Mortlake Road, TW9

Place Name

The road that heads to Mortlake. Originally called Mortlake Lane it was the direct route between Mortlake and Kew running between market gardens and farmland. It only took its present name sometime around 1886 when the Mortlake Road in Richmond changed its name to Lower Mortlake Road. Development started in 1884 with the building of a small row of houses called Mortlake Terrace, over the next few years there was a flurry of housebuilding so that by 1889 there were residential properties leading to the railway. In the early years of the new century more followed, with 27 new homes leading to Westhall  Road, in a development called West Park Gardens until they were incorporated into Mortlake Road in 1915. Even then work continued apace with High Park Road reached in 1928 and Taylor Avenue in 1935. There are several theories behind the origin of the name Mortlake, although one thing all scholars agree is that it does not, as the name might imply, mean dead lake. John Field in Place-Names of Greater London suggests it could be a personal name as in Morta’s stream, alluding to an arm of the Beverley Brook which enters the River Thames here. It was first recorded by the Norman’s in the Domesday Survey of 1086 as Mortelage by 1227 it was Morteslake and in the 15thCentury as Mourslake. David Mills in A Dictionary of London Place Names says the name Mortlake comes from two Old English words mort and lace means a small stream in which young salmon are found.






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