Richmond.gov.uk
My Account

Richmond Riverside
Conservation Area Appraisal
Conservation Area No.17

Figure 1 Drawing of Richmond Riverside, 1820s

Figure 1 Drawing of Richmond Riverside, 1820s

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Statement of Significance
  3. Location and Setting
  4. Historical Development
  5. Architectural Quality and Built Form
  6. Management Plan

1. Introduction

Purpose of this document

The principal aims of conservation area appraisals are to:

  • Describe the historic and architectural character and appearance of the area which will assist applicants in making successful planning applications and decision makers in assessing planning applications;
  • Raise public interest and awareness of the special character of their area;
  • Identify the positive features which should be conserved, as well as negative features which indicate scope for future enhancements.

This document has been produced using the guidance set out by Historic England in the 2019 publication titled Understanding Place: Conservation Area Designation, Appraisal and Management, Historic England Advice Note 1 (Second Edition).

This document will be a material consideration when assessing planning applications.

What is a Conservation Area?

The statutory definition of a conservation area is an ‘area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’. The power to designate conservation areas is given to local authorities through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservations Areas) Act, 1990 (Sections 69 to 78). Once designated, proposals within a conservation area become subject to local conservation policies set out in the Council’s Local Plan and national policies outlined in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the London Plan. Our overarching duty, which is set out in the Act, is to preserve and/or enhance the historic or architectural character or appearance of the conservation area.

Conservation Areas SPD (pdf, 653 KB)

Buildings of Townscape Merit

Buildings of Townscape Merit (BTMs) are buildings, groups of buildings or structures of historic or architectural interest, which are locally listed due to their considerable local importance. The policy, as outlined in the Council’s Local Plan, sets out a presumption against the demolition of BTMs unless structural evidence has been submitted by the applicant, and independently verified at the cost of the applicant. Locally specific guidance on design and character is set out in the Council’s Buildings of Townscape Merit Supplementary Planning Document (2015) (pdf, 895 KB), which applicants are expected to follow for any alterations and extensions to existing BTMs, or for any replacement structures.

What is an Article 4 Direction?

An Article 4 Direction is made by the local planning authority. It restricts the scope of permitted development rights either in relation to a particular area or site, or a particular type of development anywhere in the authority's area. The Council has powers under Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 to remove permitted development rights. 

Article 4 Directions are used to remove national permitted development rights only in certain limited situations where it is necessary to protect local amenity or the wellbeing of an area. An Article 4 Direction does not prevent the development to which it applies, but instead requires that planning permission is first obtained from the Council for that development. View further information about Article 4 Directions to check if any permitted developments rights in relation to a particular area/site or type of development apply in your area.

What is a Conservation Area Appraisal?

A conservation area appraisal aims to describe the special historic and architectural character of an area. A conservation area’s character is defined by a combination of elements such as architecture, uses, public realm, materials and detailing as well as the relationship between buildings and their settings. Many other elements contribute to character and appearance such as the placement of buildings within their plots; views and vistas; the relationship between the street and the buildings and the presence of trees and green space. The conservation area appraisal is an evidence base rather than a planning policy document. This means that it is the main document for recording what is of principal importance in terms of character and appearance for each conservation area. However, the relevant policies are contained within the borough’s Local Plan. Refer to the Council’s website for the latest Local Plan.

Conservation Area Map

Conservation Area Map

Back to top

2. Statement of Significance

Summary of special architectural and historic interest of conservation area.

  • Richmond is a historically significant settlement, which has origins dating from the 14th
  • The use of a variety of materials, including red and stock facing brick, stucco, both decorative and plain, and stone facing are evenly distributed throughout the area.
  • The townscape is noteworthy for its variety, with a consistently high quality and many exuberant individual buildings. There are also residential areas of mainly terraced development and more uniform rows of houses of a similar design.
  • Building heights vary from two to five storeys and roof treatments vary but pitched roof forms predominate.
  • The presence of the Thames is a defining feature within Richmond and has shaped its development.
  • The riverside offers a picturesque quality to the town and provides a livelihood to a number of businesses.
  • Richmond Bridge, Twickenham Bridge, Richmond Railway Bridge and Richmond Lock are visually important structures spanning the Thames.
  • Richmond Riverside and Richmond Green are well known for their striking visual character and have been used as a backdrop for a number of television series and films.

