Richmond is a town in southwest London, England and is part of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It is located west-southwest of Charing Cross.
The founding and naming of Richmond followed the Tudor building of Richmond Palace early in the 16th century. During this era the town was particularly associated with Elizabeth I. The development of Richmond as a London suburb then began with the opening of the railway station in 1846. It was formerly part of the ancient parish of Kingston upon Thames in the county of Surrey and it became a municipal borough in 1890 that was enlarged in 1892 and 1933. It has formed part of Greater London since 1965.
Richmond is a much sought after residential location, and among the wealthiest areas in the United Kingdom. It is also a significant commercial and upmarket retail centre, and has a developed day and evening economy. The town is located on a meander of the River Thames, with a large number of parks and open spaces, including Richmond Park, and many protected conservation areas. Richmond is noted for its high quality of life, as well as its affluence, and has been assessed as one of the happiest places in which to live in the UK.
Richmond Palace the town's origin The area now known as Richmond was formerly part of Shene until about five centuries ago, but Shene was not listed in Domesday Book, although it is depicted on the map as Sceon, which was its Saxon spelling in 950AD. Henry I lived briefly in the King's house in Sheanes (or Shene or Sheen). In 1299 Edward I "Hammer of the Scots", took his whole court to the manor-house at Sheen, a little east of the bridge and on the riverside, and it thus became a royal residence. William Wallace was executed in London in 1305, and it was in Sheen that the Commissioners from Scotland went down on their knees before Edward.
Edward II did not fare as well as his father. Following his defeat at the hands of the Scots at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, he founded a monastery for Carmelites at Sheen. When the boy-king Edward III came to the throne in 1327 he gave the manor to his mother Isabella. Edward later spent over two thousand pounds on improvements, but in the middle of the work Edward himself died at the manor, in 1377. Richard II was the first English king to make Sheen his main residence, which he did in 1383. Twelve years later Richard was so distraught at the death of his wife Anne of Bohemia at the age of 28, that he, according to Holinshed, "caused it [the manor] to be thrown down and defaced; whereas the former kings of this land, being wearie of the citie, used customarily thither to resort as to a place of pleasure, and serving highly to their recreation." It was rebuilt between 1414 & 1422, but destroyed by fire 1497.
Following the fire Henry VII had a palace built there and in 1501 he named it Richmond Palace in recognition of his earldom and the ancestral home of Richmond Castle in Yorkshire. The town that developed nearby took the same name as the palace, and there are unconfirmed beliefs that Shakespeare may have performed some plays there. Once Elizabeth I became queen she spent much of her time at Richmond, as she enjoyed hunting stags in the "Newe Parke of Richmonde". She died there on 24 March 1603. The image shown above right is dated 1765 and is based on earlier drawings. The palace was no longer in residential use after 1649, but in 1688 James II ordered partial reconstruction of the palace: this time as a royal nursery. The bulk of the palace had decayed by 1779; but surviving structures include the Wardrobe, Trumpeter's House (built around 1700), and the Gate House, built in 1501. This has five bedrooms and was made available on a 65 year lease by the Crown Estate Commissioners in 1986.
Beyond the grounds of the old palace, Richmond remained mostly agricultural land until the 18th century. White Lodge, in the middle of what is now Richmond Park was built as a hunting lodge for George II and during this period the number of large houses in their own grounds increased significantly, such as Asgill House and Pembroke Lodge. These were followed by the building of further important houses including Downe House, Wick House and The Wick on the hill, as this area became an increasingly fashionable place to live. Richmond Bridge was completed during this period in 1777 as a replacement for a ferry crossing which connected Richmond town centre on the east bank with its neighbouring district of East Twickenham. Today, this, together with the well-preserved Georgian terraces that surround Richmond Green and line Richmond Hill to its crest, now has listed building status.
As Richmond continued to prosper and expand during the nineteenth century, much luxurious housing was built on the streets that line Richmond hill, as well as shops in the town centre to serve the increasing population. A large part of Richmond Hill is now a conservation area some of which is protected by an Act of Parliament. The town is now home to just over 20,000 residents.
The name chosen by the founder of the US city of Richmond, capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, derives from here. The founder had spent time in Richmond during his youth and knew that the views from the hills overlooking the rivers in both places were similar. Naturally these two Richmonds are twinned. In addition, Richmond is twinned with Fontainebleau, France and Konstanz, Germany.
Richmond forms part of the Richmond Park UK Parliament constituency. The current Member of Parliament is Zac Goldsmith. Richmond is also part of the South West London Assembly constituency. For elections to the European Parliament it is part of the London constituency.
