Leyborne Park, TW9

Place Name

The Leybornes were a prominent local family who were lords of the manor of East Sheen and Westhall, but the story of this street name doesn’t begin with them. In fact from 1780, this and vast swathes of farmland and market gardens in the surrounding area of Mortlake and East Sheen belonged to the Taylor family. By 1837 after acquiring further property the last member of the direct line, Elizabeth Taylor a spinster, died at Brick Farm which she herself had bought to add to the already extensive pile. Another branch of her family, namely her uncle, Edward Taylor had married an Ann Leyborne, the heiress of Littlecote in Wiltshire, and taken his wife’s name. Their son William Leyborne married one Anne Popham and following the precedent set by his father, also adopted his wife’s name. (The Pophams were fabulously wealthy and had held high office, one ancestor had presided over the 1595 trial of the Jesuit priest and clandestine missionary Robert Southwell and passed sentence of death by hanging, drawing and quartering. He also presided over the trials of Sir Walter Raleigh (1603) and the conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot, including Guy Fawkes (1606). He was also involved in the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots (1587) which resulted in her execution. Many of her family served as MPs.) William and Anne had a son Edward William who took the name Leyborne Popham in 1804. When his parents died he inherited both his mother’s fortune and the family seat at Littlecote. Riches piled upon riches and in 1837, following a career in the Army in which he had risen (or bought, as was the system) his way to Major-General, he inherited his cousin, Elizabeth Taylor’s North Sheen properties, which by now were a sprawling 300 acres, as well as the titles of lord of the manor of East Sheen and Westhall it included houses West Hall, Brick Farm (now West Farm), Brick Farm Stables (now West Lodge), and West Park. By 1900, eight years after much of the land originally part of the parish of Mortlake had been transferred to the new borough of Richmond, the Major-General’s heir Francis William Leyborne Popham (1862 – 1902) decided to develop the market gardens, which were much less profitable than home-building for commuters now using the recently opened railway stations. James Green et al in The Streets of Richmond and Kew write: “One of the first new roads in the development was Leyborne Park which was named with the approval of the Council in 1902 after the owner’s name. Leyborne Lodge (formerly part of Brick Farm), on the corner of Atwoods Alley and Mortlake Road, already existed and since 1888 had been occupied by the Atwood family, one of whom turned from market gardening to become surveyor and agent til the Leyborne Popham and this played a large part in the major developments that followed.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *