Twickenham is a suburban area and town in Greater London, lying on the
River Thames 10.2 miles west-southwest of the centre of London. It has
an extensive town centre and is famous as being the home of rugby
union, with hundreds of thousands of spectators visiting Twickenham
Stadium, the world's largest rugby stadium, each year. The historic
riverside area is famous for its network of 18th-century buildings and
pleasure grounds, many of which survive intact. This area has three
grand period mansions with public access: York House, Marble Hill and
Strawberry Hill House. Another has been lost, that belonging to
18th-century aphoristic poet Alexander Pope. Among these is the
Neo-Gothic prototype home of
Horace Walpole which has given its name
to a whole district, Strawberry Hill, and is linked with the oldest
Roman Catholic university in the country, St Mary's University,
1.3 17th century
1.4 18th century
4 Population and housing
5.1 Nearest places
7.1 Nearest railway stations
9 Arts and culture
10 Public art
11 Places of worship
12.1 Living people
12.2 Historical figures
13 See also
15 Further reading
16 External links
Excavations have revealed settlements in the area dating from the
Early Neolithic, possibly
Mesolithic periods. Occupation seems to have
continued through the Bronze Age, the
Iron Age and the Roman
occupation. The area was first mentioned (as "Tuican hom" and
"Tuiccanham") in an 8th-century charter to cede the area to Waldhere,
Bishop of London, "for the salvation of our souls". The charter,
dated 13 June 704, is signed with 12 crosses. The signatories included
Swaefred of Essex,
Cenred of Mercia
Cenred of Mercia and Earl Paeogthath.
In Norman times
Twickenham was part of the Manor of Isleworth –
itself part of the Hundred of Hounslow,
Middlesex (mentioned in
Domesday Book of 1086). The manor had belonged to Ælfgār, Earl of
Mercia in the time of Edward the Confessor, but was granted to Walter
de Saint-Valery (Waleric) by William I of
England after the Norman
England in 1066. The area was then farmed for several
hundred years, while the river provided opportunities for fishing,
boatbuilding and trade.
Twickenham c.1700, depicted by Peter Tillemans
St Mary's Church today
The Shot Tower by the River Crane
Alexander Pope's villa
All Hallows Twickenham, as seen from the A316
Bubonic plague spread to the town in 1665 and 67 deaths were recorded.
It appears that
Twickenham had a pest house in the 17th century,
although the location is not known.
There was also a watch house in the middle of the town, with stocks, a
pillory and a whipping post whose owner was charged to "ward within
and about this
Parish and to keep all Beggars and Vagabonds that shall
lye abide or lurk about the Towne and to give correction to such...".
In 1633 construction began on York House. It was occupied by Edward
Montagu, 2nd Earl of Manchester in 1656 and later by Edward Hyde, 1st
Earl of Clarendon.
1659 saw the first mention of the
Twickenham Ferry, although ferrymen
had already been operating in the area for many generations. Sometime
before 1743 a "pirate" ferry appears to have been started by
Twickenham inhabitants. There is speculation that it operated to serve
"The Folly", a floating hostelry of some kind. Several residents wrote
to the Lord Mayor of the City of London:
...Complaining that there is lately fixed near the Shore of Twickenham
River Thames a Vessell made like a
Barge and called the Folly
wherein divers[e] loose and disorderly persons are frequently
entertained who have behaved in a very indecent Manner and do
frequently afront divers[e] persons of Fashion and Distinction who
often in an Evening Walk near that place, and desired so great a
Nuisance might be removed,....
In 1713 the nave of the ancient St Mary's Church collapsed, and the
church was rebuilt in the Neo-classical style to designs by a local
architect, John James.
In 1736, the noted pharmacist and quack doctor
Joshua Ward set up the
Great Vitriol Works to produce sulphuric acid, using a process
discovered in the seventeenth century by
Johann Glauber in which
sulphur is burned together with saltpetre (potassium nitrate), in the
presence of steam. The process generates an extremely unpleasant
smell, which caused objections from local residents. The area was also
soon home to the world's first industrial production facility for
gunpowder, on a site between
Twickenham and Whitton on the banks of
the River Crane. There were frequent explosions and loss of life. On
11 March 1758, one of two explosions was felt in Reading, Berkshire,
and in April 1774 another explosion terrified people at church in
In 1772 three mills blew up, shattering glass and buildings in the
neighbourhood. Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, wrote complaining
to his friend and relative Henry Seymour Conway, then Lieutenant
General of the Ordnance, that all the decorative painted glass had
been blown out of his windows at Strawberry Hill.
