Riverside. south bank, west of the Tower. Kew Green and Gardens
Riverside. south bank, west of the Tower. Kew Green and Gardens
This post only covers sites south of the river in this square. Sites north of the river are in Brentford
Post to the east Kew and Strand on the Green
Post to the west Brentford
This road is on the line of the first Kew Bridge
Kew Marine Seahorse Houseboat and recycling facility
Kew Marine Moorings
Kew Wharf. Another set of Berkley Homes built riverside flats. On the old hotel site. The wharf was once the ferry landing stage and included boathouses alongside. This was a ferry run by the Tunstall family
Royal boathouses. Three large boathouses here in the 18th and 19th were probably for use by royalty.
Ladies’ lavatory converted into a house.
Boathouse Hotel. This stood on the riverside and is now demolished. Homeland Films Syndicate were based in the hotel and made a series of films with Lupino Lane there in the early 20th
The entrance to the gardens was resited here when George IV blocked the original road. There is no ferry any more and the lane leads to a car park covering the Lawn
Kew Green Preparatory School. Layton House. Another private fee paying ‘preparatory’ school. Opened 2004.
Commonwealth Mycological Institute.
Brentford Ferry. The ferry ran to what is now the Brentford Gate at Kew Gardens and was always owned by the Crown. It dated from at least the middle ages. It continued as a row boat service until 1939. Excursion and other vessels still call here.
Great Ford. This is the point at which the river could be forded and it is claimed that this is where the invading Roman army crossed the river.
Kew Farm. This stood at the end of Ferry Lane north of the ferry. In 1603 it was the largest house on this stretch of riverside. It has been the home of Thomas Byrkes who had had its chapel licensed in 1536. It was soon after owned by Robert Dudley. Elizabeth was entertained there later by the then Speaker of the Commons. It was rebuilt around 1631 to become an even larger house and probably demolished in the late 17th.
This square covers only a northern section of the gardens. The gardens are included in three more squares to the south.
Kew Gardens were opened in 1840 and are maintained for purposes of botanic study. The gardens formally started in 1759 but can be traced back to the exotic garden at Kew Park, formed by Lord Capel John of Tewkesbury. It is the world's largest collection of living plants. The library contains more than 750,000 volumes, and the illustrations collection contains more than 175,000 prints and drawings of plants. It is a World Heritage Site. They are managed by the Royal Botanic Institute which is a non departmental public body sponsored by the Department of the Environment. It is an internationally important botanical research and education institution which employs 750 staff. The gardens consists of 300 acres of gardens and greenhouses, four Grade I listed buildings and 36 Grade II listed structures, all set in an internationally significant landscape. It was formerly the grounds of Kew Palace, where a botanic garden had been formed by Princess Augusta, mother of George III, in 1760. The grounds were later laid out by George III when Prince of Wales, and completed by the Princess Dowager. In 1841 the gardens were established as a State institution and, under Sir William Jackson Hooker, the botanist.
Aquatic Gardens. These were installed in 1909 replacing a tank built in 1873 altered in 1935. It houses 40 varieties of hardy water lily plus sedges and rushes. Eucalyptus trees grow around the site and Newts, water boatmen and dragonflies are also found
Bonsai House. Built in 1887 this was used for alpine plants – and for plants whose flowers would be damaged by bad weather and rain. . in 1981 a new Alpine House was opened and then in the 1990s its old rotting wooden structure was replaced with aluminium and it is now used for bonsai – miniature trees.
Bootstrapping DNA. The sculpture is in steel by Charles Jenck and is an interpretation of the double helix, the structure of DNA. It was installed in 2003, the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the double helix.
Brentford Gate. This opened in 1847. It has a pair of simple cast iron gates supported on Portland stone pillars. The gate originally served people coming to the gardens via the Brentford Ferry.
Broad Walk. This runs from the Palm House to the eastern end of the Orangery, where it takes a 90-degree turn and continues on to Elizabeth Gate. It was laid out by William Nesfield in 1845-6 who Nesfield planted deodara cedars and rhododendrons along it. These died and were replaced in the early 20th by Atlantic cedars. These too failed and were replaced with North American tulip trees which also did badly. In 2000 it was replanted with cedars from the Atlas Mountains. In the 19th William Barron invented a horse-drawn machine for transplanting trees. Kew has the only remaining machine in the world and it was used for the work in 2000 between the Orangery and Palm House, is a weeping beech planted in 1846 by Sir William Hooker.
Climbers and Creepers. This is a children’s play area designed to teach them about plants. It is in what was previously a cycad house
Davies Alpine House. This opened in 2006 and was the first new glasshouse to be commissioned for twenty years. Alpines are plants that grow above the tree level. This was designed to create the cool, dry and windy conditions that these plants like,
Duke’s Garden. This was the garden of Cambridge Cottage, taken over by the Royal Botanic Gardens in 1904. The only collection here is the Lavender Species Collection. With climate change a ‘Gravel Garden’ has been designed here, sponsored by Thames Water, this contains plants that are drought tolerant
Grass Garden. The present Grass Garden, located between the Duke’s Garden and the Davies Alpine House, was created in 1982 to showcase some of the world’s 9,000 species of grass
Jodrell Laboratory and Lecture Theatre. The first Jodrell Laboratory was built in 1877 and paid for by T.J. Phillips Jodrell. It had four rooms and an office. In 1934, an artist’s studio and darkroom were added. This building was replaced in 1965 and sections on physiology and biochemistry were added. Seed collection became important while there was also a focus on plants which might be useful in medicines. See conservation moved to Wakehurst but in 1994 the Jodrell Laboratory was tripled in size and later the Wolfson Wing was added,
Temple of the Sun. This dated from 1861 and was built by Sir William Chambers. In 1916 a tree fell on it in a storm. It has since been demolished. It stood south east of the orangery
Dairy House. This was here in the 16th and was owned by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. The crypt is said to exist below the Dutch House which was built on its site.
Dutch House – Kew Palace. This was also called the 'Old Palace' and was built in 1631 by Samuel Fortrey. It was leased by Frederick, Prince of Wales and the pleasure-grounds were laid out by Sir William Chambers. The building was leased by George III from later owners and eventually bought by George III from them. His mother, Augusta, set up the gardens here. It has recently been restored and is open to the public
Kew Palace. This was designed in part by George III, with James Wyatt. Started in 1802, it was a gothic "castellated palace" , but built around an iron shell. In 1828 Parliament, ordered the shell to be demolished, and the staircase was later used at Buckingham Palace, It was blown up, killing two workmen in 1828. It was near the western corner of Kew Green
Sundial. this marks the site of the White House which stood opposite Kew Palace. It is thought to have been a 16th building called Kew Park and originating as a hunting lodge. Prince Frederick of Wales rented this in 1730. It was not until 1799, that George III acquired the freehold, and in 1802 it was demolished. It is intended to mark the outline of the building on the lawn. The sundial came from Kensington Palace and is by Tompion. The inscription on it commemorates the discovery of the Aberration of Light at Kew,
Melon Ground. In the 19th this was next to the Jodrell Laboratory.
Water Lily House. This square glass house surrounds a circular pond. It was built in 1852 to display the giant Amazon water lily. The ironwork is by Richard Turner, and was originally the widest single-span glasshouse in the world. The Amazon lily did badly and within a few years was removed. In 1865 it displayed plants of medicinal and culinary value nut was converted back to lilies 1991. It is Kew’s hottest and most humid environment.
Kew on Plate. Demonstration kitchen garden on the site of the kitchen gardens door the palace.
Museum No.1. George IV proposed a museum be built at Kew around 1820 Eventually William Hooker began set this up many drawings and collections. These became a Museum of Economic Botany opening in 1848. Decimus Burton was then commissioned to design a purpose-built building to house the museum which opened in 1857. In 1987, it was closed for repair and reopened in 1998.
