Riverside - south of the river, west of the Tower. Kew

Riverside - south  of the river, west of the Tower. Kew

This post shows sites south of the river only. North of the river is Strand on the Green

Post to the south Kew
Post to the west Kew Gardens and Green

Cambridge Cottages
When the creek leading to the pond and the old dock were filled in the late 19th the cottages here were built on the site of what were known as Twiggets Meadows.
Cambridge Road
The name relates to the 7th son of George III, Adolphus.
Wesleyan Chapel, previously the Gloucester Road Wesleyan Chapel.  It was built in 1895 by R.Curwen and is now housing.
Stable – this is a house converted from a 19th stable and garages once belonging to a house in Mortlake Road.

Cumberland Road
The name relates to the Duke of Cumberland, a name often given to Royal dukes
24-26 Kew College. Fee paying private school.
The Queen’s Church of England School. In 1810, a "Free School" was opened in St Anne's Church, financed by subscribers plus a contribution by George III. In 1824 it moved to near the pond on Kew Green.  The foundation stone was laid on the birthday of George IV, who gave £300 if the school was called "The King's Free School". Queen Victoria allowed it be called "The Queen's School" and said the name should change according to the monarch. The school moved to Cumberland Road in 1969

Defoe Avenue
Built 1902 on the estates of John Poupart and James Pocock.

Forest Road
This was part of the ‘ware ground’ – land attached or near the weir – and was liable to flood. The road was built on the estate of The Priory.
The Priory. This was originally built in the early 19th by Miss Doughty of Richmond Hill as a sort of gothic summer house, with a chapel and a couple of rooms – plus an aviary and stables. Later, after her death it became a ‘gentleman’s residence’. It was sited roughly on the west side of the bend in the road
Sherwood House. This has a plaque above the door with ‘Cumberland House’.  This large building appears to date from the 1880s and to have been in the grounds of 41 Mortlake Road. It is now housing for ‘Lifelong Homes’.

Gloucester Road
Part of the Engleheart Estate built 1892-4. This is another road name referring to the title of several royal dukes.
Blue plaque to the impressionist Camille Pissarro. This is on the Gloucester Road wall of 10a Kew Green. Pissaro stayed here in 1892

Kew Bridge
Ferry. This was Kew Ferry or Kings Ferry and approximately on the site of Kew Bridge.  In 1605 the Crown had granted it to a Walter Hickman, although he was not the first to operate it.  It was later owned by Robert Tunstall of Brentford who built the first bridge here and also operated another ferry slightly upstream. It was also called Powell’s ferry.
Kew Bridge was opened in 1903 as King Edward VII Bridge by the King with Queen Alexandra. It was designed by John Wolfe Barry and Cuthbert A. Brereton. It is a primary route joining the south and north circular roads and is the third bridge on site. It replaced the second bridge on the recommendations of John Wolfe Barry in order to cope with increased traffic. It was commissioned Middlesex and Surrey County Councils with engineers were Barry and Brereton and the building contractors were Easton Gibbs and Sons. It is in Cornish Granite. All three bridges have been much painted and depicted by various artists.
Kew Bridge. The first Kew Bridge was a toll bridge dedicated to George, Prince of Wales and his mother Augusta, and dated from 1759. The royal family was then leasing Kew House and George's mother Augusta started the botanic gardens here. It was built by Robert Tunstall of Brantford, the predecessor ferry owners. It had two stone arches at each end and seven timber arches between them. This was a problem for barge traffic and barge owners objected to it, it was also damaged by barges. It only lasted 30 years and in 1782 Robert Tunstall, son of the original builder rebuilt it.
Kew Bridge. The second bridge was built by the younger Robert Tunstall from 1783. It was designed by James Paine and the money for it was raised through a tontine. It had tollbooths at the Brentford end of the bridge and it was completely built in stone alongside the first bridge. It was opened in 1789 by George, who was now king. It was sold off by auction in 1819 and in 1873 when it was bought by a consortium of the City Corporation and the Metropolitan Board of Works. They abolished the tolls and built a triumphal arch at the Brentford end. By the 1890s it became unable to cope with the amount of traffic and was rebuilt.  However in 1896 Thorneycroft steam delivery vans passed over the bridge with half a ton of scrap iron and four passengers – and survived!

