Coming up: minding your Ps in 2017

A01 TitleOur 2017 programme includes talks on a palace, a princess, poverty, politics and playing sport. Our next talk, on Monday 10 April, is on Princess Marie d’Orléans (1865-1909), probably the most famous person born in Ham, at what is now Cassel Hospital. She married a Danish prince, and was accomplished, successful and engagingly eccentric.

Find out about our forthcoming talks

See our complete calendar of all events

Coach trip to Hever Castle, Kent on Tuesday 27 June

Hever Castle

 Our summer coach outing this year is to Hever Castle – rated 4 stars by Simon Jenkins.

Dating back to 1270, Hever Castle was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn and has on display two beautiful illuminated prayer books which belonged to her.

The oldest part of the Castle is the Medieval Council Chamber in the Gatehouse which dates back to the 13th century. Timber-framed Tudor additions were built in the 15th and 16th centuries by the Boleyn family and can still be seen. In the early 20th century a  wealthy American, William Waldorf Astor used his fortune to restore and extend the Castle.  His workmen used, as far as possible, the same materials and tools as Tudor and Elizabethan craftsmen.

Panelled rooms, fine furniture, important collection of Tudor portraits can be enjoyed on our free-flow visit to the house – there are stewards in every room or multimedia guides can be hired.The gardens of Hever are glorious and include the Italian Garden, traditional yew maze, grottoes, classical statues and a 38-acre lake with loggia, Japanese Tea House and boating. Lots to explore!

We will be visiting during the “Hever in Bloom” event – 4000 English roses in the gardens and floral arrangements throughout the House. If you want, you can join a free guided garden tour (45 minutes- 1 hour) at 11.30am.

You are welcome to bring a picnic or eat at the self-service restaurants – hot meals, sandwiches, freshly baked cakes etc

The coach will leave from outside Richmond Theatre, Little Green at 9.30am and will leave  Hever at 4.30pm.

See the application form

Richmond’s links with North America

Links-Books-2-C-RLHS-22-feb-008Did you know that Elihu Yale, whose philanthropy led to a leading American university to be named after him, lived on Richmond Green? Or that George Vancouver retired to Petersham and is buried in its parish churchyard?

Our booklet, Richmond’s Links with North America, tells stories about these and several other leading North American personalities who lived in Richmond or Petersham, and also about the Richmond Hill and Kew Gardens areas of New York City. Find out more

Ham is Where the Heart is

The new Heritage Lottery-funded oral history project Ham is Where the Heart is would like you to bring in your photos and memorabilia for copying to go on to its new website. The project’s volunteers will be at Ham Library every Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm. Find out more.

“Bright, brief and brotherly” – how the Pleasant Afternoon Society revitalised services in a Richmond church


The Congregational Church and St Elizabeth of Portugal pictured on an old postcard in 1913

If you’ve read our 2016 journal, Richmond History 37, you’ll be familiar with the story of the Victorian graveyard at the Congregational Chapel in The Vineyard (now the Vineyard Life Church).

The author, Peter Flower, also wrote an article in Richmond History 22 (2002) about Thomas Wilson, the 19th-century businessman and philanthropist, whose generosity led to the building of the church. And in an article originally published in Richmond History 29 (2008), Peter tells the story of the Pleasant Sunday Afternoon Society that, in providing services in the late 1890s that were “bright, brief and brotherly” was very successful in meeting its aim of  “bringing in “those who were not connected with any place of worship”.

We’ve now republished these in the Resources section on our website and in due course will be adding further articles from Peter about the history of Richmond’s Congregational Church.

What’s new: other recent additions to our Resources pages

Have you noticed the lettering on the house on Lower Mortlake Road where it meets Kew Road at Richmond Circus? The two intertwined initials WS, dated 1853, are the monogram of William Selwyn the younger. The house is one of the few remaining relics of the Selwyn Estate which used to cover a considerable area of Richmond. You can now read more about the Selwyn family and the development of Richmond on our Resources pages.

And, to complement our existing piece (by John Govett) on Richmond’s Old Burial Ground, we’ve added a timeline, compiled by Stephen Orr, relating to Vineyard Passage Burial Ground.

Listen again to our talks

You missed a real treat if you didn’t hear our late President, Dr David Blomfield, speak about the history of the Star and Garter Home. But you can now listen to his April 2016 talk on our Soundcloud page. This also has Murray Hedgcock’s talk on the history of local cricket and Q2 Players’ dramatised reading of extracts from Simon Fowler’s book Richmond At War 1939–1945.

Five books on the Second World War

AA Book reprints march 2016 IMG_8234 (2)Our five publications on the Second World War – including a third, revised edition of Kew at War 1939-1945 and a reissue of Petersham: radar and operational research 1940-1946 with a new illustrated cover – are all now available  from our online bookshop. They’re also sold at the Open Book in Richmond, at Kew Bookshop and at The National Archives’ bookshop. And you can buy Richmond at War 1939-1945 from Sheen Bookshop and from the Visitor Information Centre outside Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park.

Our journal, Richmond History

Journal 37 cover (2)Former Richmond Council leader Sir David Williams writes in the most recent issue of our Richmond History journal about the Liberal Party’s rise locally in the 1970s. And Kingston University lecturer Dr Steven Woodbridge gives a history of the Richmond branch of the Junior Imperial League, a forerunner (between the First and Second World Wars) of the Young Conservatives. You can order our 2016 issue online, via PayPal, using a debit or credit card. Back copies of Richmond History still in print are also available to buy online.

Our 2017 issue, Richmond History 38, will be available in May.

Our free online index to articles in Richmond History covers all issues up to and including No. 36 (2015) and now includes a new author index.