01 July, 2010

Richmond and Twickenham - Strawberry Hill for ever

A stroll on a summer evening from Richmond to Strawberry Hill, after picking up some bargain antiquarian books that will help this blog when I comment on the history of London Suburbs.

Richmond is leafy and affluent - millionaires live here and they always have - with the Royal Star and Garter Home for Ex servicemen and the newly politicised-poppy factory. The British Legion have asked Nick Griffin not to wear one, so the Legion have politicised the poppy now. I walked from the centre of town along what the council call the Arcadian Thames towards the lovely Marble Hill House but was shocked to find a notice - from English Heritage of all people stating that it was the home of George II's mistress! How lacking in dignity.

There is a grotto and an ice house in the grounds

But the house itseld is the gem, although when the LCC acquired the land in 1902 for a park they did not think so - it was rather an embarrasment and it took the impetus of the second world war to at least begin the thought process that leads to restoration. The money they spent appears to be well used although the opening hours for the house are diabolical now English Heritage have their greedy paws on it.

The south front

the north front.
After Marble Hill I went on through Twickenham - Which I've already blogged about, and I decided to walk to Strawberry Hill, passing a school with this plaque on the wall commemorating the villainous MP Henry LaBouchere.

LaBouchere introduced the crimme of gross indecency - a blackmailers charter and the crime for which Oscar Wilde was prosecuted. That that nobody should be commemorated by a plaque!

I walked on to Strawberry Hill Horace Walpole's Gothick (not Go thick please) mansion. Alas it was surrounded by scaffolding and builders impedimenta.

So no good photograph of the mansion in its glory

just one of the wall.

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