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  • Writer's pictureN&N Richmond - Richmond Estate Agent

Roads of Richmond - Queens Road


Once a muddy track through the Richmond countryside, Queen’s Road is unrecognisable today. It stretches from the Sheen Road up to the Star & Garter and Richmond Gate to Richmond Park at the top of the hill. It was previously known, amongst others, as ‘the road from the Star and Garter leading to Marshgate’. The road is said to have been made up at his own expense by Joseph Ellis, proprietor of the Star & Garter Inn (1822-58). The road didn’t receive its current name until the 1840s, when it was named in honour of Queen Victoria.


Property

In 1786 George III granted the farmland to the parish and from 1845 the land became developed with houses appearing from 1849. However, even before that, large houses were built near the entrance to Richmond Park including one occupied by Augustin Heckel, who became famous for decorating gold using a technique called gold chasing. In the early 1700s a grand house was built on the bottom eastern side of the road by Peter Wallis, who had been responsible for the first piped water supply to Richmond, it would later be replaced by Stawell House and then a large development of flats ‘Courtlands’ was built in the 1930s.


As the Regency period came to a close, the coming of the railway in the Victorian era greatly increased the population of Richmond. Consolidation of landholdings on Richmond Hill during the previous 200 years had made the acquisition of sizeable plots of land for development much easier and in the 1840s Sir Thomas Newby Reeve built ten semi-detached villas of 4,000 sq ft each in the Dutch Style - named Park Villas West. They consisted of three floors plus a lower ground floor designed to give better living conditions for the servants who lived there offering both light and air in a way previously unknown to London housing. These houses were closely followed by larger houses opposite with long carriage drives.


In 1973 the Trustees of the Richmond Parish Lands Charity commissioned a report to investigate a lack of balance in the demographics of the community. It revealed that there was a low proportion of schoolchildren and a very high proportion of retired people. It also highlighted that the majority of young couples who married in Richmond moved away almost immediately due to lack of affordable housing. Addressing this imbalance was the core of the master plan for the redevelopment of the area of land on the south-western end of Queens Road by the park. The architects Darbourne & Darke designed the Queens Road Estate, demolishing some of the grander Victorian properties to allow the estate to take shape. New buildings including the Cambrian Community Centre and the artist’s workshop in Dickson House, as well as new terraced houses, maisonettes and small flats built on the principles of integrated, community-oriented, simple and practical low-rise housing. In 2012 the first phase of the estate project was awarded a Grade II listing because of the incentive and dynamic housing design that achieved the spirit of the community and a sensitive and successful approach to housing.


Today, there are a variety of periods of housing on both sides of Queens Road with detached and semi-detached Victorian houses of varying style and sizes at the very top, large Edwardian in the middle of the road and 1930s near the lower end. All are set back from the road with gardens and most have off-street parking. There are also a number of purpose built blocks of flats including the art-deco style Queens Court to more contemporary apartment blocks.


Education

Educational establishments have always featured highly on Queens Road.


In the 19th century a new establishment for religious instruction The Southern Branch of the Wesleyan Theological Institution for training methodist ministers was constructed in a magnificent Perpendicular Gothic Revival building. Opened in 1843, it operated independently until 1902 when it was incorporated into the University of London as Richmond Theological College. It is now the Richmond branch of the American International University in London.


In 1954, St Edward the Confessor’s Catholic Secondary School was established at the northern end of the road. In the early 2000s, this was replaced by the Floyer Close housing development and Marshgate Primary School. Marshgate was voted 34th in the Sunday times Top Primary Schools in England. The historic Christ’s School, founded in Richmond in 1713 as St Mary Magdalene’s Church Charity School moved to its new premises on Queens Road in 1960. In the late 1960s, a joint sixth form was run with St Edward the Confessor’s School opposite until the two schools merged into Christ’s School in 1978 and one was one of the first Anglican-Roman Catholic Secondary Schools in the country. It was established under the Church of England in 1998. Although it went through some difficulties it was relaunched in 2000 and has since gone from strength to strength and is now a very popular school.


Another of Richmond’s Ofsted-rated Outstanding primary schools, St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School, is also located on the middle of Queens Road, on the junction with Marchmont Road. So, for school catchments, you couldn’t get a better road.


