A 4 mile linear walk from Richmond Station to Old Isleworth continuing through Syon Park to Brentford for bus return.
Exit station. Cross and go
through passage opposite signposted Richmond Green. Go left,
crossing the railway. Take the path going diagonally across
This was a former bowling green. On the left is the Richmond Theatre of 1899 designed by Frank Matcham
Continue on the diagonal
path across Richmond Green
This has been used for tournaments & archery, animal grazing, prize fights and cricket. It is surrounded by distinctive buildings. At the far side is an information board on Richmond Palace. [pix]
Go through the archway
opposite to view palace buildings.
Trumpeter's House of 1700 was built on the site of the middle gatehouse.
Exit at the far side into
Old Palace Lane and go left.
The houses date from around 1810. Asgill House on the left was built for a Lord Mayor in 1758. Further along there is a plaque on the wall relating to the palace.
At the Thames Path go right.
This takes you under the railway (1848) and road (1930s) bridges. A small building marks the entrance to a tunnel under the river. On the right is the Old Deer Park where an observatory was set up for George III in 1769. The old meridian line is marked by a structure on the path.
Cross Richmond Lock (steps
on the far side).
This was built in 1894 and gives good views along the river.
Go right along the river
path (Isleworth Promenade) bearing left at Railshead Road.
The present Gordon House was built for Moses Hart in 1718. General Bland made additions in the 1750s. From 1868 it was the home of Lord & Lady Gordon who enlarged the building. It became an industrial girls' school in 1896 and a training college in 1949. It later became part of West London Institute of Higher Education.
Right along Richmond Road.
Nazareth House convent and home for the elderly was founded in 1892 in Isleworth House. This had been rebuilt by Edward Blore in 1832 for Sir William Cooper, chaplin to George III. The area is being redeveloped.
Left into South Street
Upper Square has a memorial fountain of 1870, paid for by public subscription, to Henry Glossop (vicar 1821-54) and a also horse trough. The Indian restaurant occupies an 18th century building. The corner building (1903) housed a Barclays Bank until 1993. The Castle Inn was first recorded in the 1750s and rebuilt in the 1920s. The Grade II listed Isleworth Public Hall was built in 1863 but has later additions. A stained glass window and the notice board depict aspects of the area.
Continue to the end of South
The former foundry of William Winterbourne is now a garage. Gumley House Convent (founded 1841) occupies a house built c1700 by John Gumley, a glass manufacturer. There is an associated girls' school.
Left at Twickenham Road
The Congregational Church was constructed in 1848 as the Independant Church.
Detour along Byfield Passage
to the left
At the end are two almshouses of 1885 endowed by Miss Elizabeth Butler. May Villas (1867) has sculpture reliefs by Henry George May.
Return along the passage and
continue left along Twickenham Road.
The early 18th century Holme Court was a Methodist boys' school in the 1870s where Van Gogh spent 6 months as a teacher (plaque). The Library was built in 1936 and the Baths (now Leisure Centre) in 1939. Redlees House was built in the mid 19th century for the Farnell Watson family, who owned Isleworth Brewery. The house was demolished in 1934 and the grounds became Redlees Park. The stable block remains and is used as an Arts & Crafts Centre. The area was used for gravel extraction.
Retrace your steps along
Twickenham Road and just past South Street cross to the church.
Our Lady of Sorrows and St Bridget was built in 1909 to replace a small riverside chapel. The tower was added in 1926. The church stands in Memorial Square with the town's clocktower war memorial. This was erected in 1922 and has the names of 390 men killed in WWI plus a plaque to those of WWII. There was a fire station nearby until 1938.
Continue along Twickenham
Sermons Almshouses were endowed by Mrs Sarah Sermons for ladies over 50 in 1843.
Past North Street go through
Silverhill Park to the right.
