Kew Green   John Moses

Places in History is an ongoing project. It uses placemarks in Google Maps to identify the exact position of a building, street or other feature, with a satellite view of the location. The maps link to pages in HistoryWorld for historical details, images and timelines.


Places in History

Kew Green

c. 1500 - Kew Green was part of the common land of the hamlet of Kew. It extended from the pond at the eastern end to just beyond the building now known as Kew Palace. (Cloake 1,I,151)

c. 1550-1650 - A number of noblemen and wealthy merchants build their villas around Kew Green, including Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester, closely associated with Queen Elizabeth I. The only villa to survive from this period is the present Kew Palace built in the Dutch style for Samuel Fortrey. (Cloake 1,I,151-168)

c. 1710 - The leading inhabitants petition Queen Anne, as the Lord of the Manor, for permission to build a chapel-at-ease as there is no local place of worship. Kew is in the Parish of Kingston. The Queen gives permission and also £100 towards the building costs of £500. (Cassidy)

1714 - On 12th May 1714 the chapel-at-ease of St. Anne’s is consecrated and is thereafter the dominant building on the Green. Kew becomes a parish in its own right in 1788. None of the original chapel has survived. The present church, a 19th century classical style building with some 20th century additions, continues to dominate the Green. (Cassidy)

1732 - Frederick Prince of Wales takes a lease of a house at the west end of Kew Green opposite Kew Palace and instructs William Kent to remodel it. It becomes known as the White House. (Cloake 1,II,79)

1751 - On the death of Prince Frederick his widow Princess Augusta inherits the White House and builds Kew’s first botanical garden with the help of Lord Bute. (Cloake 1,II,87-97)

1772 - On the death of Princess of Augusta' George III inherits the White House and Kew becomes his country retreat. (Cloake 1,II,97)

1802 - King George III has the White House demolished and instructs James Wyatt to build a castellated palace by the river, which was never completed. (Cloake 3,44)

1823 - By an Act of Parliament George IV encloses the western end of Kew Green up to the present Ferry Lane and closes the road across the Green. (Act 1)

1824 - George IV lays the foundation stone for a school on the north east side of Kew Green and gives£300 on condition that the school be called the King’s Free School. Later Queen Victoria permits the school to be called The Queen’s School. (Queen's School))

1837 - William IV returns a small section of the Green to the inhabitants of Kew. (Cloake 1,II,154)

1852 - After the establishment of the Royal Botanical Gardens, a library and herbarium is opened at Hunter’s House on north-west side of Kew Green. (Desmond,198-205)

1970 - The Queen’s School moves from Kew Green to Cumberland Road. (Queen's School)

Notes on 18th-century houses around the Green
The 18th century was a major period of building round the Green. Here is a selection of notable houses around Kew Green with their present numbers: -

17-19   Early 18th century houses taken over for the use of Kew Gardens in 1913

21   Georgian front c. 1740 with ceiling by Francis Engleheart: rear of house may be part of 17th-century farmhouse

23   C. 1750 Georgian front. The house occupied by the Swiss botanical artist Francis Bauer from 1804 to 1837. Memorial to Bauer in St. Anne’s

24   Haverfield House. Home of several generations of the Haverfield family, some of whom were gardeners in the Royal Gardens at Kew. Present house is Victorian, probably built round 18th- century interior. Miss Haverfield, daughter of John Haverfield II, by Thomas Gainsborough in Wallace Collection (Wallace Collection)

33   King’s cottage – Georgian c.1750. Lord Bute, advisor to Princess Augusta and tutor to George III and later Prime Minister, lived here

37   Cambridge cottage – Georgian c. 1750. Purchased by George III in 1772 for his sons Princes Edward and William. George III’s youngest son, Adolphus the 1st Duke of Cambridge, lived here from 1838 as did his son, the 2nd Duke of Cambridge.

51   Royal cottage: house created out of two Georgian dwellings. Once the home of Mrs. Papendiek, companion and reader to Queen Charlotte.

55   Now the official residence of the Keepers of the Herbarium. Built c.1700, possibly oldest house on Kew Green, but has 19th century extension.


List of places already entered

Kew timeline

Sources — for 18th-century houses: Desmond, 412-14 (apart from no. 21); Blomfield, 80-81 (on Engleheart family)

Contributors — to this page JM (RLHS)