In 1826 William Walter bought 11 acres of land to the West of Ewell Road and built Surbiton Hill House, on what as to be the future site of Surbiton Hospital. The house was built using some materials from the palace at Kew. This came about as at the time of George III's death in 1820 Kew Palace was only partially completed and his successor, his son George IV, ordered that the building and its parts be sold off. Once completed, Surbiton Hill House was let to a Sir Charles Pressly.
Surbiton Hill House comprised of a meadow that extended from the Lodge Gates on Ewell Road (opposite where The Lodge marked the entrance to Surbiton Hospital, now Surbiton Health Centre) up to the house, another two meadows up to the south side of South Bank, bordering the the field on which Mr. Wilberforce Bryant's house The Gables (now Hillcroft College) stood, Glenbuck Road, and the orchards between Glenbuck Road and the railway.
The more southerly of the two out-buildings on the 1839 OS Tithe Award map are probably beneath the 1938 nursing home Southbank House. There was a windmill on what was to be the North East boundary of the future Surbiton Hospital site. The windmill was demolished around 1850. By the 1880s Surbiton Hill House had been expanded considerably.
Walter was quite a distinguished gentleman in the local community. He was a big landowner in Surbiton; as well as Surbiton Hill House he owned the land of Fire Bell Alley, where Surbiton's fire engine was stored and the fire bell erected, and probably other land as well. He was also a solicitor and Kingston Borough Treasurer.
It was William Walter's great-grandson, William Morton Walter, who sold off the land where Surbiton Hill House stood for its development in to Surbiton Hospital.
The Walter Family Tree
William Walter was born c. 1800, year of death unknown. He married Frances Turner.
Their first born son (their second child) also called William Walter, was born 1823 and died 1874. He married Jessy A Purlford.
Their son (their third child) was born c.1854, was also called William Walter and died 1910. He married Mary Emily Morten.
Their son (their eldest child), William Morton Walter, was born in 1880 and died in 1921. He doesn't appear to have married or had children. It was William Morton Walter who sold off the land of Surbiton Hill House for development.
One of these William Walters was also the President of the Kingston and Surbiton Horticultural Society, and made the grounds of Surbiton Hill House available for the Society’s annual show in 1865 (an educated guess is that it was the original William Walter's son, born in 1823 in Kingston).