The Twickenham Museum
Exhibitions : Villages on the River

Major Houses on Twickenham Riverside
...Marble Hill, built in 1724-28 for Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk and mistress of George II.

Marble Hill in 1749

Twickenham Park was the earliest recorded major property, built in 1374 and rebuilt in 1608-09 by . It was the largest house in Twickenham with 37 hearths in the 1664 hearth tax return.
Upstream was Cambridge House, built in about 1610 by Sir Humphrey Lynde. Its later name commemorates, friend of Dr Johnson and acquaintance of It was demolished in the 1930s and gave its name to the Cambridge Park area.
Nearby is built in 1724-28 for Countess of Suffolk and mistress of George II. Under threat of demolition in 1903 the house and park were bought by a consortium of local authorities and private donors, and opened to the public.

York House 1809

Beyond Marble Hill is the terrace of Montpelier Row, built in the 1720s and later home to and Next was , demolished in 1926, which once included all the land now occupied by Orleans Park School. The house, replacing an earlier one, was built by James Johnston in 1710. The Octagon, added in 1718 survives. , later the French king, lived here from 1815-17.
Near stands Its central portion dates from 1635 and it is probably the oldest surviving building in the area. Owners have included the first Earl of Clarendon , Prince Starhemberg and, in 1864 the Comte de Paris. The last private owner was Sir Ratan Tata , a Parsee merchant prince from Bombay. After the death of his widow the house was purchased by the Twickenham Borough Council and the first Council meeting was held there in 1926

Radnor House, detail from 'A Prospect of Twickenham' by Peter Tillemans, c1725 (by courtesy of Orleans House Gallery)

Richmond House stood upstream from . It was a large house with extensive grounds. Built in 1816 it replaced an earlier house of the 17th century. It was demolished in the late 1920s and replaced by the municipal swimming baths. Nearby stood, Poulett Lodge, rebuilt after a fire in 1734 and later named after the third Earl Poulett. Thames Eyot flats now occupy the site.

Most of the riverside houses along Cross Deep have disappeared, although the house known as has survived. It was built in the 1690s with later extensions by James Gibbs. In the 1780s it was briefly occupied by, George Shirley, one of the large family of the first Earl Ferrers.

Strawberry Hill

Demolition also overtook the house built and occupied by Alexander Pope from 1719 until his death there in 1744. A later owner, Baroness Howe , demolished it in 1808. To obtain access to the substantial garden on the other side of the road Pope constructed a tunnel between the two. He transformed this into part of his famous, still surviving grotto.
Just above Pope's Villa was, Radnor House, built in 1673. From 1722 it was the home of John Robartes who became the fourth Earl of Radnor in 1741. Like Pope, he also had extensive gardens across the road, as well as on the riverside, with an underground passage connecting the two parts. The house was remodelled in 1846-7 in the Italianate style. In 1902 the property was bought by Twickenham UDC. In 1940 a bomb completely demolished the house and the grounds are now part of Radnor Gardens. The last major house that could be regarded as a riverside dwelling is Strawberry Hill. Horace Walpole bought the house in 1747. He extended and transformed the building and built a collection of a great variety of curios with historical associations. The house was extended by Lady Frances Waldegrave, and is today part of St Mary's College.

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