Ashford, Surrey

Street Map

Ashford is a town almost entirely in the Surrey borough of Spelthorne in England, with a small part falling within Greater London. It is in the historic county of Middlesex. It is a suburban development situated 15 miles (24 km) west south-west of Charing Cross in London and forms part of the London commuter belt. It is often referred to as Ashford, Middlesex to distinguish it from the larger town of Ashford, Kent. Since 1965, when Middlesex County Council was dissolved, it has been part of Surrey and the small London section part of the London Borough of Hounslow.

Ashford appears on the Middlesex Domesday map as Exeforde. It was held by Robert, Count of Mortain. Its Domesday Assets were: 1 plough, meadow for 1 plough; a separate manor in 1066, it was part of the manor of Kempton in 1086. It rendered (in total): 14s 0d.

The settlement was most likely founded in Saxon timesBronze Age artifacts have been found in Ashford (at 51.432708N, 0.485174W), and a henge may have been present in Bronze Age times.

The present parish church of St Matthew was built in 1858 with financial assistance from the Welsh School (latterly St David’s School, now St. James school) which had just moved to Ashford. A daughter church to St Matthew was built on the corner of Stanwell Road and Woodthorpe Road, commencing in 1913, in order to serve the needs of the rapidly growing community of dwellings built around the railway station. Although the original design of this new church included a magnificent spire which would have been one of the most significant landmarks in the area, this was never built. The church without its spire was completed in 1928 and consecrated to St Hilda. Initially assigned the status of a Conventional District under the Parish Church of St Matthew, St Hilda’s Church is now a Parish in its own right. Ashford also has an imposing Roman Catholic Church designed by the architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott RA, which is dedicated to St Michael. The foundation stone of the building was laid in 1927 at the site on the corner of Fordbridge Road and Clarendon Road and the partially completed church was consecrated in 1928. Further work to extend the building was carried out in 1938 but the Second World War intervened and the building was not completed to the original design until 1960.

For long a village, Ashford was always associated with Staines-upon-Thames, its nearest neighbour.

Although the town’s origins are ancient, Ashford’s housing stock is chiefly a mixture of detached and semi-detached housing built between 1930 and 1960.

The high street – actually called Church Road – mainly comprises local businesses, with Co-op, Tesco Express Subway, KFC, Costa Coffee and now a Sainsbury’s. In the highstreet there are three funeral directors, many different eateries and hairdressers. Church Road is also home to the Ashford Campus of Brooklands College (formerly Spelthorne College), Ashford Library and a World War 2 memorial. Ashford, in common with most of London suburbia, has very low unemployment rates. A great deal of local employment is directly related to Heathrow Airport. BP International is another major employer. Many other Ashfordians work in London or in the Thames Valley.

Ashford railway station lies on the Waterloo to Reading Line; it is served and managed by South West Trains services from Waterloo station to Windsor & Eton Riverside railway station. The station lies to the south of the A30 road.

The River Ash runs under a roundabout at the far end of Fordbridge Road.

Ashford is part of the Spelthorne constituency. At Surrey County Council, Ashford is covered by three county council wards: Ashford, Sunbury Common and Ashford Common, and Staines South and Ashford West. Ashford sends twelve councillors from four wards to Spelthorne Borough Council. In 1894, under the Local Government Act 1894, Ashford became part of the Staines Rural District of Middlesex. In 1930 the rural district was abolished and Ashford was added to the Staines Urban District. In 1965, under the London Government Act 1963, Middlesex County Council was abolished and the urban district was transferred to Surrey. In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, Staines Urban District was abolished and its area combined with that of Sunbury-on-Thames Urban District to create the present-day borough of Spelthorne.

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