Richmond, earlier known as Shene, was part of the large ancient parish of Kingston upon Thames in the Kingston hundred of Surrey. Split off from Kingston upon Thames from an early time, the parish of Richmond St Mary Magdalene formed the Municipal Borough of Richmond from 1890. The municipal borough was expanded in 1892 by the addition of Kew, Mortlake and Petersham and in 1933 Ham was added to the borough. In 1965 the parish and municipal borough were abolished by the London Government Act 1963 and the area transferred to Greater London, to form part of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. This current borough extends from and includes Barnes in the north-east to Hampton Court in the south-west, embracing Richmond, Twickenham and Teddington.
Map of the town of Richmond.
Click to enlarge.
Richmond sits technically on the south side of the River Thames opposite East Twickenham, but owing to the way this stretch of the river meanders, the town actually lies east of the river, which curves around the town in its course from Petersham to the south towards Kew to the north. The river is still tidal at Richmond, so to allow traffic to continue to operate during low tide, a half tide lock was opened in 1894 and is used when the adjacent weir is in position. This weir ensures that there is always a minimum depth of water of 1.72 metres in the River between Richmond and Teddington whatever the state of the tide. Above the lock and weir there is a small footbridge.
Richmond is well endowed with green and open spaces accessible to the public. At the heart of the town sits Richmond Green, which is roughly square in shape and together with the Little Green, a small supplementary green stretching from its southheast corner, is 12 acres (0.05 km ) in size. The Green is surrounded by well-used metalled roads that provide for a fair amount of vehicle parking for both residents and visitors. The south corner leads into the main shopping area of the town; at the west corner is the old gate house which leads through to other remaining buildings of the palace; at the north corner is pedestrian access to Old Deer Park (plus vehicle access for municipal use). The park is a Crown Estate landscape extending from the town along the riverside as far as the boundary with the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This contains wide green lawns and sports facilities, and the Grade I listed former King's Observatory erected for George III in 1769.
South of the town centre, rising from Richmond Bridge to an elevation of 165 ft (50m), is Richmond Hill. To its south lies Richmond Park, a large area of some 2,360 acres (9.55 km2; 3.69 sq mi) of wild heath and woodland originally enclosed by Charles I for hunting, and now forming London's largest royal park. This park is both a National Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is about three times the size of Central Park in New York and it contains on a permanent basis around 650 red and fallow deer. The park has a number of traffic and pedestrian gates leading to the surrounding areas of Sheen, Roehampton, Putney, Kingston and Ham.
Richmond's main arterial road, the A316, running between Chiswick and the M3 motorway, bisects Old Deer Park and the town to its north. The town centre sits on the A307 which links southwest London with northwest Surrey, and was originally part of the old Portsmouth Road before it was diverted away from the town.
Richmond upon Thames, of which Richmond North and South makes up two of its wards, is the most affluent borough in London. The town has the largest commercial centre in the borough and is classified a major centre according to the London Plan. It is an established up-market shopping destination with over 200 shops. Its compact centre has approximately 50,000m2 of retail floor-space that is largely focused on George Street, The Quadrant and Hill Street. It comprises almost exclusively of high street chains, the largest of which are House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer, Boots, Tesco Metro and Waitrose. A new Whole Foods Market with 20,000 ft2 of floor space within a new development is due to open in early 2013 on the site formerly occupied by Argos. The remaining town centre stores are largely single units.
Mostly independent businesses line the narrow alleyways running off George Street towards Richmond Green and up Richmond Hill and there is a farmers' market in Heron Square on Saturdays. Richmond has one large stand-alone supermarket, Sainsbury's, with parking for 420 cars.
A range of convenience shopping, restaurants and cafes can be found on the crest of Richmond Hill lining Friars Stile Road, as well as along Kew Road towards the Botanical Gardens, and on Sheen Road, which comprise the third tier of the shopping hierarchy.
Retail vacancy rate, at 4.6% in 2004, is very low, well below the national average of approximately 12%. Zone A rents (prime retail floorspace) have been rising steadily since 1993 and were 180 ft2 in 2004. In 2011, Richmond heads the list as the most recession-proof retail centre nationwide.
Richmond also offers a wide variety of office accommodation and is the UK/European headquarters of several multi-national companies including PepsiCo, eBay and The Securitas Group, as well as head office to a number of national, regional and local businesses.
Richmond station is one of the western termini of the District Line on the London Underground system. It is also the western terminus of the London Overground line to Stratford and served by trains from Waterloo station on the National Rail service, connecting it with Reading, Staines, Windsor, Wimbledon and Weybridge. The station is within Travelcard Zone 4. Richmond is the boundary with Travelcard Zone 3.
