Supriya Ghosh (Editor)


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OS grid reference  TQ052689
Country  England
Shire county  Surrey
Dialling code  01784
UK parliament constituency  Spelthorne
Region  South East
Sovereign state  United Kingdom
Area  5.33 km²
Local time  Saturday 10:21 PM
District  Spelthorne

Population  4,782 (2011 Census) (area notionally includes Queen Mary Reservoir)
Weather  11°C, Wind S at 6 km/h, 87% Humidity

Laleham is a village beside the River Thames, immediately downriver from Staines-upon-Thames in the Spelthorne borough of Surrey. Until 1965 the village was in Middlesex. One village sign and the residents' association call the village Laleham on Thames.


Map of Laleham, Staines, UK

In its south is Laleham Park by the River Thames. Across green belt farmland to its north and south east are Ashford and Shepperton, to its east are woods then Queen Mary Reservoir. Penton Hook Lock is on the border with Staines and Laleham Burway is directly across the river. Centred 1 mile (1.6 km) south along the towpath or the humped river road is Chertsey Bridge, just within the boundaries of Shepperton, marking the easternmost point of the town of Chertsey. The north of the area has a number of sports fields, including the Staines and Laleham Sports Ground, and two family pubs, on the Laleham and Ashford Roads respectively.

Laleham is just over 3 miles (5 km) from three motorway junctions. The nearest railway station is Staines, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north, on the Waterloo to Reading Line, which has branch lines to Windsor & Eton Riverside and Weybridge. Two Surrey County Council bus routes run by Abellio serve the village.

The poet Matthew Arnold (1822–88) lived here, dividing his time between Laleham and Rugby School.


The toponym "Laleham" probably comes from lael meaning twig and ham meaning water meadow or village.

There may have been a 1st-century Roman marching camp on the field which is now part of Matthew Arnold School.

Iron Age spearheads from the 5th century have been found in the River Thames at Laleham Ferry. 10th-century charters record the village of Laelham.

The Middlesex section of the Domesday Book of 1086 records the village as Leleham. The manor was held partly by Fécamp Abbey from Robert of Mortain and partly by Estrild, the nun. Its Domesday assets were: 10 hides of land, 6½ ploughs, 5 ploughlands, meadow and cattle pasture. Its villagers and chief tenants rendered £5 per year to its feudal overlords. The manor of Laleham was later held by Westminster Abbey.

The Church of England parish church of All Saints dates from the 12th century but was largely rebuilt in brick about 1600 and the present tower was built in 1780. It is a Grade I listed building. The church has a stained glass window by Wilhelmina Geddes. In the 13th century Westminster Abbey had a grange and watermill on the banks of the Thames near the site of Laleham Abbey. In 1970 the nucleated village centre of Laleham was designated a conservation area. The traditional borders resemble Staines in being a long tract of land, rarely more than 1 mile (1.6 km) east–west.

Today, Laleham has a Church of England primary school, an archery club and Burway Rowing Club.


Laleham has 25 listed buildings. Church Farmhouse, next to All Saints' church, is an early 17th-century brick farmhouse with Georgian alterations. It is an example of a central chimney house with a standard layout for such a house. On either side of the central chimney is a living room and the entrance is through a tiled two-storey porch, the stairs filling the space on the opposite side of the chimney. It once housed the Lucan's bailiff and was sold by in 1966 by the 7th Earl. Eight years later the 7th Earl was suspected of a murder, and disappeared in the early hours of 8 November 1974.

Laleham Abbey

51.4031°N 0.4887°W / 51.4031; -0.4887 (Laleham Abbey/House)
Laleham Abbey was once called Laleham House until 1928. Designed by J.B. Papworth, it was wholly rebuilt in 1803–06 as the country seat of Richard Bingham, 2nd Earl of Lucan and altered, again to Papworth's designs, in the 1820s and 30s. It is a Grade II* listed building. Its park covered 83 acres (34 ha), some of which is now Laleham Park, the largest park in Spelthorne. The house is neoclassical with a Doric portico. Inside are marble floors and columns, a semi-circular staircase and a cupola. Maria II of Portugal stayed here for her English stay, touring three European courts during Miguel of Portugal's 1826–1834 insurrection. The house was divided into apartments in 1981.


All Saints' Church, is an evangelical Anglican Church, it has a hatchment of the Earls of Lucan in the north aisle; east of the vestry in the churchyard is the Lucan gravesite.

Laleham has a Methodist church in Edinburgh Drive. An Elim Pentecostal Church, Kingdom Living Church, also meets at the Methodist church.

Notable people

The poet and critic Matthew Arnold was born in the village and is buried in All Saints' parish churchyard. A local county-supported comprehensive school is named after him. His father Dr Thomas Arnold was headmaster of Rugby School, travelled widely and settled his family in Laleham.

In 1803 Richard Bingham, 2nd Earl of Lucan bought the manor from William Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale. Both Arnold and Lucan family names are prominent in All Saints' parish church, with memorials to various generations of those families. Lord Bingham, 3rd Earl of Lucan (1800–88), the Field Marshal who reluctantly passed on the order for the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava in 1854 is buried in the churchyard; along with Charles Bingham, 4th Earl of Lucan, George Bingham, 5th Earl of Lucan and their countesses. One of the village pubs was called the Lucan Arms pub for many years until it was renamed in the late 1990s.

Gabrielle Anwar, actress and star of the Fox television series Burn Notice was born in Laleham and attended Laleham C of E Primary and Middle School 1975–82.

Other notable family names are Buckland and Honor and the four houses at Laleham school are Buckland (Red), Arnold (Blue), Honor (Yellow) and Lucan (Green). The Reverend John Buckland was Matthew Arnold's uncle; Buckland School in Laleham was named after him.

The Reynell Baronets, originally from Devon, were substantial landowners at Laleham.

Coal and mining administrator, Alfred Robens, Baron Robens of Woldingham lived at with his wife at Laleham Abbey after his retirement in 1982.

Demography and housing

The average level of accommodation in the region composed of detached houses was 28%, the average that was apartments was 22.6%.

The proportion of households in the town who owned their home outright compares to the regional average of 35.1%. The proportion who owned their home with a loan compares to the regional average of 32.5%. The remaining % is made up of rented dwellings (plus a negligible % of households living rent-free).


Laleham Wikipedia