Inventory Site Record

Bushy Park (including Upper Lodge Gardens) *

Bushy Park (including Upper Lodge Gardens) * (Richmond)

Brief Description

* on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens

Bushy Park's origins date from the late C15th, when farmland here was enclosed. It became a royal deer park when it was acquired by Henry VIII in 1529. The water features, woodland, park and farmland within the park have been developed over the years since the C16th. Bushy Park Water Gardens Trust received an HLF grant of £25,000 in 1997 to restore the Water Gardens and other 'lost' features.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Bushey Park
Site location:
Hampton Court Road/High Street/Sandy Lane, Teddington
Type of site:
Public Park
Open to public?
Opening times:
unrestricted. Woodland Garden: 9am-dusk daily (closure for annual deer culls)
Special conditions:
no cycling/no dogs in Woodland Garden
Toilets, café, playground, sports pitches, fishing, model boating
Public transport:
Rail: Teddington, Hampton Court. Bus: 111, 216, 416, 465, 726, R68

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/09/2011
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Full Site Description

Site on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens, for Register Entry see The Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England was established in 1984 and was commonly called English Heritage. In April 2015 it split into 2 separate entities, Historic England (HE), which continues to champion and protect the historic environment, and the English Heritage Trust, whose role is to look after the 400+ historic sites and monuments owned by the state. HE manages the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) that includes over 400,000 items ranging from prehistoric monuments to office blocks, battlefields and parks, which benefit from legal protection.

Bushy Park comprises areas of deer park, woodland, farmland, water and gardens developed from the late C15th onwards, and the park's history is closely connected to the development of Hampton Court Park and Gardens (q.v.), from which the park is now separated by Hampton Court Road. Most boundaries of the park are enclosed by walls. The origins of the deer park here date from 1491 when Giles D'Aubrey enclosed 162 hectares of Middle Park's farmland. By 1504 Cardinal Wolsey, then at Hampton Court, had enclosed three areas of farmland of Bushy Park, Middle Park and Hare Warren and also the Home Park of Hampton Court Palace (q.v.). Some evidence remains today of its former agricultural use with traces of medieval track and ditch and field hedges, as well as rabbit warrens. When Henry VIII acquired Hampton Court in 1529 he formed his royal deer park from these enclosed lands, also enclosing Old Park in 1537. Bushy Park was further extended by James I in 1629 when he added 68 hectares of Court Field, which he enclosed with a wall. In 1708 Charles Montagu (1661-1715), Earl of Halifax, a Treasury Lord and later first Chancellor of the Exchequer, purchased the keepership of the three parks from Charles II's former mistress the Duchess of Cleveland. As a result the distinction between Bushy Park, Middle Park and Hare Warren was lost and all became known as Bushy Park.

In 1638-9 Charles I had a tributary of the River Colne diverted through Bushy Park, which was named the Longford River. The new waterway, designed by Nicholas Lane and executed by Edward Manning, is 12 miles long and enters Bushy Park at Pantile Bridge near Upper Lodge in the north west corner of the park. There were waterworks at various points along the Longford River, including a cascade by Waterhouse Pond dating from c.1710. Water from the river was used for the elaborate water gardens created in the grounds of Upper Lodge by the second Earl Halifax in the C18th. During the Coommonwealth water had been diverted to feed the new Heron and Leg of Mutton Ponds. Lower Lodge, now called Bushy House (q.v.) and since 1900 the home of the National Physical Laboratory, had been built by the Keeper of Middle Park in 1663-5. It became the residence of the Ranger of Bushy Park, occupied by members of the aristocracy and the royal family until 1896.

The main avenues of Bushy Park were first planted in 1689-99 under the direction of Royal Gardener George London (1640-1714), with Henry Wise (1653-1738) contracted in 1699. The park is essentially divided by Chestnut Avenue with its chestnuts and outer rows of lime, which extends north from the Lion Gates of Hampton Court Palace as far as Teddington Lodge. It is interrupted 400m north by the misnamed 'Diana Fountain'; a circular basin was made in c.1699 with central pedestal and in 1713 a statue representing Arethusa with attendant figures was erected here, which had previously been in the Privy Garden at Hampton Court. Lime avenues extend west from the Diana Fountain for 1.25 km, and there are numerous other avenues, mainly lime. The Woodland Garden of c.40 ha. and the Waterhouse Plantation were developed c.1949 by J M Fisher, who was responsible for the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park (q.v.). In the west area of the Woodland Garden is a platform at the edge of the lake with shelter and Totem Bench designed by Kate Walker, 1993. Replanting of lime avenues began in 1986, but many trees were damaged in the October 1987 storms. There are still deer in the park.

