Staines-Upon-Thames has a long history from its first Neolithic and is mentioned in the Doomsday Book 1086 as Stanes. It has an important site on the banks of the River Thames where Roman troops are reported to have crossed. There has been a bridge over the River Thames at Staines since medieval times, which has been used by both attackers and defenders over the centuries. Staines-Upon-Thames is on the road between London and Windsor and was an important posting stop. The Swan Hotel was mentioned as a posting-inn in the sixteenth century and still stands on the Thames today. Runnymede, the site where the Magna Carta was signed, is only 1.2 miles from Staines.
Linoleum was developed by Frederick Walton in 1864, and linoleum manufacturing became the main industry of the town. A bronze statue of two linoleum workers has been erected inthe High Street. Today Staines-Upon-Thames is a modern shopping centre with many well-known high street stores as well as a market.
Staines-Upon-Thames has several public parks, including the ancient common land, now known as the Lammas Park, which sits on the banks of the river and is very popular with families. Its earliest buildings are seventeenth and eighteenth century, with many nineteenth century terraced buildings as well as twentieth century buildings replacing older dwellings.
The town has grown and it sits along some of the most beautiful miles on the River Thames. Small boats and barges are always present, and in the summer the Queen’s Swan Uppers can be seen in formal regalia counting and tagging the swans. Rowers can often be seen throughout the summer months as they navigate the river.
The railway came to Staines in 1848, bringing more industry to the town. Today, its proximity to London and a fast train to Waterloo means that it is a commuter town. It is the town’s proximity to Heathrow Airport and its related service industries, which provide employment for many of its inhabitants.
Staines changed its name and postal address from Staines, Middlesex to Staines-Upon-Thames, Surrey on 12th May 2012.
Article and © photographs by Myra Boyle 2012