Richmond is well-served by buses travelling east towards Hammersmith, Clapham and Tooting, north towards Ealing, south towards Kingston and west towards Twickenham, Hampton, Hounslow and Heathrow Airport. While there are a number of buses that run through the town, it is also a major bus terminus with a bus station located on Wakefield Road in the town centre and a bus stand on Manor Road.
Bus routes that currently serve Richmond are: H22, N22, 33, H37 65, R68, R70, 190, 337, 371, 391, 419, 490 and 493.
30% of Richmond households do not have a car/van, a figure well above the borough average of 24% which may be related to the excellent transport links in the area and the lower proportion of families as reported in the 2001 census. A half of households have one car in line with the borough average.
In March 2011, after three years and following Liberal Democrat losses in council elections, Richmond scrapped a parking charge scheme that was dependent on the size of the car engines. The scheme was intended to reduce pollution.
Places of interest
The Thames Riverfront north of Richmond Bridge. Click the image to access the full-size 12MB panoramic version.
The river is a major contributor to the interest that Richmond inspires in many people. It has a lively frontage around Richmond Bridge, containing many bars and restaurants. The area owes much of its "Georgian" character to the architect Quinlan Terry who restored and rebuilt much of the area in 1984 87. Within the river itself at this point are the leafy Corporation Island and the two small Flowerpot Islands. The Thameside walkway provides access to residences, pubs and terraces, and various greens, lanes and footpaths through Richmond. The stretch of the Thames below Richmond Hill is known as Horse Reach, and includes Glover's Island. There are towpaths and tracks along both sides of the river, and they are much used by pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists.
Wide-angle view of the northern half of Richmond Green, showing Pembroke Villas and Portland Terrace
Richmond is now serviced by the London River Services with boats sailing daily between Westminster Pier and Hampton Court Palace.
On summer weekends and public holidays the Green attracts many residents and visitors. It has a long history of hosting sporting events; from the sixteenth century onwards tournaments and archery contests have taken place on the green, while cricket matches have occurred since the mid 18th century, continuing to the present day. Until recently, the first recorded inter-county cricket match was believed to have been played on Richmond Green in 1730 between Surrey and Middlesex. It is now known, however, that an earlier match between Kent and Surrey took place in Dartford in 1709.
Maids of Honour Row To the west of the Green is the start of the charming Old Palace Lane running down to the river. Close by to the left is the renowned terrace of well preserved three-storey houses known as Maids of Honour Row. These were built in 1724 for the maids of honour (trusted royal wardrobe servants) of the wife of George II. As a child, Richard Burton, the Victorian explorer, lived at number 2.
Today the northern, western and southern sides of the Green are residential while the eastern side, linking with George Street, is largely retail and commercial. Public buildings line the eastern side of the Little Green and pubs and caf s cluster in the corner by Paved and Golden Courts - two of a number of alleys that lead from the green to the main commercial thoroughfare of George Street.
In contrast to George Street, the alleys are lined with mostly privately owned boutiques. Two of these are purveyors of fine chocolates: one is The House of Chocolate located on the corner of Brewers Lane, a long-standing family-run business; the other, a stone's throw to the west on Paved Court, is William Curley, a chocolatier whose award-winning fare, together with pastries and hot drinks can be consumed on the premises. Another independent shop is Gelateria Danieli, selling gelato ice cream, located on Brewers Lane, which Time Out listed as one of the best ice-cream parlours in London.
The famous south western view from Richmond Hill, seen in early spring The Royal Star and Garter Home
Partway up Richmond Hill is the factory, staffed mainly by disabled ex-servicemen and women, which produces the remembrance poppies sold each November for Remembrance Day.
The view from the top westward to Windsor has long been famous, inspiring paintings by masters such as J.M.W. Turner and Sir Joshua Reynolds, poetry, and one particularly grand description of the view can be found in Sir Walter Scott s novel The Heart of Midlothian (1818). It is a common misconception that the folk song "Lass of Richmond Hill" relates to this hill, but the song is actually based upon a lass residing in Hill House at Richmond in the Yorkshire Dales.
Apart from the great rugby stadium at Twickenham and the aircraft landing and taking off from Heathrow, the scene has changed little in two hundred years. The view from Richmond Hill now forms part of the Thames Landscape Strategy which aims to protect and enhance this section of the river corridor into London.
