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Chair’s Welcome

I am delighted as Chair of the Friends to welcome you to our website. Bushy Park and Home Park are two wonderful large green oases in the south west corner of London. Feeling wild, they are natural places with ancient histories, fascinating heritage and superb wildlife. Both are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) containing rare species. These are places to be enjoyed and conserved. Which is why the Friends exist, campaigning, supporting and protecting the parks, and enhancing visitors’ enjoyment with information, advice and guidance.

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History of Teddington and Environs

by Paddy Ching, 22 May 2008

Paddy Ching, a local historian, gave a most interesting and informative talk illustrated with maps and photographs. She began the story in Saxon times when Teddington was one of many villages which had grown up along the banks of the Thames. Teddington was different due to the main road running away from the river. This may have been due to flooding along the banks of the Thames. The derivation of the name is not ‘tide end’ which was invented by Rudyard Kipling. In Saxon times we do not know where the tide ended! Other names recorded were Tuddington and Todynton. There were many weirs and a fish trap dating back to the 1300s as Teddington was in the shallows. The weir at Teddington was destroyed in the 16th. Century and the first lock built in 1811. In the 13th and 14th century, Teddington, as part of the larger manor of Staines, sent food and money from the sale of produce to Westminster Abbey. The population was halved during the Black Death in 1348, bishops and monks at the Abbey died so food was no longer required.

The village expanded at the beginning of the 18th. Century, but Teddington was less popular than Twickenham and Hampton. Houses had spread along the High Street to the village pond at the corner of Park Road. Later wealthy business men and trades- people retired to Teddington. The only surviving 18th. Century house of importance is Elmfield House. Much changed with the building of the railway line in 1863 which cut the village in two. Houses nearer to the river were knocked down, villas built in Cambridge Road and Church Road opened. Only in 1908 were shops built in Broad Street and Teddington developed into a town. The Memorial Hospital was built in 1929 as a memorial to the first world war.

Nearly the whole of Bushy Park used to be in Hampton, but it is unlikely that it was used for serious hunting. Hare and deer coursing with dogs were more likely. A stream rose by Upper Lodge running NW and formed the boundary between Teddington and Twickenham. Chestnut Avenue was constructed for William III and a wall constructed round the park to keep it in private use. The park was appropriated by Cardinal Wolsey and then Henry VIII. It was not made available for public use until 1840.

Notable residents have included Sir Orlando Bridgeman, Sir Charles Duncombe, John Walter and R.D.Blackmore who all built houses in the village. The Reverend Stephen Hales was appointed minister at St. Mary with St. Alban’s church in 1709 where he remained for the next 50 years. Thomas Sackville, Earl of Dorset is said to have lived at the Manor and William IV lived nearby at Bushy House. Peg Woffington, the actress, retired to Teddington in 1757 and her cottage can still be seen.

Jane Cliff – June 2008

Why we need more Friends

With more members our voice is stronger when we campaign to protect the Parks, and with more subscription income we can do more to provide information and education about the Parks, their wildlife and their history.

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Walks & Talks

Forthcoming event

Thursday, 21st Sep 6:22 pm

Nature trail in the Woodland Gardens

Latest report

A perimeter walk of Home Park led by Nicholas Garbutt was enjoyed by over 45 people on 2nd September.Walk in Home Park- 2nd September

Full report...

Information Point

The Information Point next to the Pheasantry Welcome Centre café is where our volunteers help visitors to find out more about the parks and where visitors can purchase souvenirs of your visit to support our work.

Click this panel to visit our Information Point section and also to find out how you can get involved as a volunteer.