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Richmond Gate Lodge, Screen Walls, Gate Piers and Gates

A Grade II Listed Building in Richmond upon Thames, Richmond upon Thames

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Latitude: 51.4499 / 51°26'59"N

Longitude: -0.2962 / 0°17'46"W

OS Eastings: 518488

OS Northings: 173705

OS Grid: TQ184737

Mapcode National: GBR 81.G00

Mapcode Global: VHGR2.TT8B

Plus Code: 9C3XCPX3+XG

Entry Name: Richmond Gate Lodge, Screen Walls, Gate Piers and Gates

Listing Date: 10 January 1950

Last Amended: 24 September 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1263361

English Heritage Legacy ID: 432477

Location: Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside, Richmond upon Thames, London, TW10

County: Richmond upon Thames

Electoral Ward/Division: Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside

Built-Up Area: Richmond upon Thames

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Richmond

Church of England Diocese: Southwark

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24-SEP-10 Richmond Gate Lodge, screen walls, gat
e piers and gates
(Formerly listed as:
Richmond Gate and Lodges)

Richmond Gate Lodge, screen wall, gate piers and gates, designed 1795 and dated 1798, and attributed to Sir John Soane, King's Deputy Surveyor of Woods and Forests.

MATERIALS: Lodge and matching sreen wall are brick-built with a stucco render, lined as ashlar; the lodge has a hipped slate roof.
Gate Piers: each is of sandstone on a moulded plinth, with a rusticated ashlar pier,capped by a pyramidal-shaped, deep oversailing moulded cornice. Gates are of wrought iron, with later steel replacements and repairs. Flanking walls are of rendered brick.

PLAN: Richmond Gate is located at the Richmond Hill entrance to Richmond Park. It is oriented north-south and is composed of three sets of gate piers and gates, providing three carriage (or car) entrances,and a narrower pedestrian entrance to each side. The main lodge is on the south side of the gates and at the opposite end is a large screen wall which mirrors the architectural design of the lodge.

The Lodge: The main elevation is in five narrow symmetrical bays and treated as two storeys. The central bay on the main elevation contains a two-storey recessed arch with a rectangular entrance set into it. The door, of four panels, sits in a plain moulded architrave. To either side of the door are single ground floor sash windows of eight over eight panes. Above these, in the second storey are shallow horizontal windows of four over four panes. Each outer bay contains a recessed blind round-arched opening at ground floor level, with a recessed blind oculus above. It has a hipped slate roof behind a parapet above a cornice. There is one chimney which is set slightly left of centre on the roof ridge.
The return elevation on the north side of the lodge (facing out of the park) is comprised of three symmetrical bays with a single ground floor sash window of eight over eight panes. Above this is a recessed bullseye window. The outer bays contain recessed blind arched openings at ground floor level, with recessed lunettes above. The elevation on the south side of the lodge is treated the same. Images held at Richmond Reference Library also show that in the C19 the lodge had a porch added to it which was probably removed in the C20 and that the blind windows in the screen wall had, at various points, been painted to look like real windows. Attached to the lodge is a single depth stone flag paving which runs the length of the building.

Screen Wall: The screen wall at the opposite end of the gate is given the same architectural treatment as the lodge. Its north and south elevations (facing into and out of the park) mirror the side elevations of the lodge, the only difference being that there are no windows in the central bays, only blind openings. The two structures were clearly designed as a pair, to present a symmetrical composition to be viewed on the approach to the park from Richmond Hill.

Gate piers: There are three pairs of gate piers which create a wide central entrance and two narrower flanking entrances through Richmond Gate. Each pier is square on plan with a moulded plinth and dressed, rusticated ashlar above, topped by a pyramidal-shaped, deep oversailing moulded cornice. Facing towards the outside of the park, the two central-most gate piers bear the initials GR and CR (for George and Charlotte, then King and Queen of England) in wrought iron painted in gold. The two piers to either side of the central-most piers share the date the gates were erected, 1798, in Roman numerals (MDCC and XCVIII). The outer-most gate piers, which enclose the pedestrian gates, are the same height as the plat band on the lodge and screen wall, and are slightly lower in height than the other four piers. Each of these external piers contains an alcove. Attached to the pedestrian gate on the north side, and next to the screen wall, is a second, later C20 gated area, presumably intended to keep the deer from escaping from the park; it is not of special interest.

