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London Borough of Richmond upon Thames

Coordinates: 51°25′N 0°20′W / 51.417°N 0.333°W / 51.417; -0.333
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London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Richmond Park and the wider Richmond-upon-Thames from above
Richmond Park and the wider Richmond-upon-Thames from above
Coat of arms of London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Official logo of London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Richmond shown within Greater London
Richmond shown within Greater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Created1 April 1965
Admin HQTwickenham
 • TypeLondon borough council
 • BodyRichmond upon Thames London Borough Council
 • London AssemblyNicholas Rogers (Conservative) AM for South West
 • MPsMunira Wilson (Liberal Democrat)
Sarah Olney (Liberal Democrat)
 • Total22.17 sq mi (57.41 km2)
 • Rank235th (of 296)
 • Total194,894
 • Rank101st (of 296)
 • Density8,800/sq mi (3,400/km2)
Time zoneUTC (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ISO 3166 codeGB-RIC
ONS code00BD
GSS codeE09000027
PoliceMetropolitan Police

The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (pronunciation) in southwest London, England, forms part of Outer London and is the only London borough on both sides of the River Thames. It was created in 1965 when three smaller council areas amalgamated under the London Government Act 1963. It is governed by Richmond upon Thames London Borough Council. The population is 198,019 and the major communities are Barnes, East Sheen, Mortlake, Kew, Richmond, Twickenham, Teddington and Hampton.

The borough is home to Richmond Park, the largest park in London, along with the National Physical Laboratory and The National Archives. The attractions of Kew Gardens, Hampton Court Palace, Twickenham Stadium and the WWT London Wetlands Centre are within its boundaries and draw domestic and international tourism. In 2023, the borough was ranked first in Rightmove's Happy at Home index, making it the "happiest place to live in Great Britain"; the first time a London borough has taken the top spot.[1][2]



There had been a borough called Richmond since 1890 when the Municipal Borough of Richmond was created.[3] It was enlarged in 1892 to include Kew, Petersham and North Sheen, and again in 1933 to include Ham.[4]

The larger London Borough of Richmond upon Thames was created in 1965 under the London Government Act 1963, covering the combined area of the former borough of Richmond plus the neighbouring Municipal Borough of Barnes and the Municipal Borough of Twickenham. Barnes and Richmond had both been in Surrey prior to the reforms, whilst Twickenham had been in Middlesex. The area was transferred to Greater London to become one of the 32 London boroughs. The new borough was named 'Richmond upon Thames' rather than just Richmond as the old borough had been called; it is the only London borough to straddle the River Thames.[5]


Hampton Court Palace

The borough is approximately half parkland, with notable parks including Richmond Park, Bushy Park, Kew Gardens, Old Deer Park and Hampton Court Park. There are over 100 parks and open spaces in the borough and 21 miles (34 km) of river frontage. 140 hectares within the borough are designated as part of the Metropolitan Green Belt.

The predominant other land use is residential. Most businesses within the borough consist of retail, property improvement/development and professional services. Parts of the borough, including Barnes, Richmond, St Margarets, Cambridge Park and Marble Hill, some areas of Twickenham and much of East Sheen rival Stanmore Hill and Kenley as the highest house-price districts and neighbourhoods in Outer London.

Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park

The borough is home to the National Physical Laboratory and the attractions of Hampton Court Palace, Twickenham Stadium and the WWT London Wetlands Centre that draw domestic and international tourism.

The River Thames becomes narrower than at any part of Inner London towards its flow into the borough and becomes non-tidal at Teddington Lock in the borough; its main axis runs south to north, rather than west to east through more than half of the borough.[6]

Douglas House in Petersham, which houses the German School London

London's German business and expatriate community is centred on this borough, which houses the German School London (DSL) and most of the capital's German expatriates.[7]


Climate data for Kew Gardens (1991–2020)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 8.6
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 2.0
Average rainfall mm (inches) 59.9
Average rainy days (≥ 1 mm) 11.8 9.9 8.9 8.6 8.3 8.5 7.6 8.4 8.4 10.9 11.3 11.2 113.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 60.2 80.7 128.0 181.0 213.4 209.8 221.9 206.5 152.0 117.4 69.7 52.7 1,693.2
Source: Met Office[8]

