London Borough of Richmond upon Thames

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London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Coat of arms
Lb richmond logo.svg
Council logo
Richmond in Greater London.svg
Richmond shown within Greater London
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region London
Ceremonial county Greater London
Historic county Middlesex, Surrey
Created1 April 1965
Admin HQ Twickenham
  Type London borough council
  Body Richmond upon Thames London Borough Council
  Leadership Liberal Democrat (Liberal Democrat)
  MayorGeoff Acton (from May 2020) [1]
  London Assembly Nicholas Rogers (Conservative) AM for South West
   MPs Munira Wilson (Liberal Democrat)
Sarah Olney (Liberal Democrat)
  Total22.17 sq mi (57.41 km2)
Area rank256th (of 309)
 (mid-2019 est.)
  Rank94th (of 309)
  Density8,900/sq mi (3,400/km2)
  Ethnicity [2]
71.4% White British
2.5% White Irish
0.1% White Gypsy or Irish Traveller
11.9% Other White
0.7% White & Black Caribbean
0.4% White & Black African
1.5% White & Asian
1% Other Mixed
2.8% Indian
0.6% Pakistani
0.5% Bangladeshi
0.9% Chinese
2.5% Other Asian
0.9% Black African
0.4% Black Caribbean
0.2% Other Black
0.6% Arab
1% Other
Time zone UTC (GMT)
  Summer (DST) UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code 00BD
GSS code E09000027
Police Metropolitan Police

The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames ( Loudspeaker.svg pronunciation  ) in southwest London forms part of Outer London and is the only London borough on both sides of the River Thames. It was created in 1965 when three smaller council areas amalgamated under the London Government Act 1963. It is governed by Richmond upon Thames London Borough Council and is divided into nineteen wards. [3] The population is 198,019 and the major settlements are Barnes, East Sheen, Mortlake, Richmond, Twickenham, Teddington and Hampton.


The borough is home to Richmond Park, the largest park in London, along with the National Physical Laboratory and The National Archives. The attractions of Kew Gardens, Hampton Court Palace, Twickenham Stadium and the WWT London Wetlands Centre are within its boundaries and draw domestic and international tourism.

Settlement, economy and demography

Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park, London - April 2011.jpg
Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park
Douglas House in Petersham, which houses the German School London Douglas House - - 1176148.jpg
Douglas House in Petersham, which houses the German School London

The borough is approximately half parkland – large areas of London's open space fall within its boundaries, including Richmond Park, Kew Gardens, Bushy Park and Old Deer Park. The predominant other land use is residential. Most businesses within the borough consist of retail, property improvement/development and professional services. Parts of the borough, including Barnes, Richmond, St Margarets, Cambridge Park and Marble Hill, some areas of Twickenham and much of East Sheen rival Stanmore Hill and Kenley as the highest house-price districts and neighbourhoods in Outer London.

In 2006, research commissioned by a major mortgage lender found that, on the quantitative statistical indices used, the borough had the best quality of life in London and was in the top quarter of local authorities nationwide. A neighbouring authority in Surrey achieved the best quality of life in that report. [4]

Demography is a diverse picture as in all of London: each district should be looked at separately and even those do not reflect all neighbourhoods. Whatever generalisations are used, "the fine-grained texture of London poverty" by its minutely localised geography must always be taken into account according to an influential poverty report of 2010. [5] Richmond upon Thames has the lowest child poverty rates in London at 20% [6] and contains at least one ward with an above-average level (for London) of working-age adults receiving out-of-work benefits but even this borough – reflecting the best result – has two standard poverty indices of sixteen in which it is placed in the worst quarter of boroughs. [5]

Richmond is one of London's wealthiest boroughs on many measures. It has the lowest rates of poverty, child poverty, low pay, child obesity and adults without level 3 qualifications of any London borough, according to a 2017 research project by Trust for London. [7]

London's German business and expatriate community is centred on this borough, which houses the German School London (DSL) and most of the capital's German expatriates. [8]

