An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Middlesex. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1937.

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'Twickenham', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Middlesex, (London, 1937) pp. 123-127. British History Online [accessed 19 April 2024]

In this section


(O.S. 6 in. XX, S.E.)

Twickenham is a parish and borough on the left bank of the Thames immediately S. of Isleworth. The church and York House are the principal monuments.


(1) Parish Church of St. Mary (Plate 153) stands near the river on the E. side of the parish. The walls are of brick with some stone dressings, except the tower, which is of ragstone with freestone dressings; the roofs are slate-covered. The West Tower was built in the 15th century but the rest of the mediæval building fell in 1713. It was re-built in 1714–5 from the designs of John James. The S.E. Vestry is modern and the tower was restored in 1897.

Twickenham, Parish Church of St. Mary.

The church is a Renaissance building of some interest and contains a monument to Alexander Pope, 1744.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (8 ft. by 16 ft.) has plain Doric pilasters at the angles supporting an entablature with a curved pediment; between the pilasters is a round window with a stone architrave. There are two modern openings in the S. wall. The chancel-arch has plain pilasters with moulded cornices, from which springs the round moulded arch with a panelled soffit and a scrolled key-stone. The roof has a semi-circular plastered ceiling.

The Nave (65 ft. by 39½ ft.) is finished on the E. with a pedimented gable and has the same treatment on the W. up to the walls of the tower. The side elevations are symmetrical, with pilasters at the angles and a central projecting feature of three bays divided by pilasters and finished with an entablature and pediment; the entablature is continued along both fronts. The windows are in two ranges, the lower with segmental and the upper with round heads; in the W. bays are doorways with segmental heads and plastered archi-traves. The arches opening into the projecting bays of the side walls are of flat elliptical form with panelled soffits and rosettes in alternate panels; the arches spring from plain pilasters with moulded cornices. The roof has a plastered ceiling coved at the sides.

The West Tower (11¾ ft. square) is of the 15th century and of three stages, with an embattled parapet and a S.E. angle-turret. The two-centred tower-arch is of two moulded orders, the outer continuous and the inner springing from attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The W. window and doorway are modern except for the splays and rear-arches. The second stage has, in the S. and W. walls, a restored window of one pointed light in a square head with a moulded label; on the E. wall is the line of the gabled roof of the mediæval nave. The bell-chamber has, in each wall, a restored window of two trefoiled and transomed lights in a square head with a moulded label. Flanking the tower are early 18th-century staircase lobbies, with a segmental-headed window and doorway on the W. side of each.

