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Historic Twickenham

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Historic Twickenham
Author: John+Gallop, Published: 05 Apr 2016 Walk Rating:star1 Historic Twickenham Walking Guidestar1 Historic Twickenham Walking Guidestar1 Historic Twickenham Walking Guidestar1 Historic Twickenham Walking Guidestar0 Historic Twickenham Walking Guide
Middlesex, Twickenham
Walk Type: History trail
Historic Twickenham
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Historic Twickenham Walking Guide
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A 3 mile linear walk from Strawberry Hill Station to St Margaret's Station, exploring Twickenham. Twickenham is a Thames-side suburb most famous for the England Rugby Union national stadium. This walk stays well away from the 85,000 seat looming leviathan, keeping to the historic heart of Twickenham, strung out along the left bank of the river. Archaeology shows that people were living in this area during the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages as well as the Roman period. But the first written record of the existence of Twickenham is in a charter of 704 AD where the settlement is described as Tuican hom. Farming, market gardens, fishing and glass making were the main occupations over the following centuries but little of this remains visible. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have left a major footprint on the appearance of the historic centre of the town as it then became a fashionable resort for wealthy Londoners who built grand houses there. The coming of the railway around 1860 led to rapid in-filling with red-brick Victorian villas and terraces which now cover all of the previously farmed land. Public open space remains, by the river and in parks linked with some of the historic buildings and this walk follows those open spaces as much as possible.

This is a short, easy walk on generally smooth or metalled paths with almost no climbing. There are no gates or stiles, but you will need to negotiate a few flights of steps.

If you are coming by train start the walk at Strawberry Hill Station (on the Waterloo to Kingston loop line). Otherwise, you can take a 33 bus from Richmond station direct to Strawberry Hill House. The walk ends at St Margaret's Station, from where you can make your onward journey.

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Walk Sections

Start to Strawberry Hill House
Start to Strawberry Hill House

Start point: 51.4389 lat, -0.3394 long
End point: 51.4386 lat, -0.335 long

If you arrived by train, leave the station and turn left along Tower Rd. After 150m turn right along Waldegrave Gardens. At the T-junction with Waldegrave Rd turn left. The gleaming white little Gothic castle of Horace Walpole, Strawberry Hill House, is across the road to your right, adjoining the buildings of St. Marys University. Walpole (described as a man of letters, historian novelist, general polymath and PM’s son) built a house which inspired a fashion for the Gothic, replacing the classicism of the previous time. It has been beautifully restored and, along with its gardens, is open to the public.

Strawberry Hill House to Radnor Gardens
Strawberry Hill House to Radnor Gardens

Start point: 51.4398 lat, -0.3327 long
End point: 51.4416 lat, -0.3317 long

When you have done with Strawberry Hill (and its excellent cafe) continue further along Waldegrave Rd to Cross Deep. Cross over and enter Radnor Gardens on the left bank of the Thames.

Walk into this public park and take the path straight ahead to the river bank where there is a small harbour with many houseboats. Radnor House was one of a number of large riverside properties that existed in the late eighteenth century when Twickenham was a fashionable resort. The house was destroyed by a bomb in September 1940 and Radnor Gardens public park is now all that remains on this site, along with a restored summerhouse and gazebo (dating from the Walpole period) and a relic retaining wall of the house, complete with a flood mark from 1774. Walk North along the river bank (with the river on your right) through Radnor Gardens as far as you can.

Radnor Gardens to Riverside Embankment
Radnor Gardens to Riverside Embankment

Start point: 51.4416 lat, -0.3317 long
End point: 51.445 lat, -0.3285 long

Over the fence at the end are the only remains of Alexander Pope’s villa (he was the proud builder of that 18th C must-have, a fossil and crystal decorated grotto with statues, just like nearby Strawberry Hill and Marble Hill House). The villa was demolished in 1808 and the present buildings on the site have been a school since 1919. But the grotto still exists, as does a pub across the road, named after it. Leave Radnor Gardens and turn right along Cross Deep (the name of a small stream which flows into the Thames just South of Radnor Gardens). At the traffic lights turn right along Kings St. and almost immediately right again into Wharf Lane. This leads back to the landscaped riverside.

