Kingston upon Thames » About Conservation Areas

CA24: Riverside South

Designation date: February 2003

No of properties: 240

Area: 22.8 hectares


image source: Conservation Area leaflet, 2002.

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Designation summary

The special architectural and historic interest of this area can be summarised as:- A linear area forming the setting to Hampton Court Park, along the Portsmouth Road and the River Thames, containing fine examples of Victorian public works at Queen's Promenade, Seething Wells Water Works and many 19th century buildings of architectural interest.

Historic development

This conservation area is influenced by the spatial and visual relationship with the River Thames. Its historic interest lies in the importance of the riverbank in relation to the historic landscape of Hampton Court Palace, including views in and out of its parkland and other strategic views from the riverside path. Also of importance are the 19th century public works that established Queens Promenade, as a place of recreation, together with the industrial/public health buildings and structures at Seething Wells Water Works.

Portsmouth Road

Originally the turnpike road between London and Portsmouth, a map from 1762 shows a rural nature as Portsmouth Road enters Surbiton with very few buildings built along it. A map from 1820 shows the genesis of the Queens Promenade in two stretches of parallel road. Between 1840 and 1866 numerous villas were built along the riverfront. Blocks of flats have since replaced these mansions.

Queens Promenade

In 1838 Queens Promenade was just a swamp used for gravel extraction. Until the 1850s this part of the river frontage was dangerous as gravel working along the foreshore had undermined the base of the road. Between 1852 and 1854 William Woods laid out and constructed Queens Promenade and the bank and the riverbend were infilled from the construction of Chelsea Waterworks Co. The promenade attracted many visitors but was neglected five years after it was opened by Queen Victoria. Using stone from the Old Blackfriars Bridge, it was rebuilt and widened from six to nine meters. In 1896 it was extended to join the High Street and terminate at the boathouses outside Ravens Ait.

Seething Wells

Seething Wells occupies the site of a spring. The Wells became the site of the Chelsea and Lambeth Waterworks, later the Metropolitan Water Board and now the Thames Water Authority. The solid Victorian masonry are landmarks and examples of Italianate Gothic. While the former water works complex has been adapted by Kingston University for student accommodation, they remain the best surviving example of the Victorian approach to public works.

Listed Buildings

Buildings of Townscape Merit

  • 28 Portsmouth Road
  • The Fox And Hounds Ph 60 Portsmouth Road
  • Chelsea W/Wks Engineers House 85 Portsmouth Road
  • 1 Dover Cottages Seething Wells Lane
  • 3 Dover Cottages Seething Wells Lane
  • 2 Dover Cottages Seething Wells Lane
  • Electricity Sub Station Portsmouth Road Surbiton
  • Former Chelsea W/Works Drainage Pumping House
  • Former Chelsea W/Works Boundary Railings
  • Thames Sailing Club Portsmouth Road
  • 12 Anglesea Road
  • Stella Maris Anglesea Road
  • Former Lambeth W/Works Boundary Railings
  • Former Chelsea W/Works Boundary Railings

Adjacent Conservation Areas (CA) /Local Areas of Special Character (LASC)

  • Kingston Old Town CA
  • Cadogan/Cleaveland Road LASC
  • Cadogan Road CA

Archaeological Priority Area


Article 4 Directions

Article 4 Direction - converting offices to residential use

Further Information


If you have any questions about this conservation area or would like to find out whether you need planning permission before carrying out works to your property, please contact the Duty Planning Officer on 020 8547 5002.

Documents available to download:

Link Description Source Published
CA 24 Planning Information Conservation Area 24 - Planning Information (A5 size leaflet, fold out to A3) RBK Director of Environmental Services 2002
CA 25 Planning Information Conservation Area 25 - Planning Information (A5 size leaflet, fold out to A3) RBK Director of Environmental Services 2002

General information
Information applying to all Conservation Areas