Fittings—Bells: six, 1st and 2nd by W. Eldridge, 1695; 3rd by the same founder, 1669; 5th by R. Phelps, 1703; 6th probably by J. Sanders of Reading, 16th-century, inscribed "In multis annis resonet campana Johannis." Brass: Against S. wall—to Richard Burton, chief cook to the king, 1443, and Agnes his wife, inscription with 15th-century shield of the royal arms above. Chest: In nave—of iron with lattice straps, twisted handles and elaborate lock, 17th-century. Doors: various early 18th-century panelled doors. In second stage of tower—of battens with strap-hinges, 17th-century. Font (Plate 12): octagonal gadrooned marble bowl, on stone baluster-stem, early 18th-century. Galleries: On N. and S. sides of nave —with oak gallery-fronts in form of Doric friezes with triglyphs, early 18th-century. Glass: In W. window of tower—dove in yellow stain, 17th or early 18th-century. Monuments: In chancel—on N. wall, (1) to Sir William Humble Bart., 1686, also his son Sir William Humble Bart., 1705, white marble tablet (Plate 16) with Corinthian side-columns, entablatures, cherubs, achievement and two shields-of-arms. In nave—on E. wall, (2) to Francis Poulton, 1642, alabaster tablet with painted busts of man and wife, parts of side-columns, superstructure removed; (3) to William Reeves, 1669–70, black marble slab; on N. wall, (4) to Ann (Eden), wife of James Fish, 1687, white marble tablet with drapery, cherub-head and shield-of-arms; on S. wall, (5) to Brigit (Harrington), wife of Sir Anthony Markham, 1609, black marble slab with rounded head. In W. tower—on N. wall, (6) to John Lord Berkeley of Stratton, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, etc., 1678, white marble tablet with scrolled brackets, cornice, urns and achievement-of-arms; on S. wall, (7) to Sir Joseph Ashe Bart., 1686, and Mary (Wilson) his wife, 1705, and Martha his daughter, 1714, white marble tablet with enriched side-pilasters, drapery, cornice, cherubs and shield-of-arms. In N. staircase—(8) to Mathew Harvie, 1693–4, white marble pedestal and urn with two cartouches-of-arms on the pedestal and inscription to wife by I.D. In N. gallery —on N. wall, (9) to Thomas Gilmoore, 1691, and Elizabeth his wife, 1699, white marble tablet with drapery and shield-of-arms. In churchyard—E. of church, (10) to James Cole, 1643, and Thomas Cole, 1655, restored table-tomb with modern slab; (11) to John Gill . . ., 1675, headstone; on S.E. buttress of chancel (12) to . . ., wife of . . . Gilmore (?), 16..., defaced tablet. Pavement: round altar—of black and white marble squares, early 18th-century. Plate: includes a cover-paten of 1661, with the date 1671 and a salver of 1692. Reredos: In chancel—of oak, flanked by coupled Corinthian pilasters supporting enriched entablatures with the cornice carried across the reredos, in middle two large round-headed panels with enriched mouldings, early 18th-century. Staircases: To galleries—with turned balusters and square newels, early 18th-century. Table: In vestry—with turned legs and plain stretchers, 17th-century. WeatherVane: On tower—of wrought iron with scroll-work, crown and dragon's head on vane, early 18th-century.



(2) Moated Enclosure, in the grounds of Kneller House 1 m. N.W. of the church. Only the N. and W. arms remain.

(3) York House, now municipal offices, 60 yards N.E. of the church, is of three storeys with cellars; the walls are of brick with stone dressings and the roofs are slate-covered. The property was granted to the Earl of Clarendon in 1666 and he probably re-built the house. It was again largely re-built c. 1690–1700 on an H-shaped plan. The side wings are modern additions.

The house is a good example of late 17th-century work and the earlier staircase is interesting.

Twickenham, York House.

The N. Front (Plate 183) is symmetrically designed in three main bays with hipped roofs and a modillioned eaves-cornice; the ground storey is faced with a cement rustication and the windows have key-stones; the doorway has an enriched architrave, cornice and brackets, a broken and scrolled pediment and a tympanum with a cartouche and crown. The S. Front is generally similar but the doorway has a plain pediment. Inside the building, the mid 17th-century staircase has balusters in the form of diminishing Ionic pilasters supporting round arches, and square panelled newels; the staircase has been mutilated by the insertion of a lift. The large Committee Room is lined with late 17th-century panelling with dado-rail and enriched cornice; the fireplace has a moulded marble surround and side-panels with foliage. Between this and the Chairman's Room on the W. is a wide opening flanked by fluted Corinthian columns; the latter room is lined with late 17th-century panelling and the fireplace has a moulded surround, carved mantelpiece and a panelled overmantel with side-pendants of fruit and flowers. On the first floor, the room above the hall has some panelling of the same period and over the modern fireplace is a plaster scallop with a festoon of fruit and flowers. The S.E. room on the second floor is also panelled and the fireplace has a moulded surround, enriched cornice and an overmantel with side-pendants of flowers. The basement may incorporate parts of the mid 17th-century house; it has chamfered ceiling-beams and two original door-frames.