The Duke of Northumberland's River runs through this park. This man-made channel from the River Crane provided water for Isleworth's flour mill. It was purchased by Middlesex County Council in 1937. The 17th century Silverhill House was demolished in 1801 when part of the estate was sold. A new house was built in 1813 which was the home of the Rev Glossop. The building later housed a Carmelite Convent until 1908 and a girls' school 1914 - 1937. It was demolished in the 1950s. The North Street gates and an ice house remain.
Exit Park going left then
right along Mill Platt
This old thoroughfare led to the flour mill. Ingram's almshouses were founded for 'six poore ladies' in 1664 by Sir Thomas Ingram, Lord Mayor of London. The small houses each have a riverside garden. The walls opposite belong to Warkworth House. This was built in 1866 and later served as a nurses' home for the West Middlesex Hospital.
Right at Church Street
The wooden Tudor mill was destroyed by fire in 1795 and replaced with a larger brick building. This was taken over by Samuel Kidd who added two steam engines in 1846. The mill was purchased by Rank in 1934 and demolished in 1941 along with the granary building opposite.
The street emerges into
The 17th century Town House provided a boarding school for girls. In 1715 this became a day school and boys were accepted. The 'Bluecoat School' building by CF Maltby dates to 1841 (pictured in header). The school occupied the upper floor and the lower open floor provided a playground. It also housed the town's fire engine. After the charity school moved to another site, the building served as an elementary school until 1939. It is now available for office use. The 18th century John Day House was the home of doctors and surgeons for many years. Northumberland House (now apartments) was built as the Northumberland Arms in 1834 and operated as an inn until 1983.
Go through to the grassed
area beyond the square.
There is a civilian WWII memorial (2014).
Go left along Swan Street.
The Swan pub was first recorded in 1722 and rebuilt in 1930.
At the riverside go left in
front of the Town Wharf pub.
Isleworth was a busy commercial port until the 1960s. There are boatyards on Isleworth Ait. This 10 acre island is a designated Nature Reserve. The pink building on the riverside is the Syon Pavilion Boathouse, designed by Robert Mylne c1804.
At the crane bear left and
cross the bridge to go right along Church Street
The London Apprentice pub recalls a time when City apprentices would row up river on their days off. There are some attractive houses in this street. The tower of All Saints Church is 14th century. Sir Christopher Wren was asked to design a new church in 1703 but this was too costly so alternative rebuilding work was carried out in 1705 by John Price. The church was largely burnt down by arsonists in 1943 and not rebuilt until 1968-70. The sundial on the Joshua Chapel was first erected in 1707 in memory of Susanna, wife of Col. Nicholas Lawes who was Governor of Jamaica. In the churchyard is a burial pit for 149 victims of the Great Plague of 1665, marked with a yew tree.
Follow the road around into
The Headmaster's House and former Green School, a girls' charity school, are on the left. Ferry House opposite was the home of the artist JMW Turner 1804-6.
Enter Syon Park on the right
and follow the path through the park
Cattle graze in the park. To the left is a view of the tower of the former Gillette factory on the Great West Road. A Bridgettine Abbey was built at Syon from 1426. It was suppressed by Henry VIII in 1539 and Syon House was built on the site by Edward Seymour. This was gifted to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland in 1604 and the property remains with the family. In the 18th century the 1st Duke employed Launcelot 'Capability' Brown to landscape the grounds and Robert Adam to remodel the interiors. Further work was carried out by the 3rd Duke including the construction of the Great Conservatory in the 1820s. Syon House and Gardens are open to the public (charge) and outbuildings serve as a garden centre with cafe.
Follow signs to Buttercups Nursery. Exit Park and cross main road. Take bus 237 or 267 to Watermans Arts Centre. From here bus 65 returns to Richmond Station.
Village London by Andrew Duncan
Isleworth Society http://isleworthsociety.btck.co.uk/
Hounslow A-Z of Isleworth http://www.hounslow.info/libraries/local-history-archives/an-a-z-of-isleworth/
All Saints Church history http://allsaints-isleworth.org/about-us/church-history/
Syon Park website http://www.syonpark.co.uk/
© london-footprints.co.uk 2014
[walkslist] [almshouses] [ice wells]