Header image Hampton Hill

The changing names of Hampton Hill

The changing names of Hampton Hill

Park Road, looking East, 1890s

The area covered by the Hamptons, including Hampton, Hampton Hill and Hampton Wick, has been inhabited since the Middle Ages. It was first known as an Anglo Saxon parish, and the name Hampton comes from the Anglo Saxon words ‘Hamm’, which means a large bend in the river, and ‘Ton’ meaning settlement.

In fact ‘Hamtone’, as the parish was known at the time, is even recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. After this, the area that is now Hampton Hill was called The Common in a 1650 parliamentary survey, and New Hampton from around 1800.

The name Hampton Hill started to be used around 1870, just after the building of St James’s Church, and it was officially changed in 1890.

But where is the hill? Apparently the highest point of Hampton Hill is a whole seven metres above the level of Hampton riverside (not so much a hill as a slope!). Back in 1870, before many of the buildings we see today were built, the area was mostly heathland and the hill would have been much more noticeable than it is today. So this is probably why the name ‘Hampton Hill’ was given.

Reference: ‘A Short History of Hampton’ by John Sheaf
Photo of Park Road taken in the 1890s, from the John Sheaf Collection.