Riverside Embankment to Church Street
Riverside Embankment to Church Street

Start point: 51.445 lat, -0.3284 long
End point: 51.4463 lat, -0.3278 long

Turn left along the embankment. The riverside has been recently landscaped but this opportunity to get rid of parked cars was a step too far for the Borough Council. An arched concrete footbridge crosses to the island, former home to the Eel Pie Island Hotel, a pub which hosted many famous rock bands in the 1960’s (see the descriptive board on the river bank), having given up on the pies when eels got scarce. The island boasts several intriguing private homes, two working boatyards and quite a lot of artist studios, reached through a boatyard. At either end are wilderness nature reserves, with no public access.

Turn left along Water Lane and, before the junction with the main road, turn right into Church Street.

Church Street to Twickenham Museum
Church Street to Twickenham Museum

Start point: 51.4466 lat, -0.3281 long
End point: 51.4465 lat, -0.3259 long

This was once the main route from Richmond to Kingston and Hampton Court. Though narrow it was paved in the early 18th C and formed part of the turnpike from Isleworth to Teddington. The Fox is a very ancient inn, amongst a variety of other historic shop premises.

Just before the Fox turn right down Bell Lane, back towards the river. At a small green space take a narrow lane to the left, passing between a house and its enclosed front garden. This ancient street leads past small cottages behind another pub, the Barmy Arms, and a small theatre, reaching Church Lane, with Twickenham Museum on the corner.

Twickenham Museum to St Mary's Church
Twickenham Museum to St Mary's Church

Start point: 51.4466 lat, -0.3256 long
End point: 51.4471 lat, -0.3255 long

A small local museum in this 18th C house, is run by volunteers and has much detailed information about Twickenham and the surrounding suburbs, on this bank of the Thames. It is open six days a week and, as well as a massive archive of material, prepares study guides and mounts exhibitions on local history topics.

Turn left up Church Lane to the gate of St. Mary’s Church.

St. Mary's Church to Oak Lane Cemetery
St. Mary's Church to Oak Lane Cemetery

Start point: 51.4471 lat, -0.3255 long
End point: 51.4486 lat, -0.3251 long

Twickenham parish church is a strange mixture, boasting a medieval stone tower but a brick-built nave with high-arched plain-glass windows. This resulted from most of the original building collapsing in 1713, due to neglect.

Turn right at the junction (passing the church front on your right) and walk ahead (North) through a pedestrian area to a junction with the main road. Cross at the controlled crossing and walk up Oak Lane, (which is just to the right of a filling station). You will come to Oak Lane Cemetery.

Oak Lane Cemetery to Sion Road
Oak Lane Cemetery to Sion Road

Start point: 51.4488 lat, -0.3255 long
End point: 51.45 lat, -0.3266 long

A small green lung amongst the Victorian terraces is now a disused cemetery, open to the public. You can walk around this space, taking in lots of ancient tomb-stones, many half hidden in the undergrowth or behind yew trees. It is a great spot for wildlife with woodpeckers and the ubiquitous parakeets by day then owls, bats and foxes by night.

Continue further to the end of Oak Lane. Devoncroft House and Grove Cottage, private houses dating from c 1700, are on the corner of Oak Lane, both sited within the original grounds of the Arragon House estate. Nearby Newland House has an elaborate doorway set in a brick boundary wall. Its Gothic arch reveals a courtyard and newly converted flats occupy this attractive Victorian building.

Turn right round the corner and to the right is Amyand House, named after Dr. Amyand (1680-1740) an Anglo-French doctor who carried out the very first appendectomy, more than a century before it became accepted medical practice. He did not live here though the house belonged to his descendants from around 1740 (exact date of its origin is unknown). Within the past 30 years it has been variously a cottage hospital, an old people’s’ home, a primary school and now a nursery.

