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Shepperton is a suburban town in the borough of Spelthorne, in the county of Surrey in England, 15 miles (24 km) south west of Charing Cross, London, bounded by the Thames to the south and much of the east and which is in the north-west bisected by the M3 motorway. Shepperton is equidistant between the towns of Chertsey and Sunbury-on-Thames. Shepperton is mentioned in a document of 959 AD and in the Domesday Book, where it was an agricultural village.
With its film studios and production facilities and electrified railway since the 1930s many more homes have been constructed; its population rose from 1,810 residents in the early 20th century to a little short of 10,000 in 2011. It is an age-diverse commuter settlement. Expansion continues in the form of occasional new housing developments. While a history summary of 1994 indicates that Shepperton meant Shepherd's habitation, which would earlier have transliterated into late Saxon language as Sceapheard-ton, the place has been found in "a document of 959 AD" as Scepertune, which the book Middlesex (Robbins, 1953), states instead meant Shepherd's farm. The name of one of the older lanes, Sheep Walk, may date to the medieval period and was perhaps on a wide tract of low-lying meadows which produced the Middlesex wool, namely marsh wool, which was included in a valuation of 1343. The valuation was two years after Edward III imposed wool tax — Middlesex rendered a sack for every 760 acres (310 ha)s of the county (contributing in total 236 sacks) – much of which however appears from contemporary returns to have been collected from other riversides in the county including, in particular, Hampton (which includes Hampton Court).
Shepperton in the Domesday Book of 1086 was recorded by the Norman conquerors as Scepertone, with a population of 25 households and was held by Westminster Abbey; (excluding any wood, marsh and heath) it had eight hides, pasture for seven carucates and one weir (worth 6s 8d per year). In total the annual amount rendered was £6. Shepperton Green is that part of the village which continues immediately west of the M3 motorway, north-west of the village centre. Across the River Ash, Surrey, which is no more than a stream most of the year, adjoining, to its north is Littleton. Taken together with Littleton, three farms operate on the edges of this conjoined residential area, providing a buffer to the north and west. Shepperton's central SSSI is on the south side of the motorway Sheep Lake Walk and meadows, managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust. To the west are large lakes (one sifted and worked for gravel). This means that Shepperton Green with Littleton is buffered to all sides, except for its eastern side with its road bridge to Shepperton proper, classified as Shepperton Town ward and county council electoral division. This area is currently grouped with Laleham for all local elections. Shepperton has a traditional high street, shorter than that at nearby Ashford with two medium-size supermarkets, village hall, library, shops, optician, hairdressers, a wide range of restaurants, several cafés, with the railway terminus at the northern end.
Shepperton railway station saw high ticketed entries and exits for a settlement of its size to 422,000 (6 April 2010 – 5 April 2011), being a terminus with main commercial destinations being in the City of London, Kingston upon Thames. commercial hubs of West London and South London accessed along the route; this is supplemented by secondary school usage, with a substantial state school and private school. Home Office policing in Shepperton is provided by Surrey Police. Public transport is co-ordinated by Surrey County Council who also provide the statutory emergency fire and rescue service who have a station in Sunbury.
St Peter's Hospital on the far side of Chertsey is a large NHS hospital administrated by Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust. It was opened under its existing name in 1947. The South East Coast Ambulance Service Foundation Trust provides emergency patient transport to and from this facility. Other forms of health care are provided for locally by several small clinics and surgeries.
Waste management is co-ordinated by the local authority via the Surrey Waste Disposal Authority and domestic waste collected by Spelthorne Borough Council. Locally produced inert waste for disposal is sent to landfill in Alfold and Shefford, and a proportion to energy from waste plants in Slough and Kent to lower landfill tax. Plans have been approved to permit gasification in Charlton in the north of the Shepperton post town as part of the county's Eco Park to take up to half of the county's residual waste. Shepperton's Distribution Network Operator for electricity is UK Power Networks; aside from renewables there are no power stations in the area. Thames Water manages Shepperton's drinking and waste water; water supplies being sourced from the London sources including several reservoirs fed by the River Thames locally. There are water treatment works at Ashford, Hampton and sewage treatment works at Isleworth. Shepperton has a long boundary with the River Thames in its southernmost salient, which almost surrounds Spelthorne. Old Shepperton is almost surrounded by the extreme southern meander within this. Prehistoric glacial retreat north of this has made the north bank almost flat for a considerable distance and as such, elevation never exceeds 14 m above mean sea level (on the border of Laleham). The river never exceeds 11.5 m, (beside Dumsey Meadow and under Chertsey Bridge). The lowest elevation is 9 m in flood meadows at the confluence of the Ash with the Thames. The Ash is the border with Littleton and Sunbury-on-Thames (mostly, to the northeast, with its technical hamlet, Upper Halliford).
Dumsey Meadow SSSI is the only piece of undeveloped, unfenced water meadow by the river remaining on the River Thames below Caversham, and is home to a variety of rare plants and insects.
The Swan Sanctuary moved to an old gravel extraction site by Fordbridge Road in 2005 from its former base in Egham.
On the opposite bank are in downstream order are Chertsey Bridge and Chertsey Meads, the now residential Hamm Court riverside neighbourhood, three islands, (the first two of which have multiple properties, Hamhaugh and D'Oyly Carte, one large man-made island, (Desborough), and the riverside parts of Walton on Thames, the upstream part of which is also open land, Cowey Sale Park. The towpath is the official route of three passing through the Shepperton reaches (of the Thames Path) as heading upstream from Hampton Court Palace another marked version takes Walton Bridge, the official version takes the Shepperton-Weybridge Ferry and another marked version crosses to the north bank at Chertsey Bridge. There are recreation grounds for football on both sides of the M3: one in Shepperton Green and two in Shepperton/Lower Halliford; one has adjoining tennis courts. Through the town there is the Thames Path and there are popular adjacent flat cycling routes to Windsor, Hampton Court Palace and Richmond. There is a golf course north of the station in the historic parish of Sunbury so anachronistically named Sunbury Golf Club and for a time American Golf at Sunbury with two courses, a driving range and Crown Golf Academy as Sunbury is a larger settlement.
Desborough Sailing Club is based here with its own dinghy basin, private inlet and secluded reach of the river Thames and international medal-winner training club Queen Mary Reservoir Sailing Club lies between Shepperton and Ashford.
Angling is substantial at Halliford Mere fisheries and on the River Thames itself.
Shepperton has a thriving cricket club, which has teams in the Fullers Surrey County League
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