Chertsey Area Guide
Chertsey is a riverside town in the Borough of Runnymede in Surrey, approximately 18 miles southwest of central London. As one of Surrey’s oldest towns, it is steeped in history having been developed around Chertsey Abbey, founded in 666 AD. The name Chertsey means ‘The Isle of Cerot’ and it is likely that Cerot was the original owner of the land used for the Abbey site.
The Abbey, the first of its kind in the county, was immensely wealthy and powerful and at the height of its power the Abbot controlled over 50,000 acres of land in Surrey plus houses in London and Cardigan Priory in South Wales.
During the latter half of the 18th century Chertsey, and the surrounding countryside, became the fashionable place to live for the London gentry, thanks to the Whig politician, Charles James Fox, who lived in St. Ann's House on St. Ann's Hill. Much of the modern planting on St Ann’s Hill (a popular spot for walking and picnicking) is the work of Fox, his wife and Lord and Lady Holland who inherited the house on the death of Mrs Fox in 1842.
The River Thames runs through Chertsey and Chertsey Lock was first opened in 1813. It provides beautiful riverside walks and two hotels/gastro pubs sit either side of Chertsey Bridge provide the perfect place for al fresco dining. A bridge across the River Thames was first constructed in timber the early 15th century under a license granted by King Henry IV. In 1779 a decision was taken to replace it with a stone structure but upon completion of the five-arch design in 1782, it became apparent that it didn’t reach either bank! Another arch had to be added either side to form the bridge as it stands today! The River Bourne also runs through Chertsey town as far as Weybridge and the River Thames.
Chertsey town centre offers a selection of restaurants, pubs, local shops, gymnasiums, a leisure centre and Chertsey Museum is a must as provides local history and exhibitions.
There are also several local parks as well Chertsey Meads, which is 175 acres of wildflower meadow on the banks of the Thames and is popular with families as includes a children’s play area, two picnic areas with views across the river Thames and lots of open spaces for family walks.
Train services from Chertsey railway station to and from London Waterloo are operated by South Western Railway. Road links are excellent as Chertsey is within the M25 ring road, which is accessible via junction 11.