Back to top

3. Location and Setting

General character and plan form, e.g. linear, compact, dense or dispersed; important views, landmarks, open spaces, uniformity.

Situated to the south west of London, Richmond lies between two significant areas of green space: The Old Deer Park/ Kew Gardens to the north and Richmond Park and Ham lands to the south. It is north east of Twickenham, north of Ham, south east of Isleworth, south west of Chiswick and west of Putney.

Figure 2 Aerial map showing Richmond in wider context

Figure 2 Aerial map showing Richmond in wider context

Figure 3 Map showing Richmond in wider context

Figure 3 Map showing Richmond in wider context

The Conservation Area lies in the centre of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, and although it had its own distinct character, shares a relationship with both the Central Richmond Conservation Area, and the Richmond Green Conservation Area, and this context should be considered when studying any of the three.

Richmond Riverside Conservation Area lies to the west of Richmond Green and straddles both sides of the River Thames, running from Richmond Lock at its northern end to Richmond Bridge at the south, with Corporation Island in the centre. The riverside offers an iconic view; the eastern side is best known for its picturesque quality. The western bank is more residential in nature, with a mixture of residences and houseboats lining the river. Later extensions led to the inclusion of Park Road, a residential street running south from the Riverside.

Figure 4 Aerial view of Richmond Riverside

Figure 4 Aerial view of Richmond Riverside

Back to top

4. Historical Development

Stages/phases of historical development and historic associations (archaeology etc.), which may be influencing how the area is experienced.

The growth of Richmond has been physically constrained by the large open spaces of Richmond Park and Petersham Common to the south and south-east, the River Thames to the west and the Old Deer Park to the north, later reinforced by the railway and A316 trunk road. Thus, throughout its development the town has only really been able to expand east and north-east.

The town owes its existence largely to royal patronage when, in the second half of the 14th century, Edward Ill converted the manor house of Shene into a royal palace. This was demolished by Richard II after the death of his Queen, and a new palace was built by Henry V &VI. After a fire in 1497 the palace was rebuilt by Henry VII and from 1501 the village of Shene came to be known as Richmond as Henry VII was the Earl of Richmond in Yorkshire. The accession of the Stuarts saw the creation of the New Park (now the Old Deer Park) by James I from 1603 and Richmond Park by Charles I from 1634. The civil war and execution of Charles I in 1649 led to the sale and quick demolition of most of the palace.

The village gradually developed into a town due to the presence of the palace, and decline followed its demolition. Prosperity returned towards the end of the 17th century as Londoners fled the plague and the discovery of a spring led to Richmond becoming a popular spa town over the following century. Richmond Bridge, built in 1774-7, and the arrival of the railway in 1846 were key developments leading to the quadrupling of the population from 1810 to 1890, the impetus for growth leading to the loss of many of the original large houses and grounds for redevelopment. Richmond Lock and footbridge opened in 1894. The popularity of the motor car saw a number of road improvements in the early 20th century, most notably the construction of the Great Chertsey Road and Twickenham Bridge (opened in 1933). The redevelopment of large houses continued, and notable buildings of the time include the Odeon cinema of 1930 and the railway station of 1937.

