10 Facts About Richmond upon Thames You May Not Know

Photo: Vivi Hanson. Don't forget to follow Vivi on Instagram (@veevs) for all her latest photos!

Richmond is steeped in history, rich in culture and a magnet for the rich, royal and famous so it’s no wonder that it’s one of the most interesting (and best!) boroughs in London. We’ve gathered ten of our favourite facts about the wonderful Richmond upon Thames that you may not have known.

Think you can top us on the interesting scale? Tweet us with your facts to @TIOTRichmond!

  1. Richmond Park is the largest of all of London’s Royal Parks, measuring at 3.69 square miles. The park, which is also the home to around 630 red and fallow deer, is approximately three times the size of New York’s Central Park.

2. Partway up Richmond Hill you’ll find The Poppy Factory, the place where all the poppies and wreaths are produced for Remembrance Day in November and beyond. Since being founded in 1922, the factory has prided itself on finding employment for veterans with health conditions.

3. Not necessarily a fact but rather an intriguing urban legend, Henry VIII is said to have stood at King Henry’s Mound in Richmond Park and watched for a signal from St. Paul’s to indicate the death of his second wife, Anne Boleyn, so that he knew when he was free to marry Jane Seymour!

Photo: Leigh Cousins

4. Richmond upon Thames is twinned with three other towns – Fontainebleau in France since 1977, Richmond, Virginia in the United States since 1980 and Konstanz in Germany since 1983.

Richmond, Virgina. Photo: Ron Cogswell, Licensed under CC 2.0.

5. Richmond Bridge was completed in 1777 and is to date the oldest surviving Thames bridge.

Photo: Leigh Cousins

6. Richmond upon Thames is a prominent film and television location, with Richmond Park and Richmond Theatre being featured in several high profile productions. Films and television shows filmed in Richmond include Billy Elliot (2000), Bugsy Malone (1976), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), Finding Neverland (2004), Into The Woods (2014), Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Downtown Abbey. David Attenborough recently made a film about Richmond Park too – watch the trailer below:

7. Over on the west side of Richmond Green you’ll find the ruins of what was once Richmond Palace. The palace, which was erected by Henry VII in the early 16th century, was one of Queen Elizabeth I’s favourite homes – she spent much of her time in Richmond and loved to hunt stags in Old Deer Park. She passed away at the palace in 1603. BONUS: Richmond Palace was one of the first buildings in history to have a flushing toilet!

8. Richmond upon Thames is the only borough in London to be situated on both the North and South side of the River Thames.

Photo: Leigh Cousins

9. Richmond is a known retreat for celebrities. Famous faces to have lived in the borough over the years include Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Rick Astley, Tom Hardy, Robert Pattinson and Mo Farah.

10. Richmond upon Thames has been voted the happiest borough in London several times over recent years including last year. Here’s to hoping we manage to claim the prestigious title this year, too!

We’re sure you’ll agree that Richmond is certainly the best borough in London, if not one of the best places in the UK. It’s got beautiful, iconic scenery and wildlife, museums, shops, theatres, pubs, restaurants, culture, art, Kew Gardens, Hampton Court Palace, the River Thames…and breathe! What’s not to love?

Photo: Astrid Tontson