Benn’s Walk, TW9

Place Name

Named after a series of women who went under the title Madame Benn, who from at least 1850 until 1927 ran a washing business at what is now Kew Foot Road, called St John’s Laundry, after the new parish church. This is not to be confused with the Royal Laundry that served Richmond Palace, but used by the French nobility, the households of the Duc d’Orleans and the Duc de Chartres, who had moved to Richmond en masse following the French Revolution. By 1870 a small row of cottages called Benn’s Cottages were built nearby but a few years after the laundry business closed up in 1927, the cottages were left empty and were knocked down sometime around 1940. In 1984 the name was revived when six new properties, paid for by the¬†Michel’s Almshouse Charity, were built behind Kew Road and Michel’s Row, forming this street.

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