Figure 5 OS map, 1860s

Figure 5 OS map, 1860s

Figure 6 OS map, 1890s

Figure 6 OS map, 1890s

Figure 7 OS map, 1910s

Figure 7 OS map, 1910s

Figure 8 OS map, 1930s

Figure 8 OS map, 1930s

Figure 9 Thames towpath, 1895

Figure 9 Thames towpath, 1895

Figure 10 Richmond Riverside, c.1856

Figure 10 Richmond Riverside, c.1856

Figure 11 Richmond Bridge, c.1875

Figure 11 Richmond Bridge, c.1875

Figure 12 1880 Drawing of Tollgate on Richmond Bridge

Figure 12 1880 Drawing of Tollgate on Richmond Bridge

Figure 13 1820 Drawing of Richmond Bridge

Figure 13 1820 Drawing of Richmond Bridge

Back to top

5. Architectural Quality and Built Form

Dominant architectural styles, the prevalent types and periods of buildings, their status and essential characteristics, and their relationship to the topography, street pattern and/or the skyline. Also important is their authenticity, distinctiveness and uniqueness of materials, design, form, texture, colour etc.)

Figure 14 Rear of buildings on Hill Street as viewed from Richmond Bridge

Figure 14 Rear of buildings on Hill Street as viewed from Richmond Bridge

Figure 15 View of the Twickenham bank as viewed from Richmond Bridge

Figure 15 View of the Twickenham bank as viewed from Richmond Bridge

The Richmond Riverside Conservation Area covers both banks of the River Thames between Richmond Bridge and Twickenham Bridge and continues north to include the Richmond bank of the river up to and including Richmond Lock. The Conservation Area also includes Park Road on the Twickenham bank, and on the Richmond bank it extends to join the Richmond Green Conservation Area including Old Palace Lane. The river is a unifying element in the character of the Conservation Area, in which there are great variations in townscape character within short distances.

Figure 16 View of the River Thames and houseboats

Figure 16 View of the River Thames and houseboats

The Conservation Area can be divided into three areas of similar character. Firstly, the area to the north of the railway line is accented by the three large engineering features of the railway bridge, Twickenham Bridge and the twin footbridges at Richmond Lock (all listed). These are the only dominant features in an area where both banks of the river have dense vegetation and are largely rural in character. Second is the Twickenham bank which has a semi-rural character, consisting of residential developments on the bank in a green setting and a plethora of house boats hugging the riverbank. Thirdly, the Richmond bank is characterised by a well-ordered urban townscape of fine buildings set on the rising bank in a formally landscaped setting. There is a distinct contrast between the urban character of the Richmond bank and the semi-rural character of the Twickenham bank, which is further emphasised by the vegetation on Corporation and the Flowerpot Islands.

Figure 17 View of the River Thames and Corporation Island

Figure 17 View of the River Thames and Corporation Island

Landscape, Landmarks and Vistas

From the Twickenham bank occasional views across to the Richmond bank from Ducks Walk and Willoughby Road are quite varied, ranging from views to the formal Richmond Riverside development, shorter and more intimate views to Corporation Island, to views to the more formal grounds of Trumpeters' House and Queensberry House. Views across to the Twickenham bank from Richmond Riverside are green and suburban in character.

Figure 18 Asgill House

Figure 18 Asgill House

Figure 19 Asgill House as viewed from Cholmondeley Walk

Figure 19 Asgill House as viewed from Cholmondeley Walk

Framing the space at its northern end, adjacent to the railway bridge are Asgill House, listed Grade I, and The Elms, a Building of Townscape Merit. Asgill House was designed by Robert Taylor in 1767 as a weekend retreat for Sir Charles Asgill, Lord Mayor of London. It is an exuberant composition of three storeys stone faced with rusticated ground floor. These are freestanding buildings of high quality, prominent from both the towpath and the railway. The buildings act as gateways to the formal space of the riverside as viewed from the towpath but, more dramatically, as viewed from passing trains. The approaches to the bridge, tightly enclosed by vegetation, heighten the drama and surprise of the crossing and the two buildings frame the vista to the prominent Richmond Riverside development, Richmond Bridge and Richmond Hill beyond.

Richmond Bank

Richmond Bridge is the gateway to the town from the west. It allows many fine views and vistas of the river environment, both into the Conservation Area and south towards Richmond Hill. It provides a dramatic and high-quality image to the town. However, views from the bridge are dominated by the Richmond Riverside development of 1988 by Quinlan Terry. A formal and well maintained stepped riverside terrace in front of the development emphasises the river as an open space for popular enjoyment.

Figure 20 Richmond Riverside and rear view of buildings on Hill Street

Figure 20 Richmond Riverside and rear view of buildings on Hill Street

Downstream from the Riverside development, the bank retains its urban character but takes on a more intimate scale at St. Helena Terrace as the buildings are domestic and set much closer to the river edge above a row of boathouses. Granite sett paving and the boat houses with their brick piers and arched entrances with timber doors and bottle balustrade parapet add to this character. However, the presence of cars detracts from the well-maintained riverside atmosphere. Motorised traffic at busy periods conflicts with the leisure uses, especially boat launching and use of the public houses by pedestrians. Beyond the boat houses the urban character gives way to a more open landscape, with a fully pedestrianised towpath leading north to Twickenham Bridge and Richmond Lock and Weir.  

Figure 21 Boathouses, St. Helena Terrace

Figure 21 Boathouses, St. Helena Terrace

Figure 22 Thames towpath

Figure 22 Thames towpath

Richmond Lock Area  

North of Twickenham Bridge the character of the Conservation Area is strongly influenced by the proximity of the Old Deer Park. Almost continuous views into the park are possible from the towpath underneath the tree canopy lining the edge of the Park framed by obelisks. This part of the Conservation Area contrasts strongly with the more urban part to the south. From the lock are views to the impressive façade and tower of Gordon House, a listed Grade II* private residence formerly used by Brunel University. The Lock, constructed in 1891, was designed by the engineer F.G.M. Stoney (1837-97) and is a local landmark. It is listed Grade II* and comprises two parallel 5 arched bridges of cast iron supported by stone piers with brick and stone lock houses at each end with elaborate ironwork to balustrades and lamps. Steps up to the bridge allow long views up and down stream. 

Figure 23 View of the Twickenham bank

Figure 23 View of the Twickenham bank

Twickenham Bank

Freestanding buildings in a well-treed setting define the character of the Twickenham bank. The scale of the buildings reduces away from Richmond Bridge. At the northern end the area takes on a less urban character and as Ducks Walk gradually approaches the river, a more intimate relationship exists here between pedestrians and the river, emphasised by the narrowness of the path, its enclosure by walls and vegetation and the occasional views possible of houseboats and the river beyond. The informal siting and variety of building style on the bank are also a key characteristic of this part of the Conservation Area.

Located along this stretch of the River Thames are Corporation Island and the Flowerpot islands, which collectively play an integral role in the riverside as they are feature in keys views and give a semi-rural ambiance to this part of the Conservation Area.

Corporation Island is a small island between Richmond Bridge and Richmond Railway Bridge. Formerly known as Richmond Ait, its current name appears to derive from its owners, the Corporation of Richmond, now the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It is uninhabited and there is no public access. The island is densely wooded with a range of tree species, that were planted in the 1960s after Richmond Borough Council felled the London Plane trees which had grown there. It is also home to a nesting colony of grey heron.

Just downstream from Corporation Island are the last islands on the Surrey stretch of the Thames, the Flowerpot Islands, which are two nearly circular islands covered in willows. Originally a single island, they were divided into two on the orders of the Duke of Queensbury in 1796 and subsequent tidal erosion has reduced them to the two tiny islets, or eyots.

Buildings and Townscape

Richmond Bank

Figure 24 Richmond Riverside

Figure 24 Richmond Riverside

Riverfront

The Conservation Area contains a number of important listed and non-listed buildings set in a townscape of international renown. This is most apparent at Richmond Bridge, itself listed Grade I, dating from 1777 by James Paine & Kenton Couse (though subsequently widened in 1937). The bridge consists of five moulded segmental arches and constructed of Portland Stone. Richmond Bridge’s bicentenary was celebrated on 7 May 1977, and today is the oldest existing structure to cross the Thames in London. On the Richmond side of the bridge, there are business uses (e.g. café) in the converted arches beneath Richmond Bridge.

