London Borough of Richmond upon Thames

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London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
London borough
Coat of arms of London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Coat of arms
Official logo of London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Council logo
Richmond shown within Greater London
Richmond shown within Greater London
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region London
Ceremonial county Greater London
Status London borough
Admin HQ Twickenham
Created 1 April 1965
 • Type London borough council
 • Body Richmond London Borough Council
 • Leadership Leader: Cllr. Lord True (Con) (Conservative)
 • Mayor Cllr. Jane Boulton
 • MPs Tania Mathias (Con)
Zac Goldsmith (Con)
 • London Assembly Tony Arbour (Con) AM for South West
 • EU Parliament London
 • Total 22.17 sq mi (57.41 km2)
Area rank 262nd (of 326)
Population (mid-2014 est.)
 • Total 193,585
 • Rank 90th (of 326)
 • Density 8,700/sq mi (3,400/km2)
 • Ethnicity[1]

71.4% White British
2.5% White Irish
0.1% White Gypsy or Irish Traveller
11.9% Other White
0.7% White & Black Caribbean
0.4% White & Black African
1.5% White & Asian
1% Other Mixed
2.8% Indian
0.6% Pakistani
0.5% Bangladeshi
0.9% Chinese
2.5% Other Asian
0.9% Black African
0.4% Black Caribbean
0.2% Other Black
0.6% Arab

1% Other
 • ONS code 00BD
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 • Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Postcodes TW, SW, KT
Police force Metropolitan Police

The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (About this sound pronunciation ) in south-west 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 borough is home to the National Physical Laboratory and the attractions of Kew Gardens, Hampton Court Palace, Twickenham Stadium and the WWT London Wetlands Centre that draw domestic and international tourism.

Settlement, economy and demography[edit]

The borough is approximately half parkland – large areas of London's open space fall within the borough boundaries, including Richmond Park, Kew Gardens, Bushy Park and Old Deer Park. The predominant other land use is residential use and most businesses within the boundaries consist of retail, property improvement/development and professional services; parts of it – 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 of Outer London. 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.[2]

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.[3] Every borough bar one – Richmond-upon-Thames – 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.[3]

German community[edit]

The German business and expatriate community is centred on this borough, which houses the German School London (DSL) and most German expatriates residing in London. Fiona Moore, author of "The German School in London, UK: Fostering the Next Generation of National Cosmopolitans?", wrote that the borough "does not immediately show signs of hosting a German community" due to a lack of obvious German businesses and storefronts,[4] but that most residents know of the location of the DSL and that there are "more subtle signs of German presence."[5]

List of districts[edit]

Districts and neighbourhoods or villages
London SW13 Barnes Castelnau Barnes Common
London SW14 East Sheen
Richmond TW9 Richmond (approx. half)
Kew Kew Green
Richmond TW10 Richmond (approx. half)
Hampton TW12 Hampton
Hampton Hill
Kingston upon Thames KT1
Like E. Molesey, post town is not in the borough
Hampton Wick
East Molesey KT8
Like the above, post town is not in the borough
Hampton Court
Teddington TW11 Teddington
Twickenham TW1 Twickenham (part) Marble Hill/Cambridge Park/East Twickenham
St Margarets
Strawberry Hill
Twickenham TW2 Twickenham (part) Fulwell Twickenham Green

The above are arranged by post town

Aerial view of Richmond and East Twickenham from the north, August 2015

Attractions, parks and open spaces[edit]

A view from Richmond Hill over the Terraced Gardens

Parks take up a great deal of the borough and include Richmond Park, Bushy Park, Kew Gardens, and Hampton Court Park. There are over 100 parks and open spaces within its boundary and 21 miles (34 km) of river frontage. 140 hectares within the borough are designated as part of the Metropolitan Green Belt.

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.

In December 2006, Sport England published a survey which revealed that residents of Richmond upon Thames were the second most active in England in sports and other fitness activities. 29.8% of the population participate at least three times a week for 30 minutes.[6]

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.[7]


The borough was formed in 1965 by the merger of the Municipal Borough of Twickenham from Middlesex with the Municipal Borough of Richmond and the Municipal Borough of Barnes from Surrey; the new council's offices were centred at York House in Twickenham. The name "Richmond upon Thames" was coined at that time; it is now commonly but inaccurately used to refer to Richmond only.

