Monuments in Richmond Park


Name of monument   Ian Dury bench
Description   Wooden bench with solar panels built into the arm rests. Visitors can plug headphones into a socket and hear several of Drury's songs and an interview.
Location   Poet's Corner in Pembroke Lodge Gardens.
History\background   Remembers the rock star, Ian Dury, best known for Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick and What A Waste, who died in 2000.
Designer   Mil Strichevic.
Dates   2002
Maintenance\care   Ian Dury's family.
Interesting facts   The back of the bench is inscribed with the words: Reasons to be cheerful, the title of one of Dury's other famous songs. Ian Dury used to take his children to Richmond Park.

Name of monument   King Henry's Mound
Description   Steep mound.
Location   Pembroke Lodge Gardens between Pembroke Lodge and Richmond Gate.
History\background   Probably a prehistoric burial chamber later used as a viewpoint for hunting and falconry. Now the viewpoint for a protected vista of St Paul's Cathedral.
Designer   Burial chamber. Possibly Bronze Age.
Dates    
Maintenance\care   The Royal Parks.
Interesting facts   It was traditionally thought to be the spot where King Henry VIII stood on 19 May 1536 to watch a rocket fired from the Tower of London. This was the signal that his wife Anne Boleyn had been executed for treason and he would be able to marry Lady Jane Seymour. The story is unlikely to be true because Henry spent that evening in Wiltshire.

Name of monument   Park walls
Description   6.3 miles of brick wall.
Location   Around the perimeter of Richmond Park.
History\background   Sections date from 17th century when King Charles I enclosed Richmond Park.
Designer    
Dates   The original wall was built in 1637 but parts have been repaired and replaced.
Maintenance\care   The Royal Parks.
Interesting facts   The original bricks were fired on site in the park. King Charles I was forced to cut gates and install ladders across the walls to allow local people to cross the park.

Name of monument   Poet's seat
Description   Curved metal bench.
Location   Outside north end of Pembroke Lodge Gardens.
History\background   Installed at view point overlooking Petersham Park in the area known as Poet's Corner.
Designer   Jane Fowles, Land Use Consultants.
Dates   1994
Maintenance\care   The Royal Parks.
Interesting facts   Inscribed with lines by James Thomson, an 18th century Scottish poet best known for writing the words to Rule Britannia!, who spent the end of his life in Richmond.

Name of monument   Thomson Memorial
Description   Black wooden board remembering the 18th century poet, James Thomson (see above).
Location   North eastern end of Pembroke Lodge Gardens.
History\background   Board installed in memory of Thomson who died at Richmond in 1748. Thomson's best-known poem is The Seasons. The board is has a poem about Thomson by the writer and historian John Heneage Jesse.
Designer    
Dates   Original board installed 1851.
Maintenance\care   The Royal Parks.
Interesting facts   The original memorial was two boards attached to trees near Pembroke Lodge stables. A version of the present board was erected in 1895 by the Selbourne Society. Lines from Thomson's famous poem, The Seasons, are inscribed on King Henry's Mound.