Head off up Amyand Park Road, towards the rows of Victorian terraces and semis, now covering former market gardens which were here before the railway came in 1865. Turn right down Strafford Road, continue to its end and cross over into Sion Road.

Sion Road to Champion's Wharf
Sion Road to Champion's Wharf

Start point: 51.4487 lat, -0.3239 long
End point: 51.4467 lat, -0.3246 long

Continue down Sion Rd then turn right through a gateway in the high wall to enter York House Gardens. Turn left past tiny allotments through trees to walk around a picturesque stream with wooden bridge and delicate shrubs. Climb a few steps through an arch in the wall into a large sunken lawn area facing York House, now the local council offices but originally a seventeenth century town house. It has had many previous owners including a number of pretenders to the French throne during the latter part of the 19th C (possibly explaining the shuttered windows and the presence of a fully functioning cast-iron pissoir near the tennis courts).

Climb the stone steps to the left (opposite the house) to cross a stone bridge into another garden on the riverside, with yew hedges, rose bushes and a fish ponds. Go right towards the pond at end of this garden. The last private owner of York House was the wealthy Indian industrialist and benefactor Sir Ratan Tata who lived there until 1914, making various improvements and installing the elaborate Italianate fountain with naked ladies. The statues are now behind a spiky barrier but back in the 1970’s local youth loved to scramble across the rocks to the ladies, to spray paint bikinis on them.

Go to the left of the statues and turn right along the river bank, through an arched gateway into Champion’s Wharf.

Champion's Wharf to Dial House
Champion's Wharf to Dial House

Start point: 51.4467 lat, -0.3245 long
End point: 51.4468 lat, -0.3245 long

The poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744) is probably Twickenham’s most famous former resident but you can’t visit what remains of his villa and its famous grotto because it’s part of a school now. To celebrate Pope the local council has recently set up a piece of public art (a clever version of Pope’s design for an urn, made from stacked rusty iron plates) in this former sculpture park by the river. Champions Wharf now boasts a ‘play beach’ and some attractive wooden benches each inscribed with one of Pope’s many famous lines. (I admit I had no idea these everyday sayings were his!).

Exit down the ramp onto the road below the church and turn right along this small road.

Dial House to Orleans Gardens
Dial House to Orleans Gardens

Start point: 51.447 lat, -0.3242 long
End point: 51.4471 lat, -0.3235 long

The house immediately on the left is Dial House, named for the sun dial mounted flat on the front wall and dated 1726. This is probably the year when the house had been completely rebuilt from several earlier properties on the site, by Thomas Twining, the tea merchant. Several successive Twining generations lived here before the house became the vicarage for neighbouring St. Mary’s church in 1892.

Now continue along the small road, Riverside, passing under the stone arched bridge which you crossed over earlier. 100 metres beyond the bridge on the left is Sion Row, fine Georgian terraced houses completed in 1721. Another very attractive collection of houses next to the river includes Aubrey House and the popular pub, the White Swan. Continue along Riverside past the Twickenham Yacht Club boatyard, turning right and then left under an iron footbridge, then go left through a pedestrian entrance into Orleans Gardens.

Orleans Gardens to Marble Hill Park
Orleans Gardens to Marble Hill Park

Start point: 51.4474 lat, -0.319 long
End point: 51.4491 lat, -0.3171 long

The gateway leads into the grounds of Orleans Gallery. Take the path along the left-hand edge of the gardens and up the steps to reach the house ahead. The brick-built building ahead of you belongs to the local council and is all that remains of a much larger house, a Palladian villa, demolished in 1926, prior to digging gravel from this site. The plan was stopped but only the Octagon Room and a small wing of the house were saved. The surviving building is used for art exhibitions. Behind it are the former stables, a space used for art and craft activities, also housing toilets and an excellent cafe, Karmarama.

Turn right along the paved area, passing the house on your left. Beyond the house, keep ahead through the metal bollards to reach a junction of paths alongside an old black lamppost. Take the stone path at about 10 o'clock which leads you into the woodland. At the far end you will come to the exit gate onto Orleans Road. NOTE: Take care here as the gate opens directly onto the road. Pass through the gate and turn left. Walk about 50 metres before turning right into Marble Hill Park.

