The Green, TW9

Place Name

Like many villages, life was centred around the green, an open space. In Richmond’s case this was more apt than most, since fronting the green was Richmond Palace. Courtiers eager to be close to the royal household or were useful to the monarch quickly built homes near to it, making it a hive of activity. But even before Henry VII named his new palace after his Earldom in Richmond, Yorkshire, following the fire in 1499 that destroyed the old Sheen Palace, the green had been long established going back to Anglo-Saxon times. John Cloake in The Growth of Richmond writes: “[The Green] was much larger than today. There were a few buildings beside the Palace and the Green, some freehold and lease closes… Throughout the 16th and early 17th centuries a creeping process of enclosure of the waste went on. Around the Greens, in both Richmond and Kew, along the roads, between the Petersham Road and the river, between the upper and lower causeways and between the upper causeway and the common fields, parcels of the waste were progressively granted to inhabitants and courtiers.” And so slowly The Green took its present shape and size.


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