Richmond Lodge & the early development of Richmond
The landscape around Richmond Palace changed dramatically during
this period. King James I (1603-25) combined most of the former
monastic land and other royal land with the former New Park of Shene.
This created a new hunting ground of 370 acres in the middle of
which Robert Stickles built a hunting lodge - Richmond Lodge.
Equally dramatic change came after the 1649 execution of Charles
I, when Parliament sold off Richmond Palace, the Lodge and the hunting
ground. The Palace was largely dismantled as building material -
common practice with previously royalist buildings during the Commonwealth.
Reclaiming and reuse of building materials was an accepted practice
at the time, but there was probably an ideological issue behind
these actions to diminish the importance of the material symbols
of the old status quo. In the same way the royal hunting ground
was split into a number of smaller, probably agricultural, lots.
However, social pendulums swing, and in the reign of William III
(1689-1702), the Old Deer Park was largely reassembled. Also, since
the Palace had been dismantled, Robert Stickles’s Richmond
Lodge, which had survived, was extensively restored, improved and
transformed into a royal residence.
To match its new status, the land surrounding Richmond Lodge became
a formal designed landscape. Early maps do not fully explain these
landscape changes, which are the earliest origins of Richmond Gardens.
What is known is that in the 1690s George London created the Broad
Avenue, which connected Richmond Lodge with the Thames. Other formal
avenues and landscape features are shown on early 18th century maps
but it is not known if they date from William III’s time.
Back to: 16th
& 17th Centuries: Royal Influences