Gates: Apart from the pedestrian entrances on either end of the gates which are of wrought iron, the central gates appear to be largely a modern replacement, but incorporating elements of earlier gates. All gates have dog bars and spearhead finials. The central gates are flanked by a narrow screen of railings set on a concrete plinth, leading up to the central carriage gate.

Flanking Walls: At either end of the lodge and screen wall are ramped, curved flanking walls which connect to the boundary walls of the park on the south side and to Ancaster House on the north. They are built of brick and rendered on the outer face. They appear to be part of the original design since they join at the pediment and plat bands on the Lodge and screen wall and contribute to the overall symmetrical composition of the gate and lodges as a whole.

The interior of the lodge was not inspected.

Richmond Gate is the main entrance to Richmond Park, the largest Royal Park in London and designated Grade I on the Register of Parks and Gardens. This thoroughfare through the park was used by road traffic and pedestrians for hundreds of years before the construction of the existing gates and lodge. It provides the main access to the park from the town of Richmond, on the banks of the river Thames. Richmond was the site of the medieval royal palace of Shene, later known as Richmond Palace, and the area became increasingly fashionable in the C18. Richmond Park was enclosed by Charles I in 1637 and to this day the enclosure walls remain, although their fabric has been much renewed over the intervening years. Despite the efforts of members of the Royal Household to restrict public access to the Park, in 1758 public rights of way were upheld and are maintained to this day.

The gate and lodges were constructed by the firm Kent, Claridge & Pierce between 1798-99 to replace an existing wooden gate and ladder-stile entrance. Recent research has attributed Richmond Gate and associated Lodge to the eminent Neoclassical architect John Soane (1753-1837), who designed them in 1795 as the newly-appointed King's Deputy Surveyor of Woods and Forests. Evidence of Soane's initial design, an annotated `Copy Lincoln's Inn Fields Sep 14th 1795' is archived at the Soane Museum in London (Sir John Soane's Museum 62/9/17). These drawings depict gates and a lodge which are architecturally similar to the existing gates, athough not identical.

In 1896 the gates were widened. It was probably at this point that the height of the second set of gate piers was increased to match the height of the central carriage gate piers. Images from around 1900-5 indeed show that the two central pairs of gate piers are the same height and have been moved further apart, with the central carriage gate widened and the screen of railings to either side of the carriage gate converted into two more gates. This allows traffic to enter and exit from three openings in the gate rather than just one. This is still the way the gates are used to this day.

It may be the case that further alterations to the gates took place during WWII when Richmond Park was used extensively by the Ministry of Defence.

Baxter Brown, M, Richmond Park: The History of a Royal Deer Park, (1985)
Cloake, J, The Growth of Richmond, Richmond Society History Section: Paper 1, unpublished, (1985),
Cloake, J, The Palaces and Parks of Richmond and Kew: Volume II: Richmond Lodge and the Kew Palaces, (1996)
Cloake J with Churchman, S and Fetcher, G, Richmond Past and Present, (1999)
Collenette, C L., A History of Richmond Park with an Account of its Birds and Animals, (Reprinted), (1971)
Darley, G, John Soane: An Accidental Romantic, (1999)
Fletcher-Jones, P, Richmond Park: Portrait of a Royal Playground (3rd Edition), (1996)
Stroud, D, Sir John Soane, Architect, (1996)

Images from the National Monuments Record:
Ref: PC10923
Ref: PC08721

Richmond Gate lodge, screen wall, gatepiers and gates are designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural Interest: rare and intact set of gates and lodge attributed to eminent Neo-classical architect Sir John Soane, forming a distinctive and enduring boundary and entrance to the Royal Richmond Park.
* Intactness of design and plan: as the principal historic entrance to Richmond Park;
* Historic Interest: designed by Sir John Soane, architect and King's Deputy Surveyor of Woods and Forests; association with the history of the Royal Park and members of the Royal Household;
* Setting: the Gate and Lodge is the primary entrance and exit to a Grade I Registered Landscape and SSSI;
* Group value: proximity to other contemporary designated buildings, street furniture and registered landscapes in the area (including the Star and Garter Home, Ancaster House, designated C18 and early C19 houses, several public monuments and the C18 Richmond Terrace), which line the main approach to the park from Richmond town centre, make the Gate and Lodge an integral part of a wider architectural ensemble of historic interest.

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