The London and South Western Railway built the main railway route from London to Southampton, bypassing Kingston and building Kingston Station (later called Surbiton Station) and creating ‘Kingston on Railway’, as Surbiton was briefly named. From 387 people living in Surbiton in 1841, the population had increased to 9,406 by 1881, and by 1911 the population of Surbiton Urban District had increased to 17,717.
The introduction of the railway led to a population boom as Surbiton became a convenient place to live and commute in to the Capital from. The direct link to London also enticed wealthy merchants and business men to build grand houses out in the leafy areas South of Surbiton Station, the grandest being The Gables built by Wilberforce Bryant of Bryant and May's Matches.
In the 1870s and 1880s estate agents were describing Surbiton as 'Queen of the Suburbs', reflecting its growing popularity as a place to live.