CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

Twenty Twenty at John Lewis Kingston

PUBLISHED: 10:37 19 November 2010 | UPDATED: 17:50 20 February 2013

Twenty Twenty at John Lewis Kingston

Twenty Twenty at John Lewis Kingston

With the Kingston branch of John Lewis celebrating its 20th year in the town later this month, we have delved back into their history to bring you 20 fascinating facts you probably never knew about this much-loved department store...

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine September 2010

PROMOTIONALFEATURE: With the Kingston branch of John Lewis celebrating its 20th year in the town later this month, we have delved back into their history to bring you 20 fascinating facts you probably never knew about this much-loved department store...

1) The department stores opening in 1990 represented the culmination of 25 years planning to establish a John Lewis in south London.

2) Below the shop are the remains of a medieval undercroft and part of the old 12th century Kingston Bridge. The undercroft is open during this months Heritage Open Days event.

3) Over 145,000m3 of clay, soil and rubble was removed during excavation.

4) The store has the same footprint as St Pauls Cathedral and is the fourth largest John Lewis in the country.

5) To navigate its mass, there are 18 lifts and 17 escalators.

6) When planning permission for the store was granted, a redesign of Kingstons one way traffic system was required, which ultimately put a road through the middle of it this is why the store comes in two parts.

7) Both underground car parks are the size of an international football pitch.

8) Architect Paul Koralek drew on the department store design of Bon Marche and Printemps in Paris.

9) To achieve this, the void at third floor level is equivalent to an Olympic sized swimming pool and the roof-glazed area extends over 3,500m2.

10) The construction of the building used 55,000m3 of concrete and 8,000 tonnes of reinforcement.

11) A new 80m wall along the Thames riverside had to be constructed with an average depth of some 18m to assist in keeping the lower levels watertight.

12) The foundations are on 300 piles sunk to a depth of 30m below
ground level.

13) The brick cladding was completed using Stamford bricks by Williamson Cliff 800,000 bricks were used.

14) 140 special brick shapes were used as part of the detailing.

15) The operations manager, Andrew Layton, has been at the Kingston store since its opening day in 1990.

16) There is a fabulous roof terrace that overlooks the River Thames for the partners (the John Lewis term for permanent staff).

17) A small collection of work by the Victorian photographer Eadweard Muybridge can be found at the Place to Eat restaurant.

18) Silk mosaic tapestries designed by Lucienne Day hang in the Espresso bar.

19) The store has been immortalised in stained glass. A window made by local stained-glass artist Simone Kay in Kingstons Guildhall shows a night-time view of the towns bridge with the shop in the background.

20) A taste of sci-fi has come to John Lewis in recent years, with the department store being used in episodes of both Red Dwarf and Primeval.

More from Surrey Life


She may have recently moved to the seaside, but Surrey still holds a uniquely “precious” place in the heart of legendary children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson – not to mention the crucial role the county played in bringing everyone’s favourite and newly-returning feisty foster-kid to life

Read more

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend (23, 24 and 25 November): art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Surrey is full of secret hideaways and hidden gems. Slades Farm on the Wintershall Estate is definitely one of them

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The new hotel is set to open in spring 2019 and will be located in the heart of the vineyard, offering sweeping views over the North Downs Way.

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

From Santa’s Grottos, to Victorian Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in Surrey this season

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Having bloomed in Brighton’s restaurant scene over the past decade, The Chilli Pickle opened its second site in Guildford this summer

Read more
Monday, November 12, 2018

Historic Royal Palaces and IMG have announced that Kylie Minogue is the first headliner confirmed for Hampton Court Palace Festival 2019. These will be her only London shows of summer 2019. Here’s how you can get tickets

Read more
Monday, November 12, 2018

Enjoy this linear rail to ramble section of the Thames Down Link route taking the short train-ride from Box Hill & Westhumble to Ashtead before walking back

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It’s that time of year when our beautiful countryside is alight with the colours of autumn. Here, we pick out some of her favourite spots to enjoy the seasonal splendour – as well as some perfect places for a post-walk refresher

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Found on the stretch of the River Thames between Weybridge and East Molesey, Sunbury-on-Thames is blessed with a village feel where it meets the water. From antique hunts to the joys of river life, here are a few of our favourite reasons to visit

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Verity & Violet are Loui and Jess – a singing duo from Surrey who specialise in blending vintage classics with modern favourites. The two have achieved success in the capital, but are now hoping to attract an audience closer to home

Read more
Friday, November 2, 2018

With the Christmas celebrations seemingly starting earlier every year, it all feels a little too ‘soon’ sometimes, but what if you want to look your best for Christmas & New year celebrations and are considering having cosmetic non-surgical procedures? The Bella Vou Pantiles Clinic offers surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures and treatments from a purpose-built private clinic in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells

Read more
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Living in England’s most densely wooded county, it’s always a pleasure to witness Surrey donning its autumn finery. Here’s some of the best places to do just that - plus a few pub pit stops to enjoy on route!

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search