Not a favourite thing, but a nice local story...
There's a well known watering hole, near Richmond Hill- 'The Hole in the Wall', near St. Matthias church.
Sadly, closed down some time ago and has been mouldering away- abandoned. It used to be my regular for years.
Developers have been after the site- a large one- on which to build 'luxury' housing.The locals have been trying to fight the prospect, with not much success.
Well- Sir David Attenborough lives next door..and next door again to my lovely friend Alan, who lived there years ago...and with whom I lived for a while after leaving my 1st husband, (in the house in which a famous Victorian murderess lived, who carried the head of her victim around in a hat box, before throwing it over Richmond Bridge!) and next door again to where Mandy Miller lived...and where Jennifer Saunders lived for years.It was a cosy local for some Richmond celebs...
Well- guess what's stopped the proposed ghastly development?
David Attenborough has bought it!! For £1,000,000... a snip considering the size of the site and its position.
Isn't that wonderful?
We don't know yet what he wants to do with it- but it's enough that he has had enough 'good spirit' and a love of Richmond, not to allow the ruin of a quiet, leafy road, near Richmond Park.
He might restore it to its former glory- as a snug local.
Doesn't that warm the cockles of one's heart?
The latest news is that Sir David will use the building to extend his house, keeping the facade intact..
Even after travelling all over the world he loves Richmond, has lived here for years and is often seen around Richmond and always gives a cheery wave and a 'hello' to locals. He has no intention of living anywhere else.
Fondest memory: Not exactly a 'fondest memory' but an anecdote of local history!
The pub- to the right in the photo is next door to Sir David Attenborough's house...the blue one- to the left.
My friend's house is just visible to its left.
The 'murderess' who lived in my friend's house, was called Kate Webster. She murdered her mistress for whom she was a housekeeper/ maid.
She dismembered the body and boiled down all the pieces, severing the head and keeping it in a hat box. She even visited friends for tea, carrying the hat box with her, while she thought of a way of disposing of it.
Eventually she threw it over Richmond Bridge and it was later retrieved by Barnes Bridge, further down river.
She was charged and tried at the High Court, found guilty and was hanged in 1879.
I was told by a friend, via email, this morning that we'd had quite a snowfall. I hadn't even drawn my curtains, so hadn't noticed!
I got my camera and went out to photograph the scene, really early, at 8.30.a.m.!
Knowing English weather- I thought it would've disappeared by lunchtime!
Richmond is easily reached by rail from Waterloo. The famous, Old Deer Park, (not to be confused with Richmond Park- up the Hill), is adjcent to the river. It runs along side the Chertsey Road,A316, down to the river.
It was originally part of the Duke of Northumberland's estate, which took in, also, Syon Park, further along the river towards Brentford.
This street of houses is in central Richmond.
It is called Victoria Place.
They are quaint, cute and are near to everything! We have often wondered as we were walking by what they must cost.
Apparently they dont cost very much as they are almshouses, and are for the sickly and poor... thanks to VT'er diosh for this info!
The plantation is full of all types of flora and fauna.
We are more knowledgable on birdlife, not plantlife, so I couldn’t tell you what this plant is, but we named it the eggplant.
The next one is a Christmas tree of course!
Botanists we aren’t, but we would love to know the proper names. In the meanwhile, they will be referred to as above.
UPDATE: My BIL is getting married… to a botanist who is in charge of the proteas at Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town, South Africa! When they come out to London we will bring her here and see if she knows what they are.
13 JAN 2007 UPDATE: VT member TheWanderingCamel says they are camelia, thank you for that!
The Richmond Community & Visitor Information Centre is a mine of information for the keen visitor!
It is based inside the Old Town Hall which also houses the Richmond Museum, the Richmond Library and the little gallery that is within the information centre itself.
Close to the Waterfront, this is a gorgeous piece of architecture... old and well maintained.
We never ventured inside till September 2006, when we had guests form South Africa visiting us, and Dawn was in the hunt for old fashioned postcards of the area!
So we went inside and I was impressed with the friendliness of the lady behind the counter, the array of art and print works on sale (and decently priced too), plus all the books and post cards they had about the local area.
They also had a section of the office where you can find out just about anything about local amenities and what there is to do in the Richmond borough.
An informative and friendly visitor centre – what a pleasure!
Old Town Hall
020 8940 9125
A website I have found useful for this area is: www.visitrichmond.co.uk
This centre is quite a new feature by the river.
