Consisting of the present day villages of Hampton, Hampton Hill and Hampton Wick, the name 'Hampton'
may derive from the Old English 'Hamme'
meaning 'Place in the bend in the river'
, and was listed in the Domesday Book
. Today, however, the three villages are considered independent of each other, but are still referred to as The Hamptons.
Historically, the village has always had a low population, but with the building of Hampton Court Palace and the eventual introduction of the waterworks and railway, this changed and the number of residents increased, stemmed only by the limit to the availability of land and residences. The workers from the waterworks and railway lived in an area known as 'The Common'
, which became 'New Hampton'
and is now known as Hampton Hill. Until the 1880's, much of the land was used for grazing and farming, but market gardening began to flourish. In 1884 the first nursery was built, increasing to 32 by 1900 with 600 glasshouses among them; there were 45 in business by 1939. While now, all the nurseries have been built over, there are some glasshouses dotted about, forming private allotments.
Points of interest include Garrick's Temple to Shakespeare
, and the Astoria Houseboat Recording Studio on the river. Hampton also has an open-air heated swimming pool - one of the last in Greater London, and is home to Richmond Boroughs only senior-level football club, Hampton and Richmond Borough F.C. - more affectionately known as The Beavers. It is a very green village and is dotted with community corner shops, since it is in closer proximity to a number of neighbouring shopping high streets.
To the north of Hampton and across the Longford River lies Hampton Hill, which is more developed and has a number of chain and independent shops, and features a small theatre - The Hampton Hill Playhouse - that is exclusive to members. The village is within proximity to a number of golf courses, and is home to the Hampton Hill Cricket Club.
Shortly after Hampton Hill's establishment, Hampton Wick - after a long dispute with Hampton - managed to become an independent village by forming its own Local Board in 1863, something Hampton had not done until 1890. 'Wick'
is thought to mean 'Dairy Farm'
or 'Trading Place'
. The village is on the doorstep of Kingston and because of this is mostly residential, though its population is constrained by much of its land being taken up by Bushy Park
and the grounds and park of Hampton Court Palace