmas Market and a Continental Market are regularly welcome in.


In addition, the 10th century saw two Anglo-Saxon Kings and possibly a further five have their coronation held in Kingston with the Coronation Stone.


The Coronation Stone stayed in St Mary's Saxon Chapel of All Saints Church until 1730. When the chapel collapsed it was necessary to move the stone to the Elizabethan Guildhall in the Market Place and then it was moved to the Assize Courts yard. The new Guildhall was built in 1935 and the stone was then moved into the grounds located next to the Hogsmill Rover, where it remains until today.

The Market House

This Grade II listed building is housed in Kingston Town Centre in the Ancient Market Place. Kingston's Market House is well known landmark within the towns populace. The House was built by Charles Henman Senior in 1838 to fill the void left by the Tudor Town Hall. When it was completed the gilded statue of Queen Anne, made by Francis Bird, was moved to the front of the Market House. The building was originally used as a Guildhall, until it was replaced in 1935 by the modern Guildhall. It's use was then transferred to the Market House until 1995.

Community Building

Kingston first took over the management of the House in 2010, with the express aim of using the building for the community. The building was to become a venue for meetings, events, exhibitions and as a venue for Pop up shops.

Aviation Heritage

Kingston's recent history is based around a major role in aircraft design and production in the 20th century. Including the Aeronautical Engineering degree courses offered by Kingston University.

Aircraft makers

A range of aircraft giants based their successes in Kingston; Sopwith, Hawker and British Aerospace. Creating aircraft which helped to win the First World War and the Battle of Britain, such as the Sopwith Camel and the Hawker Hurricane in 1940. Kingston cemented its place in the world history of aviation.

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