Richmond, Surrey

Historical Description

Richmond, a town, a parish, and a municipal borough in, Surrey. The town stands on the river Thames at the boundary with Middlesex, 9¾ miles by railway WSW of Waterloo Bridge, London, and has a joint station for the L. & S.W. and North London railways, and one on the District and Metropolitan line. It was anciently called Sheen, a name signifying "brightness" or " splendour," and given to it on account of its natural beauties; was first called Richmond by Henry VII., from his own title before he became king; was originally a hamlet of Kingston; had a palace of the Anglo-Saxon kings; passed for some time to the Belets and the Walletorts; and returned to the Crown in the time of Edward I. That king built a palace, and received there the Scottish nobles after the death of Sir William Wallace. Edward III. and Anne of Bohemia, queen of Richard II., died in the palace. Richard II. deserted it at the death of the queen. Henry V. restored it. Edward IV. gave it to his queen. Henry VI. made it his frequent residence, held a tournament adjacent to it, and on its being accidentally destroyed by fire in 1498 rebuilt it. Philip I. of Spain was entertained in it in 1506. Henry VII. died in it. Henry VIII. kept Christmas there, and held a tournament adjacent to it in 1510. The Emperor Charles V. lodged in it on his visit in 1523. Cardinal Wolsey was allowed to reside in it in exchange for Hampton Court. Anne of Cleves also resided in it, but restored it to Edward VI. Queen Elizabeth, when princess, was imprisoned in it by Mary; she frequently resided in it during her own reign, and she died in it. James I. gave it to his son Henry, and afterwards to Charles. Charles I. was. frequently in it, made a collection of pictures in it, and settled it on his queen, Henrietta Maria. Charles II. was. educated in it under Bishop Duppa. It was greatly injured during the Civil Wars of Charles I.; it was sold by the Parliament; and, after the return of Charles II., it was restored to Henrietta Maria. It was then scarcely habitable, yet is. said to have been the nursing-place of the old Pretender, tha son of James II. It was afterwards sold; it gave place to. several houses-Queensbury Villa, Asgill House, and others, held under the Crown; and it is now represented by only the entrance-gateway of the wardrobe court, called Old Palace. Yard, and by some portions of the adjoining buildings. Caroline, queen of George II., had a lodge in the old or little park; yet she figures in Sir Walter Scott's " Heart of Midlothian " as receiving Jeanie Deans in the New Park. Richmond Park extends into the parishes of Mortlake and Putney; measures about 2300 acres in area and nearly 9 miles in circuit; was first enclosed by Charles I.; owes much of its present features to George II. and William IV.; abounds in exquisite sylvan scenery and in fine distant views; is stocked with deer; and contains or adjoins the White Lodge, Pembroke Lodge, the Thatched Lodge, Sheen Lodge, and other residences occupied by persons in connection with the Crown.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient County Surrey
Ecclesiastical parish Richmond St. Mary Magdalene
Hundred Kingston
Poor Law union Richmond

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records, in association with Surrey History Centre, have images of the Parish Registers for Surrey online.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Richmond from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Surrey is available to browse.


Online maps of Richmond are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Surrey papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Surrey, 1662-1668 is available on the Heraldry page.