The construction of the Richmond Riverside development, completed in 1988, has helped integrate parts of the existing urban fabric comprising the listed buildings of the Palm Court Hotel and Heron House. The new development surrounding these buildings and the Town Hall emulates their grand Georgian and Victorian architectural style and the combination of existing and new build provides a rich tapestry of buildings that shape the urban space of the river frontage. The tiered urban space is popular with people for outdoor activities including alfresco eating and drinking.

Figure 25 View of Richmond Bridge

Figure 25 View of Richmond Bridge

Figure 26 View of Richmond Bridge from Bridge House Gardens (the Gardens are in the neighbouring Conservation Area of Richmond Hill)

Figure 26 View of Richmond Bridge from Bridge House Gardens (the Gardens are in the neighbouring Conservation Area of Richmond Hill)

Figure 27 Boathouses next to Richmond Bridge

Figure 27 Boathouses next to Richmond Bridge

Figure 28 The White Cross public house

Figure 28 The White Cross public house

The tower of the former Palm Court Hotel, numerous cupolas on the development and the 1930 Art Deco front of the listed Odeon cinema emphasise the drama of the gateway to the town. Beyond the slipway, the remainder of the Riverside part of the towpath is dominated by the White Cross Hotel, St. Helena Terrace, St. Helena House and 1-3 Friars Lane. The scale of the buildings gradually decreases as one moves away from the bridge, but the presence of St. Helena Terrace is heightened by the visual effect of sitting above the ground-level boat sheds.

Figure 29 Trumpeters’ House

Figure 29 Trumpeters’ House

Beyond the built frontage the riverbank becomes Cholmondeley Walk and along this stretch are Queensberry House and Trumpeters' House. Queensberry House is an unusual and interesting composition of Classical, Edwardian and Arts and Crafts architectural elements. Dense vegetation prevents the full scale of the block being fully apparent from the river. Instead, interesting glimpses of the building and its gardens are possible as one walks along Cholmondeley Walk. This is in stark contrast with the powerful open vista of Trumpeters' House and its garden building directly facing the towpath. Clear views across the lawn are possible to the impressive frontage of this Grade I listed building; beyond Trumpeters' House, Asgill House marks the end of the formal 'town' part of the river front and stands out as an especially fine landmark building on the river front.

Lanes and Alleys

The narrow side streets leading from the town centre and Green to the riverside are an important element in the townscape, providing varied approaches to the river but with a common element of surprise. Street patterns and building arrangements between the town centre and river are very organic as the area has been developed and redeveloped over time. The area between Bridge Street and Water Lane has a far more urban character and is physically closer and better linked to the town centre.

Whittaker Avenue

Whittaker Avenue now forms part of the Richmond Riverside development. Views from the Avenue open up to the river, the bridge and the mansion blocks on the opposite bank. The listed war memorial forms a focal point at the end of Whittaker Avenue. The presence of parked cars by the war memorial can give a poor setting to views to it. The street is lined on both sides by large, impressive buildings. On the south side is the Old Town Hall and library of 1893 by W. J. Ancell, described by Pevsner as 'mixed renaissance' in style. The dramatically executed classical façade of the Riverside development provides a strong sense of enclosure and strengthens the contrast between the street and the open vista. Heron Square and Whittaker Place are internal courtyards, with an air of privacy and no shops or cafes.