List of neighbourhoods

The local authority divides the borough into fourteen loosely bounded neighbourhoods, or "villages", with which residents broadly identify. [9] [10] Some of the neighbourhoods have the same name as their associated political ward, but the boundaries are not officially aligned. [10] There is also no direct alignment between these areas and postcode districts, which tend to cover much broader areas, crossing the borough boundaries. Although most addresses in the borough have TW postcodes, some have SW and KT postcodes. [11]

Neighbourhood or "Village"Associated Postal DistrictsAssociated Political WardsSub-areas
Barnes London SW13Barnes; Mortlake and Barnes Common Castelnau, Barnes Common, Barnes Bridge, Barnes Village
East Sheen London SW14, London SW15, Richmond TW10East Sheen Richmond Park
Ham and PetershamKingston KT2, Richmond TW10Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside Ham, Petersham
Hampton Hampton TW12, East Molesey KT8Hampton; Hampton North
Hampton Hill Teddington TW11, Hampton TW12Fulwell and Hampton Hill Fulwell
Hampton Wick Kingston KT1, Teddington TW11Hampton Wick
Kew Richmond TW9, Richmond TW10, London SW14Kew Kew Green, Kew Bridge
Mortlake London SW15, London SW14Mortlake and Barnes Common Chiswick Bridge
North Twickenham and East WhittonTwickenham TW1, Twickenham TW2, Hounslow TW3St Margarets and North Twickenham; Whitton Cole Park, Stadium Village
Richmond and Richmond HillRichmond TW9, Richmond TW10South Richmond; North Richmond
Strawberry Hill Twickenham TW1South Twickenham; Teddington
St Margarets and East TwickenhamTwickenham TW1, Twickenham TW2, Isleworth TW7St Margarets St Margarets
Teddington Teddington, TW11Teddington Fulwell
TwickenhamTwickenham TW1, Twickenham TW2Twickenham Riverside; South Twickenham; West TwickenhamTwickenham Green, Fulwell
Whitton and HeathfieldTwickenham TW2, Whitton, Hounslow TW3 & TW4, Isleworth TW7Whitton; Heathfield Whitton, Heathfield
A map showing the wards of Richmond upon Thames since 2002 Richmond upon Thames London UK labelled ward map 2002.svg
A map showing the wards of Richmond upon Thames since 2002
Aerial view of Richmond and East Twickenham from the north, August 2015 Cmglee London Richmond aerial.jpg
Aerial view of Richmond and East Twickenham from the north, August 2015

Attractions, parks and open spaces

Hampton Court Palace Hampton Court RJL.JPG
Hampton Court Palace
A view from Richmond Hill over the Terrace Gardens View from Richmond Hill Surrey 01.jpg
A view from Richmond Hill over the Terrace Gardens

Parks take up a great deal of the borough and include Richmond Park, Bushy Park, Kew Gardens, and Hampton Court Park. There are over 100 parks and open spaces in Richmond upon Thames and 21 miles (34 km) of river frontage. 140 hectares within the borough are designated as part of the Metropolitan Green Belt.

The borough is home to the National Physical Laboratory and the attractions of Hampton Court Palace, Twickenham Stadium and the WWT London Wetlands Centre that draw domestic and international tourism.

The river Thames becomes narrower than at any part of Inner London towards its flow into the borough and becomes non-tidal at Teddington Lock in the borough; its main axis runs south to north, rather than west to east through more than half of the borough. [12]


The borough was formed in 1965 by the merger of the Municipal Borough of Twickenham from Middlesex with the Municipal Borough of Richmond and the Municipal Borough of Barnes from Surrey; the new council's offices were at York House in Twickenham.

