Petersham, London

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Petersham is located in Greater London
 Petersham shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ179733
London borough Richmond
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town RICHMOND
Postcode district TW10
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Richmond Park
London Assembly South West
List of places

Coordinates: 51°26′47″N 0°18′12″W / 51.446358°N 0.303326°W / 51.446358; -0.303326

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.[1]

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 is on the obverse of all of the Royal Bank's current banknotes.[2]

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. His grave in Portland stone, renovated in the 1960s, is now Grade II listed in view of its historical associations.[3]

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.[4] Lord Russell's grandson, Bertrand Russell, spent some of his childhood there also.[5][6] During World War II the GHQ Liaison Regiment (also known as Phantom) established its regimental headquarters at Pembroke Lodge.[7]

In the early 19th century, Charles Stanhope, 4th Earl of Harrington, styled Lord Petersham, gave the name to a type of greatcoat.[8] In 1955 Petersham also gave its name to HMS Petersham[9] which was a Ham class minesweeper.


Notable buildings[edit]

Listed buildings include a watchman's box that also served as a village lock-up[10] and dates from 1787.[11]

Montrose House, Petersham
The former All Saints Church

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.[12]

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.[13]


Petersham is served by only two bus routes: the 65 and 371, both linking the town with Richmond and Kingston upon Thames.


  • Deutsche Schule, London (The German School London) is based at Douglas House
  • Sudbrook School is a pre-school on Bute Avenue
  • The Russell School on Petersham Road was founded in 1851 by Lord John Russell who served twice as Britain's Prime Minister. It was originally located in Richmond Park, near Petersham Gate.[14]

Religious sites[edit]

St Peter's Church[edit]

Petersham Parish Church is believed to pre-date the Norman conquest of England as a church at Petersham is mentioned in Domesday Book.[1]

All Saints Church[edit]

All Saints on Bute Avenue was built as a church but was never consecrated.[15] It was built between 1899 and 1909 by Leeds architect John Kelly for Mrs Rachael Warde (née Walker) (1841–1906)[16] as a memorial to her parents[17] who had lived at Petersham House. It has been used as a recording studio[18] and as a filming location.[19] During World War II it was used as an Anti-Aircraft command post. It is now a private residence.[19]


Richmond Golf Club is situated in Sudbrook Park and House.[20]

Ham and Petersham Cricket Club, whose home matches are played in Ham, was established in 1815.[21]

Ranelagh Harriers running club is based behind the Dysart Arms public house.[22]

Notable people[edit]

Lynne Truss grew up in Petersham.[23]

Prince Rupert Loewenstein lived in Petersham Lodge in River Lane, a former grace and favour mansion, purchased for about £2 million in 1987.[24] It is an early 18th-century house, built for the Duchess of Queensberry, and Grade II listed by Historic England.[25]

The author and illustrator Charles George Harper lived in Petersham in later life, and died there in 1943.[26]


  1. ^ a b Petersham in the Domesday Book
  2. ^ "Current Banknotes: Royal Bank of Scotland". The Committee of Scottish Bankers. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  3. ^ Historic England. "Tomb of Captain George Vancouver in the Churchyard of St Peter's Church (1380182)". National Heritage List for England. 
  4. ^ Fletcher Jones, Pamela (1972). Richmond Park: Portrait of a Royal Playground. Phillimore & Co Ltd. p. 41. ISBN 0850334977. 
  5. ^ Russell, Bertrand (1967). The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell 1872–1914. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd. p. 19.
  6. ^ "Bertrand Russell – the young philosopher in the park". The Collection. The Hearsum Collection. 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Lankester, Max (2011). "History" in Guide to Richmond Park. London: Friends of Richmond Park. p. 91. 
  8. ^ "Petersham". The Free Dictionary. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  9. ^ Blackman, Raymond V B, ed. (1953). Jane's Fighting Ships 1952-53. 
  10. ^ Historic England. "Watchman's Box and Village Lock Up (1065343)". National Heritage List for England. 
  11. ^ "Village Watchman’s Hut & Lock-up". Petersham Village. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  12. ^ Weinreb and Hibbert, p.610
  13. ^ Weinreb and Hibbert, p.241
  14. ^ "Lost buildings in Richmond Park: The Prime Minister's school and a magnificent mansion". The Collection. The Hearsum Collection. 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  15. ^ Blomfield, David. "Ham and Petersham – All Saints' Church". HistoryWorld. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "Laetitia Rachael Warde (born Walker)". MyHeritage. 24 February 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "Sammual Walker". MyHeritage. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  18. ^ "Obituary: Keith Grant". The Daily Telegraph. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  19. ^ a b The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Local Studies Volunteer Support Group (2013). The Building of a Borough. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. pp. 18–20. 
  20. ^ "Welcome to the Richmond Golf Club". Richmond Golf Club. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "Welcome to Ham and Petersham Cricket Club". Ham and Petersham Cricket Club. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  22. ^ "Welcome to Ranelagh Harriers". Ranelagh Harriers. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  23. ^ Byrnes, Sholto (23 October 2005). "Lynne Truss: The eff-off society". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  24. ^ Prince Rupert zu Loewenstein – obituary, The Daily Telegraph, 21 May 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  25. ^ Historic England. "Petersham Lodge (1250211)". National Heritage List for England. 
  26. ^ Webster, N W (1974). "The English traveller: Charles G. Harper, 1863–1943". Antiquarian Book Monthly Review (16). 


External links[edit]