The powder mills remained in operation until 1927 when they were
closed. Much of the site is now occupied by Crane Park, in which the
old Shot Tower, mill sluices and blast embankments can still be seen.
Much of the area along the river next to the Shot Tower is now a
The 1818 Enclosure Award led to the development of 182 acres
(0.74 km2) of land to the west of the town centre largely between
the present day Staines and Hampton Roads, where new roads –
Workhouse Road, Middle Road, 3rd, 2nd and 1st Common Roads (now First
to Fifth Cross Roads respectively) – were laid out. During
the 18th and 19th centuries, a number of fine houses were built and
Twickenham became a popular place of residence for people of "fashion
and distinction". Further development was stimulated by the opening of
Twickenham station in 1848.
Electricity was introduced to
Twickenham in 1902 and the first
trams arrived the following year.
In 1939, when
All Hallows Lombard Street
All Hallows Lombard Street was demolished in the City of
London, its distinctive stone tower designed by Christopher Wren, with
its peal of ten bells and connecting stone cloister, and the interior
furnishings, including a
Renatus Harris organ and a pulpit used by
John Wesley, were brought to
Twickenham to be incorporated in the new
All Hallows Church on Chertsey Road (A316) near
Twickenham Green area witnessed a high-profile murder on 19 August
2004, when French woman
Amelie Delagrange (aged 22) died in hospital
after being found with a serious head injury (caused by battery) in
the area. Within 24 hours, police had established a link with the
murder of Marsha McDonnell, who was killed in similar circumstances in
nearby Hampton 18 months earlier.
Levi Bellfield was found guilty
of both murders on 25 February 2008 (as well as a further charge of
attempted murder against 18-year-old Kate Sheedy) and sentenced to
life imprisonment. In 2011 he was found guilty of the murder of Milly
Dowler, a teenage girl who vanished from
Walton-on-Thames in March
2002 and whose body was later found in
From 1868 the area was administered jointly between the newly formed
Middlesex County Council and the
Twickenham Local Government District
board, with the passing of the Local Government Act 1858. Then in 1894
Local Government Act 1894
Local Government Act 1894 reconstituted the area as Twickenham
Urban District. In 1926
Twickenham was granted a charter of
incorporation to become a municipal borough. Eleven years later the
urban district councils of Teddington, Hampton & Hampton Wick
merged with Twickenham.
York House (rear view from sunken lawn)
Middlesex County Council was abolished and replaced with the
Greater London Council and the boroughs of Twickenham, Richmond and
Barnes were combined to form the London Borough of Richmond upon
Thames. In 1986 the
Greater London Council was abolished and most
powers devolved to local boroughs and others to the Government and
joint boards. In 2000 the
Greater London Authority was set up and
two-tier administration returned, but with the top tier having a much
more limited strategic role.
The borough council offices and chamber are located at York House,
Twickenham and in the adjacent civic centre.
Twickenham constituency in the UK Parliament includes the towns of
Twickenham, St Margarets, Whitton, Teddington, Hampton, Fulwell,
Hampton Hill and Hampton Wick. Since the 2017 UK General Election, the
Member of Parliament has been a Liberal Democrat, Sir Vince Cable.
While the part of
Twickenham in the London Borough of Hounslow, north
of the Duke of Northumberland's river and east of
is part of the
Isleworth constituency, which includes
the towns of Chiswick, Brentford, South Acton, Isleworth,
Hounslow East, in addition to North
As a London suburb, many local residents commute to central London or
work locally in retail, hospitality, education or for one of the many
professional firms based in the area. London Heathrow Airport is
important to the local economy both through direct employment and the
cluster of international firms that have their European headquarters
Thames Valley area. Unemployment in the area is very low,
however there is a big difference in the salaries earned by residents
who work inside the borough, compared to those whose employment is
The council has been making efforts to regenerate
centre as it has been struggling due to strong competition from
Hounslow, Richmond and Kingston upon Thames. It differs from most town
centres as it has fewer retail shops, particularly chain stores, and
more cafes, restaurants, banks and estate agents. There has been a
comprehensive scheme of town centre improvements including repaving in
Yorkstone, a new arts centre, and improved gardens and riverside walk.
However, plans to build a barge house for Gloriana at Orleans
Gardens and to the youth centre out of Heatham House so it could
be converted into a hotel proved controversial and were dropped.
Population and housing
Data for 1891–1961 is available for the Urban Sanitary District,
that was then the Metropolitan Borough which always included Whitton.
This area temporarily expanded for 31 years to include Hampton and
Teddington from 1935, rising from 2,421 acres (9.80 km2) to 7,014
acres (28.38 km2). The 2001 and 2011 Censuses give detailed
information about the town/district. The settlement's population in
2011 were living in 22,273 households.