Friends of Bushy and Home Parks formed in c.1990; in 1995 they commissioned a report by Kathy White on Upper Lodge and its 15 acres (c.6ha) of gardens designed for the Earl of Halifax, which received wide acclaim in the C18th. The elaborate water gardens, formed from the Longford River, had pools and a cascade enhanced by rustic stone grottoes and grassy paths, offset with clipped yew, holly and box. The present house was built on the site of the previous Ranger's Lodge, which was ruinous by 1710 when the Earl of Halifax became Ranger of Bushy Park; it was a condition of his tenancy that he rebuild the house. The original Georgian design of his house has been overlaid by additions and extensions particularly in the C19th, when following the establishment of the Office of Works, Upper Lodge became one of the Grace and Favour residences at the disposal of the sovereign. The last Grace and Favour tenant, the widow of General Lord Alfred Paget, left in 1913 and George V allowed it to be used by the Canadian Red Cross during WWI and it became known as the King's Canadian Hospital; a prefabricated theatre built to entertain the convalescing Canadian soldiers still stands. In 1919 it was granted to the London County Council as a holiday home for underprivileged boys from the East End of London, known as the 'King's Canadian School', which accommodated 290 boys at a time. The boys used the pools for swimming after their open-air lessons. At the start of WWII the site was requisitioned by the Air Ministry and in June 1942 the US 8th Army Airforce set up camp in Bushy Park with Upper Lodge designated as a barracks for enlisted men. After the war, in 1945 Upper Lodge transferred to the Admiralty for an extension of the Admiralty Research Station based at the National Physical Laboratory (Bushy House q.v.). During the C20th various 'temporary' buildings were erected. The requisition was converted to a formal lease and the next decades saw a determined struggle between the Ministry of Works, responsible for management of Royal Parks, to prevent the Admiralty's building on the grounds. There are stable buildings of C18th and C19th in the north-west,and the Old Brew House built in the late C17th 200m south-west of Upper Lodge.

Bushy Park Water Gardens Trust received an HLF grant of £25,000 in 1997 to restore the Water Gardens and other 'lost' features.

Sources consulted:

NHLE list: 'Royal Parks Historical Survey: Hampton Court and Bushy Park' 1982; Country Life, 1 May 1969 p1090-91; Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South (Penguin) 1999; Hunter Davies 'A Walk Round London's Parks' (1983 p135-153; P Foster/E Pyatt 'Bushy House' 1976; D Green 'The Gardens and Parks at Hampton Court & Bushy' guidebook 1974; E Law 'The Chestnut Avenue in Bushy Park' 1919. John Archer, David Curson, 'Nature Conservation in Richmond upon Thames, Ecology Handbook 21', (London Ecology Unit) 1993 p49-51. Friends of Bushy and Home Parks Report 'Upper Lodge, A Hidden Heritage' 1995. See also Katrina Davies, ' A Short History of Bushy Park', London Landscapes, No. 10, Summer 2005.

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
Site management:
The Royal Parks Agency/(Friends of Bushy and Home Parks)
1490s onwards
Improvements by George London, Henry Wise in late C17th
Listed structures:
LBII*: Bushy House. LBII: C19th Doric Rotunda garden building for Bushy House, Guns Lodge, White Lodge, Upper Lodge and lodges, Bushy House lodge, boundary walls (part), Hampton Court Gate Lodge, Diana Fountain, Brewhouse
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

NHLE grade:
Grade I
Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Metropolitan Importance (with Home Pk)
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:

Bushy Park (including Upper Lodge Gardens) *

Bushy Park, Waterhouse Woodland Garden, eastern lake, November 2001. Photo S Williams

Click photo to enlarge.

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