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  • Petersham Road
    London TW10 6UX
    Ham

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    • Qype User Templa…
    • Stevenage, Hertfordshire
    • 380 friends
    • 498 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    17/8/2008

    From being a child this has been one of my favourite places on a summers day. Sleeping with friends, during the Richmond Festival, as a teenager..under the terrace ..we were awoken by police dogs and I hopped in my sleeping bag with a snapping one at my errm rear!

    On the west, rising above the river are the Terrace Gardens: these gardens were laid out in the 1880s and extended down to the River Thames some 40 years later; the broad gravel walk along the top is earlier and the view west towards Windsor has long been famous.

    Laid out in the 1700s, the Terrace Walk towards the end of the 20th Century was in need of upgrading. The famous View from Richmond Hill was protected by an Act of Parliament in 1902 and it was this Act which provided the catalyst for the development of the London's Arcadia project. Works carried out during Phase 1 include resurfacing and re-grading of the walk, restoration and repainting (though not repositioning) of the railings on the road side by contractors. The railings along the hedge side were restored over a six week period by prisoners on day release from Latchmere House Prison.

    Magnificent Lime trees have been planted to 'gap-up' the historic avenue of trees on the Terrace and at the top of Terrace Fields.
    Richmond Terrace Walk is listed as Grade II* in the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest
    The Terrace Gardens and adjacent Terrace field, overlooking the River Thames, were formerly brick works. During the 18th century various noble owners had fine houses erected, all now sadly demolished. Some features of the gardens' history remain, including the re-sited statue of the River God and an ice house set in the slope to the rear of the thatched summer house.
    The Terrace Gardens, Petersham Road, are famous for their seasonal bedding, shrubberies, rockery and rose garden, all set amongst fine trees and sloping lawns. Close to the main entrance in Petersham Road is a conservatory with tropical plants.

    To get an idea of why the landscape here is considered so special, you should pause at the top of Richmond Hill, above the pretty Terrace Gardens. Below you the Thames curls, serpent-like, amid trees casting long shadows in the silvery water. You can pick out the roof of Ham House through the greenery and, away on the horizon, Box Hill and the Surrey Hills.
    So celebrated is this view that they passed an act of parliament in 1904 to protect it from development - it's the only protected view in England. The legislation was the first-ever piece of environmental planning, and a plaque on the hill commemorates the passing of the act.

    JMW Turner painted it, and the poet Alexander Pope waxed lyrical about it, as did Sir Walter Scott, who described it in his great novel The Heart of Midlothian (1918). Petersham Meadows, periodically grazed on by herds of cattle, as they have been for centuries. That willow-fringed island to your right is Glovers Island, one of a series of picturesque islets that dot this stretch of the Thames.

    On the balustrade seating area (where we slept) on the top terrace is a formal pool with its modern statue of Aphrodite (affectionately known as Bulbous Betty).

    Take a look at the watchmans hut.
    Built in 1887, the Terrace Gardens Hut has survived for more than 115 years against all odds. The wooden hut represents a sophisticated and exceptionally rare architectural style  Anglo-Japanese. The style was briefly current during the years of the Aesthetic Movement of the 1870s and 1880s  the era of the Mikado and Walter Pater's 'Art for Art's Sake'.

    The modest Terrace Gardens Hut is one of the only surviving structures that can properly be described as 'Anglo-Japanese'
    Other features of the Terrace Gardens Hut, however, are decidedly not Japanese  not surprisingly, since it was the product of an eclectic era. The tiled roof is an interesting feature; the tiles are made of a lightweight metal, possibly zinc, and are likely to have been manufactured according to a long-forgotten patented system. The diagonal tongue-and-groove panels on the door are typical of 'reformed gothic' design of the 1860s and 1870s. Remains of the wrought-iron fixings for a notice  possibly enamelled  that announced the purpose of the hut, are still visible on the apex of the roof.

    Go stroll..take a picnic..eat in the cafe..have a pint close by but don't miss it.

    • Qype User peterb…
    • London
    • 27 friends
    • 73 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    17/11/2008

    The Terrace Gardens provide a spectacular view our over the West of London and the river Thames below. It is such a beautiful view that it can be enjoyed at any time of year. THere are also a couple of pubs near the top of the gardens at least one of which allows yo to take out drinks to the top of the gardens to enjoy the view.

    There is also good access to the shops and restaurants of Richmond. Definately worth making the effort to climb up here if you are in the area.

    • Qype User greenm…
    • Esher, Surrey
    • 173 friends
    • 270 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    6/5/2008

    Very good gardens, near the river, well worth fitting into a walk, or just sit awhile.

    • Qype User kathi6…
    • London
    • 2 friends
    • 40 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    19/4/2008

    Beautiful, well maintained gardens, ideal to enjoy the gorgeous views of the river Thames on a sunny summer's day. There's all sorts of colourful flowerbeds lining the paths that wind up the steep slopes of this garden leading from the river up to the top of Richmond Hill, famous for its views. The lawns are nicely mowed too, perfect for picnics.

    • Qype User jajaj…
    • London
    • 5 friends
    • 12 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    8/8/2008

    These are great gardens with pretty views, public and free. As others have said, good for picnics. Last time I went there was a great cafe there too, sitting in the middle of the garden. Not expensive and nice laid back atmosphere.

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