Population of Twickenham
2011 Census homes
Flats and apartments
Shared between households
St Margarets and North Twickenham
2011 Census households
% Owned outright
% Owned with a loan
St Margarets and North Twickenham
Twickenham is bounded by the
River Thames on the south and the land is
relatively flat though it does rise gently to the West as it
approaches Whitton. The land is fertile and was home to numerous
market gardens before housing became the predominant land use with the
coming on the railways in the mid nineteenth century.
A map of most of the town of Twickenham
A memorial plaque to Pope's Grotto
Houseboats on river Thames, in the St Margarets locality
Twickenham Park House
The town is bordered on the south-eastern side by the
River Thames and
Eel Pie Island – which is connected to the Twickenham
embankment by a narrow footbridge, the first of which was erected in
1957. Before this, access was by means of a hand-operated ferry that
was hauled across using a chain on the riverbed. The land adjacent to
the river, from Strawberry Hill in the south to Marble Hill Park in
the north, is occupied by a mixture of luxury dwellings, formal
gardens, public houses and a newly built park and leisure facility.
In the south, in Strawberry Hill, lies St Mary's University,
Twickenham historically specialising in sports studies, teacher
training, religious studies, the humanities, drama studies and English
literature. Strawberry Hill was originally a small cottage in two or
three acres (8,000 or 12,000 m²) of land by the River Thames.
Horace Walpole, a son of the politician Robert Walpole, rented the
cottage in 1747 and subsequently bought it and turned it into one of
the incunabula of the Gothic revival. The university shares part of
its campus with Walpole's Strawberry Hill. On adjacent land were the
villa and garden of the poet Alexander Pope. The villa was demolished
in 1808/09 following the orders of Lady Howe, who became irritated
with the large number of tourists who visited the place. The
grotto which formed the basement survived. A memorial plaque was
placed on the site in remembrance in 1848.
A road just north of the campus is named Pope's Grove, and a local
landmark next to the main road is the
Alexander Pope Hotel (previously
known as Pope's Grotto), a public house and hotel where Pope's
landmark informal garden used to be. Near this hostelry lie St
Catherine's school for girls and
Radnor House School, in a building on
the site of Pope's white stucco villa and the location of Pope's
original – surviving – grotto.
There are a large number of fine houses in the area, many of them
Victorian. The open space known as
Radnor Gardens lies opposite Pope's
Not far from Pope's
Grotto is the Roman
Catholic Church of Saint
James, which has a memorial window in the form of the Royal Arms of
Portugal and memorials to Manuel II, Portugal's last king, who
worshipped here and died in nearby
Fulwell Park in 1932.
Twickenham proper begins in the vicinity of Pope's Grotto, with
generally large period houses to the west, the traditional definition
of which is
Twickenham Green, and similar housing in the east all the
distance to Richmond Bridge typically largest near the Thames. The
town centre is not actually in the centre of the town, rather in the
southeastern corner, as
Twickenham was built up moving away from the
Thames. Whitton lies further to the north and west.
The districts of East
Twickenham and St Margarets lie to the
north-east of central
Twickenham on the west side of Richmond Bridge,
the shortest bridge on the Tideway. These are popular for their
attractive tree-lined residential roads and an eclectic range of shops
and cafés. St Margarets is the location of
Twickenham Studios, one of
London's major film studios.
Twickenham abuts the
River Thames at Richmond Bridge and St
Margarets has its river frontage immediately to the north. The great
estate of Cambridge Park, home of Richard Owen Cambridge, the
18th-century satirical poet, was located here.
Kingston upon Thames
Main article: List of schools in Richmond upon Thames
There are several schools in
Twickenham including secondary schools,
primary schools, universities and kindergartens. Many of these are
easily accessible by the local bus network mentioned in the Transport
Thames College, a College of General Further and Higher
Education, is on Egerton Road in Twickenham.
Until 1971 London Transport operated a bus depot known as "Twickenham
Garage" (coded AB) which was located in Cambridge Road, East
Twickenham. The relevant destination blind for garage journeys always
referred to this location as Richmond Bridge, which was close by. On
closure, all its routes and vehicles were transferred to Fulwell bus
garage, but the building remained under the ownership of London
Transport until the mid-1990s when it was demolished to make way for a
Fulwell Garage was previously known as Fulwell Depot and was
originally the base for
London United Tramways
London United Tramways in south west London.
