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Not to be confused with Wadebridgemarker, Cornwall, or weighbridge

Weybridge is a town in the Elmbridgemarker district of Surreymarker in South East England. It is bounded to the north by the River Thames at the mouth of the River Weymarker, from which it gets its name. It is a suburb in the London commuter belt, and some of the housing is expensive: as of 2008, six of the ten most expensive streets in South East England (defined as the official government region, which excludes Greater Londonmarker) were in Weybridge.

Weybridge is made up of a number of distinct areas: town centre shopping area, Monument Hill / Queens Road shopping area, St George's Hillmarker, Brooklandsmarker and Oatlands Villagemarker.

History

Weybridge lay within the Saxon administrative district of Elmbridgemarker hundred.

Weybridge appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Webrige and Webruge. It was held partly by Chertsey Abbeymarker; partly by an Englishman from the abbey; and partly by Herfrid from the Bishop of Bayeux. Its domesday assets were: 6 hide; 1½ ploughs, of meadow, wood worth 9 hog. It rendered £4.

The early history of Weybridge was simply as a river crossing. In 1537 it became the location of Oatlands Palacemarker built by Henry VIII, which was where he married his 5th wife Katherine Howard. When it was demolished in 1650, bricks from its walls helped to line the then new Wey Navigationmarker canal. Part of the original site of the Palace is now occupied by Oatlands Park Hotel. St. George's Hill was the site of the Diggers Commune in the 1640s.

At the bottom of Monument Hill, close to the town centre is a monument to the Duchess of York, erected by public subscription in 1820 from the remains of the original Seven Dialsmarker Monument that stood in St.Martin's Lane London until 1773. The Duchess is buried in St. James's Churchyard.

The entomologist, Horace Donisthorpe, visited Weybridge Heath to investigate the ant colony.

The world's first leisure campsite was set up near Weybridge in 1901 and was part of the early history of the camping and caravanning cub.

Railway

Weybridge railway stationmarker was opened by the London and Southampton Railway in 1838. After the station was opened, development of what was up until then only a village began. Large houses were built on St George's Hill; and gradually Weybridge became a town.

Plant Life

Weybridge Heath, showing scrub clearance area
Near "Firfields"In Weybridge heathmarker, many rare species of insects (particularly ants), rare birds and insectivorous plant formerly occurred. The heath was allowed to become vastly overgrown in recent years, but recently Surrey Wildlife Trust invoked a scrub clearance plan in an attempt to restore this valuable habitat.

Industry

Weybridge is the British headquarters of Sony Corporation, Procter & Gamble, and Gallahers Tobacco and also Toshiba Information Systems headquarters is very close by.

The Veterinary Laboratories Agency, an executive agency of DEFRAmarker, has its central laboratories located near Weybridge. The laboratory is notable as being one of the principal test centres for the H5N1 virus, commonly known as Bird Flu.

Eurotax Glass, owners and publishers of Glass's Guide, pricing bible to the motor industry are based in Weybridge.

In H. G. Wells' book The War of the Worlds, Weybridge was the location of a battle in which a Martian fighting machine was destroyed. The title of chapter 12 the book is: "What I saw in the destruction of Weybridge and Shepperton".

Education

Two schools for 11-18-year-olds serve Weybridge, Heathside Schoolmarker and 6th Form Centre in the town itself and St George's Collegemarker in nearby Addlestonemarker. There is also Brooklands College, for sixth form students in further education focussing particularly in BTech's. Also, there are many primary schools to serve 4-11 year olds.

Sport

At the top of Monument Hill, adjacent to the cricket green is a World War I war memorial.

Weybridge also has a variety of sports clubs including the Weybridge Vandals Rugby club, Elmbridge Canoe Club, Weybridge Bowls Club, Weybridge Rowing Club and Weybridge Cricket Club, all serving the area for many years. Addlestone & Weybridge Town F.C. was the main football club in Weybridge until becoming defunct in 1985. However, there are several amateur teams in the local area.

Notable Residents



Nearest Places



Brooklands race circuit

Brooklands
The famous former Brooklandsmarker Aerodrome and Race Circuit is located between Weybridge and Byfleet. It is now the location for the Brooklands Museummarker. The brainchild of Hugh Locke-King, Brooklands was opened on 17 June 1907 and was the first purpose-built motor racing circuit in the world. Its unique kidney-shaped layout was designed by Colonel Holden of the Royal Engineers and featured two steep and distinctive banked sections at opposite ends. Soon after it opened, the sheltered private location attracted early aviators and aeroplane designers such as Roe and Sopwith and the centre of the track soon became one of Britain's first aerodromes and later played a major part in aviation worldwide.

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