Coordinates: 51°22′48″N 0°16′51″W / 51.3799°N 0.2807°W / 51.3799; -0.2807

Tolworth is a mostly residential area of outer South London in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, located 11.1 miles (17.9 km) south west of Charing Cross. Neighbouring places include: New Malden, Kingston, Surbiton, Berrylands, Chessington, Ewell and Worcester Park.


Tolworth, in the Domesday Book, was called Taleorde. Its Domesday assets were held partly by Picot from Richard de Tonebrige and partly by Radulf (Ralph) from the Bishop of Bayeux. It rendered: 2½ hides; also 4 hides with Long Ditton; 1 mill without dues, 8 ploughs, 10½ acres and ½ rod of meadow. It rendered £6.

An extensive low-lying development of 1940s single storey brick buildings, bounded by the A3 to the north and the rail line to the south, was occupied by the Ministry of Defence and the Directorate of Overseas Surveys but after remaining empty for some years it was demolished in 2008 and the site currently awaits redevelopment.

In the 30's, 40's and 50's the clay extraction requirements of a brick factory north of the A3 off Red Lion Road (now Red Lion Industrial Park) produced a large water-filled pit (known locally as "The Bluey") which was used as a landfill site for bomb-damage and industrial material removed from bomb-sites resulting from the "Blitz". This land has been reclaimed and is now a Recreation Ground. The Civil Defence Corps used to have a training site with a full-size mock-up of a bomb-damaged housing estate.

During WWII a number of V1 flying bombs came down on Surbiton and Tolworth, including the notorious "Derby Day Disaster" of June 1944 when 12 people were killed by a V1 at Tolworth Park Rd.

David Bowie launched his Ziggy Stardust stage show with the Spiders from Mars—Ronson, Bolder and Woodmansey—at the Toby Jug pub in Tolworth on 10 February 1972.


Architecturally, Tolworth consists mainly of high-density 1930s semi-detached properties, and small to medium commercial and retail developments. There is a concentration of industrial activity in an area bounded on the north by A3 London-to-Portsmouth trunk route, which runs through the area. The access junction for the A3, linking it on the north with the Broadway and on the south with the A240 Kingston Road toward Epsom, is known as the Toby Jug Roundabout, named after the public house which stood beside it until demolished in 2002. The area is also served by a branch rail line running from London Waterloo to Chessington South two stops to the south, with services run by South West Trains.

Tolworth Tower

The principal shopping centre - the Broadway - is dominated by Tolworth Tower, an office block designed by the late Richard Seifert and opened in 1964. The tower is 80.8 metres high with 22 floors. The ground floor of the building is occupied largely by a single retail unit - currently a Marks and Spencer supermarket - and smaller retail units along the Broadway, the remainder taken up with access to the other floors. The remaining floors of the building was originally occupied by commercial and government offices, but the north wing has recently re-opened as a Travelodge hotel. The building is a local landmark and is the tallest building for miles around.

The offices and studios of Radio Jackie, a commercial radio station broadcasting to south-west London and north Surrey, can be found on the Broadway. The broadcast mast is sited, with many other antennae, atop Tolworth Tower.

Community Centre

Tolworth is the home of its own community arts centre: The CornerHOUSE (Previously known as the Douglas Centre).

Tolworth Hospital

Tolworth Hospital provides services for South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust. The Trust provides a comprehensive mental health and social care service to the residents of Kingston, Richmond, Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth boroughs, as well as a number of specialist regional and national services.

National Rail

Tolworth is served by South West Trains with its own train station located just a short was from the main shopping area called Tolworth Broadway. Tolworth railway station has train services direct to London Waterloo (Northbound) and Chessington South (Southbound). Trains come to the station every half hour. Trains also stop at Clapham Junction, Vauxhall and Raynes Park.

London Buses

London Buses connect Tolworth with long distance buses and local buses with destinations shown below:

  • Hook
  • Surbiton
  • Kingston
  • Epsom
  • West Ewell
  • New Malden
  • Putney
  • Kingston Vale
  • Roehampton
  • Norbiton (Kingston Hospital)
  • Berrylands
  • Kingston University
  • Twickenham
  • Hounslow
  • Teddington
  • Fulwell
  • Hampton Wick

Standing on the A3 from London to Guildford, Tolworth has good connections to London and to the M25 motorway. Kingston town centre is just 2 miles distant and Surbiton is just under 1 mile away.

Nearby Attractions

Also in the immediate area are Chessington World of Adventures,Richmond Park,Sandown Park, and Hampton Court

In The Area

Many things to do are situated around TheTolworth Broadway which is practically the heart of the community with shops, banks, cafes, fast food shops, barbers, M&S supermarket, Tolworth Tower, Travelodge Hotel and Charrington Bowl'. Also near the Tolworth Station there is a Goals Soccer Centre


Apart from the MoD and DOS sites on the south side of the A3, Gala Cosmetics had a large production facility as did Andre Rubber (who specialised in bonding rubber to metal and made components for cars, docks, armoured fighting vehicles, hospitals, warships and diving helmets) - now the site of the Hook Rise South Industrial Park. Decca Radar had a large research and development facility beside Tolworth Station. Their well-resourced sports ground still exists - though presumably without the full-size .22 rifle range with its fine collection of re-bored Martini-Henrys, as used in the Zulu Wars of the 19th century.

Sport and recreation

Tolworth has a King George's Field in memorial to King George V, where Corinthian-Casuals (two semi-pro football teams that have since merged) plays its home games.

Alexandra Park on King Charles Road has a basketball court, as featured on the basketball website.

Tolworth is also the current home of several amateur football teams, Tolworth Athletic (who play in the Surrey South Eastern Combination League) and West London Blues.

Kingston University also has a sports ground in Tolworth at Old Kingston Road

Tolworth has always had enthusiastic support for the Scouting movement, and is today represented by 1st Tolworth Scouts

A 32 lane Bowling Alley is situated at the Toby Jug roundabout

Cultural references

Tolworth is mentioned in the first episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, in the sketch 'Picasso/Cycling Race'.

Notable residents
  • Musician, Eric Clapton used to live in Tolworth, attending Hollyfield School.
  • The actor Drew Varley, probably best known as Mungojerrie in Cats, was born here.
  • Alan Wheatley, who is probably best known for his role as The Sheriff of Nottingham in the TV series The Adventures of Robin Hood in the 1950s, was born in Tolworth. He was also the first person killed by a Dalek in an episode of Doctor Who in 1964.
  • Actor David Hemmings, lived on the Sunray Estate in the 50's while attending Glyn Grammar School in Ewell
  • News anchor Dan Elliott, is set to move to Tolworth in March 2011.

Building Activity

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