History and Architecture


Richmond Park is the largest Royal Park in London covering an area of 2,500 acres. From its heights there is an uninterrupted view of St Paul's Cathedral, 12 miles away.

Richmond Park has changed little over the centuries and although it is surrounded by human habitation, the varied landscape of hills, woodland gardens and grasslands set among ancient trees abound in wild life.

The royal connections to this park probably go back further than any of the others, beginning with Edward (1272-1307), when the area was known as the Manor of Sheen. The name was changed to Richmond during Henry VII's reign. 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. To this day the walls remain, although they have been partially rebuilt and reinforced.

In 1847 Pembroke Lodge became the home of the then Prime Minister, Lord John Russell and was later the childhood home of his grandson, Bertrand Russell. It is now a popular restaurant with glorious views across the Thames Valley.

The Isabella Plantation is a stunning woodland garden which was created after World War II from an existing woodland, and is organically run, resulting in a rich flora and fauna.

Richmond Park has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a National Nature Reserve.