Laleham Burway

Last updated

Laleham Burway is a 1.6-square-kilometre (0.62 sq mi) tract of water-meadow and former water-meadow between the River Thames and Abbey River in the far north of Chertsey in Surrey. Its uses are varied. Part is Laleham Golf Club. Semi-permanent park homes in the west forms residential development along with a brief row of houses with gardens against the Thames. A reservoir and water works is on the island.


From at least the year 1278 its historic bulky northern definition formed part of the dominant estate of Laleham across the river, its manor, to which it was linked by a ferry until the early 20th century. Its owner in period from the mid-19th until the early 20th century was thus the Earl of Lucan; however when its manor house was sold to become Laleham Abbey, a short-lived nunnery, its tenants had taken it over or it was sold for public works. The southern part of the effective island sharing the name of the Burway or Laleham Burway was the Abbey Mead. It was kept since the seventh century among many square miles of land, priories, chantries, tithes (rectories) and churches of Chertsey Abbey until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

The part legally separate from Abbey Mead (being together a large mill-race island with a broad corollary of the river beside them), the narrower definition comprised 200 acres (81 ha). In 1911 these remained largely for horse and cow pasture.

Part of it was a cricket venue in the 18th century and the home of Chertsey Cricket Club.

Altered 1806-version of the house across its gardens (park) on the opposite bank which owned the bulk of the land currently considered Laleham Burway. The house has been divided into apartments Laleham Abbey - - 344144.jpg
Altered 1806-version of the house across its gardens (park) on the opposite bank which owned the bulk of the land currently considered Laleham Burway. The house has been divided into apartments
Chertsey Lock
BSicon uSTR.svg
River Thames
above Penton Hook Lock
BSicon uddHSTRg.svg
BSicon uSTR+r.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
marina: Thorpe
BSicon ueABZg+l.svg
BSicon uxWEIRfl.svg
BSicon uexABZq+l.svg
BSicon ueABZgr.svg
BSicon uexSTR+l.svg
BSicon uWEIRl.svg
BSicon uxWEIRg.svg
BSicon uLock5.svg
Penton Hook Lock
BSicon uexSTR.svg
BSicon uSTRl.svg
BSicon uSTRq.svg
BSicon ueABZql.svg
BSicon uFABZgr+r.svg
BSicon uexSTR.svg
BSicon uSTR+l.svg
BSicon uSTRr.svg
BSicon POINTERg@fq.svg
BSicon uexSTR.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
Abbey River
BSicon uexSTR.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
Intake channel to
BSicon uexSTR.svg
BSicon ueABZgl.svg
BSicon uexSTRr.svg
Queen Mary Reservoir
BSicon uexSTR.svg
BSicon uSTRl.svg
BSicon uSTR+r.svg
BSicon uexFABZgl+l.svg
BSicon uexSTRq.svg
BSicon POINTERg@fq.svg
BSicon uexSTR+r.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
Burway Ditch
BSicon uexSKRZ-Bu.svg
BSicon RBq.svg
BSicon uexSKRZ-Bu.svg
BSicon RBq.svg
BSicon uSKRZ-Bu.svg
UK-Motorway-icon.svg M3
BSicon uexSTRl.svg
BSicon uxWEIRfr.svg
BSicon POINTERg@f.svg
BSicon ueABZql.svg
BSicon uSTR+r.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
Abbey River (end)
BSicon ueABZg+l.svg
BSicon uWEIRl.svg
BSicon uSTR.svg
BSicon uLock5.svg
Chertsey Lock
BSicon uSTRl.svg
BSicon uABZg+r.svg
BSicon uSKRZ-Yu.svg
B375 Chertsey Bridge
BSicon uSTR.svg
Thames above Shepperton Lock