Water Lane

Figure 30 Water Lane

Figure 30 Water Lane

The narrowness of the street and the tall buildings lining it on one side, in conjunction with the remaining warehouses at the river end, give Water Lane an industrial character at the lower end, while a surviving row of small houses from the original development of this street, in addition to some more recent small scale residential development and a public house, create a more residential character on the northern side of the upper end towards Hill Street. Granite setts and cart tracks reinforce the historic character though the poor state of repair of the adjacent forecourt, yellow lines, and block paving detract from the traditional quality street surface. The drop in ground level down to the river, the gentle curve of the street and the occasional changes in the building line are also essential elements of the character of the street. The curve of the street ensures a continually changing visual experience, Water Lane House becoming apparent only when nearly opposite it.

Of note are the warehouses at the bottom of the street; no. 18 is visible for most of the street's length, a good quality building which acts as a local landmark. The open space of the Thames Water tunnel entrance site and the smaller scale of the warehouse at no. 20 give a human scale to a small part of an otherwise large-scale formal townscape.

Friars Lane

This lane has the most diverse townscape character of those linking the town and river. There is a wide variety of building styles and scale, but views are predominantly of backs of buildings and flank walls. Buildings of note include Queensberry House, which has a busy and interesting elevation despite being the 'back' of the building. Incorporated into the boundary wall is a listed gazebo which appears as a small tower building sitting within the grounds of Queensberry House. A row of large mature trees in front are important in softening the contrast in scale with the listed Queensberry Place opposite. Friar’s Lane Car Park, which appears to be a well-utilised space for parking, is very poorly surfaced and jars with the residential character of the lane and surrounding properties. The workshops at the north end are an interesting group with their own distinct character. High walls and mature trees in the grounds of The Retreat give the area a sense of enclosure and seclusion.

Figure 31 Friars Lane

Figure 31 Friars Lane

Figure 32 Friars Lane showing tidal flooding

Figure 32 Friars Lane showing tidal flooding

Old Palace Lane

As one moves away from the town centre, the lane gradually changes from a distinctly urban character to one more rural, with a strong sense of enclosure due to its winding and narrow nature, its length and the large number of mature trees, particularly at each end of the lane. There is a varied palate of architectural styles to be appreciated, from red brick semis and terraces at the northern end to modestly scaled terraced cottages to the south. Before Old Palace Lane terminates at the river, there is Asgill House, a fine Palladian villa that stands on the site of the brewhouse of Richmond Palace. It was designed by Sir Robert Taylor and built in c1760 for Sir Charles Asgill, a wealthy banker, who was Lord Mayor of London in 1757-58, as a summer residence. From the late 1800s it was the home of James Hilditch, mayor of Richmond 1899-1900 and son of the painter George Hilditch. The house was sensitively restored in 1969-70, when the Victorian additions were removed. It is owned by the Crown Estate and Grade I listed.

Figure 33 6-8 Old Palace Lane

Figure 33 6-8 Old Palace Lane

Figure 34 14-24 Old Palace Lane

Figure 34 14-24 Old Palace Lane

Figure 35 The White Swan public house

Figure 35 The White Swan public house

Old Palace Yard is a peaceful and secluded open space of high townscape and architectural quality. With only two entrances from the footpath and an archway onto the Green, the Yard has a somewhat exclusive and private feel, with signs at the Green entrance which dissuade people from entering.

Figure 36 Old Palace Yard

Figure 36 Old Palace Yard

Twickenham Bank

It is only near Richmond Bridge and the railway bridge that there are any buildings of particular note. In Willoughby Road one encounters the two most important buildings in this part of the Conservation Area: Willoughby House (Grade II) with its slender campanile is a distinctive local landmark which originally faced directly onto the river frontage, and Richmond Bridge Mansions provide a high-quality townscape setting for the Bridge. It is now the strongest landmark building on the Twickenham bank, a dominant form viewed from Richmond Riverside. At the junction with Willoughby Road, Richmond Road widens out to give access to a slipway alongside the bridge. This creates a small open space of good townscape quality, trees either side providing enclosure before emerging onto the bridge.

