How it all began . . . .
Originally Walnut Tree Island, it was bought by Francis Kent in 1850. He leased part of the island to local boatbuilder Thomas Tagg and he opened a hotel and the island eventually became known as Taggs Island, and was surrounded by luxurious houseboats. There were many famous residents, including J.M.Barrie author of Peter Pan.
In 1912 the lease was sold to Fred Karno. Karno was the showman and impresario credited with discovering Charlie Chaplin, and Laurel and Hardy. In 1913 he built a magnificent hotel on the island which he named The Karsino and the Island has retained its 'showbiz' links to this day.
Mike Foster has compiled an excellent history of the stretch of river from Hampton Court to Sunbury lock which includes Taggs Island - HERE and HERE
There is a superb website with a very detailed history of Molesey and the River Thames that includes a chapter on Taggs Island at moleseyhistory.co.uk. The whole site is full of wonderful information on the area and well worth a visit.
Dave Raven, a resident of 28 years has a brief history HERE
Watch the demolishing of the Karsino in March 1971 below