Kew Green
This is the east side of the Green. The western half of the Green, west of Kew Road, is in the square to the west.
Pond. It is thought that this was once a natural pond fed from a small creek from the Thames and connected to the dock and the barge house. It may have been connected to a fishery in the 14th. During high tides sluice gates are opened to allow river water to fill the pond through an underground channel. It was concreted in the 1930s, rectangular and has a reed bed habitat. It was painted by Gainsborough and used for the watering of horses and soaking wooden cartwheels when the iron rims work loose.
King’s School. - This was on a site between the Green and the Priory at the start of what is now Whatcombe Cottages on the north side. Land was acquired from Miss Doughty between 1810 and 1824 and a school built here in the gothic style. It was paid for by subscriptions from local people including from George IV.  It was thus called The King’s School – and the name has changed with the sex of the monarch since. It opened in 1824. Boys and girls were taught separately and while the school was free for Kew children, those from elsewhere had to pay. It was rebuilt in board school style in the 1880s. It has now moved again and is Queen’s School in Cumberland Road.
2-4 Bank House. It has been said that this is where the Palace Guard lodged in the late 18th. It is also said to be an 18th house. It is marked as a bank on the 1913 OS map and later, in 1935, with a works to the rear. It is understood that the bank was Barclays
8 Coach and Horses. Kew’s oldest inn this is now a hotel and a Young’s’ pub.  It is is said to be a 17th-century coaching inn, opposite the Royal Botanic Gardens.  Before 1771 it was on the other side of the road at no.11 where it had previously been The Rising Sun. There was a stable to the rear which in the early 20th was used to house horses for various local businesses
14 Post Office. In the 18th this was a pub called the Cock and Hoop. And later the Ewe and Lamb
18 18th house with original cast iron railings
22 Eastside House. This has a blue plaque to the Pre-Raphaelite painter Arthur Hughes, who was here 1858 - 1915
24 Haverfield House. It is the biggest house on the east side of the Green and is a 19th house maybe built around an earlier interior.  It was the home by the Superintendent of Kew Gardens 1766-1784, John Haverfield who managed the royal estates in Kew in the 18th. His granddaughter was the subject of the Gainsborough portrait Miss Haverfield now in the Wallace Collection and the family lived here over several generations.
52-56 Cambridge Cottage, 18th brick house
74 site of Eglantine Cottage, which was at 20 Waterloo Place and demolished in 1940
82 The Greyhound. This building dates from 1937 replacing a pub opened in the 1850s
90-96 Waterloo Place. Terrace of 4 houses. With a stone tablet inscribed "Waterloo Place." 1816". Clearly named for patriotic reasons.
110 Caxton House. Caxton Name Plate Company was founded in 1964 and ceased business in 1997
Attfield’s Forge. This was on the site north of Caxton House and was demolished for the building of the present Kew Bridge. Attfield was the last proper blacksmith in Kew.

Kew Railway Bridge
Kew Railway Bridge across the river. This opened in 1869 having been built following an Act of 1864 for the London and South Western Railway Company so they could extend their line from South Acton Junction to Richmond. It was designed by W.R.Galbraith and built by Brassey & Ogilvie having been approved by Thames Conservators. Three spans are supported by four pairs of cast iron cylinders and it has wrought iron lattice girders with decorative iron caps to the piers at the junctions of the girders. During the Second World War a pillbox was built to guard it on the south end, along with an open enclosure to fire an anti-tank gun from.

Leyborne Park
Leyborne Lodge. House which originally was part of the Brick Farm estate and the home of a succession of market gardeners. Probably early 19th

Old Dock Close
Built on the filled-in dock, which served the new Parish Wharf.  .

Priory Road
Built on the site of a neo-gothic house called Kew Priory
Cecil Court – Care Home. It is said this was Priory Lodge. This was the lodge to the Priory Estate, built in Tudor style.

