In the early 19th century Surbiton consisted of around 40 dwellings and the Waggon and Horses public house but because Kingston brushed the railway aside the hamlet acquired a station very early. This opened as Kingston-on-Railway in 1838, and over the following half-century high-class housing spread across the new suburb, which was also known as Kingston New Town or New Kingston.
Surbiton station was wholly rebuilt in 1937–8. Southern Railways’ in-house design team was responsible for the modernist architecture, under the leadership of James Robb Scott. Some sources suggest that Scott himself may not have made much of a contribution to the styling.
Now a grade II-listed building, it was voted Britain’s ‘most improved station’ after its £3 million refurbishment in 1998.