List of neighbourhoods


The local authority divides the borough into fourteen loosely bounded neighbourhoods, or "villages".[9][10] Some of the neighbourhoods have the same name as their associated political ward, but the boundaries are not officially aligned.[10] There is also no direct alignment between these areas and postcode districts, which tend to cover much broader areas, crossing the borough boundaries. There are four post towns based in the borough: Hampton, Richmond, Teddington and Twickenham. Parts of the borough come under the London post town, including Barnes and Mortlake, and there are several other peripheral parts of post towns based in neighbouring boroughs which straddle the administrative boundary. Although most addresses in the borough have TW postcodes, some have SW and KT postcodes.[11]

Neighbourhood or "village" Associated postal districts Associated political wards Sub-areas
Barnes London SW13 Barnes; Mortlake and Barnes Common Castelnau, Barnes Common, Barnes Bridge, Barnes Village
East Sheen London SW14, London SW15, Richmond TW10 East Sheen Richmond Park
Ham and Petersham Kingston KT2, Richmond TW10 Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside Ham, Petersham
Hampton Hampton TW12, East Molesey KT8 Hampton; Hampton North
Hampton Hill Teddington TW11, Hampton TW12 Fulwell and Hampton Hill Fulwell
Hampton Wick Kingston KT1, Teddington TW11 Hampton Wick
Kew Richmond TW9, Richmond TW10, London SW14 Kew Kew Green, Kew Bridge
Mortlake London SW15, London SW14 Mortlake and Barnes Common Chiswick Bridge
North Twickenham and East Whitton Twickenham TW1, Twickenham TW2, Hounslow TW3 St Margarets and North Twickenham; Whitton Cole Park, Stadium Village
Richmond and Richmond Hill Richmond TW9, Richmond TW10 South Richmond; North Richmond
Strawberry Hill Twickenham TW1 South Twickenham; Teddington
St Margarets and East Twickenham Twickenham TW1, Twickenham TW2, Isleworth TW7 St Margarets St Margarets
Teddington Teddington, TW11 Teddington Fulwell
Twickenham Twickenham TW1, Twickenham TW2 Twickenham Riverside; South Twickenham; West Twickenham Twickenham Green, Fulwell
Whitton and Heathfield Twickenham TW2, Whitton, Hounslow TW3 & TW4, Isleworth TW7 Whitton; Heathfield Whitton, Heathfield
A view from Richmond Hill over the Terrace Gardens
Aerial view of Richmond and East Twickenham from the north, August 2015


York House, Twickenham: Council's meeting place

The council meets at York House in Twickenham and has its main offices at the adjoining Civic Centre at 44 York Street.[12][13]

Greater London representation


Since 2000, for elections to the London Assembly, the borough forms part of the South West constituency.

Parliamentary representation


The borough is split into two constituencies, according to the river. On the north bank, there is the constituency of Twickenham and on the south bank there is the constituency of Richmond Park, which also contains some of the northern wards of the borough of Kingston.

Constituency Member of Parliament Political affiliation Elected
Richmond Park Sarah Olney Liberal Democrats 2019
Twickenham Munira Wilson Liberal Democrats 2019


Population pyramid of the Borough of Richmond upon Thames

In 2006, research commissioned by a major mortgage lender found that, on the quantitative statistical indices used, the borough had the best quality of life in London and was in the top quarter of local authorities nationwide. A neighbouring authority in Surrey achieved the best quality of life in that report.[14]

Richmond is one of London's wealthiest boroughs on many measures. It has the lowest rates of poverty, child poverty, low pay, child obesity and adults without level 3 qualifications of any London borough, according to a 2017 research project by Trust for London.[15]

Demography is a diverse picture as in all of London: each district should be looked at separately and even those do not reflect all neighbourhoods. Whatever generalisations are used, "the fine-grained texture of London poverty" by its minutely localised geography must always be taken into account according to an influential poverty report of 2010.[16] Richmond upon Thames has the lowest child poverty rates in London at 20%[17] and contains at least one ward with an above-average level (for London) of working-age adults receiving out-of-work benefits but even this borough – reflecting the best result – has two standard poverty indices of sixteen in which it is placed in the worst quarter of boroughs.[16]


