Main Births etc
Coordinates: 51°24′25″N 0°29′17″W / 51.407, -0.488
All Saints Church - - 160030.jpg
West front of All Saints' parish church
Laleham Abbey - - 344144.jpg
Laleham Abbey

Laleham is located in Surrey

 Laleham shown within Surrey
Population 4,782 (2011 census) (area notionally includes Queen Mary Reservoir)[1]
    - Density 
OS grid reference TQ052689
    - London  18.5 miles (29.8 km) 
District Spelthorne
Shire county Surrey
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district TW18
Dialling code 01784
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Spelthorne
List of places: UK • England • Surrey

Laleham is a village in the Spelthorne borough of Surrey that adjoins Staines upon Thames, its post town. In its south is Laleham Park by the River Thames, across green belt farmland to its north and south east are Ashford and Shepperton, to its east are woods then Queen Mary Reservoir. Penton Hook Lock is on the border with Staines and Laleham Burway is directly across the river. Centred 1 mile (1.6 km) south along the towpath or the humped river road is Chertsey Bridge, just within the boundaries of Shepperton, marking the easternmost point of the town of Chertsey. The north of the area has a number of sports fields, including the Staines and Laleham Sports Ground, and two family pubs, on the Laleham and Ashford Roads respectively.

The village was once farmed for Westminster Abbey and was the home of the poet Matthew Arnold, who divided his time between here and Rugby School. It is just over 3 miles (4.8 km) from three motorway junctions. The nearest railway station is Staines Railway Station, centred 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north, on the Waterloo to Reading Line which has branch lines, to Windsor and Weybridge. Two non-TfL bus routes serve the village. In one village sign and residents' association the village is known as Laleham on Thames. Until 1965 the village was in Middlesex.

The word Laleham probably comes from lael meaning twig and ham meaning water meadow or village.[2]


It is possible that there was a 1st-century Roman marching camp on the field which is now part of Matthew Arnold School.[2]

Iron Age spearheads from the 5th century have been uncovered in the River Thames at Laleham Ferry. 10th century charters record the village of Laelham.

Laleham appears in the Middlesex section of the Domesday Book of 1086 as Leleham. It was held partly by Fécamp Abbey from Robert of Mortain and partly by Estrild, the nun. Its domesday assets were: 10 hides. It had 6½ ploughs, 5 ploughlands meadow, cattle pasture. Its villagers and chief tenants rendered £5 per year to its feudal system overlords.[3]

The Church of England parish church of All Saints dates from the 12th century but was largely rebuilt in brick about 1600 and the present tower was built in 1780.[4][5] The church has a stained glass window by Wilhelmina Geddes.[6] In the 13th century Westminster Abbey had a grange and watermill on the banks of the Thames near the site of Laleham Abbey. In 1970 the nucleated village centre of Laleham was designated a conservation area. However the shape of Laleham resembles greatly Staines in being a long tranch of land, barely more than 1 mile (1.6 km) east to west, along the banks of one river, rather than two.

Laleham has 25 listed buildings including Laleham Abbey, which was called Laleham House until 1928. It was designed by J.B. Papworth, built in 1803–06 as the country seat of Richard Bingham, 2nd Earl of Lucan and altered, again to Papworth's designs, in the 1820s and 30s.[7] Its park stretched for 83 acres (33.6 ha), some of which is now Laleham Park. The house is in the neo-classical style with a Greek Doric portico. The interior has marble floors and pillars, a semi-circular staircase and a cupola. The house was divided into apartments in 1981.[2]

There is an early 17th-century brick farmhouse with Georgian alterations, Church Farmhouse, adjacent to the church. It is an example of a central chimney house with a standard layout for such a house.[8] On either side of the central chimney is a living room and the entrance is through a tiled two-storey porch, the stairs filling the space on the opposite side of the chimney. It once housed the Lucan's bailiff and was sold by in 1966[2] by the 7th Earl who was suspected of a murder and disappeared in the early hours of 8 November 1974.[9]

The hatchment in the north aisle of All Saints Church belonged to them. In the eastern part of the cemetery is the 1888 grave of Field Marshal (and third Earl) Lord Lucan who gave the order for the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava.


Laleham Methodist church

Laleham has a Church of England primary school, an archery club and Burway Rowing Club.


As well as All Saints' parish church, Laleham has a Methodist church in Edinburgh Drive. An Elim Pentecostal Church Kingdom Living Church, also meets at the Mothodist church.

Notable people[]

Gabrielle Anwar, actress and star of the US TV series Burn Notice was born in Laleham and attended Laleham C of E Primary and Middle School 1975–82. An end-of-term St. Trinian's sketch in the school concert of 1982 gave an early indication of her theatrical leanings.

Matthew Arnold's grave

The poet and critic Matthew Arnold was born in the village and is buried in All Saints' parish churchyard. A local county-supported comprehensive school is named after him. His father Dr Thomas Arnold was headmaster of Rugby School, travelled widely and settled his family in Laleham.[10]

Grave of the 4th and 5th Earls of Lucan

In 1803 Richard Bingham, 2nd Earl of Lucan bought the manor from William Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale.[2] Both Arnold and Lucan family names are prominent in All Saints' parish church, with memorials to various generations of those families. Charles Bingham, 4th Earl of Lucan, George Bingham, 5th Earl of Lucan and their countesses are buried in the churchyard. One of the village pubs was called the Lucan Arms pub for many years until it was renamed in the late 1990s.

Other notable family names are Buckland and Honor and the four houses at Laleham school are Buckland (Red), Arnold (Blue), Honnor (Yellow) and Lucan (Green). The Reverend John Buckland was Matthew Arnold's uncle; Buckland School in Laleham was named after him.

The Reynell Baronets, originally from Devon, were substantial landowners at Laleham.

Coal and mining administrator, Alfred Robens, Baron Robens of Woldingham lived at with his wife at Laleham Abbey after his retirement in 1982.

Demography and housing[]

2011 Census Homes
Output area Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes shared between households[1]
Spelthorne 007A (north) 86 234 220 83 0 0
Spelthorne 009A (north-west) 163 436 23 16 0 9
Spelthorne 012A (south and
Littleton west and north)
186 236 149 76 7 0

The average level of accommodation in the region composed of detached houses was 28%, the average that was apartments was 22.6%.

2011 Census Key Statistics
Output area Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan hectares[1]
Spelthorne 007A (north) 1,537 623 34.5 38.8 71
Spelthorne 009A (north-west) 1,701 638 48.7 45.3 41
Spelthorne 012A (south and
Littleton west and north)
1,544 619 39.4 38.1 421

The proportion of households in the town who owned their home outright compares to the regional average of 35.1%. The proportion who owned their home with a loan compares to the regional average of 32.5%. The remaining % is made up of rented dwellings (plus a negligible % of households living rent-free).


  1. ^ a b c Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Ashford makes up 2011 lower output areas Spelthorne 003, 005 and 006. Note: the towns and villages in Spelthorne have one ward each which covers part of a neighbouring town or village. Laleham is the exception which covers less than two wards but gives its name to half of both. Retrieved 21 November 2013
  2. ^ a b c d e Spelthorne Borough Council Laleham Village - Around and About
  3. ^ Surrey Domesday Book
  4. ^ All Saints Church history
  5. ^ Details from listed building database (1298923). National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. Church of All Saints
  6. ^ Nicola Gordon Bowe, “A window with a punch”
  7. ^ Details from listed building database (1187014). National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. Laleham Abbey
  8. ^ Details from listed building database (1187019). National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. Church Farmhouse
  9. ^ Lord Lucan 'officially dead' BBC, 1999-10-27
  10. ^ Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, The Life and Correspondence of Thomas Arnold, London: Fellowes, 1845 (original 1844), Chapter 2 'Life in Laleham' pp 25-82 available online at

External links[]

Portal icon Surrey portal


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Laleham. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.