One of Kew's four Grade II listed gates, Victoria Gate is the most
familiar to Kew's visitors since it is the one most used. Its history
is intriguing because although built in anticipation of greatly
increased numbers of visitors, its location today is not its original
site. It is not even its original name.
The London and South Western Railway reached Richmond; another
branch from Brentford to Willesden brought passengers to 'Kew Junction',
river steamers stopped at Kew for the Gardens; and by 1850, annual
attendance had reached the heady heights of more than 150,000 visitors.
In 1868, double gates with single side gates were erected in Kew
Road, opposite the Temperate House. Named the Queen's Gate, it was
to allow access to visitors arriving from the proposed new railway
station, but it was never opened, in spite of public demand.
However, in 1889 it was taken down and re-erected opposite Lichfield
Road, a move made necessary by the re-siting of the railway station.
The old Queen's Gate in its new location, is now the fine public
entrance called Victoria Gate.
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