Population census
1801 14,560    
1811 16,748+15.0%
1821 19,908+18.9%
1831 22,752+14.3%
1841 25,224+10.9%
1851 28,769+14.1%
1861 40,194+39.7%
1871 51,619+28.4%
1881 63,045+22.1%
1891 79,854+26.7%
1901 103,720+29.9%
1911 134,729+29.9%
1921 152,968+13.5%
1931 173,683+13.5%
1941 187,420+7.9%
1951 202,246+7.9%
1961 187,923−7.1%
1971 174,640−7.1%
1981 157,298−9.9%
1991 164,235+4.4%
2001 172,327+4.9%
2011 186,990+8.5%
Note: [13]

Coat of arms

The borough's history is reflected in the coat of arms, which was officially granted on 7 May 1966. It is: Ermine a portcullis or within a bordure gules charged with eight fleurs-de-lis or. The crest is: On a wreath argent and gules out of a mural crown gules a swan rousant argent in beak a branch of climbing red roses leaved and entwined about the neck proper. The supporters are: On either side a griffin gules, armed and beaked azure, each supporting an oar proper, the blade of the dexter dark blue and that of the sinister light blue. The portcullis was taken from the arms of the Municipal Borough of Richmond; the swan crest, from the arms of the Municipal Borough of Twickenham; and the griffin supporters and shield from the arms of the Municipal Borough of Barnes. Red, gold and ermine are the royal livery colours, reflecting Richmond's royal history. The swan represents the River Thames, which flows through the borough. The oars are from the Oxford University Boat Club and the Cambridge University Boat Club, reflecting the fact that the Boat Race between the two universities ends at Mortlake in the borough. [14]



Since its formation, the council has most often been led either by the Conservatives or by the Liberal Democrats. Currently, the Lib Dems make up the majority in the council.

Year Conservative Lib Dem Labour Green Independent
20181139 4 
196441 12 1


The borough is split into two constituencies, according to the river. On the north bank, there is the constituency of Twickenham and on the south bank there is the constituency of Richmond Park, which also contains some of the northern wards of the borough of Kingston.

Constituency Member of Parliament Political Affiliation Elected
Richmond Park Sarah Olney Liberal Democrats 2019
Twickenham Munira Wilson Liberal Democrats 2019


Teddington railway station Teddington Station.jpg
Teddington railway station


London Heathrow Airport is located a short distance west, in the London Borough of Hillingdon.


The borough is served by many Transport for London bus routes.

Rail services

Richmond, also known as Richmond (London), is a National Rail station in Richmond, Greater London on the Waterloo to Reading and North London Lines. Richmond Station.jpg
Richmond, also known as Richmond (London), is a National Rail station in Richmond, Greater London on the Waterloo to Reading and North London Lines.

The borough is connected to central London and Reading by the National Rail services of the South Western Railway.

Richmond upon Thames isn't very well served by the London Underground compared with other boroughs in West London. Two stations, served by the District line, are located towards the borough's northeastern end: Richmond and Kew Gardens station. Both are also served by London Overground trains on the North London line, which connects Richmond with inner North London before terminating in Stratford. The southwestern end of the district, encompassing areas such as Twickenham are served instead by suburban railway services.

The other stations are: Barnes; Barnes Bridge; Fulwell; Hampton; Hampton Wick; Mortlake; North Sheen; St Margarets; Strawberry Hill; Teddington; Twickenham and Whitton.


Richmond upon Thames is the local education authority for the borough.

Richmond upon Thames College opened in 1977 and was the first tertiary college in Greater London. The borough adopted a tertiary post-16 provision with virtually all 16-19 studies taking place at this college. This system lasted until 2012 when the council approved the creation of sixth forms in schools. Additionally the council approved the creation of a Catholic secondary school for the first time in the borough. [15]

Sport and leisure

Harlequins during the 2005-2006 season Harlequins celebrating.JPG
Harlequins during the 2005–2006 season
View from a helicopter of Ham House, the River Thames and Ham Polo Club Ham Polo Club from the air.png
View from a helicopter of Ham House, the River Thames and Ham Polo Club

The borough has a non-League football club, Hampton & Richmond Borough F.C., who play at Beveree Stadium in Hampton. The Twickenham Stadium hosts rugby internationals and the Twickenham Stoop is home to the Harlequins Rugby Team.

Richmond Rugby Club are also active and share their grounds with London Scottish F.C. The Richmond Minis is a large youth rugby organisation whilst the Richmond Heavies organise games for more veteran players.

Cricket is played in many locations around the borough including Ham Common, Richmond Green and Kew Green.

