Dunstable Road, TW9

Place Name

Agricultural heritage. Not a reference to the Bedfordshire market town but an ancient field name – although there was a Bedford Down in Petersham. This was part of Richmond’s Upper Field, which itself was called Dunstable – or more accurately Upper Dunstable Shot and Lower Dunstable Shot, which may give a clue as to its meaning, a shot being a parcel of land in a larger field. The word dün is of Anglo-Saxon origin translated as down or hill. While the second part, staple is less certain it could refer to the Middle English word staple, meaning market or a reference to a stone, meaning possibly stoney ground or a prominent stone our even a stone building. Whatever its origins Dunstable House was built in the late 18thCentury but was knocked down in 1909. Dunstbple Villas were referred to in the Richmond Rate Books of 1838 and a Lower Dunstaple House still stands on Sheen Road. This was part of the Selwyn family’s extensive landholdings around Richmond.


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