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Richmond Terrace Walk and Terrace Field * Richmond
   
Summary: * on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens

In medieval times this was common land in the royal manor known as Hill Common, even then renowned for its views. There was a seat overlooking the view by the mid C17th and Richmond Terrace Walk was laid out c.1700. Between 1765-75 the top of the hill was developed further and in the 1770s the Terrace Walk was extended. From the early C17th there were brickworks below Terrace Walk. When they closed in 1767 part of the north-west area was taken for private gardens, but the local vestry successfully petitioned King George III to prevent development on the remainder and 3.65 hectares of grazed meadow were given as part of the royal bounty, and became known as Terrace Field. In 1902, an Act of Parliament preserved the view from Richmond Hill.
Previous / Other name: Hill Common
Site location: Petersham Road/Richmond Hill
Postcode: TW10 6UZ > Google Map
Type of site: Public Open Land
Date(s): c.1700
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
Borough: Richmond
Site ownership: LB Richmond
Site management: Environment Planning and Review, Parks and Open Spaces
Open to public? Yes
Opening times: unrestricted
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Events:
Public transport: Rail/London Overground/Tube (District): Richmond then bus. Bus: 65.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/03/2015
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.richmond.gov.uk/parks_and_open_spaces

Fuller information:

Site on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens, for Register Entry see https://www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

In medieval times this area was common land in the royal Manor and Richmond Hill was known as Hill Common, even then renowned for its views over the Thames, and the inspiration of poets. A seat had been placed overlooking the view by the mid C17th and Richmond Terrace Walk was laid out c.1700 when the area was being improved and had a double row of pleached trees overlooking the view behind which substantial houses, 1-3 The Terrace, were built. In the C18th, an early admirer of the view from Terrace Walk was Joseph Addison whose influential articles entitled 'Pleasures of the Imagination' published in The Spectator in 1712 appeared at a time when the cult of landscape appreciation was growing. Since then visitors from England and abroad have admired the prospect including writers and painters, among them such artists as Reynolds, Turner, Kokoschka.

Between 1765-75 the top of the hill was developed further with fashionable houses and in the 1770s, through the generosity of Queen Charlotte who was Lady of the Manor, the Terrace Walk was extended south from the present Nightingale Lane to the Star and Garter Servicemen's Home, just north of the Richmond Gate to Richmond Park (q.v.). The area enjoyed great popularity through the C19th.

Part of the riverside below the Terrace Walk was brickworks from the early C17th including the area that is now Terrace Field; the Tile Kilns here were closed in 1767 and part of the area to the north-west was developed as the gardens of Montagu, later called Buccleuch, House, now the site of Buccleuch Gardens (q.v.). Closure of the Tile Kilns prompted the local Vestry to petition King George III to prevent development on this land, which resulted in an Act of Parliament in 1785 whereby 9 acres of grazed meadow from the Terrace down to the Petersham Road was given to the Vestry as part of the royal bounty, and became known as Terrace Field.

In 1902 an Act of Parliament preserved the view from Richmond Hill, the first time a landscape view had been legally protected. The RSPCA fountain, designed by T E Collcutt near the south end of the Terrace Walk, was erected in 1892 for the benefit of horses toiling up the hill; it was restored for the Coronation in 1937. Today Terrace Walk is c10m wide and laid to gravel with numerous seats and divided from the road by a stone wall with iron railings. It is lined with an avenue of mixed trees including horse chestnuts, limes and American oaks and a privet hedge along the top of the west edge above Terrace Field. In the north the Walk overlooks Terrace Gardens (q.v.), which are adjacent to Terrace Field.

Sources consulted:

EH Register listing: C P Moritz 'Travels in 1782'; Daniel Lysons 'Environs of London' 1796; The Times 14/6/1814; L Simond 'Journal of a tour and residence in Great Britain during the years 1810 and 1811' I (1815); The Richmond Petersham and Ham Open Spaces Act, 1902; Terrace Gardens Centenary' souvenir brochure 1987; M Batey and D Lambert 'The English Garden Tour' 1990; M Batey, H Buttery, D Lambert, K Wilkie 'Arcadian Thames, the River Landscape from Hampton to Kew' 1995.
Grid ref: TQ182739
Size in hectares: c.4
   
On EH National Register : Yes
EH grade: Grade II*
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
No
 
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
On Local List:
In Conservation Area: Yes
Conservation Area name: Richmond Hill
Tree Preservation Order: Not known
Nature Conservation Area: Yes - Borough Importance II
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land: Yes
Special Policy Area: Yes - Thames Policy Area
Other LA designation:
   

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