Maze Road, TW9

Place Name

With so former royal palaces and large estates all with wide sweeping gardens close by, it would be easy to imagine that among the entertainments to be found would include a maze, as with Hampton Court, but it does not appear to be the case. This was previously on land that belonged to the Priory Estate which was sold in 1875, but the sale plan make no mention of a maze and neither do early maps suggest that such a thing stood here or in the immediate vicinity. The first mention comes from Maze Villas in 1886 after the land had been sold again, this time for residential development aimed at well-heeled commuters. David Blomfield in Kew Past writes: “These new houses were built specifically with commuters in mind. These had come to Kew to escape from the smoke of London and to enjoy the convenience of a railway on the doorstep. Garden space was a feature, but there was little demand for horses and carriages, while the motor car had yet to be developed.” An advert in The Times on April 25 , 1896, gives some idea of their appeal: “CHARMING LITTLE detached RESIDENCE, at Kew, with four good-sized bedrooms and dressing rooms, bath room, double drawing room, dining room, and full domestic accommodation. In complete order and newly decorated. Nicely sheltered garden all round, Priced £525 for 80 years’ LEASE: direct from freeholder, at £10 ground-rent. Call and view. Maze-lodge, Forest-road, a few minutes from the Gardens and green, and near Kew-gardens and Kew-bridge Stations.” So why the name? The layout of the street suggest anything maze-like. It may simply have been that the developers hoped to create a history that did not exist.

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