The trams were replaced by trolleybuses that started operating from
Fulwell Depot in the 1930s. The trolleybuses were later replaced by
AEC Routemaster buses and London's last trolleybus terminated here on
the night of 8 May 1962, following a commemorative circuit of the
Fulwell routes by London's first trolleybus, No.1 of the A1 class
Felthams, known as "Diddlers". This vehicle is preserved in working
Twickenham station was situated on the western side of the
A310 London Road bridge before the new station was opened on the
eastern side. This accounts for roads named Railway Approach and
Station Road, which now give no access to the station.
Nearest railway stations
The main railway station in the town is
Twickenham itself, although St
Margarets, Whitton, Fulwell and Strawberry Hill stations are also
Twickenham post town. Stations in nearby towns (all, except
for Richmond and Isleworth, once part of the former Borough of
Hampton railway station
Hampton Wick railway station
Isleworth railway station
Teddington railway station
London Buses serving
Hounslow bus station
Fulwell bus garage
Heathrow Airport Terminal 5
Kew Retail Park
All above routes serve King Street in the town centre apart from the
481, which runs through western Twickenham. The N22 only operates at
The Exchange, Twickenham
The Cabbage Patch pub in Twickenham
Twickenham is home to the headquarters of the
Rugby Football Union
Rugby Football Union and
Twickenham Stadium. The
England National Rugby Union Team play all
their home matches at
Twickenham Stadium, which is one of England’s
largest stadiums and the world’s largest rugby stadium. Harlequins,
a rugby union club, play at the
Twickenham Stadium hosted
Rugby World Cup
Rugby World Cup fixtures in 1991, 1999 and
2015, including semi-final matches in 1999 and the final matches in
1991 and 2015.
Arts and culture
The Exchange is a community building, including a 320-seat theatre,
Twickenham railway station. It opened in October 2017.
The building is owned by Richmond upon
Thames Council and is managed
by St Mary's University, Twickenham.
Twickenham Museum is a volunteer-run museum opposite St Mary's
parish church. It is open every day except Mondays.
The Cabbage Patch pub on London Road has, since 1983, been a regular
venue for live music on Sunday nights, organised by TwickFolk.
Main article: List of public art in the London Borough of Richmond
Thames § Twickenham
In 2015, working in partnership with Richmond upon
Thames Council and
the architectural design practice Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios,
Twickenham resident Graham Henderson conceived, designed, built and
installed Pope’s Urn, an important contemporary piece of public art,
inspired by the poetry of Alexander Pope. Enjoying a central
position on the
Twickenham riverside, the sculpture was commissioned
to celebrate the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and was opened in a ceremony in
Places of worship
Interior of All Saints Church, Twickenham
Amyand Park Chapel
Church of England
138 Chertsey Road,
Twickenham TW1 1EW
Church of England
Twickenham TW2 5BY
Amyand Park Chapel
174 Amyand Park Road,
Twickenham TW1 3HY
Free Grace Baptist
Twickenham TW2 6EJ
Church of England
1 Vicarage Road,
Twickenham TW2 5TS
61 Pope's Grove,
Twickenham TW1 4JZ
Church of England
Twickenham TW1 3NJ
Church of England
Richmond Road, East
Twickenham TW1 2PD
Twickenham TW2 6QP
Twickenham TW1 4EN
United Reformed Church
First Cross Road,
Twickenham TW2 5QA
Main article: List of people from Richmond upon Thames
15 Montpelier Row's residents have included
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson and
Andrzej Panufnik, who lived and died in a house on Twickenham
Steve Allen, radio presenter, lives in Twickenham.
Tony Blair, former UK Prime Minister, lived in a house in Twickenham
in 1972, which he rented from a member of the
Vineyard Church in
Richmond, and used the Vineyard's crypt every Sunday for promotional
Jason Bradbury, children's writer and TV presenter, lives in
Rob Brydon, comedian, lives in Strawberry Hill.
Michael Fish, television and radio weather forecaster, lives in
Oliver Golding, former child actor and current LTA junior tennis
player, has lived in Twickenham.
Keeley Hawes, actress, and Matthew Macfadyen, actor, live in
Graham Henderson, arts consultant and Chief Executive of the Rimbaud
and Verlaine Foundation, lives in Twickenham.
Roxanna Panufnik, composer and musician, was brought up in the
Panufnik family home at Riverside House in
Twickenham overlooking the
Tim Rowett, renowned toy collector and
YouTube personality, lives in
Pete Townshend, guitarist for The Who, who lives at
The Wick on
Richmond Hill, previously lived at Chapel House, Twickenham, now
called 15 Montpelier Row.
