Kingston-upon-Thames is a place with a rich history, home to everything from kings to martyrs, vast industries to small markets.

At Robert Holmes we have a range of property for sale in the Coombe Hill area, which benefits from all the amenities of the historic market town of Kingston. Kingston Hill properties are also popular with those who want to feel they are making the most of being near to the area and all it has to offer.

Mediaeval Kingston-upon-Thames

In Saxon times, Kingston-upon-Thames was the “kings tun.” It was a place of great royalty, which saw kings hold councils in its churches, and many Saxon kings crowned: there were Kings Egbert and Edward and Edmund, Edred, Edwy and even a King Athelston. After the Norman Conquest in 1066, kings tun lost its royal status, and the first Norman King of England, William the Conqueror, was instead crowned in London.

In the 1200s, Kingston became a town proper, with a population of around 1500, and became an agricultural hub, where watermills ground grains into flour, crops were grown and sheep were sheared. Oh, and salmon were fished in the Thames. (Imagine that!) The small town was an inland port, because waterways were more commonly used for transport than overland. Trade sprung up too, with weekly farmers’ markets (then simply known as “markets”) and biannual fairs, and the construction of a bridge meant that for centuries Kingston was the first crossing point to London upstream of London Bridge.


At the beginning of the 16th Century, a heretic – then known as a Lollard – was martyred in Kingston. Shortly after this, in 1520, Hampton Court Palace was built by Cardinal Wolsey, again increasing trade to the historic town, due to the huge number of staff at the palace.

It seemed to be a case of onwards and upwards for Kingston, when in 1560 a it gained a grammar school, it became a popular hub for the leather tanning, malting and brewing, and timber industries, and it was granted a third market. Sadly, as with all towns, Kingston suffered outbreaks of the plague, damaging its population and trade considerably.

In 1642, Kingston was caught in the grips of a civil war between crown and parliament. Initially, the town was claimed by parliament, with their troops holding strong, but they withdrew after the battle of Edgehill was lost. Royalists then plundered the town, although after they left it remained in the hands of parliament – much to the dismay of many of the citizens, who supported the king.

Modern Kingston-upon-Thames

From the 1800s, Kingston grew boldly with the modern era, and its population grew to a grand 8000. While its malting industry halted, other new industries rose up in its place, including brick-making and aircraft manufacture. In 1833 it saw its first gaslights, which were followed some 60 years later with electricity.

The first police force was formed in 1836, and later men – known as the Improvement Commissioners – were given the power to ensure the streets were cleaned and paved, and that the gas lamps were lighted each night. In 1897 the town’s hospital was built, and over time horse-drawn carts were phased out as trains and electric trams, and eventually buses, reached the area. These improvements saw the town grow to a vast population of 37,000.

Today the population stands at 147,000 and the town – now a Royal Borough – remains a cultural centre, home to shopping and sightseeing.

Kingston is the local hub for many nearby desirable residential areas. Houses for sale in the Coombe Hill area are generally large family homes, with many properties exceeding two million pounds. Property for sale in Kingston Hill also tends towards the large family house with similar prices. You can search the full range of property for sale or contact us with any questions.

About the author

Nicolas Holmes

Nick joined Robert Holmes to inject fresh ideas and help grow the New Homes department of Robert Holmes as well as helping to inject technology into the business and to grow its client base. Together with one of the Directors Nick is in charge of all Development opportunities that Robert Holmes deals with along with sales. Aged 40, he provides succession together with the two existing directors. Nick has always been focused on building client relationships and sales. He built up his own gallery in Chelsea, where he had a loyal following of customers and artists.

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