Tagg's Island

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Lower end of Tagg's Island with Molesey Boat Club beyond
Tagg's Island from upstream with large houseboats and the road bridge to the island

Tagg's Island is an island in the River Thames in London, England on the reach above Molesey Lock and just above Ash Island.

Geography[edit]

The centre of the island has a lake with river access and private moorings surrounded by trees and crossed by a small footbridge.[1]

Although it is close to the Surrey bank near East Molesey, Surrey, it is connected to the slightly further Middlesex bank by a long single track road bridge and is within the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. In common with Hampton Court, its post town is East Molesey (KT8).[2] Houses are not permitted to be built on the island and it is surrounded by houseboats who, in acquiring their mooring land, have the right to belong to the island's resident's association, which owns the island. Some of the Thames's most expensive houseboats are on this stretch of the Thames, known as the Thames Riviera,[3] and are arranged over up to three storeys.[4]

History[edit]

The island had previous names including "Walnut Tree Ait". It is now named after Tom Tagg who hired out boats on the island from 1841 and built the Thames Hotel there in 1872, a venue frequented by London's High Society including Edward, Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII.[5]

In 1912 Fred Karno, who discovered Charlie Chaplin, purchased the island and rebuilt the hotel, employing the noted theatre architect Frank Matcham to include a music hall called The Karsino. Karno sold the hotel in 1926 and after a chequered history involving many financial collapses, the building was demolished in 1971 and never rebuilt.[5]

The Astoria Houseboat, built by Fred Karno and owned by Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, is visible from the island on the northern bank upstream. Tagg's Island was eventually acquired by the houseboat residents who transformed the island into a houseboat community.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Next island upstream River Thames Next island downstream
Garrick's Ait Tagg's Island Ash Island

Coordinates: 51°24′32″N 0°21′8″W / 51.40889°N 0.35222°W / 51.40889; -0.35222 (Tagg's Island)