Figure 37 Willoughby House

Figure 37 Willoughby House

Willoughby Road and Ducks Walk are primarily pedestrian routes and form part of the riverside path between the railway bridge and Richmond Bridge. Most of the path is traffic free. Ducks Walk, with its large open setting, provides welcome views out to the river and its opposite bank, as a contrast to the enclosure of the footpath. Key characteristics of this part of the route include the semi-rural appearance of freestanding buildings on varying building lines in a very green setting, a variety in building styles and materials and a reduction in scale and height as one moves downstream.

Figure 38 Willoughby Road

Figure 38 Willoughby Road

Figure 39 Richmond Bridge Mansions

Figure 39 Richmond Bridge Mansions

Figure 40 Richmond Bridge Mansions entrance

Figure 40 Richmond Bridge Mansions entrance

Figure 41 Ducks Walk

Figure 41 Ducks Walk

Figure 42 The Elms from Ducks Walk

Figure 42 The Elms from Ducks Walk

From Ducks Walk the path takes on a far more secluded and enclosed character. Occasionally views are possible of houseboats and associated gardens, reinforcing the relationship with the river as it draws closer to the path. Just before the railway bridge the vegetation stops abruptly on the left, suddenly revealing a clear vista to the impressive facade of The Elms, framed by mature trees and rising slightly above the sunken garden. Original railings survive along the path but are partly obscured by the raised path and are in a poor state of repair.

Figure 43 Original railings of The Elms

Figure 43 Original railings of The Elms

Bridges

Figure 44 Richmond Railway Bridge

Figure 44 Richmond Railway Bridge

Figure 45 Detail of Richmond Railway Bridge

Figure 45 Detail of Richmond Railway Bridge

Beyond The Elms the path returns to the riverside and is dominated by the presence of the railway bridge and Twickenham Bridge. A focus for the space between them is the interesting hexagonal access shaft to a tunnel under the river used by the water authority. It is enclosed by railings and sits on an open area of green space. An identical structure sits directly opposite on the Richmond bank. The 1908 railway bridge is an impressive structure, similar in design to the footbridges at Richmond Lock and Barnes Railway Bridge. Restrained but elegant, its colour scheme fitting well with its surroundings; it includes a short viaduct of six well-proportioned and well detailed arches.

Figure 46 Tunnel access under river, Richmond bank

Figure 46 Tunnel access under river, Richmond bank

Figure 47 Tunnel access under river, Twickenham bank

Figure 47 Tunnel access under river, Twickenham bank

Figure 48 Richmond Lock footbridge

Figure 48 Richmond Lock footbridge

The listed Richmond Lock footbridge of 1894 is more elegant and refined than the railway bridge. Full uninterrupted views of the bridge in its setting within this straight stretch of the river are possible from many points on the towpath.

Figure 49 Twickenham Bridge

Figure 49 Twickenham Bridge

Figure 50 Steps of Twickenham Bridge

Figure 50 Steps of Twickenham Bridge

Park Road

Park Road consists of many good examples of ornate and imposing Victorian houses, mainly two to three storeys in height and constructed of brick with canted bays to fronts and slate roofs. These are interspersed with a number of modern builds of varying materials, sizes and design. Many boundary walls have been lost to provide parking, weakening the boundary definition. In addition, some inappropriate replacement windows have been installed, which serve to dilute the character of the street. The street is well provided with trees, especially on the west side and north end, and the views along the street are terminated by mature trees to the north and by the flats at Old House Gardens to the south giving the street a sense of enclosure.

Figure 51 General view of Park Road

Figure 51 General view of Park Road

Figure 52 5 Park Road

Figure 52 5 Park Road

Figure 53 Villa style houses on Park Road

Figure 53 Villa style houses on Park Road

Figure 54 Deniel Lodge, Park Road

Figure 54 Deniel Lodge, Park Road

Figure 55 16-24 Park Road

Figure 55 16-24 Park Road

Back to top

6. Management Plan

This Management Plan outlines how the Council intends to preserve and enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area in future. The Council has a duty to formulate and publish these proposals under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

Please note that the following proposals include suggested environmental improvements, some of which may fall outside the Council’s control. There are also likely to be limitations to implementing some of the proposals, including resource challenges.