Marble Hill Park to Sandycombe Road
Marble Hill Park to Sandycombe Road

Start point: 51.4492 lat, -0.3165 long
End point: 51.452 lat, -0.3159 long

The small white gem of a stately home, a ’Palladian villa’ is Marble Hill House, set in its own park, originally built in the 1720’s and lived in by Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk, the mistress of King George II. The house belongs to English Heritage and is open for visits in summer. There is an ice house and a restored grotto in the grounds as well as a stable block with café.

Walk ahead past cafe on your left and the front of the house on your right to reach another path at right angles. Turn left and continue along this access road to the park exit. From here cross over the Richmond Road turn left and then turn right into Sandycombe Road.

Sandycombe Road to End
Sandycombe Road to End

Start point: 51.452 lat, -0.3159 long
End point: 51.4543 lat, -0.317 long

Sandycombe Road is an old suburban street, running the gamut of Victorian house styles, from small terraced workers’ cottages to large villas for the middle classes. Just before a T-junction there is a largish white house on the right, almost overgrown by yew trees and looking slightly neglected. This was the home, dating from 1813, designed and lived in by the famous artist JWM Turner. It is open to the public irregularly and restoration is underway.

Continue ahead to the junction where, just across the main road is a curious ornate low white building with classical portico, Victoria Lodge, the only surviving entrance lodge to the former Twickenham Park Estate, the large house and grounds now long buried by successive waves of suburban housing.

Turn left up St. Margarets Road, past the eponymous pub on one side and on the other, Twickenham Studios (continuing to make feature films as it has been doing for around 100 years). Ahead is St. Margarets rail station, where this walk ends and from where there are trains to Clapham Junction and Waterloo every 15 minutes.

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network Historic Twickenham Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author Gallop and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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AB 123 456

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Our preferred way of saving images for iFootpath is to save or export them at a maximum size of 1024x1024 pixels as a JPEG file. Please be sure that you own the copyright to any images uploaded - you must have taken them yourself or have explicit permission.

Map Ref (optional)

This allows the OS Map reference for the start and end of the section to be entered. These should be in the format:

AB 123 456

Further details of this system can be seen on the Ordnance Survey website.

Start/End Point (optional)

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Introduction to iFootpath

iFootpath provides a mechanism to capture and share details of walks, but it is worth explaining the essential structure of a walk as they are stored in the iFootpath database. The basic concept is that a walk consists of any number of sections that are joined end to end. For each section we might want to describe views or other points of interest about that part of the walk.

The database that underpins iFootpath provides the mechanisms to store the structure and details of each walk, descriptions, photographs and mapping data for the overall walk and each section of it. It is not mandatory to enter information into every single field in the forms we provide, although some basic details are essential to ensure the walk database stays manageable and searcheable.

Each walk entered can be shared with all other iFootpath users, but before a walk (and its sections) are shared there are three stages it must go through. The first stage is as a "Draft". When a walk is in draft it is only visible and editable by you, the author of that walk. Whilst it is in draft form you can add sections, photographs, further description and refine it as you see fit. You can do as little or as much as you like. However, it is worth remembering that if someone (you) wants to print it off and take it as a walking guide, then it is worth taking the time to detail each section reasonably concisely. Long descriptions are generally distracting when walking and a short, concise version is usually much easier to use.

When you are happy with the walk description and its sections you can set the status to "Ready". This does not yet make it visible to everyone. It does, however, lock the editing (although you can change it back to draft and continue editing) and alerts the systems administrators that it requires reviewing prior to being "Published". When set to "Ready" the walk will be reviewed to check it contains the basic data needed and to ensure the content is clean. We do not allow content to include obscenities, swearing or other offensive language or pictures. This review does not check the walk for accuracy; whilst we would love to test each and every walk through walking we simply do not have the time. If we do find something wrong with the walk we will contact you and ask that it is fixed prior to marking it as "Published".