A broad, gravelled walk runs along the crest of the hill and is set back off the road, lined with benches, allowing pedestrians an uninterrupted view across the Thames valley with visitors' information boards describing points of interest. Sloping down to the River Thames is the Terrace Gardens that were laid out in the 1880s and were extended to the river some forty years later.
A commanding feature on the hill is the Royal Star and Garter home. During World War I an old hotel on this site, which had been a popular place of entertainment in the 18th and 19th centuries but had closed in 1906, was taken over and used as a military hospital. After the war it was replaced by this handsome building providing accommodation and nursing facilities for 180 seriously injured servicemen. It was run as a charitable trust, and continues to be, but the trustees have concluded that the building does not now meet modern requirements and cannot be easily or economically upgraded. There are now only 60 residents. The trust has opened a new home in the West Midlands and the remaining residents will move in 2013 to a new purpose-built building in Surbiton. The building in Richmond will be offered for sale.
On the opposite side of the road sits the Richmond Gate entrance to Richmond Park, which remains open to traffic between dawn and dusk. King Henry's Mount is the highest point within the park and is named after Henry VIII. From the mound there is a protected view of St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London over 10 miles (16 km) to the east which was established in 1710. It is said that Henry VIII stood watching for the sign from St Paul's that Anne Boleyn had been executed at the Tower, and that he was then free to marry Jane Seymour.
The Museum of Richmond is located in Richmond's old town hall, close to Richmond Bridge, and was formally opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988. The museum celebrates the rich heritage of Richmond, Ham, Petersham and Kew with colourful displays that span from mediaeval times to the present day, as well as rotating exhibitions. It is family-friendly with activities for children, and admission is free.
White Lodge Museum and Ballet Resource Centre is located in the Royal Ballet Lower School in Richmond Park. As part of its redevelopment programme, the school relocated and enlarged its ballet museum, which now also contains a gallery and collections relating to the history of White Lodge. These artefacts can now be accessed by the public for the first time but advanced booking is required.
Theatres and cinemas
Richmond Lending Library and Richmond Theatre Richmond boasts two theatres. The Richmond Theatre at the side of Little Green is a Victorian structure designed by Frank Matcham and restored and extended by Carl Toms in 1990. The theatre has a weekly schedule of plays and musicals, usually given by professional touring companies, and pre-West End shows can sometimes be seen. There is a Christmas and New Year pantomime tradition and many of Britain's greatest music hall and pantomime performers have appeared here.
Close to Richmond railway station is the Orange Tree Theatre which was founded in 1971 in a room above the Orange Tree pub. As audience numbers increased there was pressure to find a more accommodating space and in 1991, the company moved to current premises within a converted primary school. The 172 seat theatre was built built specifically as a theatre in the round. Exclusively presenting its own productions, it has acquired a national reputation for the quality of its work for staging new plays, and for discovering undeservedly forgotten old plays and neglected classics.
The town has three cinemas, the arthouse Curzon in Water Lane and two Odeon cinemas with a total of seven screens, one located upon entry to Richmond via the bridge, and the second set further back nearby.
Pubs and bars
The Green Richmond]]
Richmond is home to numerous public houses and bars scattered throughout the town centre, along the river and up the hill, with enough variety to cater to most tastes. One of the oldest is The Cricketers, serving beer since 1770, though the original building was burned down in 1844. It was soon replaced by the present grade II listed building shown here. Samuel Whitbread, founder of Whitbread Brewery part-owned it with the Collins family, who had a brewery in Water Lane, close to the old palace.
The Duke, a gastropub close to Richmond Theatre.
The Olde Ship, a popular sports pub.
The White Cross, an 18th century pub on the Thames, with seating outside overlooking the towpath.
The Roebuck which dates back to 1730 and sits on the brow of Richmond Hill. Patrons may take their drinks outside to take in the beautiful view.
The Richmond Arms, a gay-friendly pub with cabaret and karaoke themed nights.
Restaurants and cafes
Most of the major restaurant chains can be found within a few minutes of the town centre. Aside from those, there are plenty of privately-owned restaurants with culinary offerings from all around the world, including Japanese, Russian and Spanish.
Possibly the most upscale of Richmond's restaurants is located at The Bingham Hotel and was awarded its first Michelin star in 2010. The hotel, which overlooks the Thames, was originally two houses and dates back to the mid-18th century.
Gaucho's Restaurant sits on the Thames towpath just to the west of Richmond Bridge, with indoor and outdoor seating directly overlooking the river.
La Buvette is a small restaurant that offers French cuisine, located in a former annexe to neighbouring St. Mary Magdalene church.
Fish Works specialises in fish dishes with a traditional wet fish counter that allows fish to be chosen and cooked to order.