Public Houses

By 1624 the road had its own pub at the top of the road named the Punchbowl, it was then renamed The Duke’s Head and finally Ancaster House was built on the site. The Black Horse pub was established right at the bottom of the road in the 18th century. It was rebuilt in the early years of the 20th century and remained a fixture until it was closed down in 2006 and it has since been developed into contemporary apartments although the facade remains. The only pub still remaining on Queens Road is the Lass O’ Richmond Hill at the top end although the building was demolished and rebuilt in 1900.


Pest House Common

With the 17th century came the most notorious disease in history, The Great Plague. In response to the resurgence of this highly contagious disease, a Royal decree ordered that every town must have a place to house the sick and prevent infection. Richmond’s Pest House was constructed on the common land running alongside what is now Queens Road. The land then became known as Pest House Common. There was also an Open Pound on the common to hold animals taken for failure to pay fines. Owners could feed their animals there until the fees were paid and the animals returned to their owners.


The Workhouse & Burial Ground

In the 1760s King George III granted permission for common land near Queens Road to be given over for construction of a new workhouse and burial ground. The workhouse, designed by Kenton Couse, who helped design Richmond Bridge opened in 1787. Life was made deliberately hard for the people who lived there and families were separated. The main building had an infirmary and ‘lunatic wing’ added. When king George was convalescing after a bout of madness, he walked up to see the new buildings and had to endure a long lecture on strait jackets, not very tactful for the king who had recently endured such restraints! During WWI it was used as a military hospital. The workhouse and surrounding ground was sold in 1984 for conversion to private housing, now King George Square.


The burial ground was created in 1852 and enlarged in 1870. Canon Charles T Procter, the Vicar of Richmond, offered to pay for the work to enlarge the ground but insisted on building a wall between the consecrated ground and the small portion reserved for Nonconformist burials. This controversial wall led to public outcry and the wall was vandalised, and was eventually demolished after the Bishop intervened. The burial ground remains and can be crossed to reach North Sheen Woods and Richmond Park beyond.


Average House Price: £3,413, 350 (Rightmove)

Average Flat Price: £811,667 (Rightmove)


Local Knowledge & Neighbourhood Haunts:

Close to the lower end of Queens Road is a large Sainbury’s supermarket and petrol station and just off the upper end is Richmond Hill Village. This lovely row of independent shops, cafes and restaurants has everything you need for day-to-day living.


There are four entrances to the 2,500 acres of Richmond Park, just off Queens Road, via North Sheen Woods, Cambrian and Chisholm Roads plus the main gate by the Star & Garter.


The 371 bus at the top end of the road takes you all the way through Petersham, Ham to Kingston and beyond. Buses running along the Sheen Road at the junction with Queens Road at the lower end take you to Sheen, Putney, Barnes, Wandsworth & Clapham or Richmond town centre and onto Twickenham & Teddington in the opposite direction.


What the Neighbours Say:


“Queens Road has an enviable position in Richmond, bordering at one end with the panoramic views of Richmond Hill and wide open spaces of Richmond Park, whilst the other being a short stroll to the town centre, mainline rail and tube station, East Sheen, and Kew. With three schools, from junior up to 6th form, Queens Road has a lot to offer for a growing family, and we have loved living here for both the convenience and accessibility to nature. Being able to walk everywhere is a real bonus, and yet we are served well on the doorstep with local buses to Kingston, Hammersmith, and the surrounding areas. To have the hustle and bustle of Central London so close, yet to be a stone’s throw away from a National Wildlife treasure, is something we’ve been incredibly grateful for during our 5 years here. With an excellent neighbourhood watch, and friendly disposition, Queens Road has a welcoming feel to it, and is a safe and secure environment for all ages. We would thoroughly recommend the road for anyone considering relocating.”

Jim & Sandra


“For me, the best bit about this location is proximity to the park. I really like walking through the cemetery as a shortcut to the park (at the aptly named Bog Gate) or Sheen Common - the spring blossoms are particularly beautiful. Great primary school catchment of course, plus Kings House. There are lots of families on the road and the allotments are close by (just behind Christs) for keen gardeners”.

Rachel



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