Once the walk is published it is now visible to any user of iFootpath and is therefore in the public domain given that anyone can register and access iFootpath. You are therefore responsible that any photographs used in your walk description are not infringing copyright. See our terms and conditions for further information on what we do and do not allow.

Published walks are available to all users of iFootpath and are listed in the walk browser to read or print and will be listed in the iPhone/iPod Touch application for download.

Walks in iFootpath

A walk in iFootpath is an introduction to the overall walk, identification of where it is and starts, some overview notes and general commentary.

Title (required)

A walk title should provide a brief indication of where or what the walk is. Walk titles do not have to be unique.

Description (required)

This provides a text area where you can describe the walk. Explain what you love about the walk, what makes it different and what people will see. In addition try to answer all the questions you might ask before going on a route. What sort of paths does the walk use? Any steep accents/descents? Are there any stiles? Are people likely to come across horse/cows/sheep?

County (required)

The county in which the walk starts is essential to help finding the walk in the database. Some walks may straddle more than one county - we suggest you select the county in which the walk starts or is mostly within.

Area (optional)

This field can be used, if you wish, to further identify where the walk is. This is particularly useful for large counties.

Walk Type (required)

To help quickly finding the right type of walk this provides a basic walk classification or type. Some walks may span two of these types - please use the type that fits the majority of the walk.

Length (required)

The length (in miles) of a walk is an approximation of the overall distance walked, not a measure of the distance "as the crow flies". iFootpath automatically completes this field based on the GPX file that has been uploaded.

Grade (required)

The grade of a walk is an indicator of how difficult it is to walk. This does not take into account the walk length but does suggest how challenging the walk will be. An easy walk, graded as 1 (and shown as 1 walking boot) indicates a walk that is essentially flat, has no sharp hills to climb, has no stiles or other obstacles, is easy to navigate (probably along a well worn path) and is suitable for most levels of fitness. Do be aware that the level of stamina required will vary and you should only walk within your limits - the indication of walk length will help with this. A difficult walk, graded as 5 (and represented by 5 boots) indicates a walk that is strenuous and involves steep ascents and/or descents. It may be technically challenging involving difficult terrain or obstacles.

Please note that the grading for walks is subjective and open to interpretation and should only be used as a guide when selecting a walk.

Map Ref / Start Point (optional)

The walk start point is an Ordnance Survey map reference to pinpoint the start point of the walk. This should be in the format:

AB 123 456

Further details of this system can be seen on the Ordnance Survey website.

Map Link (optional)

This optional field allows you to include a link to a web page containing a map showing the walk start. This is not the place to include any other links and the system will reject links to anything but Streetmap or Google Maps.

Start Point Co-ordinates (optional)

This pair of fields allows you to enter the longitude and latitude for the start point. iFootpath automatically completes this field based on the uploaded GPX file.

Key Image (required)

This is the main photograph used to illustrate the walk and can, if you wish, be the only photograph used of the walk. We recommend that you use a picture that characterises the walk, if possible, to show potential walkers what they might find or see. The picture must be in any of the main image formats (JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG) and image files up to 2Mb in size are permitted. Once an image is uploaded it will be resized automatically and a smaller version saved that is optimised for viewing on both this website and iFootpath Mobile.

There are many image editing and manipulation applications available, so many that we cannot make particular recommendations although almost all are excellent. Our preferred way of saving images for iFootpath is to save or export them at a maximum size of 1024x1024 pixels as a JPEG file. This creates a file that is well under 2Mb in size, contains plenty of detail and displays well in almost any browser. Please be sure that you own the copyright to any images uploaded - you must have taken them yourself or have explicit permission. If you are concerned about image theft then we also suggest you include a small watermark in any corner of the image, but please remember that large watermarks that hide the image will not be popular with viewers!

