Molesey is a suburban district comprising two large villages, East Molesey and West Molesey, on the edge of Greater London. Molesey is located on the southern bank of the River Thames in the northeast of the borough of Elmbridge in Surrey, England, with the post town of East Molesey extending north across the Thames into the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Molesey lies between 11.7 and 13.5 miles from Charing Cross and forms part of the capital's contiguous suburbs within the Greater London Urban Area. It has the London dialling code (020), and was from 1839 until 2000 under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police. East and West Molesey share a high street, and there is a second retail and restaurant-lined street (Bridge Road) close to Hampton Court Palace in the eastern part of the district, which is also home to Hampton Court railway station in Transport for London's Zone 6. Molesey Hurst or Hurst Park is a large park by the River Thames in the north of the area, and is home to East Molesey Cricket Club. The Hampton Ferry (London) runs from here to Hampton on the Middlesex bank, from where it is a short walk to the central area of Hampton.
Molesey is divided into three wards of the United Kingdom: Molesey South, East and North. The majority of Molesey's detached properties are in the east, which also contains the highest proportion of apartments of the three wards. Molesey's conservation area is to the south by a corollary channel of the River Mole, known as the River Ember, where successive environment authorities have implemented capacity-adding flood defences following a widespread and costly flood in 1968. Molesey Lock is the second lock (and weir) on the River Thames, and marks the furthest point upstream that the influence of the tides on the Thames (regulated by the Thames Barrier at Woolwich) may be registered. The lock is located within 100 metres of Hampton Court Bridge, designed by Edwardian Arts and Crafts architect Edwin Lutyens, styles reflected by contemporary properties in the town. Other styles which are prevalent are 1960s red-brick semi-detached homes and Art Deco/Bauhaus.
== History ==
The earliest documentary evidence of a settlement in Molesey appears in a 7th-century charter, shortly after Erkenwald founded Chertsey Abbey in AD 666. He secured from Frithwald, sub-king of Surrey, a charter endowing the abbey with much of the surrounding land, including ''Muleseg''. Etymologists suggest that the town's name is derived from the personal name ''Mul'' (pronounced Mule) compounded with the Old English word ''eg'', meaning an island or river meadow - thus Mul's Island. Therefore, Molesey is not, as commonly believed, named after the River Mole that runs through it. The prefixes ''East'' and ''West'' did not appear until about the year 1200, before which there was only one parish centred around what is now known as East Molesey.〔(The Book of Molesey by Rowland G M Baker )〕 Molesey lay within the Saxon administrative district of Elmbridge hundred.
East Molesey appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as ''Molesham''. It was held partly by John from Richard Fitz Gilbert and partly by Roger d'Abernon. Its Domesday assets were: 2 hides and 3 virgates. It had 7 ploughs, 2 oxen, and of meadow and woodland worth 10 hogs. It rendered £6 15s 0d. West Molesey was held by Odard Balistarius. Its Domesday assets were: 1 hide, 1 church, and 5 ploughs. It rendered £4.〔(Surrey Domesday Book )〕
Along with neighbouring Thames Ditton, East Molesey formed a part of the ancient parish of Kingston upon Thames. From 1933, the Urban District of East and West Molesey became part of the Esher Urban District, which was originally recommended by the Royal Commission on Local Government in Greater London (the Herbert Commission) for inclusion within the new ceremonial county of Greater London. In 1974, the district eventually merged with its neighbour to the west, Walton and Weybridge Urban District, to form the new borough of Elmbridge within Surrey.〔http://www.elmbridge.gov.uk/Council/information/councilhistory.htm〕
Molesey was one of the many villages and towns along the Thames valley affected by flooding in 1968; specifically here the flooding of the River Mole. Some barriers and overflow fields have been created since then by the Environment Agency and its precursors.〔http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk Flood Prevention Scheme Map. Retrieved 2012-04-10.〕
East and West Molesey uses a roughly due north-south compass axis, based on a point of division by the Molesey Stone on the grass outside Molesey Library on Walton Road.
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