Tide Tables is a vegetarian cafe beneath the arches of Richmond Bridge. It includes an extensive seating area outside, overlooking the river and towpath.
The Boat at Richmond Bridge, a restaurant on a boat moored next to Richmond Bridge.
With a third of the borough being green and open space - five times more than any other borough in London, Richmond has much to offer in the way of leisure activities. Located in Old Deer Park, the local authority-run Pools on the Park includes 33m indoor and outdoor pools and a fitness centre. Nearby, the park also provides open recreation areas, football, rugby and other pitches; in addition there is the Richmond Athletic Ground, home to London Scottish F.C. and Richmond F.C rugby clubs. An additional sports ground is home to both the Richmond Cricket Club and the London Welsh Rugby Union club, as well as tennis courts and a bowling green. The Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club is also located there with both golf and pitch and putt courses.
On Richmond Green, The Princes Head Cricket Club holds fixtures throughout the summer.
Richmond is part of the London Cycle Network, offering on and off-road cycle paths throughout the area, including along the Thames Towpath and in Richmond Park. The park also has bridle paths and horses can be rented from a number of stables located around the perimeter of the park.
Skiffs (fixed seat boats) can be hired by the hour from local boat builders close to the bridge, with opportunities to row upstream towards the historic properties Ham House and Marble Hill House. In addition, Richmond Canoe Club, founded in 1944 and now Britain's biggest canoe club, is also located on the towpath south of Richmond Bridge.
Richmond University main building on the Richmond campus Richmond University a private institution, also known as the Richmond, The American International University in London is based here. Richmond degrees are accredited in the USA, and are validated in the UK.
Places of worship
||Halford House, 27 Halford Road, Richmond, TW10 6AW
|Duke Street Baptist Church
||Duke Street, Richmond TW9 1DH
|First Church of Christ, Scientist
||35 Sheen Road, Richmond, TW9 1AD
||Sheen Park, Richmond, TW9 1UP
|London Church International
||1a Hill Street, Richmond, TW9 1SX
||1 Retreat Road, Richmond, TW9 1NN
|Raleigh Road United Church
Methodist & United Reformed
||Raleigh Road, Richmond, TW9 2DX
|Richmond and Putney Unitarian Church
||Ormond Road, Richmond, TW10 6TH
||Lichfield Gardens, Richmond, TW9 1AP
|St Elizabeth of Portugal
||The Vineyard, Richmond, TW10 6AQ
|St John the Divine
||Kew Road, Richmond, TW9 2TN
|St Mary Magdalene
||Red Lion Street, Richmond, TW9 1RE
||Friars Stile Road, Richmond, TW10 6PN
|The Vineyard Church
||The Vineyard, Richmond TW10 6AQ
Currently the local newspapers are:
Richmond has not only been home to the country's royal family for centuries, but has a long list of famous residents, both past and present.
Richmond has been a location that has featured in a number of films and TV series. Richmond Park with its wide-open spaces and rugged countryside was the backdrop for the classic historical film Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), with Richard Burton and Genevieve Bujold, which looks back to Richmond Park in the 16th century. It tells the story of King Henry VIII's courtship and brief marriage to Anne Boleyn. More recently, in 2011, director Guy Ritchie filmed parts of Sherlock Holmes 2 in the park with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law.
As well as a location for films, Richmond Park is regularly featured in television programmes, corporate videos and fashion shoots. It has made an appearance on Blue Peter, Inside Out (the BBC regional current affairs programme) and BBC Springwatch.
The Green, too, with its Georgian splendour, its stately listed buildings, river views and paved alleyways that lead off the High Street to a traditional Green, has made it a magnet for film crews, particularly when recreating the Britain of another era. Richmond Theatre is the most popular location, having featured in many movies including the Peter Sellers comedy The Naked Truth (1957), Bugsy Malone (1976), The Krays (1990), Evita (1996), Bedazzled (2000), The Hours (2002) and Finding Neverland (2004).
A number of TV shows have also featured the Green, including Poirot, The Power Of Art and most recently The Crimson Petal and the White in 2011, in which a number of scenes featuring local resident Richard E. Grant were filmed on the Green, as well as a night scene of a horse and carriage travelling down Friars Lane.
As Richmond Council currently doesn t charge for filming on its pavements or highways, it is likely that the town will continue to attract film-makers.
Fontainebleau, France Konstanz, Germany Richmond, Virginia, United States
es:Richmond (Londres) fr:Richmond upon Thames (ville) no:Richmond upon Thames pl:Richmond (Londyn) ru: ( ) sv:Richmond, London uk: ( )