The Square, TW9

Place Name

Until around the mid-19thCentury Richmond still had a village layout with a pond and beside it the town pound to pen in livestock. By 1830 the area, once known as World’s End because it was at the furthest end of the town, was described in the rate books simply as “fronting the Pump and Pond” having earlier featured on the manor map of 1771 as “near the pond”. But times were changing, and the open fields close-by previously considered of little value and used as waste or grazing were now eyed as prime development opportunities, so grants were issued for speculators. By 1843 the pond was drained and the Mechanics Institute, offering the town’s first attempts at adult education, was built to create a square – which was anything but in shape. By 1855 these had become the public baths, by the following decade an upper floor was added to create the Assembly Rooms, a Baptist Chapel, and furniture store followed. Sometime around 1908 this versatile building was given a dome and called the Dome Building.


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