Human activity in the Weybridge area goes back perhaps 10,000 years to the Old Stone Age or Palaeolithic and on nearby St George's Hill there is an Iron Age fort. There is a reference to 'Waigebrugge', the bridge over the River Wey, in a document as early as 675 A.D., showing that a bridge already existed here at that time. It became part of a large holding of land owned by Chertsey Abbey, which had been founded in 666 A.D. In 871 a large fleet of Danish longships sailed up the Thames raiding and destroying as they went. Presumably they had already sacked Weybridge when they finally descended on Chertsey, destroying the Abbey and murdering all the monks. It took nearly a century before matters were fully restored.
There is no mention of a church at Weybridge in the Domesday Survey of 1086 although it is likely that a chapel probably existed here before 1066. The existence of a church or chapel at Weybridge is confirmed in a document of 1176. The present parish church of St James was consecrated in 1848.
In 1537 Henry VIII began building Oatlands Palace near Weybridge and stone for its foundations came down the Thames from Chertsey Abbey, which was dissolved in that year. Henry married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard at Oatlands and following his death in 1547 the palace was used by both the young Edward VI and later Queen Mary. It was very popular with Queen Elizabeth, who visited it on many occasions during her long reign. The palace was eventually sold by Parliament in 1650 and soon after demolished.
Many of the bricks removed from Oatlands Palace were used in the locks and bridges of the Wey Navigation, opened in 1653. The Navigation linked the Thames near Weybridge to the county town of Guildford and was an instant success, providing a great boost to the area.
The railway came to Weybridge in 1838. At first it had little effect on the small town whose population in 1831 was 930 but, by the end of the century, the population had increased four-fold.
Hugh Locke King was an early motor racing enthusiast. He realised that the development of the motor car in England was being stifled by the restrictions placed on motor vehicles when running them on public roads. He determined to build a track on some of his estate near Weybridge where cars could run at maximum speed without hindrance. The result was the world's first purpose-built motor racing track which opened at Brooklands in 1907.
Brooklands was also much involved in the development of aviation in Britain. The first Hawker Hurricane flew from here in 1935 and many other aircraft, including the Wellington bomber, were built at Brooklands. The motor racing circuit closed in 1939 and aircraft production ceased in 1988. Parts of the circuit have been preserved, including the clubhouse, and the site includes an excellent museum.