Branstone Road, TW9

Place Name

This street was named after Branstone, Leicestershire, it was here that Reverend William Selwyn (1805 – 1875) took up his first post before becoming Canon of Ely and Professor of Divinity at St John’s College, Cambridge. As a member of the Selwyn family, who were prominent landowners, it was chosen by Captain Charles William Selwyn, who held the estate. The Selwyn family’s connections with the area stretch back to the early 18thCentury, when Major Charles Selwyn, a veteran of the Marlborough Wars moved to the area from Matson, near Gloucester. He was an MP and found himself within the inner circle of the Prince of Wales – later George II. As a result he took lodgings near the Old Deer Park and by 1720 had begun to buy up land, on which more than 50 new roads were later built – making up around a fifth of all of Richmond’s street names. The Reverend Selwyn was one of the chief proponents against the proposed railway, chairing a meeting of local landowners on January 6, 1837, in which it was agreed that the plans were an “uncalled for invasion of private property and an irreparable injury of many classes of inhabitants of Richmond”. They also argued that it was unnecessary since Richmond had “no local manufacture” and that the “attractions of Richmond, as a place of residence or of occasional resort, will be much diminished by the nuisances attendant upon a railway establishment.” The name first appeared in 1882.



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