Victorian Richmond

No-one looks up.

Richmond-upon-Thames is a wealthy town on the western edge of London, tumbling down the hill from the semi-wilderness of Richmond Great Park to the tranquil River Thames. It has a long history; indeed Richmond Palace was home to Henry VIII, but like most towns around London, the real growth came with the arrival of the railway in the 19th century.

Today Richmond thrives; Mick Jagger lives here, Jerry Hall lives next door, and David Attenborough lives just down the street. Mostly though it’s a town of London commuters living in large Victorian houses pressed close together and converted to flats. If you walk along the High Street there are too many buses and cars, and the shops are the same trendy but uninspiring set you can find in any wealthy English town. But high above your head, some wonderful quirky Victorian architecture smiles down at you.

Why does no-one ever look up?

Entrance to the old Post Office:

The Richmond Theatre is wonderfully ornate:

I’ve never understood this building? Did the Victorian terrace sit down on some older building? Or was the builder just confused about style?

The Railway Hotel has seen better days, but I still want the room in that tower.

Richmond Station is a strange mismash from different eras, but some of the platforms retain beautiful cast iron pillars.

If you get off the High Street though, the back alleys retain their charm:

Richmond Bridge predates the Victorian era by 50 years, but the herons and I rather like it anyway.

And the boatbuilders have a sense of humour: