Hogsmill River

The Hogsmill at Kingston as it flows into the Thames
Country England
Counties Surrey, Greater London
Districts / Boroughs Epsom and Ewell, Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
 - left Hogsmill Stream, Horton Stream, Bonesgate Stream, Green Lanes Stream, Tolworth Brook
 - right Ewell Court Stream
Towns Ewell, Old Malden, Berrylands, Kingston upon Thames
 - location Ewell, Surrey
Mouth River Thames
 - location Kingston upon Thames
 - coordinates 51°24′33″N 0°18′30″W / 51.40917°N 0.30833°W / 51.40917; -0.30833Coordinates: 51°24′33″N 0°18′30″W / 51.40917°N 0.30833°W / 51.40917; -0.30833
Length 9.9 km (6 mi)
Basin 73 km2 (28 sq mi)
Discharge for Kingston upon Thames
 - average 0.98 m3/s (35 cu ft/s)
 - max 26.3 m3/s (929 cu ft/s) 6 August 1981
 - min 0.33 m3/s (12 cu ft/s) 9 September 1976
Discharge elsewhere (average)
 - Ewell 0.04 m3/s (1 cu ft/s)
The source of Hogsmill River shown within Surrey
(grid reference TQ219627)

The Hogsmill River in Surrey, England, is one of the tributaries of the River Thames. It rises in Ewell and flows into the Thames at Kingston upon Thames on the reach above Kingston road bridge. The river is 6 miles (9.9 km) in length and has a catchment area (water basin) of 73 km².[1] The river flows through low-lying land, most of it sports grounds and green space, with the exception of Kingston town centre.

The 12th century Clattern Bridge, one of the oldest road bridges in England, crosses the river in the centre of Kingston.[2] The Coronation Stone near the river in Kingston is believed to have been used for the coronation of Saxon kings in the 10th Century. It was used as a horse mounting block until 1850 when it was mounted on a plinth in the town centre.

The river has five tributaries: Green Lanes Stream, Ewell Court Stream, Horton Stream, Bonesgate Stream and Tolworth Brook, as well as Hogsmill Stream, the main spring of the river just outside Bourne Hall Park in Ewell.


Epsom and Ewell

The source of the Hogsmill River is a chalk spring near grid reference TQ219627 just outside Bourne Hall Park in Ewell, Surrey. It flows in a northerly direction between Kingston Road and the sports field beside the railway track. The river passes the Lower and Upper Mills, where gunpowder was produced in the 18th and 19th century as it gently bends to the left before flowing under the Mole Valley line between Ewell West and Stoneleigh railway station at the start of the Hogsmill Open Space which follows the river until the borough boundary with Kingston.

The river continues its course in green space between the residential areas of Ewell Court and West Ewell and confluences with the Green Lanes Stream. After a short distance of green space, the river runs as a boundary between Poole Road Recreation Ground and Ewell Court Park and flows behind Ewell Athletics Track. It reaches another confluence, this one being the Ewell Court Stream, flowing in just downstream from Ewell Court Lake as it continues into West Ewell.

The river runs further through the open space and passes near to West Ewell Infants School and Ruxley Church before flowing under Ruxley Farm Bridge, the site of the former Ruxley Splash. It passes Riverview Primary School in the residential area of the Ruxley Ward before the confluence with the Bonesgate Stream, which runs as the border between the boroughs of Epsom and Ewell and Kingston. After the confluence, the Hogsmill bends to the right near Riverview Road and continues as the boundary past Tolworth Court Bridge with the A240 (Kingston Road) the junction with the B284 (Worcester Park Road).


It runs beside Worcester Park Road and Old Malden Lane (both the B284) along the edge of a few sports grounds and under the entrance to a go-carting track. The river leaves the border as it turns left into the outskirts of Old Malden in an area of woodland and green space. It crosses the Chessington branch line a short distance away from Malden Manor railway station. The Hogsmill is now flowing in a NNW direction as it crosses the A3 between Tolworth and Malden junctions.

The Hogsmill flowing under the Clattern Bridge in Kingston. The bridge is one of the oldest in Surrey, being mentioned in 1293 as "Clateryngbrugge"[3]

The river acts as a boundary between the suburbs of New Malden and Berrylands, beside sport and recreation grounds near Elmbridge Avenue, where it is joined by Tolworth Brook,[4] until almost reaching the Hampton Court branch of the South Western main line near Berrylands railway station. The Hogsmill leaves the green space area at the railway line and passes Kingsmeadow, Kingston Cemetery and the Sewage Works in the eastern outskirts of Kingston upon Thames.

It crosses under Villiers Road before heading past a campus of Kingston University before crossing Springfield Road beside Denmark Road and Grange Road. It also runs under the bridge for the A307 (Wheatfield Way) near College Roundabout beside Kingston College. The river then runs under St. James's Road by the Magistrates Court and the Guildhall before flowing under Kingston High Street and Wadbrook Street. The Hogsmill River meets the Thames beside a restaurant and shopping area beside the Thames Path footbridge at grid reference TQ177691, just upstream of Kingston Bridge.


Hogsmill Stream

Hogsmill Stream is the shortest out of the five main streams of the Hogsmill, running for 0.3 miles (0.5 km). It rises at the spring in Ewell and runs to the confluence with the Green Lanes stream between West Ewell and Ewell Court in the Hogsmill Open Space.

The source of the stream at Bourne Hall, Ewell Village is considered the main source of the Hogsmill River. However, other tributaries of the river such as the Tolworth Brook and Bonesgate streams run for much longer distances.