Problems and Pressures

General

  • Loss of traditional architectural features and materials due to unsympathetic alterations and extensions.
  • Use of poor-quality products in building works such as uPVC, roofing felt and GRP (glass-reinforced plastic) products.

Routes and spaces

  • The presence of parked cars in front of St. Helena Terrace is unsightly.
  • The Thames Water area between the warehouse at 20 Water Lane and the White Cross Hotel is cluttered and untidy in appearance, and has a somewhat neglected feel.
  • Friars Lane car park is rather stark in appearance.

Street furniture and materials

  • The railings on the towpath between Richmond Bridge and Friars Lane are in a poor condition.
  • The surface materials of Water Lane are in need of repair in many places.
  • At the end of Water Lane, the slipway and its walls are in poor condition.
  • Twickenham Bridge - in need of localised repairs and graffiti removal: loose stonework in places; a regular victim of graffiti.

Buildings

  • Heron Square is lacking in active uses and pedestrian activity.
  • Many of the boathouses at St. Helena Terrace are in need of repair.
  • The condition of the facing brickwork on the railway viaduct is poor in many places.
  • A number of properties in Park Road have suffered from unsympathetic minor alterations, especially removal of boundary walls for car parking.

Eyesore sites

  • The walls and surface of the slipway at the bottom of Water Lane are in a poor state of repair.
  • The above-mentioned area outside the White Cross Hotel and Thames Water site at the end of Water Lane is cluttered and unsightly.
Figure 56 Riverside view with railings and cobbles

Figure 56 Riverside view with railings and cobbles

Figure 57 Water Lane slipway, with tarmac in poor condition

Figure 57 Water Lane slipway, with tarmac in poor condition

Figure 58 Abundance of bins and clutter between 20 Water Lane and the White Cross Hotel

Figure 58 Abundance of bins and clutter between 20 Water Lane and the White Cross Hotel

Opportunities for Enhancement and Recommendations

  • Preservation, enhancement and reinstatement of architectural quality and unity that is preferably based upon historic evidence.
  • Seek to encourage good quality and proportionate design and better-quality materials that are sympathetic to the period and style of the building.
  • Continue improvements to paving and street furniture throughout the Conservation Area. Paving and street furniture changes should accord with the guidance in the Council's Public Space Design Guide.
  • Encourage the reinstatement of appropriate walls, railings and hedges to boundaries throughout the Conservation Area, with specific attention to Park Road. Also encourage improvement of existing boundaries where necessary.
  • Carry out maintenance to the Water Lane slipway surface and walls.
  • Encourage the repair, restoration and use of the boathouses at St. Helena Terrace to match those beside Richmond Bridge.
  • Investigate the potential for removing parked cars in front of St. Helena Terrace to improve conditions for pedestrians and allow the removal of yellow lines.
  • Simplify the cluttered area between the White Cross Hotel and Thames Water site at the end of Water Lane.
  • Water Lane: pursue paving improvements with the retention of the existing granite setts.
  • Friars Lane car park: surfacing and landscape improvements to Friars Lane car park.
  • Protect key views, such as to Trumpeters’ House.
  • Maintenance of Twickenham Bridge - consolidation of stonework and metalwork and cleaning of graffiti when necessary.
  • Riverside design guidance to be developed in accordance with the Council's Urban Design Study (2021) and Thames Landscape Strategy.
  • Street scene general guidelines: existing areas of high-quality paving (such as stone and granite) should be maintained and extended if possible. Established patterns of street furniture should be continued or refer to the Council's Public Space Design Guide. Colour street furniture generally black.

Back to top

References

Historic photographs reproduced from Richmond Local Studies Library and Archive:

Richmond upon Thames Libraries - Archives Quick Search (spydus.co.uk)

Updated: 20 July 2022

Stay up to date! Make sure you subscribe to our email updates.