Facts about Sunbury-on-Thames
Sunbury-on-Thames (or commonly Sunbury) is a town on the north bank of the River Thames in the Borough of Spelthorne, approximately 13 mi (21 km) southwest of central London. Historically part of the county of Middlesex, it was transferred to Surrey in 1965. Sunbury adjoins Feltham to the north, Hampton to the east, Ashford to the northwest and Shepperton to the southwest. Walton-on-Thames is to the south, on the opposite bank of the Thames.
The earliest evidence of occupation in Sunbury is provided by the discovery of Bronze Age funerary urns dating from the 10th century BC. There is an important scheduled monument in Rooksmead Road, a prehistoric bowl barrow, known as Cloven Barrow, situated on low-lying ground that was formerly part of the flood plain of the River Thames, now around 1 km to the south. The barrow has a circular mound approximately 14 m in diameter and 2.5 m high, surrounded by a ditch from which material used to construct the barrow was excavated. The ditch has become infilled over the years and survives as a buried feature up to 2 m wide. The monument has been partly disturbed by modern gardening activities, and by the construction of a greenhouse on its western side. Cloven Barrow (Old English Clofenan Beorh, or the ‘barrow with a cleft’) was mentioned in an Anglo-Saxon document, known as the Sunbury Charter, which has been dated to around AD 962. Many years later the arrival of Huguenot refugees gave the name to French Street.