The River Thames flows through the borough and a number of sailing and rowing clubs are located along it. Richmond Canoe Club is situation a short distance up river from Richmond Bridge

The borough has a large amount of equestrian activity; this includes the Horse Rangers Association and Ham Polo Club.

Richmond's swimming pools, Pools on the Park, are located in Old Deer Park close to the town centre. The outdoor pool is open in the summer months only. There is also a heated outdoor pool in Hampton.

Arts and culture

The Twickenham Museum is a volunteer-run museum opposite St Mary's parish church.

The Old Town Hall, which now houses Richmond Reference Library, The Museum of Richmond and the Riverside Gallery Old Town Hall, Richmond, London.jpg
The Old Town Hall, which now houses Richmond Reference Library, The Museum of Richmond and the Riverside Gallery

The Museum of Richmond, in Richmond's Old Town Hall, close to Richmond Bridge, has displays relating to the history of Richmond, Ham, Petersham and Kew. Its rotating exhibitions, [16] education activities and a programme of events cover the whole of the modern borough. The museum's highlights include 16th-century glass from Richmond Palace and a painting, The Terrace and View from Richmond Hill, Surrey by Dutch draughtsman and painter Leonard Knyff (1650–1722), which is part of the Richmond upon Thames Borough Art Collection. [17]

Orleans House Gallery in Twickenham displays material from the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames' art collection. [18] This includes a portrait of James Johnston by Thomas Gibson, paintings of Orleans House by Arthur Vickers and several other artists, and the Burton Collection, which includes artwork, personal effects and photographs of the explorer Richard Francis Burton. The gallery is also the site of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames' arts service and provides educational workshops [19] for a wide variety of ages, using the converted stables and coach house as educational spaces.

Garrick's Temple to Shakespeare in Hampton hosts a free Sunday afternoon Shakespeare exhibition from April to October and a series of summer drama, music and exhibitions. [20]

Richmond Lending Library and Richmond Theatre Richmond Theatre 7392-5HR.jpg
Richmond Lending Library and Richmond Theatre

Richmond has two theatres. The Richmond Theatre at the side of Little Green is a Victorian structure designed by Frank Matcham and restored and extended by Carl Toms in 1990. The theatre has a weekly schedule of plays and musicals, usually given by professional touring companies, and pre-West End shows can sometimes be seen. There is a Christmas and New Year pantomime tradition and many of Britain's greatest music hall and pantomime performers have appeared here.

Close to Richmond railway station is the Orange Tree Theatre which was founded in 1971 in a room above the Orange Tree pub. As audience numbers increased there was pressure to find a more accommodating space and, in 1991, the company moved to current premises within a converted primary school. The 172-seat theatre was built specifically as a theatre in the round. It has acquired a national reputation for the quality of its work for staging new plays, and for discovering undeservedly forgotten old plays and neglected classics. [21]

Performance group Richmond Opera rehearse regularly at The Vineyard Centre. [22]

The Cabbage Patch pub on London Road near Twickenham railway station has, since 1983, been a regular venue for live music on Sunday nights, organised by TwickFolk. [23] [24]

In 2015, Barnes, London became home to London's largest dedicated children's book event, the Barnes Children's Literature Festival, which is now the second largest in Europe. [25]

Twin towns and sister cities

Richmond upon Thames is twinned with:

See also

Related Research Articles

Kingston upon Thames Human settlement in England

Kingston upon Thames is a town in Greater London, England, and within the historic county of Surrey. It is situated on the River Thames, about 33 feet (10 m) above sea level and 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Charing Cross. It is notable as the ancient market town in which Saxon kings were crowned and today is the administrative centre of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.

Barnes, London District in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, England

Barnes is a district in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It takes up the extreme north-east of the borough, and as such is the closest part of the borough to central London. It is centred 5.8 miles (9.3 km) west south-west of Charing Cross in a bend of the River Thames.