Early ownership, watermill and agricultural purposes

The near-triangular bulk of the ground measured as about 200 acres (81 ha) on the right bank of the Thames in 1911 constitutes its narrow, historical definition to distinguish Laleham Burway's at times separate ownership from Abbey Mead. [1] This north part of the island later thus marked Laleham Burway (also called the Burway) was divided from the Abbey Mead of Chertsey by a seasonal ditch, the Burway Ditch, and by another from the meadow of Mixnams on the north. [1] The triangle was equally Chertsey parish, but belonged to the manor of Laleham. [1] It is mentioned as the Island of Burgh in the original endowment of Chertsey Abbey between 666 and 675, and is described as separated from Mixtenham (or Mixnams) "by water", which formed part of the boundary of the abbey lands, but it is not clear which of the two lay within the bounds of the abbey. [1] Tradition says that the Burway originally belonged to Chertsey, and that in a time of great scarcity and famine the inhabitants of Laleham supplied the abbey with necessaries which those of Chertsey could not, or would not provide, in return for which the abbot granted them the use of this piece of ground. Whatever the truth of this story, it is certain that the Abbey of Westminster when holding Laleham manor held land on the Surrey side of the river, and that in the time of Edward I it held part of the meadow called Mixtenham in a dispute with the abbey of Chertsey in 1278, Westminster agreed to release their right in this meadow in return for 4 acres of pasture contiguous with that which they already held. [1] In 1370 they still held some pasture in Mixtenham. [1]

The Burway is in a grant of Laleham manor during the 18th century. [1] At the beginning of the 19th century it is described as paying no tithes or taxes to either parish. [1] In 1911 it belonged to owners of estates within the manor of Laleham, and the pasture was divided into 300 parts called 'farrens,' the tenancies of which was granted variously to feed horses or to support cow and a half at £1 17s. 6d. and £1 5s. annually, respectively. [1] If a farren was sold it was worth about £40. [1] The Burway was not inclosed under the Act of 1773 for inclosing the common fields of Laleham Manor in Chertsey, exempted from the Act of 1808 for inclosing Laleham but inclosed under an Act passed in 1813, when the Earl of Lucan, new lord of the manor, acquired by allotment and purchase about 70 acres (28 ha). [1]

Laleham Burway (including Abbey Mead, its parent and together forming one main island) is the largest island of the non-tidal course of the River Thames in England upstream of the Tideway if disqualifying the villages of Dorney and Eton, Berkshire enclosed by the 2002-completed Jubilee River.

Cricket history

Laleham Burway cricket ground
Locationnear Chertsey, Surrey
Home club Chertsey Cricket Club
County club Surrey
Establishmentby 1736
Last usedbefore 1856

During the 1736 English cricket season Chertsey Cricket Club played matches against Croydon and London. It is known that two games were played against Croydon before July that season: one at Duppas Hill in Croydon and the other at the Laleham Burway ground. [2]

Numerous matches were played at Laleham Burway during the 18th century. Perhaps the most famous was the one in which Thomas White's huge bat caused a furore that led to a change in the Laws of Cricket. This was the Chertsey v Hambledon game on Monday, 23 and Tuesday, 24 September 1771.[ citation needed ] Eight first-class cricket matches were held on the ground between 1773 and 1779, one with Chertsey classified as a first-class club, the only time this happened, six with Surrey teams as the home side and one where an England side played a Hampshire side. [3]

The ground is known to have been used by Chertsey until June 1784, although it has been used in the 20th century for some cricket. [3] Chetsey Cricket Club had "ceased to exist" by 1856 [4] and its revival began at the Recreation Ground in Chertsey, [4] followed by its present ground, Grove Road, after the First World War. [4]

Related Research Articles

Borough of Spelthorne Place in England

Spelthorne is a local government district and borough in Surrey, England. Its council is based in Staines-upon-Thames; other settlements in the area include Ashford, Sunbury-on-Thames, Shepperton, Stanwell and Laleham.

Ashford, Surrey Human settlement in England

Ashford is a town almost wholly in the Borough of Spelthorne, Surrey, with a small area contained within the boundaries of the London Borough of Hounslow, approximately 14 mi (23 km) west-southwest of central London. Its name derives from a crossing point of the River Ash, a distributary of the River Colne. Historically part of Middlesex, the town's wards have been part of Surrey County Council since 1965. Ashford consists of relatively low density low- and medium-rise buildings, none of them being high rise. If excluding apartments most houses are semi-detached.

