Richmond Royal Hospital

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Richmond Royal Hospital
JAMES THOMSON - The Royal Hospital Kew Foot Road Richmond TW9 2TE.jpg
General information
Type Residential, but converted for use as a hospital
Architectural style Georgian
Location Kew Foot Road, Richmond, London, England
Coordinates 51°28′0.3″N 0°18′1.2″W / 51.466750°N 0.300333°W / 51.466750; -0.300333Coordinates: 51°28′0.3″N 0°18′1.2″W / 51.466750°N 0.300333°W / 51.466750; -0.300333
Construction started c. 1750[1]
Listed Building – Grade II
Official name Original Block of Richmond Royal Hospital
Designated 25 June 1983
Reference no. 1193875

Richmond Royal Hospital, on Kew Foot Road in Richmond, London, is a mental health facility operated by South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust, which has its headquarters at Springfield Hospital in Tooting. The hospital's original block is Grade II listed.[2]


The original hospital block is a mid-18th century[1] brown brick house with a Roman Ionic porch. It was the home of the poet James Thomson (1700–1748), who lived there from 1736 until his death.[2] The site is marked by a blue plaque.[3][4][5] Thomson wrote his most famous works there including the masque Alfred, which includes the poem "Rule, Britannia" (1740), "The Castle of Indolence" (1748) and "The Seasons" (1738). His poem "Rule, Britannia" was set to music by Thomas Arne in 1740 and became a patriotic song. There is a memorial to him in Richmond Park.[6]

After Thomson's death the house was bought by a friend, George Ross, who enlarged it and gave it the name Rossdale Cottage.[7] Over the years the name was altered slightly to Rosedale Cottage.[7] In 1786 it was sold to the widow of Admiral Edward Boscawen. After she died in 1805 it was bought by Charles Talbot, the 15th Earl of Shrewsbury, who changed the name to Shrewsbury House.[2]

In February 1868 it was opened as a hospital, by the Earl and Countess Russell.[8]

Additions were made to the building in 1896; the architects were Smith and Brewer.[1] The rehabilitation unit on Evelyn Road, behind the main building, was built in 1980: the architects were Hutchison, Locke and Monk.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner (1983). The Buildings of England – London 2: South. London: Penguin Books. p. 521. ISBN 0-14-0710-47-7. 
  2. ^ a b c Historic England. "Original Block of Richmond Royal Hospital (1193875)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 22 September 2016. 
  3. ^ "Blue Plaques". Visit Richmond. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "The View from Richmond Hill" (PDF). Local History Notes. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Seccombe, Thomas (1898). "Thomson, James (1700–1748) (DNB00)". Dictionary of National Biography, 1885–1900, Volume 56. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Monuments in Richmond Park". The Royal Parks. Archived from the original on 4 February 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "James Thomson 1700–1748" (PDF). Local History Notes. London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Cloake, John (1991). Richmond Past. Historical Publications. p. 84. ISBN 0-948667-14-1. 

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