Great benefits when you join us!

Our latest newsletter, with features on Edmund Kean and on the Greenings of Brentford End, was distributed to our members last month. Members receive three newsletters a year, are admitted free to our scheduled talks in 2018, and can buy most of our publications at a discount. See a sample newsletter and find out more about membership.

What’s happening with the restoration of Kew Gardens’ pagoda?

Photograph by Caroline Blomfield

The Kew Society has a talk, at 7pm on Monday 26 February, about the restoration of the pagoda in Kew Gardens. Find out more

Paul Velluet talks about an exemplary approach to the creation of social housing in Richmond

Our President, Paul Velluet, is giving a talk on behalf of the Museum of Richmond, on Tuesday 27 February, about the history and development of the Queen’s Road estate. Find out more

How the building of the A316 divided Richmond

Paul Velluet will also be talking to The Kew Society, on Wednesday 7 March, on the building of the A316. His presentation, “Richmond Divided”, will include archived maps from the 1700s and photographs from the 1930s, cataloguing each stage of the road’s development and the demolition of existing housing stock. As we drive, cycle and attempt to navigate the A316 on foot, we might now be much more likely to take notice of the evidence of the distant past along its route.  Find out more

Our next talk, on Monday 12 March, is on the Shakespearean actor Edmund Kean

The celebrated British Shakespearean actor, Edmund Kean, died in 1833 in Richmond where, in the last years of his life, he had managed the local theatre. At Richmond’s historic parish church, St Mary Magdalene, there is a floor plaque marking his grave and also a wall plaque.

Professor Michael Gaunt, Chair of The Society for Theatre Research, will talk about Kean, considered by many to be the greatest actor of the nineteenth century. Find out more

The West London Local History Conference is on Saturday 24 March

The 2018 West London Local History Conference, co-organised by the Richmond Local History Society, and held at the University of West London’s Brentford campus on Boston Manor Road on Saturday 24 March, will be on The Impact of  the 1914-18 War on West London.

The doors open at 9:30 am and the conference is from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm.

See the programme

The ticket price, which includes morning coffee and afternoon tea, has been held at £15. Tickets are available from Liz Velluet at the Society’s meetings.

Coming up: Tracing the lives of convicts from west London

On Monday 16 April, Bob Shoemaker, Professor of Eighteenth-Century British History at the University of Sheffield, will present the key findings of a new digitisation project. The Digital Panopticon provides access to detailed evidence about Old Bailey convicts, some of them from west London, who were either transported to Australia or imprisoned in Britain between 1780 and 1865. The project looks at the different impact of the two punishments on convict lives, including their reoffending, health, longevity, and family formation. These findings will be illustrated with the life stories of convicts from the Richmond area.

Further ahead: Marianne North, Richmond in the 1970s and the Hanoverians

See our calendar of forthcoming events

We have an exciting year ahead of speakers on a wide range of subjects, including:


Women in leadership roles at the Vineyard Congregational Church

Elsie Chamberlain, the Vineyard Congregational Church’s first female minister

In a new posting on the Resources pages of our website, Peter Flower, archivist at the Vineyard Church in Richmond, tells us about the history of women in leadership roles in our local Congregational Church. Find out more

On our Resources pages you can also find timelines on Richmond and on Richmond Park and read about the Selwyn family and the development of Richmond. And, to complement John Govett’s piece on Richmond’s Old Burial Ground, we’ve added a Stephen Orr’s timeline on Vineyard Passage Burial Ground.

An exhibition and a book on Poverty

The Museum of Richmond’s exhibition on Poverty continues until Saturday 21 April. It looks at Richmond during the period 1600–1948, from the point of view of the poorer classes, and includes the history of Richmond’s workhouse, almshouses and the effects of the Poor Laws. With a smartphone, you can download a walking tour and visit places highlighted in the exhibition.

The Society’s new book, Poverty and Philanthropy in Victorian Richmond by Simon Fowler, accompanies the exhibition. Copies are available from The Museum of Richmond, The Open Book in Richmond, The National Archives bookshop, Kew Bookshop, Lloyds of Kew bookshop, the Society’s bookstall at our monthly talks and our online bookshop. Find out more and order a copy online

A Glimpse of Old Ham and Petersham

Vanessa Fison has a new book, A Glimpse of Old Ham and Petersham, which Simon Fowler, Editor of Richmond History, saysshould be on the shelves of all local residents in Ham and Petersham and will be of interest elsewhere in Richmond and Kingston”.  Read Simon’s review