Shepperton Village in Surrey, England

Shepperton is an urban village in the Borough of Spelthorne, Surrey, approximately 15 mi (24 km) south west of central London. Shepperton is equidistant between the towns of Chertsey and Sunbury-on-Thames. The village is mentioned in a document of 959 AD and in the Domesday Book.

Chertsey Town in Surrey, England

Chertsey is a town in the Borough of Runnymede, Surrey, England, 29 km (18 mi) south-west of central London. It grew up round Chertsey Abbey, founded in 666 CE, and gained a market charter from Henry I. A bridge across the River Thames first appeared in the early 15th century. The River Bourne through the town meets the Thames at Weybridge. The Anglican church has a medieval tower and chancel roof. The 18th-century listed buildings include the current stone Chertsey Bridge and Botleys Mansion. A curfew bell, rung at 8 pm on weekdays from Michaelmas to Lady Day ties with the romantic local legend of Blanche Heriot, marked by a statue of her and the bell at Chertsey Bridge. Green areas include the Thames Path National Trail, Chertsey Meads and a round knoll with remains of a prehistoric hill fort known as Eldebury Hill. Pyrcroft House dates from the 18th century and Tara from the late 20th. Train services are run between Chertsey railway station and London Waterloo by South Western Railway. The town is within the M25, accessible via junction 11.

Addlestone Human settlement in England

Addlestone is a town in Surrey, England. It is located approximately 18.6 mi (29.9 km) southwest of London. The town is the administrative centre of the Borough of Runnymede, of which it is the largest settlement.

Laleham Human settlement in England

Laleham is a village on the River Thames, in the Borough of Spelthorne, approximately 17 mi (27 km) west of central London, England. Historically part of the county of Middlesex, it was transferred to Surrey in 1965. Laleham is downriver from Staines-upon-Thames and upriver from Chertsey.

Chertsey Bridge Bridge in Chertsey

Chertsey Bridge is a road bridge across the River Thames in England, connecting Chertsey to low-lying riverside meadows in Laleham, Surrey. It is 550 yards (500 m) downstream from the M3 motorway bridge over the Thames and is close to Chertsey Lock on the reach above Shepperton Lock. The bridge is a seven-arch tied arch white stone bridge built 1783–85 and is a Grade II* listed building. It has a weight restriction of 18 tonnes for LGVs.

Egham Hythe Human settlement in England

Egham Hythe, Pooley Green and Thorpe Lea are adjacent settlements in the Borough of Runnymede in Surrey, England, approximately 18 miles (29 km) west of central London. They are separated from the town of Egham by the M25 and from Staines upon Thames by the River Thames.

Shepperton Lock Lock on the River Thames in Surrey, England

Shepperton Lock is a lock on the River Thames, in England by the left bank at Shepperton, Surrey. It is across the river from Weybridge which is nearby linked by a passenger ferry.

Chertsey Cricket Club in Surrey is one of the oldest cricket clubs in England, the foundation of the club dating to the 1730s. The club is based in Chertsey and plays in the Surrey Championship.

Thorpe, Surrey Human settlement in England

Thorpe is a village in Surrey, England, between Egham, Virginia Water and Chertsey. It is centred 20 miles (32 km) WSW of Charing Cross and its land adjoins the circle of the M25, near the M3 — its ward covers 856 hectares (3.3 sq mi). Its traditional area with natural boundaries covers one square mile less.

Thames Ditton Island

Three river islands (aits) form a linear group, close to the junction of the two main old streets of Thames Ditton village, in the River Thames in a corner of modern Surrey, on the Kingston reach above Teddington Lock. Thames Ditton Island, the dominant ait, is 350 yards (320 m) long and has 48 houses with gardens ; Boyle Farm Island has one house; Swan Island, between the two, is the smallest.