Riverside walk on the south bank. The river bank has been raised to form the Thames walkway. The Port of London Authority is responsible for the bank and Richmond Council for the walkway.
Priory Estate. The Priory was built in the area of what is now Forest Road. The area had been known as the Ware Ground – ‘ware’ being thought to be a corruption of ‘weir’. This part of the ‘ware’ was granted by Henry III plus the fishery rights, to Merton Abbey. To the west the area was called Stony Close, which had been granted to Shene Charterhouse.  The fishery rights were subject to a great deal of abuse and subsequent regulation. After the dissolution the land and the rights passed into secular and private hands.
Priory Park House – was previously a house called The Casino converted from what had been the stables of The Priory. It is now Priory Park Club which provides tennis and bowls facilities having been founded in the early 20th.
Short Lots. This covers “one acre, one rood and 28 perches”- and the name dates from at least the early 18th. . And was common land until it was “enclosed” in 1824 and given as private property to George IV.  In 1917, Short Lots was divided into just over 50 plots for families to cultivate and feed themselves during the Great War.  In 1938 plot holders raised funds to provide a permanent water supply. In the Second World War it was enthused by the “Dig for Victory” campaign, and now, because of renewed interest in natural food.  There is a Short Lots Users Group (SLUG) and part of Kew Horticultural Society.
Creek leading to Kew Pond. This was constructed in a dog-leg, so as to allow the Lord Mayor's barge to get out of the barge house. A bridge carried the path across this creek. The King’s School stood at the head of the creek and there were complaints about its smell of the creek and it was later covered over
Kew dock. This was the centre of the local fishing industry until it was wiped out by pollution around 1850. It is said that this was used by Henry VIII in 1530 which connected to the Kew Green ponds with a barge house at the river end
City of London barge house. This was between the Toll House and Watcombe Cottages. It is said to have housed the ‘Maria Wood’- the State Barge of the Lord Mayor and Corporation of London. The barge was also housed on the other side of the river at Strand on the Green. It was named after the wife or the daughter of Matthew Wood, Lord Mayor of London 1815 and 1816. Its 140 ft length meant that a special barge house was needed parallel to the river but which could be filled with rifer water from the eastern end. It needed six watermen with sweeps to move it or six horses to tow and was later fitted with a steam engine.
Thames Conservancy toll house. In about 1843 the barge house was extended to the west to become the Toll House, which was later enlarged. It was then used by the Thames Conservancy and later the Port of London Authority. The barge house itself was dismantled in the early 1900’s   Oliver’s Ait was also used as a store and the barge master at one time  lived and worked s as toll collector there. The Kew Toll Keeper was responsible for the maintenance of the City Barge. The Toll House is now a private house and has a flood marker on the wall below the window
Drawdock at Kew Toll House
Toll House Studios. Built in the 1930s by the Port of London Authority as amenity buildings and in other use since the 1950sl
Twiggets Meadows – these became the site of Cambridge Cottages,
Westerley Ware. The area generally was known as the Westerly Ware, after the weir, which the fishermen constructed across the river. There was an Easterly Ware further downstream.
Westerley Ware. This is a small recreation ground between Waterloo Place and the riverbank. This was common land and until the 18th was much larger and probably used by fishermen as a place to beach boats and mend nets. The name refers to the use of netting weirs for fishing. It includes a memorial garden to the fallen in the Great War, three tennis courts and a children's playground. In 2007 the local Westerley Ware Association raised funds for new entrance gates, designed and made by a local smith, Shelley Thomas
Kew Pier. Used for river boat services

Ruskin Avenue
Ministry of Labour Claims and Records Office . These were temporary buildings erected during the Greater War and subsequently used by various other government departments
Crown Building. This was built by J. C. Clavering, superintendent architect under W. S. Bryan of the Whitehall Development Group of the Ministry of Public Building and Works in 1967-9. It was square single-storey block on stilts, overlooking the Thames. As the first purpose-built open plan office in this country it was seen as  an experimental design intended as a possible prototype for future government offices.  It has since been demolished.
Public Records Office. The Public Record Office was established in 1838 in Chancery Lane. The building at Kew was built by the Property Services Agency, H. J. McMaster, J. C. Clavering, and G. O. Miller, planned from 1969 and built in 1973-7. It is designed to house modern records on large scale with space for 500 readers in s five storeys and a basement. It was concrete-clad in the style of the late sixties. Furniture was by the Property Services Agency and seats and desks are now provided with facilities for computer use by readers. The entire system for ordering documents is automated and they which arrive by means of conveyor belts from the central service core.

Strand Drive
Kew Riverside Park. This housing development was built by St George Plc which is part of the Berkeley Group. It is made up of 6 blocks - these are five private blocks - Birchgrove House, Charlwood House, Dorchester House, Earls House and Farringdon House. The sixth block is Amelia House and is 'social' housing managed by Thames Valley Housing. The private get 10 of grounds acres adjoining the river Thames, 24 hour concierge service and there is a gym and business centre. The social housing doesn’t.  The site was riverside meadows and allotments. In 1929 the then Ministry of Labour Claims and Records Office built offices here in what was then Occupation Road. This was succeeded by Crown Buildings - which had riverside views, now enjoyed by the private housing. The National Archive is now also on the site, but inland.
Post Office stores used as a POW camp for Italians in the Second World War. The prisoners painted on glass and this is preserved in the Public Record Office.

Aldous. Village London
Blomfield. Kew Past
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Cloake. Cottages and Common Fields of Richmond and Kew
Field. London place names
GLIAS. Newsletter
Greater London Council. Thames Guidelines
Historic England. Web site
London Gardens Online. Web site
Palmer.  Ceremonial Barges on the River Thames.
Panorama of the Thames. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Pevsner. Surrey
The Kingston Zodiac

Tucker. Ferries of the Lower Thames
Walford. Village London,


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