Carshalton is a suburban area of the London Borough of Sutton in Greater London, England. Part of the county of Surrey until 1965, it is located 10 miles (16.1 km) south-southwest of Charing Cross (a point considered to be the centre of London from which distances are measured) and situated in the valley of the River Wandle, one of the sources of which is Carshalton Ponds in the centre of the village. The combined population of the five wards comprising Carshalton was 45,525 at the 2001 UK census. Carshalton is on the eastern side of the centre of Sutton Borough.
Local administration in Carshalton during the 19th century was in the hands of Epsom Poor Law Union and Registration District (under which it was a registration sub-district). Epsom Rural Sanitary District was also in operation from 1875 until 1883 when Carshalton was made an urban sanitary district. This was replaced by an urban district in 1894. The urban district lasted until Carshalton became part of the London Borough of Sutton in 1965.
Carshalton lay within the Anglo-Saxon administrative division of Wallington hundred. The organization of "hundreds" was designed for the administration of justice and land disputes. It was retained in some form or other throughout England until the end of the nineteenth century.
The village appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Aultone. It was held by Goisfrid (Geoffrey) de Mandeville. Its domesday assets were: 3½ hides; 1 church, 10 ploughs, 1 mill worth £1 15s 0d, of meadow, woodland worth 2 hogs. It rendered £15 10s 0d. In the Domesday era there was a church and a water mill in Carshalton and the community was then still made up of a number of hamlets dotted around the area, as opposed to a single compact village.
In the Middle Ages the land in the village was generally farmed in the form of a number of open fields, divided into strips. The number of strips which each land owner possessed was based roughly on his wealth. The area of open downland in the south of the parish was used for grazing sheep.
Carshalton was known for its springs; these may have given the place its name Cars - Aul - ton. "Aul" means well or spring. A "ton" is a farm which was in some way enclosed. The meaning of the Cars element is uncertain but early spellings (Kersaulton and Cresaulton) may indicate connection with a cross or perhaps cress (watercress) which was grown locally.
In his book History of the Worthies of England, the 17th century historian Thomas Fuller refers to Carshalton for its walnuts and trout.
Land was primarily put to arable use and the river Wandle gave rise to manufacturing using water power. A water mill to grind corn was mentioned in the Domesday Book. By the end of the 18th century it was recorded that there were several mills for the production of paper and parchment, leather, snuff, log-wood and seed oil. There were also bleaching grounds for calico.
There were timber-framed houses from the end of the Middle Ages, and brick and wooden weather-boarded houses from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. By the middle of the 19th century Carshalton's population was 2,411, making it, at the time, the largest village in what was to become the London Borough of Sutton. It had a very varied character with houses for the wealthy at one extreme and tenements in back yards at the other. In 1847 a railway line was laid from Croydon to Epsom through Carshalton, but the first mid-line station was built in fields south of Wallington. A station in the village itself was not established until 1868 when the Sutton to Mitcham Line was constructed. The development of Carshalton got into its stride in the early 1890s when the Carshalton Park Estate was sold for housing development.
During the Victorian era and into the early 20th century, Carshalton was known for its lavender fields, but the increasing land requirement for house building put an end to commercial growing.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists 78 civilian casualties in Carshalton during World War II.