Hinchley Wood History
Hinchley Wood is first recorded as 'Hengesteshill, meaning 'stallion's hill', in 1241. It was merely a location in the parish of Thames Ditton. The name was gradually corrupted from 'Hynkeshill' in 1539 to 'Hinks Hill Wood' in 1843 and then to 'Hinchley' by the 1860s.
The hill in question is now known as 'Telegraph Hill' because of the semaphore tower on the summit, which was built in the early 1820s as part of a mechanical telegraph system. Messages could be transmitted from the Admiralty in London down to Portsmouth in just a few minutes. The next tower down the line was at Chatley near Cobham and messages were transmitted using a system not unlike old-fashioned railway signals.
The railway through Hinchley Wood was opened in 1885 but, apart from a couple of farms, there was no settlement here and no station was provided. In 1927 Britain's first bypass road, the Kingston Bypass, was opened and the land here, around the point where the new road crossed the railway, was seen as having great potential for residential development.
The Southern Railway was pressured to provided a station and one was finally opened in October 1930. Soon estates of houses and a parade of shops were built adjacent to the station. Further development of quality housing continued into the 1950s following the interruption of the Second World War and, in 1953, the church of St Christopher was consecrated.