It is located just past the bridge to the side (after Tide Tables vegan café).
We wanted to go inside to see what information was available, but unfortunately could not, because, even though we were well within their opening times, they were not open…
So I am unable to comment any more on this visitor centre, except that they weren’t that much help…
Yet another sign with a warning.
The tree here is quite well protected for various reasons. To protect it from being knocked by a passing car (it is located next to a car park).
I would think, as it is a young tree, that they would like to keep it ‘hands and vandal-free’ till it’s older too, hence the wood protection.
This sign warns people not to take the local mushrooms and toadstools.
It being a National Park, these types of conservation laws are crucial in its sustainability, even if it seems like a small and seemingly inconsequential thing.
The park is well sign posted throughout the park, and has these informative information boards at all the parking areas.
It shows what kind of animal-life is found in different areas of the park, so you know what to look out for if you are rambling/cycling in that area.
In this area (near Isabella Plantation), there are all kinds of butterflies, foxes, the red deer, various species of birds, and numerous other little insects, water and ground animals and birds.
Fondest memory: We have been to many national parks in various countries, and this is one of the best signed parks. It makes one’s visit all the more interesting to know what one should be looking for and what one is looking at!
This is a particularly pretty and popular area to have a beer and socialise with friends, in summer.
We also like it in winter (as is seen in the photos), when there are FAR less people around and we can take a long walk along the river bank. There aren’t nearly as many cyclists, buggys or people clogging up the pathway.
A lovely feature here is the stunning Richmond Bridge. It isn’t a huge bridge, is solid and simple. And I really like it.
We have strolled on the other side of the river before (Strawberry Hill side), but there is difficulty in accessing the river from there (homes are right on the water), so we usually remain on the main, Richmond side of the river here, for our strolls, either toward the Richmond Lock or along the Thames path.
Richmond is a particularly pretty little town we think, and the alley ways add to her charm and flavour.
They are everywhere, so many of the roads interconnect with each other via little alleyways… from the Waitrose to Nero (past some pretty one-up one-down terrace cottages), and from the High Street to the Green.
Down these little alley ways are coffee shops, boutique shops, hairdressers, salons… you name it, they are there. These aren’t the High Street chain stores either, but the owner-shops.
And these are the places where you will find that something different when looking for a gift or a treat for yourself.
So when next in Richmond, be daring and veer off the High Street and take a wander down one of the little alley ways. You might find a little hidden treasure there :)
We have spotted these horses a few times in and around Richmond, and found them to be quite beautiful!
The Metropolitan Police survey areas on horseback often, but no other horses (that we have seen) have this interesting look to them!
These horses were spotted coming out of Richmond Park via Richmond Gate, near sundown.
They are shaved in a geometric design, the bottom half having less hair than the top half.
Apart from being there to keep an eye on the traffic, with this interesting design on the horses, they might very well cause accidents themselves with people looking at the lovely horses!
The two deer species are the Red Deer and the Fallow Deer, and there are about 650 of them, roaming in the park at any given time.
They seem to stay away from eachother, the two herds.
If we'd like to see the Red Deer we usually drive up past Isabella Plantation (from Lancaster Gate) and keep to that side of the park, and we will probably see them there.
To see the Fallow Deer is easier as they keep to a more central spot within the park, down the main roadway, towards Richmond Gate.
The most popular place in Richmond would have to be the riverside. The Thames seems to be a magnet for all visitors to this lovely part of London.
There is always something happening in the main riverside area. There are some good pubs and cafes/restaurants to relax in, and plenty of ducks and geese wandering about to keep the kids amused.
You also have beautiful Richmond Bridge which is great to photograph, and the river itself is always busy with passing boats and rowers.
Fondest memory: There is a tow-path on either side of the river, which runs for miles and is a great place to wander on a sunny day - you may even come a cross a pub or two along your way to stop off for a refreshing ale.
Row boats can be rented from a place close to the bridge if you want to get out on the water, else there is a tour boat with regular departures that can be picked up near the bridge also.
Lunch on Richmond Green, you can take a drink from the pub, visit many of the Deli's close by and also juice bars...
some days there will be a cricket match to watch... don't get too excited, and watch out for the balls....
Cricket is the perfect game to watch for a slow sunny day.... :)
Favorite thing: Richmond is not an easy place to park the car. Either come by tube or train, the river is only a couple of minutes walk fromt the station. Also you can park a mile or 2 away and walk, or get here early!