Nash Conservatory. Designed by John Nash. This is the oldest glass house at Kew and was one of two pavilions outside Buckingham Palace. It was once known as the Aroid House displaying varieties of ginger, arrowroot and so on, many of them exotic. The building is now used to hire out for corporate events and weddings.
Orangery. William Chambers completed the Orangery for Princess Augusts in 1761. Built of brick and coated in durable stucco, it is the largest classical style building in the Gardens. It was designed as a hothouse for but the levels of light were too low. In 1841, Hooker began to use it for other large plants instead. Fromm 1862-3 it was a timber museum. It was converted to a tea room in 1989 and in 2002 to as a restaurant. Princess Augusta’s arms are above the central bay.
Plant Family Beds. This area was originally a kitchen garden for the royal family. The land was given to Kew and Hooker filled it with herbaceous plants according to the classification of French botanist Antoine Laurent de Jussieu. In 1869, this was changed to the arrangement described in Genera Plantarum George Bentham and Joseph Hooker, William Hooker’s son. There is now a new understanding of how plants are related to each other using molecular characteristics and DNA gene sequencing. The Plant Family Beds are thus being reorganised. 102 separate beds will display 93 plant families.
The Rose Pergola. In 1870, a Rose Walk and in 1901, a Rose Pergola. The current structure stands over the main paths of the Plant Family Beds and dates from 1959.
The Princess of Wales Conservatory. This was commissioned in 1982 and named after Princess Augusta. It contains ten computer-controlled climatic zones under one roof.
Queens Gardens. This is a modern re-creation. Formal in design, it contains only plants, which were available in the 17th. There are also several pieces of sculpture - a marble satyr, a Venetian well head and five 18th terms, commissioned by Frederick, Prince of Wales in 1734–5 and probably the oldest pieces of sculpture at Kew. There is also a wrought iron pillar from Hampton Court Palace and a gazebo. In the pond at the centre of the parterre is a copy of Verocchio's 'Boy with a Dolphin'.
Rock Garden. This dates from 1882 when it was decided to design a 150-metre valley with at the centre a winding path using cheddar limestone, Bath oolite and rocks salvaged from ruins. From 1929 limestone was gradually replaced with Sussex sandstone. In 1991 plantings were rearranged to fit a geographic theme.
School of Horticulture. Kew started training courses in 1859, with a two-year evening course in economics, systematics, structural and geographic botany, physics and chemistry. Since 1990, the School has been based in a Grade II listed building built in 1848 by Decimus Burton.
Secluded Garden. Thus was created in 1995 by Anthea Gibson, to stimulate sight, smell, touch and hearing with plants. There are panels with extracts of poems highlighting the senses. At the centre is a circular seating area bounded by pleached lime trees, with a water feature '7 Slate Towers', designed by Daniel Harvey.
Student Vegetable Plots. These are for first year diploma students and open to public view
Temple of Aeolus built for Princess Augusta by Chambers in the 1760s but rebuilt by Decimus Burton in 1845. It is on top of Cumberland Mount, which is an artificial hill built with spoil from the Lake and enclosing a brick water cistern. It is surrounded by a woodland garden
The Sower. By Thorneycroft on a Lutyens base. This is in the Grass Garden
Treehouse Towers. Treetops-like playground for kids.
White Peaks. Café
Sir Joseph Banks Building. This is next to Kew Palace and was built in 1985. Only the glazed roof is visible and much of the building is underground. A thick layer of soil provides insulation and conserves energy. The site has two lakes connected by a waterfall. It houses 83,000 items of the Economic Botany Collection. Joseph Banks was Kew’s unofficial director in the late 18th and sent plant collectors around the world to bring back exotic species to Kew.
The parish church lies on the green, asymmetrical and very effectively placed. The green is triangular
3-5 The Botanist Pub and restaurant
11 This may have been the site of a pub called the Rising Sun which later became The Coach and Horses, and then moved across the road to its present site.
