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Description and History from 1868 Gazetteer

STAINES, a parish, post, and market town in the hundred of Spelthorne, county Middlesex, but also containing places in the county of Surrey,6 miles S.E. of Windsor, and 18 S.W. of London.

It is a station on the London and South-Western railway. This place, which is of great antiquity, is situated on the S. bank of the Thames, at the spot where a stone bearing the date 1285 marks the bounds of the jurisdiction of the corporation of London over the river to the W. It is believed to occupy the site of the Roman station Ad Pontes, and was the Saxon Stane, on the way to Silchester. Previously to 1227 the parish formed part of an extensive forest, extending to Hounslow. The bridge which here crosses the Thames was erected in 1832, at a cost of 40,000, in lieu of an ancient one. The town, which has been much improved of late, consists principally of one wide street, with houses on either side of the highway, and several smaller streets branching from it. Petty sessions are held at the "Clarence Hotel" once a month. The town is not incorporated, but is a lordship of the crown, governed by two constables and four headboroughs. A literary and scientific institute was erected in 1836. There are extensive mustard mills and a brewery. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of London, value 304, in the patronage of the lord chancellor. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, was rebuilt in 1828, with the exception of the tower, which was erected by Inigo Jones in 1631, and contains a clock and eight bells. It had formerly a guild or chantry, founded by Lord Berners in 1656. The parochial charities produce about 20 per annum. There are National and infant schools. The Independents, Wesleyans, and Society of Friends have chapels. Yoveney, Hammonds, Duncroft House, Shortwood Common, and Withygate are the principal residences. R. Taylor, Esq., is lord of the manor. Races take place yearly. Market day is on Friday. Fairs are held on 11th May and 19th September.

[Description(s) from "The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland" (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson 2003]
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[Last updated on 9 Oct 2003 by David Hawgood. 2003]