Queen’s Road, TW9

Place Name

First mentioned in land grants of the 1670s, although actually thought to be much older, possibly as an ancient track predating the formation of Richmond Park. By 1786 it was described as a carriageway. Further the improvements followed sometime between 1822 and 1858, paid for by Joseph Ellis, the then-owner of the Star and Garter Hotel. By 1841 it was described in the Census as the “Road from Star and Garter leading to Marshgate” (today’s Sheen Road). Within a few years the Vestry was looking to develop land that had been granted to the parish by George III in 1786,  as a means to capitalise on demand for properties in the area following the arrival of the railway. Having sought and been granted permission from the Chancery in 1845, new houses started going up by the end of the decade. More land was sold off as freeholds. However, many of these Victorian villas were lost in the 1980s when the Richmond Parish Lands Charity redeveloped the area. Like many roads from the period it is named after Queen Victoria (May 24, 1819 – January 22, 1901). Her Majesty Victoria, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India, to give her her full title, was, at the time of her death, the longest serving monarch in British history, a title only surpassed by Elizabeth II. Despite her father Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn being King George III’s fourth son, she ascended to the throne aged 18 after his three elder brothers died, which included her uncle William IV, without any surviving legitimate children. She married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840. Their children married into royal and noble families across the continent, earning her the sobriquet “the grandmother of Europe”. When Albert died in 1861 she plunged the nation into a period of national mourning and was the embodiment of a strict moral code. Her reign saw a period of vast expansion of the British Empire that spanned across the globe and a period of almost unrivalled innovation at home. In London the city grew at an ever more rapid pace with developers supplying residential properties, many named after the royals – this despite the fact that Victoria’s withdrawal from public life, following the death of her husband, led to a rise in republicanism. Gillian Bebbington in London Street Names writes: “Queen Victoria… has been a productive source of street names. The A to Z Atlas of London lists 31 current Victoria Roads, 7 Victoria Avenues, and dozens of further variations on the name; and these are but a few compared to the number there were before the London County Council drastically reduced duplicated names in the 1930s.”



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