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Petersham, London facts for kids

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Petersham is located in Greater London
Population 10,317 (2011 Census. Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside Ward)
OS grid reference TQ179733
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town RICHMOND
Postcode district TW10
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
  • Richmond Park
London Assembly
  • South West
List of places
51°26′42″N 0°18′11″W / 51.445°N 0.303°W / 51.445; -0.303
Grave of George Vancouver, St Mary's parish church, Petersham
Grave of the explorer George Vancouver
Watchman's hut and lock-up - Petersham Road, Petersham, London
Watchman's hut and lock-up, erected in 1787 and now Grade II listed
Former church of All Saints, Petersham - - 794800
The former All Saints' Church, now a private house
Sudbrook House - Petersham
Sudbrook House, now the home of Richmond Golf Club
Montrose House - - 1175986
Montrose House was for many years the home of Tommy Steele
War Memorial, St Peter's Churchyard, Petersham - London (6799892956)
Petersham war memorial, in the churchyard of St Peter's

Petersham is a village in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames on the east of the bend in the River Thames south of Richmond, which it shares with neighbouring Ham. It provides the foreground of the scenic view from Richmond Hill across Petersham Meadows, with Ham House further along the river. Other nearby places include Twickenham, Isleworth, Teddington, Mortlake and Roehampton.


Grave of George Vancouver, St Mary's parish church, Petersham

Petersham appears in Domesday Book (1086) as Patricesham. It was held by Chertsey Abbey. Its assets were: 4 hides; 1 church, 5 ploughs, 1 fishery worth 1000 eels and 1000 lampreys, 3 acres (1.2 ha) of meadow. It rendered £6 10s 0d.

The village was the birthplace in 1682 of Archibald Campbell, later 3rd Duke of Argyll and Earl of Islay. He went on to found the Royal Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh in 1727, and his face is on the obverse of all of the Royal Bank's current banknotes.

The explorer George Vancouver retired to Petersham, where he wrote the A Voyage Of Discovery To The North Pacific Ocean, And Round The World whilst living in what is now called "Glen Cottage" in River Lane. He died in 1798 and is buried in the churchyard of Petersham Parish Church. His grave in Portland stone, renovated in the 1960s, is now Grade II listed in view of its historical associations.

In 1847 Queen Victoria granted Pembroke Lodge in the Petersham part of Richmond Park to John Russell, 1st Earl Russell and it became their family home. Lord Russell's grandson, Bertrand Russell, spent some of his childhood there also. During World War II the GHQ Liaison Regiment (also known as Phantom) established its regimental headquarters nearby at The Richmond Hill Hotel, with its base (including the officers' mess and billet) at Pembroke Lodge.

In the early 19th century, Charles Stanhope, 4th Earl of Harrington, styled Lord Petersham, gave the name to a type of greatcoat. In 1955 Petersham also gave its name to HMS Petersham which was a Ham class minesweeper.


Watchman's hut and lock-up - Petersham Road, Petersham, London
Watchman's hut and lock-up, erected in 1787
Montrose House - - 1175986
Montrose House
Former church of All Saints, Petersham - - 794800
The former All Saints' Church
Sudbrook House - Petersham
Sudbrook House

Notable buildings

Listed buildings include a watchman's box that also served as a village lock-up and dates from 1787.

Petersham Road (part of the A307) includes an extremely sharp right-angled bend edged by a pair of handsome wrought-iron gates. This is the entrance to Montrose House, one of the most notable houses in Petersham. After a spate of serious accidents on the bend in the road, the neighbours formed a group in the 1850s called Trustees of the Road. The Hon. Algernon Tollemache of Ham House was their leader and they managed to persuade the owner of Montrose House to part with some land to reduce the sharpness of the bend. But various dents in the brick wall today reveal that motorists are still taken unawares by it.

Adjacent to Montrose House and equally as impressive is Rutland Lodge, built in 1666 for a Lord Mayor of London.