Coat of arms[edit]

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 oars 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.[8]


The borough currently has a Conservative-led council which has been the most common administration since its formation.

Conservative Lib Dem Labour Others
2014 Conservative 39 15
2010 Conservative 30 24
2006 Liberal Democrat 19 35
2002 Conservative 39 15
1998 Liberal Democrat 14 34 4
1994 Liberal Democrat 7 43 2
1990 Liberal Democrat 4 48
1986 Liberal/SDP Alliance 3 49
1982 Conservative (minority) 26 26
1978 Conservative 34 18
1974 Conservative 36 10 8
1971 Conservative 37 3 14
1968 Conservative 54
1964 Conservative 41 12 1



The borough is served by the following London bus routes: 33, 65, 72, 110, 111, 190, 209, 216, 265, 267, 281, 283, 285, 290, 337, 371, 391, 411, 419, 430, 465, 481, 485, 490, 493, H22, H37, R68, R70, X26 and night route N22.

Rail services[edit]

The borough is connected to central London by the National Rail services of South West Trains. The London Underground's District line serves Richmond and Kew Gardens stations: both are also served by London Overground trains on the North London Line.

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

Travel to work[edit]

In March 2011, the main forms of transport that residents used to travel to work were (of all residents aged 16–74):

  • driving a car or van, 23.4%
  • train, 7.7%
  • underground, metro, light rail, tram, 7.7%
  • work mainly at or from home, 6.4%
  • on foot, 5.9%
  • bus, minibus or coach, 5.5%
  • bicycle, 4.4%.[9]


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

Sport and leisure[edit]

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. The Twickenham Stadium hosts rugby internationals and the Twickenham Stoop is home to the Harlequins Rugby Team and London Broncos rugby league 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 there are a number of sailing and rowing clubs located along it.

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.

Arts and culture[edit]

The Twickenham Museum is a volunteer-run museum opposite St Mary's parish church. It is open every day except Mondays. Admission is free.

Richmond's 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,[10] 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.[11] Admission to the museum, which is open every day except Sundays and Mondays, is free.

Orleans House Gallery in Twickenham displays material from the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames' art collection.[12] 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[13] for a wide variety of ages, using the converted stables and coach house as educational spaces.

The Riverside Gallery, also at the Old Town Hall, has a year-round programme of exhibitions by local artists including paintings, prints and photographs. Admission is free.

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.[14]

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. Exclusively presenting its own productions, 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.[15]

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.[16][17]

Twin towns and sister cities[edit]

Richmond upon Thames is twinned with:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2011 Census: Ethnic group, local authorities in England and Wales, Office for National Statistics (2012). See Classification of ethnicity in the United Kingdom for the full descriptions used in the 2011 Census.
  2. ^ Womack, Sarah (12 August 2006). "Report on the quality of life around Britain". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b London's Poverty Profile Trust for London and New Policy Institute, 2010
  4. ^ Moore, Google Books PT89 (actual page number unstated).
  5. ^ Moore, Google Books PT90 (actual page number unstated).
  6. ^ "Active People Survey 1". Sport England. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  7. ^ Grid square map Ordnance survey website
  8. ^ "Richmond upon Thames". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "2011 Census: QS701EW Method of travel to work, local authorities in England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 November 2013.  Percentages are of all residents aged 16-74 including those not in employment. Respondents could only pick one mode, specified as the journey’s longest part by distance.
  10. ^ Farquharson, Hannah (7 April 2006). "Elizabeth I letter among museum gems". Richmond and Twickenham Times (London). Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "The Terrace and View from Richmond Hill, Surrey". Your Paintings – uncovering the nation's art collection. BBC. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Orleans House Gallery". Your Paintings: Uncovering the nation's art collection. BBC. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "Art and Literacy at Orleans House Gallery". News. Orleans Park School. 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  14. ^ Garrick's Temple to Shakespeare
  15. ^ "History". Orange Tree Theatre. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  16. ^ Webb, Jela (2008). "TwickFolk: Music for the Folks!". Maverick. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  17. ^ "Club Of The Month:TwickFolk". FATEA magazine. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  18. ^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  19. ^ a b c "Twinning". VisitRichmond, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 


  • 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, 9781134156207.

External links[edit]

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