Origins of Surbiton

There is a record of Surbiton as far back as 1179, within Merton Priory documents. By 1747 - 1769 Surbiton can be seen on maps as a small linear roadside settlement, on what is now the Surbiton road. The name Surbiton possibly derives from the Anglo-Saxon ‘bere’ meaning barley, and ‘tun’ meaning an enclosure or settlement. Barley at this time was very important to towns, as it provided bread and ale (and ale was safer to drink than water). Kings were crowned at Kingston and it was a popular destination for the Court. So Kingston may have been important enough to have two barley farms, the north farm 'Norbiton' and the South farm 'Surbiton'. However there is no reference to Surbiton in the Doomsday Book and the earliest references from the Merton Priory spell Surbiton as either Suberton or Subertona. 



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