33 Kings Cottage. Owned in the 18th by the John Stuart 3rd Earl of Bute who helped Princess Augusta develop the botanical garden after Prince Frederick’s death in 1751. He was honorary director of Kew Gardens, 1754 – 1772, and, later, Prime Minister. It was later the home of the Duke of Cumberland. Later home of Cosmo Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury. It has also been known as Church House.
37 Cambridge Cottage also known as Kew Gardens Gallery, and at one time as Museum 3. 18th house with large portico. It was owned by The Marquis of Bute who advised Princess Augusta. It was purchased from Lord Bute by George III and presented to his seventh son, the Duke of Cambridge. In 1840 it was remodelled and extended to form his permanent residence and renamed Cambridge Cottage. Edward VII donated it to Kew Gardens following the death of the second duke in 1904. Now a museum and gallery, marketed as a wedding venue.
Militia Barracks here in 1802. They were closed in 1843 and the area on which they stood added to the grounds of Cambridge Cottage
39-45 The Gables. Remodelled but the shape of the gables is genuine 17th. Houses built here in 1908 for gardening staff on what had been the stables of Cambridge Cottage
47 The Admin Building. In the early 1840s the Clerk and Admin offices were here with the original entrance to the gardens adjacent. In 1931 J. Markham designed a new director’s office which replaced a cottage previously used as a library for gardeners. A new admin block was opened here in 198. A plaque on the right of the gate marks what was the original main entrance to the gardens
49 The Director’s official residence. This is the site of several previous buildings. It became the official residence of William Hooker, as Director in 1851 when it was known as Methold House. Many alterations have been made to it since
Hell House. This was a school in the 1730s on the site of 49. This is said to have been a charity school set up by Lady Capel. This was demolished by 1814. Various people lived there and it was later rebuilt and called Methold House. The gardens were passed to the Botanical Gardens.
51 Royal Cottages. Plain late Georgian house used as a grace and favour residence. In the 18th it was the home of Mrs. Papendick, dresser to Queen Charlotte
53 Used as an official residence it has been the home of a number of curators.
55 Herbarium House. The official residence of the keeper of the Herbarium. It is early 18th in red brick with a Corinthian door case. It is, next to the main gates.
Elizabeth Gate. This is the main gate into the gardens. It was designed by Decimus Burton in 1845 with gates by Walkers of Rotherham. There was originally no grand entrance to the gardens but In 1825 George IV had had a gate and railings erected on Kew Green flanked by two lodges, topped with a lion and unicorn by ordinary visitors could not use it. In 1841 William Hooker commissioned Burton to design the existing Elizabeth Gate
57 Hanover House, once the home of artist Peter Lely.
The Herbarium. This is a big building with an eight-bay centre with giant pilasters, attached to a seven-bay Georgian hose. It originated in a house built in the 1770s by Peter Theobald and sold in 1800 to Robert Hunter, and thus becoming known as Hunter House. It was bought by the Crown in 1818 used as the home of the Duke of Cumberland until he became King of Hanover in 1837 and it was then known as Hanover House. The central section of today’s building incorporates the facade of this house. Two years later, Kew’s Herbarium (dried collections of preserved specimens) was put here. In 1877, as the collection expanded, a new wing was added to the building. Three further wings were added between 1902 and 1968, with further expansion into the quadrangle in 1988. In 2007 Kew commissioned Edward Cullinan architects to build a new building to house part of the Herbarium and Library as the collections continue to grow by some 35,000 specimens per annum.
61 Abingdon House. 18th house. In 1950 this was acquired by the Royal Botanical Institute. Has since been used as a restaurant, and a film location.
63 18th house. In 1950 this was acquired by the Royal Botanical Institute. Used as a book store the basement was flooded. It has since been used as a restaurant.