Another interesting house in Petersham is Douglas House, just off the west drive to Ham House. One of its more notable inhabitants was Catherine, Duchess of Queensberry. In 1969 it was bought by the Federal Republic of Germany for use as a German school. New buildings have been erected in the grounds, but the original house and stables have been preserved.


Petersham is served by only two bus routes: the 65 and 371, both linking the village with Richmond and Kingston upon Thames.

Religious sites

St Peter's Church

Petersham Parish Church is believed to pre-date the Norman conquest of England as a church at Petersham is mentioned in Domesday Book.

All Saints' Church

All Saints' on Bute Avenue was built as a church but was never consecrated. It was built between 1899 and 1909 by Leeds architect John Kelly for Mrs Rachael Warde (née Walker) (1841–1906) as a memorial to her parents who had lived at Petersham House. It has been used as a recording studio and as a filming location. During World War II it was used as an Anti-Aircraft Command post. It is now a private residence.


Richmond Golf Club, a private golf club, is situated in the historic Sudbrook Park, adjacent to Richmond Park. The Grade I listed building Sudbrook House, in the park, has been its clubhouse since 1898.

Ham and Petersham Cricket Club, whose home matches are played in Ham, was established in 1815.

Ranelagh Harriers running club is based behind The Dysart restaurant.


  • Deutsche Schule, London (The German School London) is based at Douglas House.
  • The Russell Primary School on Petersham Road was previously called the Orchard Primary School.
  • The Russell School on Petersham Road was founded in 1851 by Lord John Russell who served twice as Britain's Prime Minister. It was originally located in Richmond Park, near Petersham Gate, irreparably damaged by a bomb in 1943 and demolished.
  • Sudbrook School is a nursery school housed in Petersham's village hall on Bute Avenue.

Notable people

Living people

  • Shirley Bloomer (born 1934), who won three Grand Slam tennis titles during her tennis-playing career, is the widow of Chris Brasher (see Historical figures below): they brought up their family in Petersham.
  • The entertainer Tommy Steele (b. 1936) bought Montrose House in 1969. He sold it in about 2004.
  • Lynne Truss (b. 1955), author, journalist, novelist, and radio broadcaster and dramatist, grew up in Petersham.
  • Peter Voser (b. 1958), the former CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, lived in Petersham. He has since moved back to his native Switzerland.

Historical figures

  • Daisy Ashford (1881–1972), who is most famous for writing The Young Visiters, was born at Elm Lodge, Petersham.
  • Chris Brasher (1928–2003), athlete, sports journalist and co-founder of the London Marathon, lived in River Lane, Petersham.
  • The author and illustrator Charles George Harper (1863–1943) lived in Petersham in later life, and died there in 1943.
  • Lodowick Carlell (1602–1675), courtier and playwright, and his wife Joan Carlile (c.1606–1679), portrait painter, lived at Petersham Lodge in Richmond Park. They are buried together in St Peter's churchyard but the location of their grave is not known.
  • Prince Rupert Loewenstein (1933–2014), aristocrat, merchant banker and longtime financial manager of The Rolling Stones, lived in Petersham Lodge in River Lane, a former grace-and-favour mansion, purchased for about £2 million in 1987. It is an early 18th-century house, built for Catherine Douglas, Duchess of Queensberry, and Grade II listed by Historic England.
  • Beverley Nichols (1898–1983), author, lived at Sudbrook Cottage in Sudbrook Park, Petersham with the actor and director Cyril Butcher (1909–1987).
  • The businessman Tony Rampton (1915–1993), who was chairman of the clothing retailer Freemans, lived at Gort Lodge, an early 18th-century Grade II listed house in Petersham, where he and his wife Joan, who were both philanthropists, brought up their family including their son Richard Rampton QC (born 1941), a libel lawyer. Tony and Joan Rampton are buried in St Peter's churchyard.
  • George Vancouver (1757–1798), Captain in the Royal Navy and one of Britain's greatest explorers and navigators, is thought to have lived in Glen Cottage on River Lane in Petersham; he is buried in St Peter's churchyard.
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