J M W Turner's home, Sandycombe Lodge, in 1814
Brothers Arthur Anderson and
Gerard Anderson were born in
Twickenham and competed in track and field events in the 1912
Summer Olympics. Gerard was also the world record holder in the 440
metres hurdles. Gerard served as a second lieutenant in the Cheshire
Regiment in the First World War. He was mentioned in despatches
and was killed in combat in 1914.
Trevor Baylis (1937–2018), inventor of the clockwork radio, lived,
worked and died on Eel Pie Island, Twickenham.
Kitty Clive (1711–1785), actress, who retired in 1769 to a villa in
Twickenham that had been a gift from her friend Horace Walpole, dying
there in 1785. She was buried at St Mary's. At the north-east corner
of the church, there is a memorial to her on which a poem praises
Walter de la Mare
Walter de la Mare (1873–1956), poet, lived at South End House in
Montpelier Row from 1940 until his death.
Henry Du Pre Labouchere
Henry Du Pre Labouchere (1831–1912), Liberal MP and journalist,
lived at Pope's Villa, Cross Deep, Twickenham. The site is marked by a
Ron Greenwood (1921–2006) manager of
West Ham United
West Ham United and the England
national football team, lived in
Twickenham early in his career.
Harry Hampton VC (1870–1922) was born in Crown Terrace, Richmond and
died in Twickenham. He is buried in Richmond Old Cemetery.
Norman Cyril Jackson
Norman Cyril Jackson VC (1919–1994) died in
Hampton Hill and is
Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646–1723), portrait painter, who lived in
Whitton, was a churchwarden at
St Mary's, Twickenham
St Mary's, Twickenham when its
14th-century nave collapsed in 1713 and he was active in the plans for
the church's reconstruction by John James (architect). Kneller's
remains were interred in the church.
Batty Langley (1696–1751), garden designer, was the son of a jobbing
Twickenham and was baptised there.
The future Louis Philippe I, Duc d’Orleans, who was King of the
French from 1830 to 1848, went into exile in 1793 and, before his
return to France in 1815 on the fall of Napoleon, lived mostly in
Twickenham. He and his two younger brothers lived in relative poverty
from 1800 to 1807 at Highshot House, Crown Road; the house was
demolished in 1927. From 1815 to 1817 Louis Philippe leased a house on
Twickenham riverside and gave it the name Orleans House. The house
was demolished in 1926 but the octagon and some outbuildings survived
and are now the
Orleans House Gallery . After the 1848 revolution,
many members of Louis Philippe's large family were forced into exile
and took residences in the Richmond area.
Manuel II of Portugal
Manuel II of Portugal lived in exile at Fulwell Park, Twickenham,
5 October 1910 revolution
5 October 1910 revolution in Portugal. He died in the
house in 1932.
Andrzej Panufnik (1914–1991), Polish-born composer, lived and died
in a house on
Alexander Pope (1688–1744), poet, lived in Twickenham. He lies
St Mary's, Twickenham
St Mary's, Twickenham under a stone slab engraved simply with the
letter P, near a bronze memorial plate.
Peter Sallis (1921–2017), actor, was born in Twickenham.
James Saunders (playwright) (1925–2004), lived in East
Sir Ratan Tata (1871–1918), a Parsee and a major industrialist in
India, who bought
York House, Twickenham
York House, Twickenham in 1906 and lived there until
1914, when he returned to India. His widow Navajbai decided to sell
the house and its contents in 1924.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892), author and poet, lived at Chapel
House, now 15 Montpelier Row from 1851 until 1853. His son Hallam
Tennyson (1852–1928), second Governor-General of Australia, was born
there. and was christened at
St Mary's, Twickenham
St Mary's, Twickenham in 1852.
J M W Turner
J M W Turner (1775–1851), artist, designed and commissioned the
building of Solus Lodge in Sandycoombe Road, on the border of East
Twickenham and St Margarets. The house survives as Sandycombe
Lodge. The site is marked by a blue plaque.
Thomas Twining (1675–1741) was a merchant, and the founder of the
tea company Twinings. In about 1722 he bought a property later known
as Dial House, next door to the church of St Mary's, Twickenham, where
he either rebuilt, or converted and extended the buildings already
there. The sundial on the façade carries the date 1726, possibly the
time when the new building was finished. After Twining died in 1741,
he was buried at St Mary's, where there is a memorial to him at the
north-east corner of the church.
Horace Walpole (1717–1797), art historian, man of letters,
antiquarian and politician, built and lived at Strawberry Hill House
Twickenham Golf Course
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Wikisource has the text of The New Student's Reference Work article
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Twickenham.
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