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Leatherhead is a town in Surrey, England on the right bank of the River Mole, and at the edge of the contiguous built-up area of London. Its local district is Mole Valley.
The symbol of Leatherhead is a swan holding a sword in its beak. This can be seen on the old Leatherhead coat of arms, and on the Mole Valley coat of arms. The insignia of Leatherhead Football Club includes a swan, as do the logos of the Swan Shopping Centre, Therfield School and the leisure centre.
Queens Removals provide excellent services to the local community. These services include domestic and commercial removals, worldwide deliveries, storage and man and van services.
The origins of the town of Leatherhead are Anglo-Saxon. Ashtead lay within the Copthorne hundred by the formation of the Kingdom of England. Leatherhead Museum has traced the history of the town from its beginnings in about AD 880 when it was known as Leodridan meaning "place where people [can] ride [across the river]" in the Anglo-Saxon (Old English). Later in the Domesday Book of 1086 it was called Leret. Later forms recorded are "Lereda", "Ledreda", "Leddrede" (all second half of 12th century). The early settlement appears to have grown up on the east side of the River Mole: the site of an Anglo-Saxon burial ground is identified on the west side of the river at Hawk's Hill.
A view from the University of Sussex has been put forward that the Anglo-Saxon form was distorted from a Celtic form whose Welsh equivalent is Llwyd-rhyd = "grey ford".Within 2 miles (3.2 km) there is evidence of pre-historic and Celtic hillfarming on the North Downs to the east and south - the Druid's Grove, Norbury Park being a possible example of a place of pre-Christian pagan gathering.
To the east of the town is the line of Stane Street, an old Roman road. Most of it is now built over or is used as woodland and hillside footpaths. The road leads from London to Chichester, passing through the strategic Mole Gap.
Landscape features including barrows beside the A246 provide evidence for a second late Romano-British road that ran for some miles from Stane Street in the east, close to Ashtead Church, crossing the Mole at Leatherhead Bridge, to approximately the present road junction very close to Effingham Church. Here it veered more true west and continued in another straight line to Merrow Church, crossing the River Wey near Guildford Bridge. The road existed by late Saxon times and all the medieval churches between Leatherhead and Guildford lie within a few yards of this route.
Work on the parish church was started some time in the 11th century. Many parts were added over the years, with a major restoration taking place in the Victorian era.
Leatherhead appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Leret. It was held by Osbern de Ow (Eu). Its Domesday assets were: 1 church, belonging to Ewell, with 40 acres (160,000 m2). It rendered £1. Pachesham within Leatherhead appears in Domesday Book as Pachesham. It was held by Hugo (Hugh) from the Bishop of Lisieux. Its domesday assets were: 3 virgates. It had part of 2 mills worth 12 shillings, 4 ploughs, 5 acres (20,000 m2) of meadow, woodland worth 3 hogs. It rendered a relatively low £3 10s 0d (£3.50) per year to its feudal system overlords.
A market serving the developing agricultural economy developed at the crossroads and in 1248, Henry III granted to Leatherhead a weekly market and annual fair. The town survived an extensive fire in 1392, after which it was largely rebuilt. In common with many similar medieval towns, Leatherhead had a market house and set of stocks, probably located at the junction of Bridge Street, North Street and High Street. The symbol of Leatherhead is a swan holding a sword in its beak. This can be seen on the old Leatherhead coat of arms, and on the Mole Valley coat of arms. The insignia of Leatherhead Football Club includes a swan, as do the logos of the Swan Shopping Centre, Therfield School and the leisure centre. North Leatherhead or Leatherhead Common is the area north of the Kingston Road Bridge, bordered to the north by Leatherhead Golf Course, Ashtead Common and the M25 motorway and to the south by the railway which forks by the town centre. It includes the town's main secondary school, Therfield School, and part of the Trinity School, as well as the bulk of the town's social housing.
Here is the Royal Oak pub and the North Leatherhead Community Association (NLCA) or social club in a former school building next to the Kingston Road Playing Fields and playground. Leatherhead formerly had a number of light manufacturing businesses, such as the Ronson's lighter factory, but in and around the 1980s many closed or moved on. Recent years have seen the emergence of several industrial parks, and the town has attracted many service and headquarters operations, including well known companies.
The town has long been home to a cluster of research centres and research-focused businesses. ERA Technology Ltd is an engineering consultancy that has been in Leatherhead since the 1920s. Nearby is Leatherhead Food Research. The same area of west Leatherhead was home to the Central Electricity Research Laboratory (CERL), the main research lab for the CEGB until its dissolution in 2001.
A recently established local business cluster is that of racing cars. Lister Cars, makers of Lister Storm, Le Mans racing cars, are based in the town, and in nearby Dorking, while P1 International was founded here in 2000 by ex-Formula One World Champion Damon Hill.
The headquarters of Police Federation of England and Wales is based in Leatherhead. Leatherhead Drama Festival began in 2004 and is the UK's largest drama festival of its type, in which schools and drama groups from around Surrey and beyond compete each year for the Sir Michael Caine Drama Awards, the Richard Houghton Awards and the 'Fire & Iron' New Writing Awards. Sir Michael Caine, patron of the festival, presents the awards, filming schedule permitting, at the Gala Awards Night each year. Leatherhead secured a place in modern music history when, in 1974, producer Nigel Gray set up the Surrey Sound recording studios in a former village hall in the north of the town. Early demo pieces for, among others, the Wombles and Joan Armatrading were followed, from 1977, by the recording of much of the early repertoire of the Police, including "Roxanne", and then the album Outlandos d'Amour; Reggatta de Blanc and its singles "Message in a Bottle" and "Walking on the Moon"; and later the Grammy Award-winning Zenyatta Mondatta and its hit single "Don't Stand So Close to Me".
There is a local football team Leatherhead F.C. ("The Tanners") who play at Fetcham Park Grove. In the 1974–75 season the Tanners were drawn against First Division Leicester City at home in the FA Cup Fourth Round Proper. With the game switched to Filbert Street, the BBC's Match of the Day cameras and over 32,000 people saw a dramatic match: Leicester won 3–2. Leicester City went on to play Arsenal in the next round. In the 2017–18 FA Cup they reached the second round proper where they were tied away to Wycombe Wanderers. Leatherhead is served by Leatherhead railway station. Over the years, however, Leatherhead has had four railway stations, two of which were only temporary and survived for about eight years from the railway's first opening in 1859. The current and only surviving station was designed by C. H. Driver in fine gothic revival style. It opened in 1867 to serve the London Brighton and South Coast Railway line to Dorking. The remains of the second London and South Western Railway railway station can still be seen on the Leatherhead one way system. It was built as a separate terminus, but became a through station when the line to Effingham Junction and Guildford was opened in 1885. It was closed in July 1927. The lines were electrified by the Southern Railway in 1925.
Services included trains northwards to London Waterloo, London Victoria, Epsom, Sutton and Wimbledon where it connects with the London Underground and Tramlink, and south to Dorking, Horsham, Guildford.