Hampton is a suburban area with an old village heart on the north bank of the River Thames, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in England. The population is between 19,000 and 20,000, excluding the fluctuating ward encasing its near neighbour Hampton Hillwhich also has a high street. Hampton includes the park-facing main streets and mews buildings of Hampton Court which strictly denotes its central manor which became rebuilt and reconfigured as a Royal Palace and adopts its broad informal sense from a plain road sign 500m west erected after World War II to direct tourists. Hampton is served by two railway stations, excluding one north of Hampton Hill, including one immediately south of Hampton Court Bridge in East Molesey.
It adjoins Bushy Park on two sides and is west of Hampton Wick and Kingston upon Thames. Long strips of public riverside are in Hampton and the Hampton Heated Open Air Pool is one of the few such swimming pools remaining in Greater London. The riverside, on the reachabove Molesey Lock, has residential islands and grand or decorative buildings including Garrick's House and the Temple to Shakespeare; also on the river is the Astoria Houseboat recording studio. Hampton Ferry provides access across the Thames to the main park of Moleseyand the Thames Path National Trail.
Density does not exceed mid-rise. The most common type of housing in the north of the district is terraced homes; in the south is it semi-detached. Being at the western edge of London, much of the economy is bolstered by workers who commute to the nearest parts of adjacent counties, for example the M3 and M4 corridors or to Central London; however education, health and social work, retail, transport and catering businesses are also significant local employers.
The Anglo-Saxon parish of Hampton converted to secular use in the 19th century included present-day Hampton, Hampton Hill, Hampton Wick and hamlet of Hampton Court surrounding Hampton Court Palace which together are called The Hamptons. The combined population of the Hamptons was 37,131 (as at the 2001 census). The name Hampton may come from the Anglo-Saxon words hamm meaning an enclosure in the bend of a river and ton meaning farmstead or settlement.
The ten years to 1911 saw the highest percentage of population increase, the figures for 1851, 1871 and every 10 years to 1911 being: 3,134; 3,915; 4,776; 5,822, 6,813 and 9,220 respectively. A further 25% rise took place in the 1920s. Writing between 1870–72 his national gazetteer, John Marius Wilson technically described Hampton Wick as a hamlet; the real property of which was worth almost as much as the main settlement. He furthered that the total area was 3,190 acres and the exact respective figures were £14, 445 excluding Hampton Wick, of which £300 was in gas works; inclusive of Hampton-Wick: £25,037, equivalent to £2,082,053 in 2016. Both halves had developed Urban Sanitary Districts recorded in the 1891 census Hampton and Hampton Wick were Urban Districts from 1894–1937, preceding the creation of the Borough of Twickenham, which Hampton joined.
At the edge of London, from time immemorial (before the Norman Conquest) until 1965 Hampton was in Middlesex, a former postal county also and this designation is still common in this part of the former county among residents and businesses.
Tagg's Island and much of Hampton's riverside by association became known as Thames Riviera from the 1920s: the island was leased to Fred Karno, an entertainment impresario, who opened an elevated, three-storey rambling mansard roof hotel, the Karsino in 1913, which was demolished in 1971. World War I impacted the business, which rebranded as The Thames Riviera, rivalling the hotel in Maidenhead for the name, followed by The Palm Beach and The Casino. The Riviera aspect is sometimes described in literature by the Council however is controversial among dissenters to the land use, almost wholly private housing, where Hampton's riverside is not open parkland – it is no longer endorsed by London's bus operator with a stop of that name, in the 2010s named after instead a long public meadow known as St Albans Riverside. All of these locations can be visited via a Ridesmiths Minicab or Executive Taxi.
A cannon in Roy Grove marks the Hampton end of the baseline measured in 1784 by General William Roy in preparation of the Anglo-French Survey (1784–1790) to measure the relative situation of Greenwich Observatory and Paris Observatory. This high precision survey was the forerunner of the Principal Triangulation of Great Britain which commenced in 1791, one year after Roy's death. In the report of the operation Roy gives the locations of the ends of the baseline as Hampton Poor-house and King's Arbour. The latter lies with the confines of Heathrow Airport. The exact end points of the baseline were originally made by two vertical pipes which carried flag-poles but in 1791, when the base was remeasured, the ends were marked by two cannons sunk into the ground. It is certain that the cannons have been disturbed and slightly moved over the intervening years
In film, fiction and the media
The area is featured briefly in two Charles Dickens novels. In Oliver Twist, Oliver and Sykes stop in a public house in Hampton on their way to the planned burglary in Chertsey. In Nicholas Nickleby, Sir Mulberry Hawk and Lord Frederick visit the 'Hampton Races', which refers to a racecourse at 'Moulsey Hurst'. It is also briefly mentioned in The War of the Worlds. The Bell public house in Hampton is mentioned in T S Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. Hampton is also mentioned in humorist Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat. In 24: Live Another Day terrorist Margot Al-Harazi's first hideout is stated to be in Hampton.
A murder at the outset of 2001 took place in a spate across a wide suburban area at the hands of Levi Bellfield since which there has been relatively few unprovoked attacks of such a scale in this district.
Hampton is covered locally by The Richmond and Twickenham Times newpaper.
Should you require a taxi or mini cab whilst in Hampton please contact the team at Ridesmiths