The Wick

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The Wick
The Wick, Richmond Hill - London.jpg
The Wick on Richmond Hill
General information
Architectural styleGeorgian
LocationRichmond upon Thames, London, England
Technical details
Structural systemBrick and stone
Floor count4
Design and construction
ArchitectRobert Mylne
Awards and prizesListed as Grade I by Historic England

The Wick is a house in Richmond, Greater London, located at the corner of Nightingale Lane and Richmond Hill in Surrey. The house was formerly the family home of actor Sir John Mills.[1] Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones bought the house from Mills in June 1971. The house is currently owned by Pete Townshend, principal songwriter and guitarist of The Who.


The Georgian-style house, built of plum brick and stone, overlooks the River Thames and is near Richmond Park, the largest urban park in the United Kingdom. It was designed by architect Robert Mylne in 1775 on the site of the Bull's Head Tavern for Lady St. Aubyn, and includes oval dining and drawing rooms, three storeys and a basement with modillion cornice and balustrading above. The porch is built with entablature and Tower of the Winds piers with a fanlight above, and a line of medallions embellishes the front of the house. It faces Richmond Hill and features a garden wall that borders Nightingale Lane, with a coach house in the garden. The back of the house features bow windows that overlook the river.

The Wick and Wick Cottage are listed as Grade I structures by Historic England.[2]


Richmond Hill was part of the Royal Manor of Richmond since Domesday. Richmond Park was enclosed by King Charles I around 1635. The countryside was mostly agricultural land in the early 18th century, but Terrace Walk was laid out at the top of Richmond Hill in the later 18th century, followed by construction of a number of fine homes including The Wick on the hill.[3]

The sound of the wind around the house reportedly inspired Mary Hayley Bell, actress, writer and wife of Sir John Mills, to write the novel Whistle Down The Wind which was made into both a film and, later, an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.[4]

Ronnie Wood bought the home in 1971 but did not have enough money to purchase the adjacent cottage as well; Wood persuaded Ronnie Lane to buy the cottage.[5] The guitarist of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, reportedly lived in the coach house for several months during 1973–74 when Ronnie Wood owned the home. When Wood first bought the house, his fellow Faces bandmate Ronnie Lane also lived there right up until his departure from that group in June 1973. Wood recorded his first two solo albums, I've Got My Own Album to Do and Now Look, released in 1974 and 1975 respectively, in a studio he built in the basement of the house. The Rolling Stones song, "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)," also released in 1974, was written at the house, emerging out of a jam between Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards, David Bowie, and Mick Jagger. Writer and musician Nikki Sudden was working on a history of The Wick before he died suddenly in 2006.

Pete Townshend bought the property off Ronnie Wood in 1996.[6]


  1. ^ Thorpe, Vanessa; Bright, Martin (12 January 2003). "I want to clear my name, says Who star". The Observer. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  2. ^ "The Wick and Wick Cottage". Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  3. ^ "Richmond Hill Conservation Area 5" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  4. ^ Helliker, Adam (29 August 2010). "Pete Townshend Can't Bear the Breeze". Daily Express. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  5. ^
  6. ^

Coordinates: 51°27′06″N 0°17′53″W / 51.451620°N 0.298154°W / 51.451620; -0.298154