Chertsey Lock Lock on the River Thames in Surrey, England

Chertsey Lock is a lock on the River Thames in England, against the left bank, an area of Green Belt including Laleham Park, the largest public park in Spelthorne. It faces the town of Chertsey and is the fifth-lowest of the forty-four locks along the non-tidal course of the river. Owing to a course alteration both banks at the site of the lock have been since medieval times in Surrey. Stone-built Chertsey Bridge built in 1785 is 210 m south (downstream) of the lock. The lock was built by the City of London Corporation in 1813, lengthened in 1893 and again in 1913.

Penton Hook Lock Lock on the River Thames in Surrey, England

Penton Hook Lock is the sixth lowest lock of forty four on the non-tidal reaches of the River Thames in England. It faces an island which was until its construction a pronounced meander and is on the site of its seasonal cutoff. It is against the left bank marking the church parish medieval border of Laleham and Staines upon Thames in Surrey for many centuries. Until 1965 their county was Middlesex. At 266 ft (81 m) it is the third longest lock on the river.

Kempton Park, England formerly an expanded manor known as Kempton, Kenton and other forms, today refers to the land owned by the Jockey Club: Kempton Park nature reserve and Kempton Park Racecourse in the Spelthorne district of Surrey. Today's landholding was the heart of, throughout the Medieval period, a private parkland – and its location along with its being a royal manor rather than ecclesiastic, or high-nobility manor led to some occasional residence by Henry III and three centuries later hunting among a much larger chase by Henry VIII and his short-reigned son, Edward VI.

Penton Hook Island

Penton Hook Island is a mainly wooded former peninsula created into a series of three weir-divided islands in the River Thames in England, so created in river modifications since 1815 with a navigable lock and weir stream channel to form meander cutoffs. It has a lock and weirs that are the divide between the Laleham Reach, above Chertsey Lock and Staines Reach, above Penton Hook Lock.

Thomas Swayne was a noted professional cricketer who played for Surrey in the 1770s.

Littleton, Spelthorne Human settlement in England

Littleton is a village in the Borough of Spelthorne, approximately 16 mi (26 km) west of central London. Historically part of the county of Middlesex, it was transferred to Surrey in 1965. It is the location of Shepperton Studios.

The Abbey River is a right-bank backwater of the River Thames in England, in Chertsey, Surrey — in the town's northern green and blue buffers. The L-shaped conduit adjoins mixed-use flood plain: water-meadows landscaped for a golf course, a motorway and a fresh water treatment works on the island it creates, Laleham Burway to its east and north in turn. Its offtake from the Thames is at the apex of Penton Hook, Staines upon Thames below its lower weir close to the Chertsey-Thorpe boundary in the Borough of Runnymede. Its outfall is the weir pool of Chertsey Lock back into the Thames, visible from Chertsey Bridge. The Environment Agency plans to build similar channels to the upstream Jubilee River, one of which will intersect the watercourse, another of which will be close to its outfall, thereby compensating for loss of its historic bypass functions.

Coulsdon Cricket Club was an English cricket club based at Coulsdon in Surrey. The club is believed to have been formed in the early 1760s and it had for a time a great rivalry with Chertsey Cricket Club.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Spelthorne Hundred: Laleham", in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 2, ed. William Page (London, 1911), pp. 396-401. British History Online
  2. Announcement in Read’s Weekly Journal dated Saturday, 3 July, about a deciding game on Richmond Green to be played on Monday, 5 July.
  3. 1 2 Laleham Burway Cricket Ground, Laleham Burway, CricketArchive. Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  4. 1 2 3 "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 20 October 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Minutes of Chertsey Recreation Committee meeting on 4 August 1856

See also

Next island upstream River Thames Next island downstream
Penton Hook Island Laleham Burway including Abbey Mead Pharaoh's Island, River Thames

Coordinates: 51°24′N0°30′W / 51.400°N 0.500°W / 51.400; -0.500