This was laid out to provide access to the east side of Kew Gardens Station, which was opened in 1877 for the new developments in Lower Richmond Road, Manor Road and Lower Mortlake Road. Perhaps more crucially, for the Leyborne Popham family who owned the market gardens that were previously here, it opened up their North Sheen estate for further development. James Green, Judith Filson, and Margaret Watson in The Streets of Richmond and Kew write: “There is no evidence to suggest that the name originates from a person such as Marianne North, whose gallery of paintings had been opened in Kew Gardens in 1882.” This is no surprise since the Leyborne Popham’s named most of the streets on their property after themselves or places connected to them. Most likely it was directional or a nod to the North Sheen Ward over which it was laid out.
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