The Triangle and Upper Richmond Road
East Sheen shown within Greater London
|Area||5.84 km2 (2.25 sq mi)|
|Population||10,348 (East Sheen ward 2011)|
|– density||1,772/km2 (4,590/sq mi)|
|OS grid reference|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Richmond Park|
|London Assembly||South West|
Its long high street has goods stores, convenience services, offices, restaurants, cafés and pubs and suburban supermarkets and is also the economic hub for Mortlake of which East Sheen was once a manor. This commercial thoroughfare, well served by public transport, is the Upper Richmond Road West which connects Richmond to Putney. Central to this street is The Triangle, a traffic island with a war memorial and an old milestone  dating from 1751, marking the ten-mile distance to Cornhill in the City of London. The main railway station serving the area, Mortlake, is centred 300m north of this. Sheen has a mixture of low and mid rise buildings and it has parks and open spaces including its share of Richmond Park, accessed via Sheen Gate; Palewell Common, which has a playground, playing fields, tennis courts and a pitch and putt course; and East Sheen Common which is owned by the National Trust and leads into Bog Gate, another gate of Richmond Park.
The earliest recorded use of the name is c. 950 as Sceon and means shed or shelters. The area was designated separately from Sheen (an earlier name for Richmond) from the 13th century, as the southern manor of Mortlake.
The area lay in the Brixton hundred of Surrey, until these faded into obscurity not least as these were not a major economic possession in most of the evolution of the feudal system, and became more of a unit of land used for taxation.
- Manor and hamlet status
Throughout its history, East Sheen has not formed an independent unit of administration and was instead included as part of the Mortlake parish which not a borough, developed by 1900 a secular vestry to help administer poor relief, maintain roads, ditches and other affairs. Earliest references specifically to the present area of land, not under references to the once far longer land of Mortlake emerge in the 13th century, generally under its early name of Westhall. Originally one carucate, it was sold in 1473 by Michael Gaynsford and Margaret his wife in the right of Margaret to William Welbeck, citizen and haberdasher, of London. The Welbecks held it until selling in 1587. Later owners of what remained, the Whitfields, Juxons and Taylors were equally not titled, as with Mortlake, nor had an above average size or lavish manor house.
Less established than Mortlake, 18th century texts occasionally make passing mention of the place when describing Mortlake, such as:
East-Sheen is a pleasant hamlet in this parish, situated on a rising ground considerably above the level of the river. It contains about ninety houses. Here are several handsome villas; the vicinity to Richmond-park, and the beauty of the surrounding country, making it a desirable situation.
- Development of the Temple Grove, Palmerston country estate
The southern estate of Temple Grove, East Sheen, first belonged to Sir Abraham Cullen, who was created a baronet in 1661. He died in 1668, and his son Sir John in 1677. The latter's son Sir Rushout Cullen seems to have sold the estate shortly afterwards to Sir John Temple, attorney-general of Ireland, brother to Sir William Temple, diplomat and author, who was earlier of adjoining West Sheen, giving the home his name. It belonged to the Temples until Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, politician his grandson of the same profession sold it soon after coming of age in 1805, who would later would serve as Foreign Secretary three times and twice as Prime Minister. It was bought by Sir Thomas Bernard, who rebuilt the Jacobean style front of the house shown in a drawing hung in the house of 1611. Sir Thomas sold it about 1811 to the Rev. William Pearson who founded the Temple Grove Preparatory School for boys which moved in 1907 to Eastbourne and the estate was given over to house and apartment builders as demand rose for work in the City of London and park-side London retirement properties.
It was included in the Metropolitan Police District in 1840. From 1892 to 1894 Mortlake (including East Sheen) formed part of the expanded Municipal Borough of Richmond. In 1894 nearby North Sheen was created as a civil parish, being split off from Mortlake and remaining in the Municipal Borough of Richmond. The remainder of Mortlake (including East Sheen) was instead transferred to Barnes Urban District.
In 1965 North Sheen was incorporated in Kew which, with the rest of the Municipal Borough of Richmond, joined Twickenham and Barnes M.B.s to form the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. In the wards of the United Kingdom, Sheen has the largest share of Richmond Park of its surrounding five wards.
East Sheen concentrates its commercial area to the main through street: its long high street has transport/furniture/hardware stores, convenience services, offices, restaurants, cafés and pubs and suburban supermarkets and is also the economic hub for Mortlake of which East Sheen was once a manor. This wide-footpath street with bus lanes is the Upper Richmond Road West which connects Richmond to Putney. Central to this street is The Triangle, a tree-lined traffic island with a war memorial and an old milestone at the intersection of Upper Richmond Road West with Sheen Lane. The main railway station serving the area, Mortlake, is centred 300m north of this.
Until the 19th century, East Sheen lay in the parish of St Mary the Virgin Mortlake. Today the district has two Anglican parish churches: Christ Church, and All Saints. Christ Church, situated near the crossroads of Christchurch Road and West Temple Sheen, was built by Arthur Blomfield on land formerly part of a farm at the entrance to Sheen Common in the 1860s. It was originally planned to be opened in April 1863; however, the tower collapsed shortly before completion and had to be rebuilt. The church was finally completed and consecrated nine months later, on 13 January 1864.
All Saints was built on land bequeathed under the will of Major Shepherd-Cross, MP for Bolton who lived at nearby Palewell Lodge from 1896 until his death in 1913. The church was consecrated on All Saints Day 1929, a year and two days after the foundation stone was laid by Elizabeth Duchess of York (later Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother).
- Sir Tim Berners-Lee, computer scientist and inventor of the World Wide Web, grew up in East Sheen and attended Sheen Mount Primary School. A mosaic by Sue Edkins was placed at Sheen Lane Centre in June 2013 to commemorate his association with Sheen
- Abigail Cruttenden, actress
- Omid Djalili, actor and comedian
- Philip Glenister and Beth Goddard, actors
- Andrew Marr, political broadcaster and Jackie Ashley, political journalist
- Sir Trevor McDonald, broadcaster
- Tom Hardy, actor
- Sir Arthur Blomfield (1829–1899), architect, one of whose early works was Christ Church, East Sheen, designed and lived in The Cottage, now divided into two as 53 and 55 Christ Church Road
- Marc Bolan (1947–1977), musician, who died at what is now the site of Bolan's Rock Shrine, a few miles from his home at 142 Upper Richmond Road West in East Sheen
- Mary Anne Evans, better known as the novelist George Eliot (1819–1880), took rooms at 7 Clarence Row, East Sheen (now demolished) from May to September 1855
- Thomas German Reed (1817–1888), composer, musical director, actor, singer and theatrical manager, died at St. Croix, Upper East Sheen, and is buried at Mortlake cemetery.
Schools in the area include: Richmond Park Academy; Tower House Boys' Preparatory School, a small independent prep-school for boys aged 4–13; East Sheen Primary School, a state school on Upper Richmond Road West; Sheen Mount School, a state primary school on West Temple and Thomson House School located on Vernon Road.
- 337 and
- 493 which serve Upper Richmond Road West.
Demography and housing
|Ward||Detached||Semi-detached||Terraced||Flats and apartments||Caravans/temporary/mobile homes/houseboats||Shared between households|
|Ward||Population||Households||% Owned outright||% Owned with a loan||hectares|
East Sheen in art
The Triangle in East Sheen is the subject of a painting, The Triangle, Sheen Lane, East Sheen, Surrey by James Isaiah Lewis (1861–1934), which is in the Richmond upon Thames Borough Art Collection and is held at Orleans House Gallery in Twickenham.
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