The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 51 The Thames from Westminster to Hampton Court

Thames 3

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Then, on the left, is the Old Deer Park, with the yellowish-green observatory. Opposite, behind the eyot (13 miles), lies Isleworth. A little higher up we reach Richmond Lock, the lowest lock on the Thames, constructed in 1894, beside an elevated footbridge. On the right lies St. Margaret's. We pass under a railway bridge (Southern Railway to Twickenham, etc.), and then under the charming Richmond Bridge, with a view of Richmond rising picturesquely behind it on the hill. The pier is on the left (14miles; 2+ hours from Westminster); passengers for Hampton Court usually change boats here. Richmond is the chief boating centre for this portion of the Lower Thames, and launches ply thence upstream to Hampton Court, Staines, and Windsor. As we leave Richmond Richmond Hill rises on the left, with its terrace-gardens and the Star and Garter Home for disabled soldiers. Farther on, to the left, lies Petersham, with its quaint red-brick church. Opposite Hammerton's Ferry we catch a glimpse through the trees of Ham House, a fine red-brick mansion close to the river. Meanwhile, on the Middlesex bank, we are passing Twickenham, with its succession of historic riverside mansions (in summer mostly hidden by the trees): Marble Hill, in a public park (15 miles), Orleans House, and York House. Opposite the picturesque village is Eel-Pie Island (inn), a popular resort of boating parties. A little farther on (16 miles) rises 'Pope's Villa', in a Chinese-Gothic style; then, after another + miles, comes Strawberry Hill, in a secluded park about 300 yards from the river. To the right lies Teddington, with a lock and a footbridge across the river (17 miles; 40 minutes from Richmond). Another pleasant reach, with pretty bungalows on the right and Canbury Gardens on the left, farther on, brings us to (18 miles) a railway bridge (Southern Railway) and to Kingston Bridge, which unites Kingston, in Surrey, with Hampton Wick, in Middlesex. Kingston is another important boating centre; steamers to Windsor, Henley, and Oxford. We proceed, with Hampton Court Park on our right and Surbiton, the south suburb and residential quarter of Kingston, on our left. Thames Ditton is a pretty village on the left, with a large colony of riverside cottages and bungalows. We soon come in sight of Hampton Court Palace on our right; opposite is the mouth of the river Mole. The steamer stops just beyond the iron bridge, on the left, not far from Molesey Lock (21 miles; 1 hour 20 minutes from Richmond; rollers). The railway station of Hampton Court is at the left (Surrey) end of the bridge, the palace at the opposite (Middlesex) end.