Mortlake Human settlement in England

Mortlake is a suburban district of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames on the south bank of the River Thames between Kew and Barnes. Historically it was part of Surrey and until 1965 was in the Municipal Borough of Barnes. For many centuries it had village status and extended far to the south, to include East Sheen and part of what is now Richmond Park. Its Stuart and Georgian history was economically one of malting, brewing, farming, watermen and the Mortlake Tapestry Works (1617–1704), Britain's most important producer. A London landmark, the former Mortlake Brewery or Stag Brewery, is on the edge of Mortlake.

Twickenham Town in Greater London, England

Twickenham in southwest London, England, is on the River Thames 9.9 miles (15.9 km) southwest of Charing Cross, 2 miles (3.2 km) southeast of Hounslow, and 2.6 miles (4.2 km) northwest of Kingston upon Thames.

Richmond, London Town in Greater London, England

Richmond is a town in south-west London, 8.2 miles (13.2 km) west-southwest of Charing Cross. It is on a meander of the River Thames, with many parks and open spaces, including Richmond Park, and many protected conservation areas, which include much of Richmond Hill. A specific Act of Parliament protects the scenic view of the River Thames from Richmond.

East Sheen Suburb of London in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames

East Sheen, also known as Sheen, is a suburb in south-west london in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

Whitton, London Human settlement in England

Whitton is a residential area in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in south-west London, England. The majority of Whitton is covered by the two electoral wards of Heathfield and Whitton. Historically, the boundaries of Whitton were the north-western part of Twickenham manor, bounded internally by the sections of the River Crane and the Duke of Northumberland's River.

Barnes railway station National Rail station in London, England

Barnes railway station is a Grade II listed station in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, in southwest London, and is in Travelcard Zone 3. It is 7 miles 7 chains (11.4 km) down the line from London Waterloo. The station and all trains serving it are operated by South Western Railway.

Municipal Borough of Twickenham

Twickenham was a local government district in Middlesex, England from 1868 to 1965.

Municipal Borough of Richmond (Surrey)

The Municipal Borough of Richmond or Richmond Municipal Borough was a municipal borough in Surrey, England from 1890 to 1965.

Hampton Hill Human settlement in England

Hampton Hill is a district in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames to the south of Twickenham, bounded by Fulwell and Twickenham Golf Course to the northwest; the road bridge over the railway line; a line southward just east of Wellington Road; Bushy Park to the southeast; and the artificial Longford River to the south and west. It is served by Fulwell railway station and Hampton railway station on the Shepperton to Waterloo line. It is part of what is collectively known as The Hamptons.

Richmond upon Thames London Borough Council elections

Richmond upon Thames London Borough Council elections are held every four years for all 54 councillor seats in the 18 wards that make up the Borough Council. By-elections are held in individual wards when vacancies arise outside the four-year cycle.

Teddington Area of South West London, England

Teddington is a suburb in south-west London in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. In 2021, Teddington was named as the best place to live in London by The Sunday Times. Teddington is situated on a long meander of the Thames between Hampton Wick and Strawberry Hill, Twickenham. Mostly residential, it stretches from the river to Bushy Park with a long high street of shops, restaurants and pubs. There is a suspension bridge over the lowest non-tidal lock on the Thames, Teddington Lock. At Teddington's centre is a mid-rise urban development, containing offices and apartments.

Richmond upon Thames London Borough Council

Richmond upon Thames London Borough Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in Greater London, England. It is a London borough council, one of 32 in London, the United Kingdom capital. Richmond upon Thames is divided into 18 wards and elections for all Council seats in the borough are held every four years. The most recent election was in 2018 when the Liberal Democrats, led by Cllr Gareth Roberts, won control of the council.


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  5. 1 2 London's Poverty Profile Trust for London and New Policy Institute, 2010
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  12. Grid square map Ordnance survey website
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  14. "Richmond upon Thames". Heraldry of the World. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
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  18. "Orleans House Gallery". Art UK . Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  19. "Art and Literacy at Orleans House Gallery". News. Orleans Park School. 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  20. Garrick's Temple to Shakespeare
  21. "History". Orange Tree Theatre . Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  22. "Rehearsals". Richmond Opera . Retrieved 7 June 2020.
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Coordinates: 51°25′N0°20′W / 51.417°N 0.333°W / 51.417; -0.333