Thursday, 2 June 2016

Riverside south of the river and west of the Tower. Richmond Old Deer Park riverside

Riverside south of the river and west of the Tower. Richmond Old Deer Park riverside

This posting relates to sites south of the river only. North of the river is Isleworth

Post to the south St. Margarets
Post to the west Mogden
Post to the north Isleworth

The area of the south bank shown on this square is an area of riverside within the Old Deer Park. It appears to have neither roads nor buildings


Isleworth Ferry
Church Ferry - this ran from Isleworth Church Street and apparently accessed the south bank at a point now in the Old Deer Park.  It existed from at least the 14th and is thought to have carried bricks across the river for the building of the Convent at Syon. A lane is said to have run from Richmond Green to the ferry landing, but that this closed in 1774. The ferry appears to have run until 1939 but by then to have landed on the south bank to the nor4th at Isleworth Gate in Kew Gardens.


Old Deer Park and Riverside Path
Riverside. The area shown on this square is partly some of the area of the Mid Surrey Golf Course and woodland between the course and the riverside path. The path is leased by the Crown to the London Borough of Richmond and is very overgrown. A water-filled ditch lies between the Park and the riverside path which is kept flooded by spring tides spilling over the path from the river. The ditch is heavily shaded by trees, and supports little aquatic vegetation.  The willow-dominated woodland has been designated a nature reserve.
Railshead Ferry
Railshead Ferry ran on the upstream side of Isleworth Ait. The name is not connected to any railway and existed from at least the mid 17th.  The ferry itself was established under George II. It appears to have closed after the Second World War.


Richmond Lock
Richmond Lock and Footbridge. This is the most downstream of the locks on the Thames and is the only one owned and operated by the Port of London Authority. It dates from 1894 and was built by the Thames Conservancy in order to maintain the depth of the navigation upstream of Richmond following the demolition of old London Bridge which meant that depth fell at low tide in this area.  Initially a barge lock was built on the surrey bank plus a weir and slipways for smaller craft on the Middlesex bank. Two footbridges were built as a superstructure. The engineer was  F.G.M. Stoney and the contractors were Ramsome and Rapier.  These bridges were opened in 1894 by the then Duke of York. It is a half-tide lock and barrage, plus the footbridge.  Boats can travel freely through the sluice gates when they are raised for two hours each side of high tide but when the gates are closed they must use the lock.  Weather conditions can alter this arrangement and there are sometimes multiple low waters. Very small boats - row boats, skiffs and canoes may use the slipway. The lock keepers originally lived under the steps on the banks and manually operated the sluices.  A lock foreman is on duty round the clock.  This arrangement maintains the water level up to Teddington Lock. Originally pedestrians crossing the bridge were charged 1d to cross, but if they came back to the same side again it was 2d. These tolls were abolished in 1938 but four toll houses for this arrangement remain.  PLA completed a major refurbishment of the lock and weir in the early 1990's and it was then repainted in its original colours.
Mooring arrangements for boats waiting to use the lock are on the Richmond bank.

Sources
Cloake. Cottages and Common Fields of Richmond and Kew
Port of London Authority. Web site
Richmond Lock, Wikipedia. Web site
Where Thames Smooth Waters Glide. Web site
Thanes Landscape Strategy. Web site
Tucker. Ferries of the Lower Thames.

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