Green Lanes Stream

The Green Lanes Stream is 2.1 miles (3.4 km) long and starts as a run-off from Stamford Green Pond on the eastern edge of Epsom Common. Other smaller streams from the common join the main stream a few meters from the pond as it goes underground. It runs near Manor Green Road and is above the ground at times, for example by the bridges under Christ Church Mount (a crescent road off Manor Green Road). Shortly afterwards, it flows underground again and this is where it runs under Epsom Primary School on Hook Road at the junction with Longmead Road. This is where the stream comes above the ground.

It runs parallel with Longmead Road where it runs near to Longmead Industrial Estate and Blenheim High School until the road meets the B2200 (Chessington Road) and the stream runs under it. This is where it flows between the two roads named Green Lanes (the river is named after the roads). It runs into the Hogsmill Open Space before meeting the confluence with Hogsmill Stream.

Ewell Court Stream

Ewell Court Stream is 1.7 miles (2.7 km) long[1] and starts near a pond on the edge of Nonsuch Park by the A24 (London Road) in Stoneleigh. After running under the A24, it continues under Briarwood Road. It is visible again briefly in an alley near Stoneleigh railway station. The stream bends left under Stoneleigh Park Road and runs under Walsingham Gardens and the A240 (Kingston Road) where it enters Ewell Court. After running after Preston Drive, it enters Ewell Court Park and comes above ground before running through Ewell Court Lake.

As it continues through the park towards the meeting point with the Hogsmill it passes the Packhorse Bridge, which was named after the mules that regularly transported gunpowder from the mills, across the river and into brick magazine.[2] At its height in the mid-19th century, the Gunpowder Mill Complex by the bridge employed 156 men. Gunpowder from Ewell is said to have been used in the American Civil War.[2]

Bonesgate Stream

The Bonesgate Stream is the principal stream of the Hogsmill River. It is 3 miles (5 km) in length and rises in Malden Rushett near the crossroads of the A243 and B280. It flows in a NE direction through farmlands before flowing just east of Chessington. After crossing under Filby Road, it heads past The Bonesgate, a pub in Moor Lane on the eastern edge of Chessington. The bridge over the stream is where Moor Lane and Chessington Road meet. The river then heads through open space, flowing under a bridge near Cox Lane Community Centre. The river goes past the edge of the Cox Lane Estate shortly before joining the Hogsmill by Tolworth Court Bridge under the A240 Kingston Road. From the Bonesgate Pub to Tolworth Court Bridge, the river serves as a boundary between West Ewell (Surrey) and Chessington (Greater London).

Horton Stream

The source of Horton Stream is in the centre of Horton Country Park, Epsom. It is 3.3 miles (5.3 km) long and its source is near West Park Hospital beside Horton Lane, Epsom. The stream carries on parallel with Horton Lane as it passes near to West Park Farm and Horton Park Farm. After travelling through Horton Country Park, it heads through Horton Golf Course before crossing Chessington Road, West Ewell. It runs alongside Chessington Close before running through the playing fields of Epsom and Ewell High School. It continues behind Scotts Farm Road before the confluence with the Hogsmill near Ruxley Lane after running under Scotts Farm Road.

Tolworth Brook

At 3.75 miles (6 km), Tolworth Brook is the longest stream of the Hogsmill River. Its source is on the edge of Claygate, near the A3 Esher By-Pass on the borough border with Greater London.[5]


In January 2014, the Hogsmill river burst its banks on the edge of Bourne Hall in Ewell Village. A separate area of water near the B2200 (London Road), at a higher level than in the main pond, was overloaded with water after a prolonged period of intense rain (see Winter Storms of 2013-14 in the United Kingdom). This caused water to spill out into the nearby road and also flood basements in the centre of Ewell. On the nearby Kingston Road just downstream from Bourne Hall, an area of path was flooded where an excessive volume of water also spilled over its banks. Sandbanks were placed next to the Hogsmill there and the water cleared shortly afterwards.

In Bourne Hall, attempts were made to reduce the level of water in February 2014, but the water didn't recede fully until April as heavy rainfall occurred until the end of the winter.


Ophelia – the play may have been in Denmark and the model in a bath, but the landscape was the Hogsmill near Ewell

The Hogsmill has appeared in the art of John Millais in his rendition of Ophelia, and of William Holman Hunt who painted The Hireling Shepherd on the meadows by the Hogsmill, looking north towards Ewell Court Farm.[6][7] The doorway (to the soul) in Hunt's The Light of the World is believed to be part of a gunpowder mill on the Hogsmill at Ewell.[8]


The Hogsmill is known for watermills, reputed to have produced gunpowder for the Napoleonic and American Civil Wars.[2][8] Additionally the waters were used to generate electricity for Ewell Court House.[9]

Local legend

William the Conqueror is said to have "watered his horse" in the source waters near today's Spring Hotel.[2] Custom states this to be the pool at grid reference TQ218628

See also


  1. 1 2 "River Hogsmill Integrated Urban Drainage DEFRA Pilot Study Volume 2 – Appendix A" (PDF). DEFRA. June 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Talling, Paul. "London's lesser known rivers - Hogsmill River". London's Lost Rivers. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  3. Blue Plaque on Clattern Bridge, Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
  4. "Thames Down Link" (PDF). Surrey County Council. p. 2. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  5. Fure, Alison (September 2011). "Tolworth Brook". Wildlife Circus. Blogspot. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  6. Rosenfield, Jason; Smith, Alison (2007). Millais (Exhibition Catalogue). Tate Publishing. ISBN 9789079310029.
  7. "Epsom and Ewell History Explorer: The PreRaphaelites". Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  8. 1 2 "Epsom and Ewell History Explorer: Gunpowder Mills". Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  9. "Ewell Court House". Retrieved 5 May 2012.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hogsmill.
Next confluence upstream River Thames Next confluence downstream
Longford River, Raven's Ait (north) Hogsmill River Sudbrook (stream) (north)
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