East & West Molesey
A Dictionary of Local History
Rowland G. M. Baker, 1972
Since the filling-in of the lower part of the river Mole this land is no longer an island. The name, which derives from a houseboat called "La Cigarette" which used to be moored close by, is now applied to the open space behind the railway station of over five acres in extent which was transferred from the Office of Works to Esher Council and opened to the public on May Day 1935. The ancient name for this piece of land was "Sterte", which is mentioned as early as 1306, and which almost certainly comes from the Old English word "steort" meaning a tail of land, which aptly describes its situation between the two rivers. In 1843 it was called "Davis's Ait" after the family of Davis who kept the nearby Castle Hotel.
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