Facts about Kingston
History of Kingston
Under Roman rule, the route was paved. In Anglo-Saxon times the road became known as Watling Street. A paving stone on Kilburn High Road commemorates the route of Watling Street. Kilburn Priory was built on the banks of a stream variously recorded as Cuneburna, Kelebourne and Cyebourne.
The first two names perhaps imply meanings of “King’s Bourne” and “Cattle Bourne”. The word Bourne is the southern variant of burn, as still commonly used in the technical term, winterbourne – a watercourse which tends to dry up in dry periods. The river is known today as the Westbourne. From the 1850s many of its feeder ditches were diverted into combined sewers feeding away to the east.
The first surviving record of Kingston is from AD 838 as the site of a meeting between King Egbert of Wessex and Ceolnoth, Archbishop of Canterbury. Kingston lay on the boundary between the ancient kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia, until in the early tenth century when King Athelstan united both to create the kingdom of England. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, two tenth-century kings were consecrated in Kingston.
There are certain other kings who are said to have been crowned there, but for whom the evidence is less substantial: Edward the Elder, Edmund I, Eadred, Eadwig, Edgar the Peaceful and Edward the Martyr. It was later thought that the coronations were conducted in the chapel of St Mary, which collapsed in 1730.