In 1625 Charles I brought his court to Richmond Palace to escape the plague in London and turned it into a park for red and fallow deer. His decision, in 1637, to enclose the land was not popular with the local residents, but he did allow pedestrians the right of way. It was originally known as Richmond New Parke. The name Richmond comes from Henry VII’s title as Earl of Richmond, relating to the town in Yorkshire. Richmond comes from Old French meaning strong hill, which might equally apply to this area. It was originally called Sheen, meaning shelters from Saxon times, when it was recorded as Sceon sometime around AD950. After Sheen Palace, built by Edward I was razed to the ground in 1501, Henry VII decided to rebuild and renamed it after his Yorkshire earldom. And with it West Sheen, Westshenes as written in 1256, all but disappeared. First written as Shene otherwise called Richemount in 1502 and within 20 years as Richmond al. Shene.
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