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Petersham Park

Hob Uid: 1024285
Location :
Greater London Authority
Richmond upon Thames
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : TQ1870071300
Summary : Landscape park situated on the western edge of Richmond Park. It became a private park in 1686 and its lodge was rebuilt in 1692 when formal garden were also created. The lodge was also rebuilt in 1733. In 1734 part of the park was incorporated into Richmond Park and some of the tree avenues were planted. The remaining area was incorporated into Richmond Park in 1834-35 and the lodge was demolished. The site was surveyed by RCHME Field staff in 1995, earthworks of terraces and the early 18th century woodland garden were identified. Cropmarks of the lodge were recorded during the 1930s.
More information : TQ 18 73 Post Medieval garden

Petersham Park covered an area of 14 hectares (34.6 acres) forming a broad strip along the western edge of Richmond Park, mostly on a steep west-facing slope overlooking the River Thames.

At the time of the enclosure of Richmond park in 1637, the area which was to become Petersham Park was part of Petersham Common (1a). Petersham Lodge was occupied by a series of Keepers of Richmond Park until 1686 when it was granted to the Ranger, the first Earl of Rochester, and the grounds effectively made into a private park. In 1692 Petersham Lodge was rebuilt by the Earl and an elaborate formal garden created (1b) (possibly designed by George London (1c)). The garden was depicted by Knyff and Kip in the early 18th century (1d). Petersham Lodge was rebuilt in 1733 by Lord Harrington. In 1734, the Duke of Argyle (who lived in the neighbouring Sudbrook Park) was granted some of Petersham Park, possibly planting some of the lines of limes and cedars which are visible today. John Roque's map of 1741-5 (1e) shows Petersham Park as separate from Richmond Park, but little of the garden shown by Kip & Knyff remained. In 1834-5 the Crown bought Petersham Lodge and Park: the buildings were demolished and the entire area returned to Richmond Park.

TQ 182 713 Nothing of Petersham Lodge survives above ground, though `turf marks' were recorded during the 1930's (1f) and aerial photographs (1g, 1h) clearly show parchmarks forming a circle north of the site of the Lodge - possibly a turning circle shown on earlier maps.

Possible terraces survive at the northern end of the Park, as well as possible earthwork remains of allees and rond points of the early 18th century wooded garden on the slope. The line of the present trackway along the foot of the slope almost certainly marks the line of the original central avenue. Clear remains of a garden compartment survive at TQ 183 728, and two sub-circular mounds immediately south of it may have once supported a structure.

If the formal gardens existed to the extent shown by Knyff and Kip in 1720, then there has been massive subsequent landscaping, notably the total masking of the massively terraced parterres on the hillside.

Petersham Park was surveyed by the RCHME in February 1995 during the Royal Parks Project. See archive report and survey plan at 1:1000 scale. (1)

Samuel Molyneux (1689-1727) visited Petersham Park in 1713 and wrote the following account:
"...new Park which is a Seat just by belonging to my Lord Rochester; if Hampton Court did not fill my Expectation the Gardens here I assure you did pay the Pains of my Journey and gave me perfect Satisfaction...The Parterre behind the House and the Hornbeam walks beyond it are well enough but a very high hill to the left of the Gardens part of which is beautifully and wildly dispos'd into Slopes, the rest and upper part cover'd with a fine wood so interspers'd with Vistos & little innumerable private dark walks thro every part of it lin'd on both sides with low hedges with the unconfin'd Prospects you meet every now and then of the Garden below the Country and the River beyond you is what in my opinion makes the Particular & distinguish'd preferable beauty of this place beyond any thing that I have ever seen. I should not forget to tell you that in every walk you meet here and there a little opening in the wood with Seats, a Statue, a grass plott, a Basin of water or the like, for you must know that here is a Fountain playing on the side of the hill (the Spring being at the Top) which is much higher, the Basin of which lyes higher than the house Roof as well as I remember they shew'd us here a huge Cedar of Libanus..."

This demonstrates that the Knyff and Kip depiction of the garden was very accurate, many of the features shown by them being mentioned by Molyneux. It is very interesting that so little of the garden remains today, and shows that there must have been extensive landscaping of Petersham Park after the mid 18th century (Roque shows the parterre but little else on the hill). (2)

The Petersham Lodge which is referenced in this record does not bear any link with the extant Petersham Lodge also located in Richmond at River Lane (NGR: TQ 17939 73349). (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : RCHME: ROYAL PARKS PROJECT: Richmond Park Survey
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Source Number : 1a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Elias Allen. The New Parke, Richmond, Surrey (early 17th century)
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Source Number : 3
Source : Register of parks and gardens of special historic interest in England
Source details : Greater London
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Vol(s) : Part 17
Source Number : 4
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : English Heritage Staff, 18-DEC-2013
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Source : Richmond Park, Petersham Park - southern part/pencil survey
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Source : Richmond Park
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Source : Richmond Park, Petersham Park - central part/pencil survey
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Source : Richmond Park, Petersham Park - northern part/pencil survey
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Source : Richmond Park, Petersham Park/ink survey
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Source Number : 1b
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Richmond Park: Historical Survey. 1984 (Land Use Consultants)
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Source Number : 1c
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Jacques D. 1983. Georgian Gardens: The Reign of Nature
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Source Number : 1d
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Kniff L, Kip J. 1720. Britannia Illustrata
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Source Number : 1e
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Rocque J. 1741-45. An Exact Survey of the Citys of London...
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Source Number : 1f
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Collenette C L. 1971. A History of Richmond Park
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Source Number : 1g
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : NMR 543/RAF/1059/0212-0213
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Source Number : 1h
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : NMR MAL/78018/157
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Dixon Hunt J. Willis P. The Genius of the Place.
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Created in 1686
Monument End Date : 1686
Monument Start Date : 1686
Monument Type : Landscape Park
Evidence : Earthwork, Botanical Feature
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt in 1692
Monument End Date : 1692
Monument Start Date : 1692
Monument Type : Lodge, Formal Garden
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Early C18
Monument End Date : 1732
Monument Start Date : 1700
Monument Type : Garden Terrace, Woodland Garden
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt in 1733
Monument End Date : 1733
Monument Start Date : 1733
Monument Type : Lodge
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Part incorporated into Richmond Park
Monument End Date : 1734
Monument Start Date : 1734
Monument Type : Landscape Park, Tree Avenue
Evidence : Botanical Feature
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : demolished 1834-35
Monument End Date : 1835
Monument Start Date : 1834
Monument Type : Lodge, Landscape Park
Evidence : Cropmark, Botanical Feature

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Greater London)
External Cross Reference Number : 201253
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 17 SE 62
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 398012
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: ROYAL PARKS PROJECT: RICHMOND PARK SURVEY
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-09-01
Associated Activities : Primary, PETERSHAM PLAYGROUND, RICHMOND PARK
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2012-12-31