Riverside south of the river and west of the Tower. Kew Gardens west
This post relates to sites south of the river only. North of the river is Syon Park
Post to the north Brentford
Post to the west Isleworth
Isleworth Church Ferry crossed just past the south edge of this square. It ran from Isleworth Church to a point on the riverside in the Old Deer Park near Kew Observatory. There is however in Kew Gardens the ‘Isleworth Ferry gate’ and it may be that the ferry, which ran until 1939, actually went there after the Gardens opened. Kew Gardens archive apparently contains letters and petition from the 1850s asking for the ferry to be used to access the gardens from Isleworth and this was apparently undertaken in the 10th for 1d a trip.
Queen’s Cottage. Built in 1772 and said to have been designed by Queen Charlotte - but probably designed by her daughter Elizabeth. It is a small building with a second storey added after it was first built. The cottage has only two rooms and two small kitchen, but four entrances. Disused by royalty the public could look at the outside from 1845. This part of the grounds was in the Richmond Lodge area and was given to the gardens with 37 acres of woodlands by Queen Victoria for her Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and she asked for the area to remain wild – and it is now set up as a conservation area. The cottage’s thatched roof requires regular replacement and in 1950, Norfolk reed was used. The Cottage is not maintained by Kew but by Historic Royal Palaces.
New Menagerie. Queen Charlotte’s Cottage was originally within an area of pheasant pens, at the end of what was called the New Menagerie. It was used to keep creatures from the British Empire, including black swans, buffaloes and kangaroos. George III also had a quagga - an animal now extinct.
Bluebell woods. Queens Cottage grounds has a 300 years old bluebell wood.
Boathouse Walk. This runs east-west across the southern part of the gardens and accesses the Isleworth Gate.
Isleworth Ferry Gate. This is an early to mid 19th cast-iron drawbridge with fluted columns. It is Situated at end of Boat-house Walk and possibly used for boats bringing passengers from Syon House opposite or from the Church Ferry landing in Isleworth
Log trail. Play area for the over 7s.
Mount Pleasant. A mound planted with lavender, gorse and rosemary,.
Badger sett. Where children can go into a pretend sett.
Minka House. This was given to Kew in 2001 by the Japan Minka Reuse and Recycle Association. It came from Okazaki City, in central Japan. In 1940 the Yonezu family bought it and moved it across the city and after the last family member had died in 1993 it was sent to Kew. It has a frame of pine logs tied together with rope, wattle and daub walls and a lime-washed exterior. The joints are constructed without nails. It stands on a base of large stones- in Japan these houses are not cemented so that they can move in an earthquake.
The Bamboo Garden. The Minka House is in the Bamboo Garden which dates from 1891. It originally had 40 species of bamboo, mostly from Japan. There are now about 1,200 species from many countries
Rhododendron Dell. This is believed to date back to Kew's early days when around 1734; Charles Bridgeman created a sunken garden on the Richmond Estate and it is likely that it was extended in the 1770s, with help with the digging from the Staffordshire Militia. It was then named it Hollow Walk but in 1847 it was replanted as a shrubbery. Joseph Hooker travelled to the Himalayas on a plant-collecting mission and brought back orchids and rhododendrons and now many varieties grow in the Dell.
Solar-powered interpretation post. This lets visitors identify birdsong around them.
Old Deer Park
The Old Deer Park is a fragment of the land connected named from the hunting park created here by James I in 1604. It was part of the royal estate until the mid 19th when a Ha-Ha was built between the ornamental gardens at Kew and the parkland to the south. This square covers a small slice of the park south of the Ha Ha which consists of woodland and a part of the Mid-Surrey Golf Course
King’s Steps Gate- this leads from the Deer Park into Kew Gardens.
Mid Surrey Golf Club. The club dates from 1892 and has two courses. This square covers part of one of them.
Obelisk – the obelisk in this square was the marker for due north of Kew Observatory and provided for adjustment of instruments.
Kew Gardens. Web site
London Borough of Richmond. Web site
London Gardens Online. Web site
Mid Surrey Golf Club. Web site
Tucker. Ferries of the Lower Thames