Ethnic group Year
1971 estimations[18] 1981 estimations[19] 1991 census[20] 2001 census[21] 2011 census[22] 2021 census[23]
Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number %
White: Total 97.8% 148,135 95.5% 151,919 94.5% 156,785 91% 160,725 85.5% 157,111 80.4%
White: British 135,665 78.8% 133,582 71.4% 123,093 63.0%
White: Irish 4,805 % 4,766 2.5% 4,866 2.5%
White: Gypsy or Irish Traveller 95 0.05% 85 0.0%
White: Roma 400 0.2%
White: Other 16,325 9.5% 22,282 11.9% 28,667 14.7%
Black or Black British: Total 1,221 0.75% 1,614 0.93% 2,816 1.3% 3,687 2%
Black or Black British: African 355 829 % 1,643 0.8% 2,260 1.2%
Black or Black British: Caribbean 553 643 % 840 0.4% 936 0.5%
Black or Black British: Other Black 313 124 % 333 0.1% 491 0.3%
Asian or Asian British: Total 5,711 3.5% 7,968 4.6% 13,607 7.0% 17,467 9%
Asian or Asian British: Indian 2622 1.63% 4,232 % 5,202 2.7% 7236 3.7%
Asian or Asian British: Pakistani 353 664 % 1,163 0.6% 1749 0.9%
Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi 322 662 % 867 0.4% 916 0.5%
Asian or Asian British: Chinese 866 1,299 % 1,753 0.9% 2777 1.4%
Asian or Asian British: Other Asian 1548 0.96% 1,151 % 4,622 2.4% 4789 2.5%
Mixed or British Mixed: Total 3,797 2.2% 6,780 3.4% 10,662 5.4%
Mixed: White and Black Caribbean 670 % 1,250 0.6% 1654 0.8%
Mixed: White and Black African 443 % 731 0.3% 1205 0.6%
Mixed: White and Asian 1,530 % 2,857 1.5% 4238 2.2%
Mixed: Other Mixed 1,154 % 1,942 1.0% 3565 1.8%
Other: Total 1881 1.17% 2,171 1.25% 3,062 1.6% 6,350 3.3%
Other: Arab 1,172 0.6% 1,721 0.9%
Other: Any other ethnic group 1881 1.17% 2,171 1.25% 1,890 1.0% 4,629 2.4%
Ethnic minority: Total 2.2% 7,026 4.5% 8,813 5.42% 15,550 9% 26,265 14.2% 38,166 19.6%
Total 100% 155,161 100% 160,732 100% 172,335 100.00% 186,990 100.00% 195,277 100%
Population census
1801 14,560—    
1811 16,748+15.0%
1821 19,908+18.9%
1831 22,752+14.3%
1841 25,224+10.9%
1851 28,769+14.1%
1861 40,194+39.7%
1871 51,619+28.4%
1881 63,045+22.1%
1891 79,854+26.7%
1901 103,720+29.9%
1911 134,729+29.9%
1921 152,968+13.5%
1931 173,683+13.5%
1941 187,420+7.9%
1951 202,246+7.9%
1961 187,923−7.1%
1971 174,640−7.1%
1981 157,298−9.9%
1991 164,235+4.4%
2001 172,327+4.9%
2011 186,990+8.5%
2021 195,200+4.4%

Coat of arms


The borough's history is reflected in the coat of arms, which was officially granted on 7 May 1966. It is: Ermine a portcullis or within a bordure gules charged with eight fleurs-de-lis or. The crest is: On a wreath argent and gules out of a mural crown gules a swan rousant argent in beak a branch of climbing red roses leaved and entwined about the neck proper. The supporters are: On either side a griffin gules, armed and beaked azure, each supporting an oar proper, the blade of the dexter dark blue and that of the sinister light blue. The portcullis was taken from the arms of the Municipal Borough of Richmond; the swan crest, from the arms of the Municipal Borough of Twickenham; and the griffin supporters and shield from the arms of the Municipal Borough of Barnes. Red, gold and ermine are the royal livery colours, reflecting Richmond's royal history. The swan represents the River Thames, which flows through the borough. The oars are from the Oxford University Boat Club and the Cambridge University Boat Club, reflecting the fact that the Boat Race between the two universities ends at Mortlake in the borough.[25]


Teddington railway station



London Heathrow Airport is located a short distance west, in the London Borough of Hillingdon.



The borough is served by many Transport for London bus routes.

