Petersham, London

place in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames

Encyclopedia from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Petersham is located in Greater London
Location within Greater London
Population10,317 (2011 Census. Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside Ward)[1]
OS grid reference
London borough
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtTW10
Dialling code020
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places

Petersham is a village 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.


Grave of the explorer George Vancouver

Petersham appears in Domesday Book (1086) as Patricesham. It was held by Chertsey Abbey.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4]

The explorer George Vancouver retired to Petersham, where he wrote A Voyage Of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean, and Round the World while 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. The Portland stone monument over his grave, renovated in the 1960s, is now Grade II listed in view of its historical associations.[5]

In 1847 Queen Victoria granted Pembroke Lodge in the Petersham part of Richmond Park to John Russell, 1st Earl Russell, and it became the Russell family home.[6] Lord Russell's grandson, Bertrand Russell, spent some of his childhood there.[7][8] During World War II the GHQ Liaison Regiment (also known as Phantom) established its regimental headquarters nearby at The Richmond Hill Hotel,[9] with its base (including the officers' mess and billet) at Pembroke Lodge.[10]

In the early 19th century, Charles Stanhope, styled Lord Petersham, later Earl of Harrington, gave the Petersham name to a type of greatcoat.[11] In 1955 Petersham also gave its name to HMS Petersham[12] which was a Ham class minesweeper.


Watchman's hut and lock-up, erected in 1787 and now Grade II listed
The former All Saints' Church, now a private house

Notable buildings

Listed buildings include a watchman's box that also served as a village lock-up[13] and dates from 1787.[14]

Petersham Road (part of the A307) includes an extremely sharp right-angled bend edged by a pair of handsome wrought-iron gates. 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.[15]

Adjacent to Montrose House and equally as impressive is Rutland Lodge, built in 1666 for a Lord Mayor of London.[16]

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.[17]


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
  • The Russell Primary School on Petersham Road was previously called the Orchard Primary School
  • 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, irreparably damaged by a bomb in 1943 and demolished.[18]
  • Sudbrook School is a nursery school on Bute Avenue

Religious sites

St Peter's Church

Petersham Parish Church is believed to pre-date the Norman conquest of England as a church at Petersham is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.[3]

All Saints' Church

All Saints' on Bute Avenue was built as a church but was never consecrated.[19] It was built between 1899 and 1909 by Leeds architect John Kelly for Mrs Rachael Warde (née Walker) (1841–1906)[20] as a memorial to her parents[21] who had lived at Petersham House. During World War II it was used as an Anti-Aircraft Command post and it has also been used as a recording studio[22] and as a filming location.[23] It is now a private residence.[23]


Richmond Golf Club is situated in Sudbrook Park and House.[24]

Ham and Petersham Cricket Club, whose home matches are played in Ham, was established in 1815.[25]

Ranelagh Harriers running club is based behind The Dysart restaurant.[26]

Notable people

Montrose House was for many years the home of Tommy Steele

Living people

Historical figures

See also


  1. ^ "Richmond Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  2. ^ Lysons, Daniel (1792). The Environs of London: Volume 1, County of Surrey. pp. 399–403 – via British History Online.
  3. ^ a b Petersham in the Domesday Book
  4. ^ "Current Banknotes: Royal Bank of Scotland". The Committee of Scottish Bankers. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  5. ^ a b Historic England (23 March 2000). "Tomb of Captain George Vancouver in the Churchyard of St Peter's Church (1380182)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  6. ^ Fletcher Jones, Pamela (1972). Richmond Park: Portrait of a Royal Playground. Phillimore & Co Ltd. p. 41. ISBN 0850334977.
  7. ^ Russell, Bertrand (1967). The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell 1872–1914. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd. p. 19.
  8. ^ "Bertrand Russell – the young philosopher in the park". The Collection. The Hearsum Collection. 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  9. ^ Osborne, Mike (2011). Defending London: A Military History from Conquest to Cold War. The History Press. ISBN 9780752479316.
  10. ^ Lankester, Max (2011). "History" in Guide to Richmond Park. London: Friends of Richmond Park. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-9567469-0-0.
  11. ^ "Petersham". The Free Dictionary. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  12. ^ Blackman, Raymond V B, ed. (1953). Jane's Fighting Ships 1952–53.
  13. ^ Historic England (25 June 1983). "Watchman's Box and Village Lock Up (1065343)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Village Watchman's Hut & Lock-up". Petersham Village. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  15. ^ Weinreb and Hibbert, p. 610
  16. ^ "Rutland Lodge, Petersham, London: the main front". RIBApix. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  17. ^ Weinreb and Hibbert, p. 241
  18. ^ "Lost buildings in Richmond Park: The Prime Minister's school and a magnificent mansion". Stories. The Hearsum Collection. 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  19. ^ Blomfield, David. "Ham and Petersham – All Saints' Church". HistoryWorld. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  20. ^ "Laetitia Rachael Warde (born Walker)". MyHeritage. 24 February 2011. Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  21. ^ "Sammual Walker". MyHeritage. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  22. ^ "Obituary: Keith Grant". The Daily Telegraph. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ "Welcome to the Richmond Golf Club". Richmond Golf Club. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  25. ^ "Welcome to Ham and Petersham Cricket Club". Ham and Petersham Cricket Club. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  26. ^ "Welcome to Ranelagh Harriers". Ranelagh Harriers. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  27. ^ Cloake, John (1998). "New Light on Old Petersham Houses – 2". Richmond History: Journal of the Richmond Local History Society. 19: 17. ISSN 0263-0958.
  28. ^ Hibbert, Christopher; Keay, John; Keay, Julia (2010). The London Encyclopaedia. Pan Macmillan. p. 559. ISBN 9781405049252.
  29. ^ Byrnes, Sholto (22 October 2005). "Lynne Truss: The eff-off society". The Independent. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  30. ^ "Peter Robert Voser". Check Company. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  31. ^ ODNB entry. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  32. ^ "Daisy Ashford". National Portrait Gallery, London. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  33. ^ "Chris Brasher Memorial Run". Petersham Trust Newsletter. The Petersham Trust. February 2004. Archived from the original on 4 May 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  34. ^ Webster, N W (1974). "The English traveller: Charles G. Harper, 1863–1943". Antiquarian Book Monthly Review (16).
  35. ^ Prince Rupert zu Loewenstein – obituary, The Daily Telegraph, 21 May 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  36. ^ Historic England (10 January 1950). "Petersham Lodge (1250211)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  37. ^ Fison, Vanessa (2009). The Matchless Vale: the story of Ham and Petersham and their people. Ham and Petersham Association. pp. 53, 54, 112–117. ISBN 978-0-9563244-0-5.


External links

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