Category Archives: Heritage Walks

Richmond Society Heritage Walks 2020

Inevitably our planned series of Summer Season Heritage Walks, our forty-first series, scheduled for alternate Wednesday evenings through May, June and July had to be postponed due to Government restrictions on public gatherings from March onwards.

However, with a sense of optimism and mindful of the need to implement necessary social distancing and other measures, we planned a series of three walks on alternate Wednesday evenings through September under the titles ‘Celebrating Richmond Bridge and Riverside’, ‘Celebrating The Terrace Gardens and The Hill’ and ‘Celebrating The Green and Richmond Palace’ – each limited to twenty, pre-booked places.

Much to our surprise and delight, the three, planned walks were vastly oversubscribed, and led to our doubling each of the walks, planning a series of six walks between 2nd September and 7th October. Our walks along the riverside between Old Palace Lane and Petersham Meadows on the evenings of the 2nd and 9th September were most successful, saving for the now inevitable conflicts with the ever increasing number of cyclists using the towing path between Water Lane and the Meadows, even in the early evenings. In accordance with long-established custom, each walk finished with an adjournment to the spacious Rose of York on the Petersham Road and lively conversation until closing time.

Very sadly however, the coming into effect of the Government’s more restrictive Regulations on Monday 14th September, two days before our third scheduled walk; their lack of clarity and lack of consistency with the official Guidance only published the previous Friday; and the Committee’s concern not to place members at undue risk, led to our having to disappoint the eighty or more members who had booked for the last four walks in the series by bringing the series to a premature end.

We very much hope that by next summer we will be able to reinstate the summer series of walks free of the increasingly complex and ambiguous restrictions under which we presently live.

Paul Velluet and Adam Harrison

The Byways of Richmond walk

Paul Velluet at the K6 phone boxes on The Green, Richmond, leading the walk around the Byways of Richmond About 50 members and guests turned up for the Society’s inaugural heritage walk of the 2018 season – an exploration of many of the byways of Richmond including the town’s historic lanes, courts and alleyways on a fine, summery evening. It was led by Paul Velluet, seen in the photo during a pause by two of the red telephone kiosks close to The Prince’s Head on The Green, now preserved and listed thanks to The Richmond Society’s intervention some years ago. Richmond used to have 40 of these iconic phone boxes, now there are only four.

Such was the success of the tour that the size of the group precluded deeper exploration into some of the smaller lanes and a plan to end the evening with an adjournment to The Victoria, Richmond’s smallest pub on the lower slopes of Richmond Hill, had to be abandoned. Many of us ended up in The Duke’s Head in The Vineyard, where more anecdotes about Richmond’s rich heritage were exchanged.

The next walk is on Wednesday 23 May. The title is From The Lass to the Marshgate: The Queen’s Road Estate, Pesthouse Common and Courtlands. A visit to the former Parish Workhouse of 1787, now converted to residential apartments, is included.

Heritage Walks Summer 2014

by Paul Velluet – Walks Organiser and Leader

The seven walks this year attracted significantly increasing numbers through May, June and July, and raised generous contributions towards the Society’s Landscaping Fund. In accordance with long-established tradition, each walk ended with convivial drinks and conversation at a local pub.

The series started in May with the customary introductory walk around the historic core of the town, followed, appropriately in this centenary year, by a walk focusing on sites, local people and military and charitable organisations associated with the Great War.

The visit to Richmond Parish Church led by Valerie Boyes and her well- researched talk on the extraordinary collection of 18th and 19th century memorials in the building attracted a good turn-out despite the appalling weather; as too, the fascinating walk she led to look at the delightful, carved cherubs’ heads on the elegant door-cases of diverse, 18th century houses around the town.

The walk focusing on post-War and modern architecture provided a useful opportunity to remind members of the real design quality of some of the town’s recent development; much of it recognised under the Society’s Awards scheme.

The two walks led by Phillippa Heath were very well attended. One was to sites associated with royal and other mistresses in Twickenham and St Margaret’s.

Petersham_Meadows_Walk_2014The other on the nurseries, market-gardens and allotments of Richmond (see photo); this included a particularly interesting visit to the Old Palace Lane allotments running along the side of the railway embankment behind The White Swan which was facilitated by Hilary Dennes, Secretary of the Allotments Society.

Thanks go to all those who contributed to the success of the series – our guides, Phillippa Heath of Reading University’s Museum of Rural Life, Valerie Boyes, local historian and immediate past-Chairman of the Museum of Richmond; those who opened-up various buildings, and to Adam Harrison who assisted in the organisation of the series.

Once again, members are invited to contribute ideas for themes for the next series of walks, and/or to lead walks themselves.