65 Warden House. 18th house – with a notable garden and summerhouse occasionally open for charity events
67 White House – with a notable garden occasionally open for charity events
69 – Another house with a garden occasionally open for charity events
71 late 18th house with garden occasionally open for charity events
73 Danbury House. Late 18th house occasionally open for charity events
75 Carlton House
77 Beaconsfield. 18th house. This is said to have been built for plasterer Francis Engelheart.
79 The Cricketers. This was previously called the Rose and Crown. Licensing records date from the 1850s. The pub probably dates from 1704 and moved to its current site in 1729
81 Flora House
83 Capel House. Said to be the dower house of Lady Capel. Early 18th building.
85 Ask. Italian Restaurant which was the Kings Arms. Licensing records date from the 1830s. Said to have been built by George Shennerstedt in the 1770s on land bought from the Earl of Bute, which had previously been owned by the ferry owning Tunstall family. It was then supplied by Collins brewers.
Lampposts. Gas lamp posts for street lighting in this area were of two types -both represented here. Two of the earlier design stand outside the church. There are also several of the later, hexagonal pattern. One of these is marked with the maker's name, — W. Edge, Hammersmith and B.G.C. for Brentford Gas Co.
Sewer Vent. This is in cast iron. It is marked with maker's name — F. Bird & Co., 11 Gt. Castle St. Regent St.
Kew Cricket Club. Cricket has been played on Kew Green since at least Prince Frederick's time. He was a keen player himself and in 1737 captained a side against the Duke of Marlborough eleven. The royal team won. The Club is an amalgamation of two Kew Oxford Cricket Club and Kew Cambridge Cricket Club, in 1882. Their pavilion dates from 1964.
War Memorial. This was unveiled in 1921. It is a Portland Stone cross; in a prominent position on the Green. It originally commemorated 96 men of the parish who died in the Great War. A bronze plaque was later added to the plinth commemorating those who lost their lives in the Second World War. It was originally maintained by the Kew Commonable Lands Committee
St.Ann's Church. Kew was not a parish and had no church until residents petitioned Queen Anne for permission to build in a disused gravel pit on the common. The first Church here was thus built in 1714 on land given by Queen Anne, and at her expense. It had twenty-one pews and an upper gallery. It was in brick with a clock tower and an octagonal bell turret. It was enlarged in 1770 at the expense of George III, to designs by Joshua Kirby. An extension was for a Charity School and Beadle’s Lodging and was later taken in to become part of the church. In 1836 the west end was remodelled by William Wyatville at the expense of William IV and added the portico, and a raised stone bell-tower, with a cupola, Various Royal Marriages and funerals have been held here. Inside there are monuments and a mausoleum,
This was Kew Horse Lane
288 Maids of Honour tearooms. This is run by the Newens family. The Maids of Honour is a little curd pastry. In I887 Alfred Newens brought the recipe from Richmond where the cakes had been made at least as far back as the early 18th. The current shop was opened in 1870 but was rebuilt following Second World War bombing.
356/358 originally one house and the residence of Francis Bauer Kew's chief botanical draughtsman and painter until his death in 1840.
Curator’s Office. Now in other use.
Fire Engine Station. Owned by Richmond Council and closed in 1928. This was next to the Curator’s Office
274 Cumberland Arms. Extant in the 1880s, demolished.
Drinking fountain. This was a memorial fountain which stood at the junction with Mortlake Road.
Aldous. Village London
Blomfield. Kew Past
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London
Cloake. Cottages and Common Fields of Richmond and Kew
Desmond. The History of the Royal Botanic Gardens.
GLC. Thames Guidelines
Guide to London's Georgian River. Web site
Historic England. Web site
Kew Cricket Club. Web site
Kew Gardens. Web site
London Borough of Richmond. Web site
London Transport. Country Walks
Meulenkamp and Headley. Follies
Pevsner and Cherry. South London,
Royal Botanic Gardens. Illustrated Guide. 1951
St.Ann’s Church. Web site.