Riverside - south of the river and west of the Tower. Ham and Hawker
This post shows sites south of the river only, North of the River is Teddington Broom Hall
Post to the west Ham Lands and Teddington Lock and Teddington
Post to the south Canbury Gardens and Teddington Normansfield and Trowlock
Meadlands Primary School
Sewage pumping station – this was extant in the 1930s to the south of the road
Much of the Common was lost when Richmond Park was created, but some remains. The area of crossed by Ham Gate Avenue is mostly scrub and woodland. That on the west side of the main road is like a village green, with a cricket pitch in the middle.
1 Cassell Hospital. The Cassel Hospital was founded by Ernest Cassell in 1919 for the treatment of shell shock. It was located in Penshurst and then went to Stoke on Trent in the Second World War. In 1948 it moved to Ham Common. The building was built in the late 18th and called as Morgan House after its owner John Minter Morgan. In 1879 it had become West Heath School for Young Ladies which moved to Sevenoaks in the 1930s. The building then became became the Lawrence Hall Hotel until 1947. The hospital developed behavioral rather than medicinal techniques through group and other psychotherapies and the idea of a therapeutic community was pioneered here in the 1940s by Weddell and Main. The hospital works with University and Imperial Colleges London as well as the Institute of Psychiatry. It provides services for young people and adults and is managed by the West London Mental Health NHS Trust.
15 Gordon House. 18th house
Forbes House . In 1936 this was built as a pastiche 18th house by Oswald P. Milne. It was demolished by a developer in the early 1990s and a replacement pastiche 18th house has now been built here by Julian Bicknell.
Langham House Close. 1950s development described by the Twentieth Century Society as “a benchmark against which other apartment blocks can be measured”, it was designed by the architects Stirling and Gowan as an example of Le Corbusier influence. It was a reaction against all-glass facades and thin, precise detailing. It had two- and three-storey with exposed concrete floors, a lot of yellow brick, and thick white-painted trim to the window
Langham House. 18th house once home of Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher
Ham Christian Centre. This was built in 1928 as the Ham Free Evangelical Church. Services until 1979. In 1998 it was renovated in by the Richmond based Duke Street Church and is now a is a member of the South East Gospel Partnership. It is used by a number of other organisations – for example The Free Church of Scotland.
Lower Ham Road
YMCA Hawker Sports Ground. This was the Hawker Co. Sports ground – later known as the Leyland Motors ground and also British Aerospace Sports. When the factory was demolished the sports centre remained and was passed to the local authority. It is now known as the Hawker Centre and managed by the YMCA. This includes a very wide range of sports pitches and a gym as well as a cafe and family and community facilities. These buildings are all that remains of the huge British Leyland/Hawker works
North Weald Road
This is one of several roads built in the 1990s on sites released by the closure of the Hawker factory. Like others it is named after an airfield.
Span. This was part of the fields of Ham Farm – the site of which is in the square to the west. Ham Farm Nursery was established here in the 19the with greenhouses and facilities nearer to Upper Ham Road. The nursery was taken over by Span Developments Ltd in the early 1950s and the Parkleys Estate developed 1954 -1955. This was a very influential development as the first by Eric Lyons and Geoffrey Townsend. It was designed for first time buyers, offering an endowment mortgage, and the first successful residents’ management companies set up by Span. It was revolutionary in using modern architectural design mixed with traditional materials. The stock and gardener of the former nursery were taken over the estate laid out to keep existing trees and tine landscape is an important integral part of the overall design.
390 Kingston Fire Station
St George's Industrial Estate. On the site of the Cellon Factory.
380 Cellon. In 1929 the site was developed for the Cellon Doping Company who moved here from the site now covered by the British Legion poppy factory in Richmond. They had previously been the Non-Inflammable Celluloid Company. Alexander Wallace Barr learnt of a German process for using cellulose acetate for "dope" and acquired patent rights to the material. He made this in a shed under the railway arches at Clapham before taking them by car to Sopwith's of Kingston and others. In the Great War the expansion in trade led to a move to new premises in Petersham Road. In Paris he did a deal with the only source of raw materials other than the Germans. After the Great War the company developed industrial paints and cellulose finishes, including Porcelac, for bathroom fittings, and Cerrac lacquers for wood and metal. In the Second World War they led production through the Society of British Aircraft Manufacturers. The company became part of Pinchin Johnson and was then acquired by Courtaulds in 1960 in order to access its experience in colouring of materials, especially relevant to Cellophane. From 1968 it was part of the International Paint Group. The factory closed in the 1980s and the site became an industrial estate.
380 Nikon House. UK base for Japanese imaging company handling Import, sales and servicing of cameras and microscopes
Hawker Aircraft Company site.
National Aircraft Factory. Because of military demand for aircraft during the Great War the Minister of Munitions set up the National Aircraft Factory. No.2 “Richmond” factory was built by Dick Kerr in 1917 -1918 on land requisitioned under the Defence of the Realm Act from the Earl of Dysart.
Sopwith works. In 1912 Tom Sopwith set up aircraft manufacture in Kinston expanding to Canbury Park Road. He then leased the National Aircraft Factory and delivered a Snipe, in 1918. Sopwith built 720 aircraft here - Snipes, Salamanders and Dragons, before the armistice.
Leyland Motors. In 1919 the Ministry ended the arrangement with Sopwith and the site was sold to Leyland Motors – although he site was still legally owned by Lord Dysart. Leyland used the factory for converting war surplus Leyland ‘G’ Type lorries. They then made 17,000 Trojan cars there - the 'can you afford to walk' car which was an early attempt to produce a mass-market car which sold for £140 driven by a four cylinder motorcycle engine. They also made light commercial vehicles, as well as Cub lorries, buses and specially bodied vehicles. In the Second World War they made Lynx lorries, desert water carriers, gearboxes, tank gun drives, Centaur tanks as well as land mines and incendiary bombs. Munitions were made in an underground works in the north west corner – which may still remain. After the war British United Traction trolley buses were built here with AEC.
Hawker. In 1948 Hawker Aircraft – who had taken over Sopwith Aviation bought the works from Leyland Motors. Sopwith had failed when the war ended and had gone into receivership - on the same day Hawker Engineering was formed with the same directors. In 1958 the Hawker’s management and design organisation moved into a new office block on the site – in brick and stone by Sir Hubert Worthington and Norman Dawbawn and using the profit made from the Hunter. This has now been demolished.They made Sea Hawks followed by Hunters, Harriers and Hawks. In addition the V/STOL P.1127 development aircraft and Kestrel service evaluation fighters were built at Kingston. There were destructive test rigs where fuselages were set up for stress testing, the high temperature test roar where jet nozzles are tested at high temperature and air flow, and where the original Harrier fuselages were assembled. There were also vertical cylindrical heaters designed to heat the enamel floor space. Work continued under nationalised British Aerospace and then privatised British Aerospace plc, until its closure in 1992. The works were demolished by Dick Kerr. There were 36 GS hangars and Robins hangars.
Upper Ham Road
24 Hand and Flower.
Ham and Petersham Cricket Club house
Behind The Blue Plaques,
Blue Plaque Guide
Cassell Trust. Web site
Field. London Place Names
Grace’s Guide. Web site
Greater London Council. Thames Guidelines
London Borough of Richmond. Web site
London Transport. Country Walks
Nairn. Modern Buildings
Osborne. Defending London
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Port of London Magazine
Richmond Local History Society. Web site