London’s River & Bridges Part 2 Hampton Court Bridge To Richmond Bridge

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London’s River & Bridges Part 2 Hampton Court Bridge To Richmond Bridge

The Thames enters London at Hampton Court and passes under the Hampton Court Bridge. Built in 1933 to the design of Sir Edwin Lutyens, this elegant bridge connects Hampton Court with East Molesley. To the north of the bridge is Hampton Green, where there is a splendid group of mainly 18th-century buildings. Amongst these is Old Court House, which was the home of Sir Christopher Wren for a while, and the Royal Mews, which comprise a 16th-century barn and an earlier building. On the other side of the Green is Hampton Court House, an imposing structure dati
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ng from the middle of the 18th century.

The first time visitor to Hampton Court will be amazed at the magnificence and sheer size the Palace. Built of red brick, it is nearly 700 ft long by 400 ft wide and contains over a thousand rooms. Cardinal Wolsey began the palace in 1514 during a phenomenal rise to power which had begun when he was made Chaplain to Henry VII. After Henry VIII had come to the throne Wolsey’s ascent became meteoric and he decided to build for himself a home that was to be the finest private dwelling in the Kingdom. By this time the Cardinal’s vast wealth was attracting suspicion and jealousy, and in 1529 he attempted to regain Henry’s favour by presenting the palace and its contents to the King as a gift. Henry, however, had made up his mind, and the following year Wolsey was imprisoned for high treason. Hampton Court became Henry’s favourite palace and he spent large sums of money improving and enlarging it. For the visitor there are a great many attractions including the world famous maze, a number of different gardens and the Palace itself which is a must for all visitors to London.

From Hampton Court the River flows south and passes a small but pretty village called Thames Ditton which has a number of picturesque old houses. The River then does a dog leg turn to the north and then passes a small river island called Ravens Ait, which is a centre for local functions. The River then passes Kingston upon Thames. Kingston has a history that goes back to the 9th century. It had the first ever bridge across the Thames, known as the clattern bridge and the visitor can still see part of the brickwork that was used. Kingston was the coronation place of Anglo Saxon Kings and has the stone on which they were crowned. Kingston is an important market town and a significant shopping centre and along with Croydon are the two largest shopping centres in London outside of Oxford Street.

Passing under Kingston Bridge, built between 1825 and 1928 and further widened in the late 1990’s, the River then flows northward on its way to Teddington passing through the Teddington Weir. This is the point at which the tidal part of the Thames meets the non-tidal part. The weir was built in 1811 and was fully mechanized in 1912. Duing the second world war the weir was bombed and before it could be repaired the tidal waters reached much further up the River. Just past the weir is Teddington Lock which is the largest lock on the Thames. Beyond the lock is Teddington itself which lays to the left of the River. Of note are the television studios which overlook the River and were once a hive of activity making and transmitting television programmes for Thames Television. Now it is used as a film studio. Next to the studios is the Lensbury Club once an exclusive club owned by Shell but is now a private sports club.

Beyond Teddington the River veers to the right and passes the river island called Eel Pie Island. This is one of the largest islands on the Thames and was famous in 1960’s and 70’s and a magnet for all lovers of jazz, having a hotel providing popular modern music. The River then flows onto Richmond, having passed by the English Heritage, Marble Hill House and the National Trust Ham House.

Sitting above Richmond itself is Richmond Hill. This has amazing views of the whole of the west of London and for aeroplane spotters an excellent viewing platform as this sits on a direct flight path into Heathrow airport, where the aeroplanes are very low as they prepare to land. Before arriving at Richmond the River passes under Richmond Bridge which was built in 1777. Richmond is a particularly pretty town, having a large number of at
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tractive buildings and charming riverside walks. Nearby is London’s largest Royal Park – Richmond Park with spectacular views of London.

Our journey along the river is contained in the following parts:

Part 1 Introduction
Part 2 Hampton Court Bridge to Richmond Bridge
Part 3 Richmond Bridge to Battersea Bridge
Part 4 Albert Bridge to Lambeth Bridge
Part 5 Westminster Bridge to Hungerford Bridge
Part 6 Waterloo Bridge to London Bridge
Part 7 London Bridge to Queen Elizabeth II Bridge

For more details on London’s River and all other London attractions goto

The Definitive Guide to London

By: adriancar

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

Adrian Carpenter is the publisher of
The Definitive Guide to London

Inactive Realtors in Ontario have the option to join an Ontario real estate Brokerage that help you keep your license active during your inactive times.  Save on real estate board fees and all your other needless office expenses too.  Park your license with a reputable and successful license holding Brokerage and still earn high commissions on all your sales, if any and your referrals.  Commissions are paid to you ASAP!

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