Inventory Site Record

Radnor Gardens

Radnor Gardens (Richmond)

Brief Description

Radnor Gardens are named after one of the many substantial C18th properties that lined the riverside, although the gardens of both Radnor House and Cross Deep House were once on the site. Before the river was embanked part of the site encompassed two aits or small islands, and in 1903 Cross Deep Ait became a public pleasure garden. Radnor House was destroyed in WWII and its gardens became part of the public park. In 1968 the intervening channel was filled in. In the gardens are a rococo seat/shelter from Cross Deep House and a small gazebo, both restored with support from the MPGA and others. A war memorial with bronze statue of a soldier is in the south of the park near the bowling green.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Radnor House
Site location:
Cross Deep, Twickenham
Postcode:
TW1
Type of site:
Public Gardens
Borough:
Richmond
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
Mon - Sat: 7.30am - dusk/Sun & Bank Hols: 9am - dusk
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Playground, cafe/kiosk, bowling green, fishing permitted
Events:
Annual Music Day and Fair
Public transport:
Rail: Strawberry Hill. Bus: R68, 33

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/05/2014
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.richmond.gov.uk/parks_and_open_spaces

Full Site Description

Radnor Gardens was laid out on the former gardens of Radnor House and Cross Deep House, which were among the many substantial C18th houses that lined the riverside. The residential area of Strawberry Hill was renowned for its men of letters and the arts, and in the mid C18th the 4th Earl of Radnor's neighbours were Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill (q.v.) and Alexander Pope, a remnant of whose property remains as Pope's Grotto (q.v.). Before the river was embanked part of the site encompassed two aits or small islands, where Walpole reputedly grazed his cattle. One of these islands, Cross Deep Ait, was opened as a public pleasure garden in 1903, its ground level having been raised using earth from the construction of Teddington Lock.

In September 1940 Radnor House was destroyed in World War II bombing and after the war its gardens became part of the public gardens. In 1968 the channel of the Cross Deep Stream that separated the two areas was filled in to create today's riverside park. An octagonal Gothic summerhouse remains in the gardens formerly in the grounds of Cross Deep House and possibly inspired by its neighbour Strawberry Hill. Also in the gardens is the remains of an C18th cold bath, relocated from its original position. Both were restored in the early C21st with support from the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association and others.

The gardens have a number of notable trees, which included at one time a rare Indian Bean Tree (Northern Catalpa/Catalpa speciosa) and its Weeping Willows along the river frontage are believed to be among the first planted. A war memorial with a bronze statue of a soldier on a stone plinth is sited towards the south of the park near the river. Near the roadside boundary a raised rose garden was created on the former site of Radnor House, bounded by the remains of the old wall of the house, which has a plaque marking 'a Remarkable High Flood' in 1771. Near the rose garden are further areas of landscaping, including rockery and planted beds and at the roadside is a viewing platform.

The Bowling Pavilion opened on 23 April 1955 and was erected by the family of Leonard Denny, 'honorary freeman of the borough of Twickenham and President of Middlesex County Bowling Association and Vice President of Strawberry Hill Bowling Club'. As part of a programme of improvements both the bowling pavilion and a 1960s café kiosk have now been renovated, the latter re-opening in 2009, and a new children's playground was provided in 2006.

Sources consulted:

'Blest Retreats', LB Richmond, 1984; LB Richmond Parks Guide; Radnor Gardens Management Plan 2010-2015. See also https://londongardenstrust.org/features/radnor2006.htm: 'Radnor Gardens Friends Challenge Plans', London Landscapes, No.12, Spring 2006.

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ160725 (516027,172581)
Size in hectares:
1.89
Site ownership:
LB Richmond
Site management:
Environment Planning & Review, Parks and Open Spaces. Friends of Radnor Gardens
Date(s):
1720; 1903; 1968
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
LBII: Summerhouse
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

No
Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

No
Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

No

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:
No
In Conservation Area:
Yes
Conservation Area name:
Twickenham Riverside
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
No
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
Yes
Special Policy Area:
Yes - Thames Policy Area
Other LA designation:
None
Photos

Radnor Gardens

Radnor Gardens, with former summerhouse and War Memorial, July 2010. Photo S Williams

Click photo to enlarge.

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