Richmond Royal Hospital

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Richmond Royal Hospital
General information
Type Residential, but converted for use as a hospital
Architectural style Georgian
Location Kew Foot Road, Richmond, London, England
Construction started c. 1750[1]
Awards and prizes Listed as Grade II by English Heritage[2]

Richmond Royal Hospital, on Kew Foot Road in Richmond, London, is a mental health facility operated by South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust, which has its headquarters at Springfield Hospital in Tooting. The hospital's original block is Grade II listed.[2]


The original hospital block is a mid-18th century[1] brown brick house with a Roman Ionic porch. It was the home of the poet James Thomson (1700-1748), who lived there from 1736 until his death.[2] The site is marked by a blue plaque.[3][4][5] Thomson wrote his most famous works there including the masque Alfred, which includes the poem "Rule, Britannia" (1740), "The Castle of Indolence" (1748) and "The Seasons" (1738). His poem "Rule, Britannia" was set to music by Thomas Arne in 1740 and became a patriotic song. There is a memorial to him in Richmond Park.[6]

After Thomson's death the house was bought by a friend, George Ross, who enlarged it and gave it the name Rossdale Cottage.[7] Over the years the name was altered slightly to Rosedale Cottage.[7] In 1786 it was sold to the widow of Admiral Edward Boscawen. On her death in 1805 it was bought by the Earl of Shrewsbury, who changed the name to Shrewsbury House.[2]

In February 1868 it was opened as a hospital, by the Earl and Countess Russell.[8]

Additions were made to the building in 1896; the architects were Smith and Brewer.[1] The rehabilitation unit on Evelyn Road, behind the main building, was built in 1980: the architects were Hutchison, Locke and Monk.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner (1983). The Buildings of England – London 2: South. London: Penguin Books. p. 521. ISBN 0 14 0710 47 7. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Original Block of Richmond Royal Hospital, Richmond upon Thames". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Blue Plaques". Visit Richmond. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "The View from Richmond Hill". Local History Notes. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Seccombe, Thomas (1898). "Thomson, James (1700-1748) (DNB00)". Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 56. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Monuments in Richmond Park". The Royal Parks. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "James Thomson 1700-1748". Local History Notes. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Cloake, John (1991). Richmond Past. Historical Publications. p. 84. ISBN 0 948667 14 1. 

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