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Petersham is a place in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames on the east of the bend in the River Thames south of Richmond, which it shares with neighbouring Ham. It provides the foreground of the scenic view from Richmond Hill across Petersham Meadows, with Ham House further along the river. Other nearby places include: Twickenham, Isleworth, Teddington, Mortlake and Roehampton.
Petersham appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Patricesham. It was held by Chertsey Abbey. Its assets were: 4 hides; 1 church, 5 ploughs, 1 fishery worth 1000 eels and 1000 lampreys, 3 acres (1.2 ha) of meadow. It rendered £6 10s 0d.
The village was the birthplace in 1682 of Archibald Campbell, later 3rd Duke of Argyll and Earl of Islay. He went on to found the Royal Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh in 1727, and his face adorns the obverse of all of the Royal Bank's current banknotes.
Explorer George Vancouver retired to Petersham, where he wrote the Voyage Of Discovery To The North Pacific Ocean, And Round The World In The Years 1791–95 whilst living in what is now called "Glen Cottage" in River Lane. He died in 1798 and is buried in the churchyard of Petersham Parish Church.
In 1847 Queen Victoria granted Pembroke Lodge in the Petersham part of Richmond Park to John Russell, 1st Earl Russell and it became their family home. Lord Russell's grandson, Bertrand Russell, spent some of his childhood there also.
In the early 19th century, Charles Stanhope, 4th Earl of Harrington, styled Lord Petersham, gave the name to a type of greatcoat. In 1955 Petersham also gave its name to HMS Petersham which was a Ham class minesweeper.
Petersham Road (part of the A307) includes an extremely sharp right-angled bend and the passing motorist might glimpse a pair of handsome wrought-iron gates as he or she negotiates it. This is the entrance to Montrose House, one of the most notable houses in Petersham. After a spate of serious accidents on the bend in the road, the neighbours formed a group in the 1850s called Trustees of the Road. The Hon. Algernon Tollemache of Ham House was their leader and they managed to persuade the owner of Montrose House to part with some land to reduce the sharpness of the bend. But various dents in the brick wall today reveal that motorists are still taken unawares by it. Adjacent to Montrose House and equally as impressive is Rutland Lodge, built in 1660 for a Lord Mayor of London.
Another interesting house in Petersham is Douglas House, just off the west drive to Ham House. One of its more notable inhabitants was Catherine, Duchess of Queensberry. In 1969 it was bought by the Federal Republic of Germany for use as a German school. New buildings have been erected in the grounds, but the original house and stables have been preserved.
- Deutsche Schule, London (The German School London) is in Petersham.
St Peter's Church
Petersham Parish Church is believed to pre-date the Norman conquest as a church at Petersham is mentioned in Domesday Book.
All Saints Church
All Saints on Bute Avenue was built as a church but was never consecrated. It was built 1899–1909 by J Kelly for Mrs Rachael Warde as a memorial to her parents who had lived at Petersham House. It has been used as a recording studio due and as a filming location. During World War II it was used as an Anti-Aircraft command post.
Lynne Truss was born and educated in the village at the Petersham Russell Infant School and Orchard Junior School.
- Petersham in the Domesday Book
- "Current Banknotes: Royal Bank of Scotland". The Committee of Scottish Bankers. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
- "Watchman's Box and Village Lock Up, Richmond upon Thames". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- "Village Watchman’s Hut & Lock-up". Petersham Village. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- Weinreb, Ben, and Hibbert, Christopher (1992). The London Encyclopaedia (reprint ed.). Macmillan. p. 610.
- Weinreb, Ben, and Hibbert, Christopher (1992). The London Encyclopaedia (reprint ed.). Macmillan. p. 241.
- "Welcome to the Richmond Golf Club". Richmond Golf Club. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- "Welcome to Ham and Petersham Cricket Club". Ham and Petersham Cricket Club. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- "Welcome to Ranelagh Harriers". Ranelagh Harriers. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Petersham.|
- Description and map of Petersham Conservation Area
- A community site run by residents of Petersham
- German School London
- Ham Photos blog – hundreds of photos of Petersham with brief descriptions
- Photo of Petersham Lock-up
- Petersham Festival