Rail services

Richmond, also known as Richmond (London), is a National Rail station in Richmond, Greater London on the Waterloo to Reading and North London Lines.

The borough is connected to central London and Reading by the National Rail services of the South Western Railway.

Richmond upon Thames is not very well served by the London Underground compared with other boroughs in West London. Two stations, served by the District line, are located towards the borough's northeastern end: Richmond and Kew Gardens station. Both are also served by London Overground trains on the North London line, which connects Richmond with inner North London before terminating in Stratford. The southwestern end of the district, encompassing areas such as Twickenham are served instead by suburban railway services.

The other stations are: Barnes; Barnes Bridge; Fulwell; Hampton; Hampton Wick; Mortlake; North Sheen; St Margarets; Strawberry Hill; Teddington; Twickenham and Whitton.



Richmond upon Thames is the local education authority for the borough.

Richmond upon Thames College opened in 1977 and was the first tertiary college in Greater London. The borough adopted a tertiary post-16 provision with virtually all 16-19 studies taking place at this college. This system lasted until 2012 when the council approved the creation of sixth forms in schools. Additionally the council approved the creation of a Catholic secondary school for the first time in the borough.[26]

Sport and leisure

Harlequins during the 2005–2006 season
View from a helicopter of Ham House, the River Thames and Ham Polo Club

The borough has a non-League football club, Hampton & Richmond Borough F.C., who play at Beveree Stadium in Hampton. Twickenham Stadium hosts rugby internationals and the Twickenham Stoop is home to the Harlequins Rugby Team.

Richmond Rugby Club are also active and share their grounds with London Scottish F.C. The Richmond Minis is a large youth rugby organisation whilst the Richmond Heavies organise games for more veteran players.

Cricket is played in many locations around the borough including Ham Common, Richmond Green and Kew Green.

The River Thames flows through the borough and a number of sailing and rowing clubs are located along it. Richmond Canoe Club is situation a short distance up river from Richmond Bridge

The borough has a large amount of equestrian activity; this includes the Horse Rangers Association and Ham Polo Club.

Richmond's swimming pools, Pools on the Park, are located in Old Deer Park close to the town centre. The outdoor pool is open in the summer months only. There is also a heated outdoor pool in Hampton.

Arts and culture


The Twickenham Museum is a volunteer-run museum opposite St Mary's parish church.

The Old Town Hall, which now houses Richmond Reference Library, The Museum of Richmond and the Riverside Gallery

The Museum of Richmond, in Richmond's Old Town Hall, close to Richmond Bridge, has displays relating to the history of Richmond, Ham, Petersham and Kew. Its rotating exhibitions,[27] education activities and a programme of events cover the whole of the modern borough. The museum's highlights include 16th-century glass from Richmond Palace and a painting, The Terrace and View from Richmond Hill, Surrey by Dutch draughtsman and painter Leonard Knyff (1650–1722), which is part of the Richmond upon Thames Borough Art Collection.[28]

Orleans House Gallery in Twickenham displays material from the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames' art collection.[29] This includes a portrait of James Johnston by Thomas Gibson, paintings of Orleans House by Arthur Vickers and several other artists, and the Burton Collection, which includes artwork, personal effects and photographs of the explorer Richard Francis Burton. The gallery is also the site of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames' arts service and provides educational workshops[30] for a wide variety of ages, using the converted stables and coach house as educational spaces.

Garrick's Temple to Shakespeare in Hampton hosts a free Sunday afternoon Shakespeare exhibition from April to October and a series of summer drama, music and exhibitions.[31]

Richmond Lending Library and Richmond Theatre

Richmond has two theatres. The Richmond Theatre at the side of Little Green is a Victorian structure designed by Frank Matcham and restored and extended by Carl Toms in 1990. The theatre has a weekly schedule of plays and musicals, usually given by professional touring companies, and pre-West End shows can sometimes be seen. There is a Christmas and New Year pantomime tradition and many of Britain's greatest music hall and pantomime performers have appeared here.

Close to Richmond railway station is the Orange Tree Theatre which was founded in 1971 in a room above the Orange Tree pub. As audience numbers increased there was pressure to find a more accommodating space and, in 1991, the company moved to current premises within a converted primary school. The 172-seat theatre was built specifically as a theatre in the round. It has acquired a national reputation for the quality of its work for staging new plays, and for discovering undeservedly forgotten old plays and neglected classics.[32]

Performance group Richmond Opera rehearse regularly at The Vineyard Centre.[33]

The Cabbage Patch pub on London Road near Twickenham railway station has, since 1983, been a regular venue for live music on Sunday nights, organised by TwickFolk.[34][35]

In 2015, Barnes, London became home to London's largest dedicated children's book event, the Barnes Children's Literature Festival, which is now the second largest in Europe.[36]

Twin towns and sister cities


Richmond upon Thames is twinned with:

See also



  1. ^ Starkie, Emma (6 December 2023). "Where are the 10 happiest places to live in Great Britain?". Property blog. Retrieved 7 December 2023.
  2. ^ Block, India (6 December 2023). "Revealed: the London borough named UK's happiest place to live". Evening Standard. Retrieved 7 December 2023.
  3. ^ "No. 26049". The London Gazette. 9 May 1890. p. 2681.
  4. ^ "Richmond Municipal Borough". A Vision of Britain through Time. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 27 April 2024.
  5. ^ Youngs, Frederic (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England. Vol. I: Southern England. London: Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0-901050-67-9.
  6. ^ Grid square map[permanent dead link] Ordnance survey website
  7. ^ Moore, Fiona. "The German School in London, UK: Fostering the Next Generation of National Cosmopolitans?" (Chapter 4). In: Coles, Anne and Anne-Meike Fechter. Gender and Family Among Transnational Professionals (Routledge International Studies of Women and Place). Routledge, 6 August 2012. ISBN 1134156200; ISBN 9781134156207.
  8. ^ "Kew Gardens (Greater London) UK climate averages - Met Office". Met Office. Retrieved 5 July 2024.
  9. ^ "Village Plans". London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Archived from the original on 7 December 2018. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Village Planning explained". London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Archived from the original on 6 December 2018. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Postcodes in Richmond upon Thames". Doogal. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  12. ^ "Calendar". Richmond Council. Retrieved 27 April 2024.
  13. ^ "Contacting the Council". London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  14. ^ Womack, Sarah (12 August 2006). "Report on the quality of life around Britain". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 March 2014.[dead link]
  15. ^ "London's Poverty Profile". Trust for London. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  16. ^ a b London's Poverty Profile Trust for London and New Policy Institute, 2010
  17. ^ "Child poverty in London - key facts". Child Poverty Action Group. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  18. ^ "Migration and London's growth" (PDF). LSE.
  19. ^ "Ethnic minorities in Britain: statistical information on the pattern of settlement". Commission for Racial Equality: Table 2.2. 1985.
  20. ^ "1991 census – theme tables". NOMIS. Archived from the original on 30 September 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  21. ^ "KS006 – Ethnic group". NOMIS. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  22. ^ "Ethnic Group by measures". NOMIS. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  23. ^ "Ethnic group - Office for National Statistics". www.ons.gov.uk. Retrieved 29 November 2022.
  24. ^ "Richmond: Total Population". A Vision of Britain Through Time. Great Britain Historical GIS Project. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  25. ^ "Richmond upon Thames". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  26. ^ "Catholic School and Sixth Form Plans get Richmond Council approval". Richmond and Twickenham Times.
  27. ^ Farquharson, Hannah (7 April 2006). "Elizabeth I letter among museum gems". Richmond and Twickenham Times. London. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  28. ^ "The Terrace and View from Richmond Hill, Surrey". Art UK. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  29. ^ "Orleans House Gallery". Art UK. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  30. ^ "Art and Literacy at Orleans House Gallery". News. Orleans Park School. 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  31. ^ Garrick's Temple to Shakespeare
  32. ^ "History". Orange Tree Theatre. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  33. ^ "Rehearsals". Richmond Opera. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  34. ^ Webb, Jela (2008). "TwickFolk: Music for the Folks!". Maverick. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  35. ^ "Club Of The Month:TwickFolk". FATEA magazine. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  36. ^ "Barnes Children's Literature Festival". Silent Deer. 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  37. ^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Complete France. Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  38. ^ a b c "Twinning". VisitRichmond, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Retrieved 14 September 2013.

51°25′N 0°20′W / 51.417°N 0.333°W / 51.417; -0.333