Pdf file

Pdf file for walk

Icon (recommended)

The icon is a small image, 60 pixels square, used to provide a label for the walk when displayed in lists or in iFootpath Mobile. It is recommended that a small, square image for such use is created and uploaded. This should be in JPEG, GIF, BMP or PNG format and less than 100Kb in size. If you do not provide an icon the walk will be automatically given a generic system icon. If you do upload a photograph for the walk icon its size will be checked by the system and it will automatically be resized to 60 pixels square. However, please also note that if the image is not square in format it may be cropped and you will not get the result you might have expected. Just thought you should know!

Getting There (required)

This provides a text area to explain how to get to the start of the walk. It is good to include a post code.

Preview

This function allows you to see how your published walk would look, before you submit as 'Ready' for review.

Status

When a walk is created and saved in iFootpath its status is automatically set to 'Draft'. This implies that you are still working on it and may want to come back later to add walk sections, images or other information. When you are ready for the walk to be shared with other iFootpath registered users then the status should be changed to 'Ready'. This will automatically notify the system that you want to share the walk. The system will check to ensure you have completed the required information and alert a reviewer. The reviewer will read through to check the content is clean and consistent with our terms of use. This does not check the accuracy of the walk details or any other information. If there are issues with the contents you will be contacted by email. The walk status will also be reset to 'Draft' in this case. More likely, however, that everything is fine in which case its status will be set to 'Published' at which point it becomes available for viewing and downloading by any registered user of iFootpath. This includes download to iFootpath Mobile.

Filters

Filters allow you to narrow down your search for walks of interest. By County restricts the list of walks to those in the selected County. The Filters links at the top of the list page allow you to jump quickly to the filters or to clear them.

Keyword Search

The Keyword search facility will search through the walk descriptions and notes to find words or phrases you specify.

My GPX Files

This page gives you the list of GPX files that you have uploaded from iFootpath mobile (or from other sources). You are able to view, edit, delete or download these files. Once you are happy with your GPX file you can 'convert to walk' to create a draft walk based on this data. This walk will appear under 'Manage My Walks'.

Manage My Walks

The list of walks presented are those you have written and entered into iFootpath. From here you can filter the list if you have lots to narrow down your search, list all or just those with a particular status. If you select a 'Published' or 'Ready' walk you will see a read-only version of your walk, although if 'Ready' you can reset status to 'Draft' again for further editing.

Walk Sections in iFootpath

Each walk section represents a particular piece of a walking route. The start and end of each section are defined by waypoints. Each section joins onto the next to form the complete walk. There is no limit to the number of sections a walk can have, but on a long walk we recommend breaking the route down into manageable pieces that are delineated by particular landmarks, turnings or changes in obvious route. Each section has its own photograph and descriptive text which should hold a photograph that illustrates the section and any instructions or other notes you want to add that may be of use in helping navigation or pointing things out.

Section Title (required)

The section title is used to provide a short name for the section. It is useful in section titles to provide an indication of the start and end, so using names of landmarks, roads, etc is a useful aid. Sections will be named automatically as the name of the waypoint at the end of that section. It is recommended that you rename the sections as something more useful to walkers.

Section Description (required)

This field is used to provide as much information as you wish about the walk section. This should include notes on navigation, even if obvious, and any further information you care to share about views, historical notes, things to look for, etc.

Key Image (recommended)

A picture can save many words and will often be very useful in helping to navigate or spot things along the route. The picture must be in any of the main image formats (JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG) and image files up to 2Mb in size are permitted. Once an image is uploaded it will be resized automatically and a smaller version saved that is optimised for viewing on both this website and iFootpath Mobile.

Our preferred way of saving images for iFootpath is to save or export them at a maximum size of 1024x1024 pixels as a JPEG file. Please be sure that you own the copyright to any images uploaded - you must have taken them yourself or have explicit permission.

Map Ref (optional)

This allows the OS Map reference for the start and end of the section to be entered. These should be in the format:

AB 123 456

Further details of this system can be seen on the Ordnance Survey website.

Start/End Point (optional)

This provides the facility to capture the co-ordinates for the start and end points of the walk section. iFootpath will automatically complete this field based on the GPX file used to create the walk.

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