Old Deer Park
|Old Deer Park|
|Area||147 hectares (360 acres)|
Old Deer Park is an area of open space within Richmond, owned by the Crown Estate, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, England. It covers 147 hectares (360 acres) of which 90.4 hectares (220 acres) are leased as sports grounds for sports, particularly rugby and golf. Despite the name, there are now no deer in the park.
The park is bounded generally by the Thames to the west, Kew Gardens to the north and, across a trunk road, urban areas of Richmond town to the east and south. Owned by the Crown Estate, the park forms part of a larger retained historic and biodiverse landscape incorporating part of Richmond, Kew and Isleworth. The lowest, western parts of the park constitute flood storage areas, which provide emergency flood relief around Richmond semi-tidally submerged Lock.
Old Deer Park's heritage as a historic royal landscape in a favoured riverside location has become compromised over recent decades by instances of inappropriate recreational and parking development, general neglect, and insufficient control of tree planting. A long-term strategy is now being implemented to arrest and reverse this decline.
In the mid-16th century, Richmond Palace was a favourite residence of Queen Elizabeth I and in 1574 she granted "Our park of Isleworth otherwise called the Newe Parke of Richmonde" to Edward Bacon. This statement was made even though Isleworth parish and manor lay on the Middlesex bank opposite the Surrey bank of Richmond — the Abbey of Syon in Isleworth was tied to that of Sheen on the other respective bank, which had jointly for centuries owned the estate.
Queen Elizabeth died at Richmond in 1603. Later that year her successor, King James I, established a hunting park by adding monastic land to the existing park and creating an enlarged area of 370 acres (1.5 km2). This then became known as The New Park of Richmond. The present name "Old Deer Park" was adopted after 1637 when James's son King Charles I established the much larger Richmond Park on the other side of the town. During the eighteenth century Richmond Lodge was located in the Park, which served as the summer home of George, Prince of Wales (the future George II) and his wife Princess Caroline following their dispute with his father George I.
The majority of park is now occupied by the Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club, and this has been so since 1892. Within the club's boundaries are two 18-hole courses, plus a separate area within which lies the Grade I listed King's Observatory, established by King George III in 1769. To the south-west of the Observatory, under the fairway of the 14th hole of the outer golf course, lie the foundations of the former Carthusian Sheen Priory, founded by Henry V in 1414.
Construction of the railway line westwards from Richmond Station in 1847/8 restricted the access from Richmond Green to Old Deer Park, except for one narrow bridge. Eighty-five years later a new arterial road (the "Great Chertsey Road"), complete with a high ramped approach to a new bridge over the Thames (Twickenham Bridge – built in 1933), was also constructed across the southern end of the park, close to and roughly parallel with the railway. This heightened the sense of separation between town and park – alleviating this problem is also part of the new strategy.
Beside the River Thames in the park are a pair of stone obelisks. They were built in 1769 and were originally used by the King's Observatory to observe the transit of Venus across the Sun that year.
|Location||Richmond, London (in Surrey until 1965)|
|Home club||Richmond Cricket Club|
|Establishment||by 1867 season|
Old Deer Park has been used a venue for cricket since at least 1867, when Richmond played a United South of England Eleven. During its history, the ground has played host to a number of Middlesex Second XI and Surrey Second XI matches.
Despite historically being within Surrey, the ground has played host to List-A matches involving Middlesex, the first of which saw them Nottinghamshire in the 2000 Norwich Union National League. In 2001 the Middlesex Cricket Board played their only List-A match at the ground in the 2001 Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy against Berkshire. From 2000 to 2004, the ground held 5 List-A matches, the last of which saw Middlesex play Scotland in the 2004 totesport League.
Main elements of the park
Accessed from the A316:
- Informal sport area, with open recreation areas, football, rugby and other pitches
- Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club courses
- King's Observatory
- Richmond Athletic Ground, home to Richmond rugby club
- Richmond Swimming Pool & Lido, now called Pools on the Park
- Public car park and miscellaneous commercial buildings
Accessed from the A307:
- Wilkie, Kim (2000). "Old Deer Park Landscape Strategy". Archived from the original on 11 March 2006. Retrieved 15 February 2006.
- "Kew" (PDF). London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 May 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
- "Our Portfolio". Crown Estate. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
- "Heritage". Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
- Historic England (10 January 1950). "Kew Observatory (1357729)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
- Cloake, John (November 1990). Richmond's Great Monastery, The Charterhouse of Jesus of Bethlehem of Shene. 6. Richmond Local History Society. p. 51 (diagram). ISBN 978-0950819860.
- "The Obelisks". St Margaret's Community site. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
- "Other matches played on Old Deer Park". CricketArchive. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
- "Minor Counties Championship Matches played on Old Deer Park". CricketArchive. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
- "Second XI Championship Matches played on Old Deer Park". Cricket Archive. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
- "Second XI Trophy Matches played on Old Deer Park". CricketArchive. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
- "List-A Matches played on Old Deer Park". CricketArchive. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
- "Twenty20 Matches played on Old Deer Park". CricketArchive. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
- "Richmond Cricket Club". Retrieved 29 August 2010.
- "Pools on the Park". London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
- "Old Deer Park". Old Deer Park Sports Ground. Retrieved 26 April 2021.