Manor Grove, TW9

Place Name

An off-shoot of Manor Road, which was so-named after Manor House, which was never part of a manor. There had been a large property, on the junction of Sheen Road and Manor Road, since 1581. Originally called Pentecost House, otherwise Marsh House, it was bought in 1767 by James Sayer, the King’s agent, and his family lived here for nearly a century, departing in 1863. At some point during their ownership the name changed from Pentecost House to Manor House. James Green, Judith Filson, and Margaret Watson in The Streets of Richmond and Kew suggest: “It may have been used as an office for dealing with the King’s estate, and especially the King’s Farm on the east side of Manor Road, as it was called by 1878.” The house itself was knocked down in 1920 and the site redeveloped. This road was built at the time that the “Richmond Experiment” into social housing was being expanded. In 1890 the Housing of the Working Classes Act was passed giving local councils far more powers over the habitations of their residents. Among the first to grasp the opportunities this afforded was William Thompson, a councillor and future Mayor of Richmond. Using the legislation to full effect he took out loans to built self-financing social housing, the first council estate in London, consisting of 60 cottages and six blocks of flats off Manor Road, on land which had once been George III’s farm, in the area of Mortlake transferred to Richmond in 1892. These proved a great success and no sooner were the first properties occupied in 1896, then the building of a further 70 along the new Manor Grove was agreed.

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