Author Archives: Robert Smith

Coming up this month

Our own Talks programme doesn’t resume until October but one of our members, Derek Robinson, will be talking about his new book The Vicars of Richmond on Monday 23 September at an event organised by the Museum of Richmond. The stories he has uncovered about the ministers of St Mary Magdalene, Richmond since the 16th century include two vicars ejected for their political views, another who inspired Gulliver’s Travels, and a pair of performing poodles, Mouton and Don. Copies of his book,  published by the Museum of Richmond, are available from our online bookshop and will also be on sale at Derek’s talk, which is at St Mary Magdalene Church. Find out more.

Throughout September the annual Richmond upon Thames Know Your Place heritage festival has a programme of talks, walks, workshops and films on history and heritage topics. Find out more.

Now available: a book on Richmond and Kew’s street names and the 2019 issue of our annual journal

Two new publications, a fully revised edition of The Streets of Richmond and Kew and Richmond History 40, the 2019 issue of our annual journal, are now available.

You can now buy copies at:

or, using a credit card or debit card, from our online bookshop.

We are delighted to be able to reintroduce The Streets of Richmond and Kew to our publications list after a very long gap: the first edition was published in 1989 and the second in 1990. Many Society members, including the late David Blomfield, contributed to this new, third edition, which has 140 pages and includes a full colour map. Comprehensive and up to date, it describes how each of Richmond and Kew’s streets was named and their wider significance for our local area’s history.

Our 40th issue of Richmond History covers three centuries and has articles on:

  • Petersham’s General Gordon Forbes
  • the Roberts family of Cardigan House on Richmond Hill
  • the role of Kew’s Victoria Working Men’s Club in the First World War
  • the history of the long-demolished Sheen Lodge in Richmond Park
  • historic seats in Kew Gardens
  • early performances at Richmond Theatre, which this year celebrates its 120th anniversary
  • the rise of the local branch of the Left Book Club during the 1930s
  • the almost forgotten Grove Road Gardens
  • memories of the Ivy menswear shop on Hill Rise, Richmond.

Forthcoming talks

See our calendar of forthcoming events and our list of forthcoming talks

Coming up, we have:

 Reports of previous talks

Our website now includes reports of some of our previous talks, including John and Eunice Drewry’s presentation in November 2018 on the Voluntary Aid Detachment.

The Victorian burial plot – from graveyard to garden

Coffin plaque

Holloway gravestone, rediscovered in August 2018

On our Resources pages, Peter Flower, archivist at the Vineyard Church in Richmond, tells us of recent discoveries in the Victorian burial plot, which is now a garden. One of the graves discovered is that of the Revd Henry Martin, the church’s remarkable first pastor, who died in 1844 aged only 36. Find out more

Our Resources pages also include a piece by John Govett on Richmond’s Old Burial Ground and Stephen Orr’s timeline on Vineyard Passage Burial Ground.

You can also read about the Selwyn family and the development of Richmond.

Oh deer, another Richmond Park myth…

It is sometimes suggested that the “deer leap” or “freebord“, the strip of land immediately outside Richmond Park’s wall, was designed so that if a deer managed to escape its hunters and get beyond the deer leap, it was then free from capture. That’s unlikely, says Richmond Park historian Robert Wood, in an article about the freebord’s history. Find out more and see a timeline on Richmond Park

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