Secret Richmond upon Thames

Richmond upon Thames is a very royal town. Yet, despite the fact that it was home to a string of monarchs over 700 years, and it is the site of four former royal palaces, almost all trace of this royal heritage vanished long ago.

Also generally forgotten is that the borough was home to a 17th century royal tapestry works where sumptuous wall hangings were created for St James’s Palace, Kensington Palace, Windsor Castle and Holyrood Palace.

   In my new book, Secret Richmond upon Thames, I explore the remarkable stories, and reveal the secrets, of these long-lost places. It’s available from the publisher here and from Amazon, here

   Richmond is also home to Rock ‘n’ Roll royalty, yet, while it is well-known that Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones lived on Richmond Hill, and Pete Townshend of The Who still does, it is far less well-known that, alongside them, fellow-Stone Ronnie Wood, Ronnie Lane of The Faces and – during particularly difficult periods in each of their lives ­– Eric Clapton, and Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd have all lived on the Hill.

   Richmond is the final resting place of three of the greatest explorers, one hugely famous in Canada, the other in Australia, but all three virtually forgotten in England.

   There is also the tale of the plot against Charles Darwin, designed to destroy Kew Gardens; and the story of how the town came to be home to two remarkable organisations dedicated to the long-term welfare of those whose lives have been shattered by war.