The Terrace at Richmond is justly famed. The situation may be compared to St. Cloud :- the Royal pleasaunce
conveniently near the capital : the foot of the green hillside washed by a stately river : the river itself
picturesquely spanned by a stone bridge.
The royal palace, of course, exists no more, the site being occupied by the houses of Crown leaseholders. Its glories
date from Henry VII., who rebuilt it and gave it his hereditary name of Richmond, after a fire had destroyed the
royal mansion of Shene, built by Henry IV. in place of that which the second Richard abandoned after the death of his
beloved queen Isabella. It never recovered from the sale to the king's creditors in 1649, when the materials were
valued at £10,000, and it was almost entirely demolished in 1662. Since then, the Lodges in the parks have taken its
The earliest park, dating at least from the thirteenth century, was afterwards united with a larger enclosure of
Henry VIII.'s ; and to the lodge here Wolsey retired for a time after surrendering Hampton Court to his rapacious
master. Sold like the palace under the Commonwealth, it. was then occupied later by various persons under Royal
grants until re-purchased by George II., whose favourite residence it became. Since then, however, the Crown has
almost entirely been represented in Richmond by the Rangers.
This, the Old Park, was ultimately united with Kew Gardens ; what we know as Richmond Park is the new park of
Charles I. After his execution, it fell to the Corporation of London ; but this prudent body restored it to
Charles II., with the excuse "that the City had only kept it as stewards for his Majesty."
The public rights of way which make the park so strong an attraction to the neighbourhood, were originally left by
Charles I. to make some amends for the arbitrary manner in which he enclosed his park. These rights were seriously
encroached upon by the Rangers, especially by the Princess Amelia, daughter of George II., but were finally
vindicated by the public-spirited action of a Richmond brewer named Lewis, who appealed to the law and compelled her
to restore the rights of way by placing stepladders over the park-walls.
Although the railway, making Richmond a simple suburb of London, has brought a vast influx of new residents, the
natural picturesqueness of hill and water, of climbing town crowned by the church spire, is hard to destroy. Indeed,
the last-century dwellers in Rosedale House, where, as the inscription runs, " Thomson sang the Seasons and
their change," Thomson himself, or Sir Joshua Reynolds, returning to their favourite Richmond, and; from the Terrace
some evening in late May, watching the sun set beyond bridge and river, would still find it delightful as of old.