The Twickenham Museum
Exhibitions : Lost Houses

Twickenham 1
Houses such as Cambridge Park and Radnor House replaced by redevelopment through the years

Twickenham Park

The population of Twickenham in 1664, estimated from the Hearth Tax returns, was just over 1000. Even by 1801 the total population for the whole parish, including Whitton, was only about 3100. There were two large estates here in the early 17th century: Twickenham Park and the estate later known as Cambridge Park, both lying near Richmond. Twickenham Park covered over 160 acres of which about a third were in Isleworth parish. The first major house on this land was built in 1561-62. It was superceded by another house in 1608-09 and this was rebuilt or substantially altered in about 1748 and finally demolished in 1929.

Cambridge Park, later known as Twickenham Meadows and then Cambridge House, was, at 74 acres, the second largest estate in the parish. The house was built in 1610 and demolished in 1937. Meadowbank was built on part of the land in about 1824 and rebuilt in about 1960. A further house, Meadowside Cottage, was built here in 1832.

During the 17th & 18th centuries estates were assembled along the riverside, occupying much of the land. These included Marble Hill House, York House and Strawberry Hill, but most have been lost. Little Marble Hill, for example, was a small house next door to Marble Hill, built in about 1750 and demolished in 1873, its land added to the Marble Hill estate. Next to Marble Hill was Orleans House, where houses are recorded from the 16th century. James Johnston acquired the lease in 1702 and rebuilt the house to the design of John James. Later residents included Louis Philippe Duc D’Orleans (later King of France). The house was demolished in 1926 for gravel extraction from the grounds, although the Octagon Room and Stables survive as Orleans House Gallery. Next door was Lord Strafford’s, later Lebanon Park or Mount Lebanon. The mid 16th century house was rebuilt in 1794 with 41 rooms. Badly damaged by fire in 1909, it was demolished. The grounds had previously been sold and the Lebanon Park houses were built there in about 1900.

Highshot House

Highshot House, on the left at the start of Crown Road, was occupied by Louis Phillipe, Duc d’Orleans in 1801-7. It appeared first in 1767 and was demolished in 1927.

Along the river, in front of the church was the old vicarage, here in 1635. In 1894 the parish was bequeathed Dial House by Elizabeth Twining and the old building was demolished. Its site is now the Garden of Remembrance. Diagonally opposite the Church stood the Manor House, later known as Arragon Towers, its park extending to the north nearly as far as the railway. The house probably dated from early in the 16th century and its remains were finally demolished in 1934.

Richmond House

Near by, Richmond House was a large property facing the river. Its high boundary wall was a feature of the south side of King Street until the mid 1920s. At this time the house, which had been rebuilt in 1816, was demolished and King Street widened, with shops along the south side. The swimming baths were built on the land. Opened in 1935, they closed in 1981.

North of King Street was Copt Hall, facing Holly Road, actually three properties dating originally from the mid 17th century, and demolished in about 1850. It has lent its name to Copt Hall Gardens. Holly House stood next door.

Dr Battie's House (Poulett Lodge)

Next to Richmond House was Poulett Lodge (see cover), first known as Dr Battie’s. He built it in 1740-42 after an earlier house was destroyed by fire in 1734. Virtually rebuilt in 1870, it took its name from the Poulett (Paulet) family who lived there from 1760 until 1839. The house was demolished in 1933 and Thames Eyot flats built on the site. Across the road, Cross Deep Lodge was built in 1707, and replaced in 1962 with the Valley Mews flats. Next along the river was Riversdale, built in 1780 by George Shirley, greatly extended in 1818 and demolished in 1910; 5-17 Cross Deep occupy the site. Next door was Pope’s Villa, built by Alexander Pope, perhaps with the help of James Gibbs, when he came in 1719. The still surviving grotto had its origins beneath the villa, with a tunnel leading to his garden across the road. The villa was demolished in 1808, by Baroness Howe. Part of her replacement survives as Ryan House.

Lady Howe's replacement for Pope's Villa

Pope’s Villa enjoyed a life of little more than 80 years. In its place Baroness Howe built a complicated looking replacement upstream, some of which was torn down in 1840. The remaining part was divided into two and named River Deep and Ryan House. River Deep was damaged in the war and so demolished.

Radnor House

Radnor House, a little south of Pope’s Villa, was built in 1673 and, already much extended by John Robartes, the 4th Earl, was remodelled in the Italianate style in 1846-47. It was bought by Twickenham UDC in 1902 and completely destroyed by a bomb in September 1940. Radnor Gardens now occupies the site.

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