(4) Cambridge House, about 1 m. N.E. of the church, has been almost entirely re-built or refaced late in the 18th or in the 19th century. The entrance hall has a fireplace (Plate 36) with an early to mid 17th-century surround, re-set; it is flanked by terminal female pilasters supporting a frieze and gadrooned shelf; the frieze has four carved panels of the labours of Hercules, masks and draped female figures; four doors in the same room have re-set late 17th-century over-doors carved with foliage, flowers, children and an eagle. A window on the staircase has 16th-century foreign painted glass with three shields-of-arms set in an architectural framing. At the S. end of the house is a re-set early 18th-century staircase, with turned balusters and close strings.


(5) Fortescue House, now a school, 400 yards N.W. of the church, is of three storeys; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the 18th century, perhaps after 1714, and has brick bands between the storeys. The central W. doorway has an enriched architrave, carved frieze, side-pilasters, scrolled brackets and enriched cornice. The corresponding doorway on the E. side has an enriched architrave, carved frieze, scrolled brackets, cornice and a broken pediment terminating in carved sunflowers. Inside the building, the Hall is lined with panelling with dado-rail and cornice; crossing the hall is a beam supported on two fluted Corinthian columns and half-columns against the walls. The staircase (Plate 38) has twisted balusters and cut strings with carved brackets, the rail is scrolled at the bottom and terminates on a fluted column; the upper staircase has twisted balusters and close strings. The N.W. room is panelled and has a moulded surround to the fireplace. The upper floors have also some original panelling, cornices and architraves.


(6) Crossdeep, house 530 yards S.W. of the church, is of three storeys with cellars; the walls are of brick. The middle block was built c. 1700 and there are modern wings on the N. and S. The main block has rubbed brick dressings and bands between the storeys. Inside the building, the original staircase (Plate 39) has turned balusters, close strings and square newels with moulded caps and pendants. Some doorways have original architraves and panelled doors.


(7) Radnor House, 950 yards S.W. of the church, is said to have been built by John, Earl of Radnor (d. 1757) and the part of the house N. of the entrance-hall is probably of early 18th-century date. It is of two storeys with cellars and attics but has been completely refaced externally. It was extended to the S. later in the 18th century and the N.W. staircase inserted. The refacing was done in 1847–8. Inside the building, the S.E. room has three early 18th-century doorways with enriched architraves and entablatures and some panelling on the E. wall; the painted ceiling is of c. 1740. Opening into the staircase-hall is a series of arches with Ionic half-columns against the piers. In a room in the S. part of the house are some panels (Plate 19) of continental painted glass, including the return of the Prodigal Son, dated 1698, Christ and the Doctors, dated 1691, and twelve small biblical subjects; on the staircase is an oval panel (Plate 19) with an architectural design, shield-of-arms of Robartes and crest, dated 1691. On the upper floor of the later extension one room has a painted ceiling of c. 1740.


(8) Strawberry Hill, house, now St. Mary's College, about ¾ m. S.W. of the church. The S. part of the N.E. wing was built in 1698 but when the property came into the possession of Horace Walpole in 1747 it was described by him as a cottage. It was converted into a 'Gothic' building by him and added to, and nothing of earlier date than his reconstruction is visible outside. Inside the building some of the original chamfered ceiling-beams are exposed and many of the windows contain continental painted glass, mostly of the 17th century.


Monuments (9–28)

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of late 17th or early 18th-century date and of two storeys with attics or three storeys. The walls are of brick and the roofs are tile or slate-covered.

Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.

(9) House, No. 9 on the N. side of Church Street 90 yards W. of the church, has been refronted.

(10) House with shops, Nos. 11–13, 10 yards W. of (9), has also been mostly refronted.

(11) House with shop, No. 14, immediately W. of (10).

(12) House with shops, Nos. 44–46 on the S. side of Church Street opposite (10).


(13) House with shop, No. 47, immediately W. of (12).


(14) House, No. 9 on the E. side of Bell Lane 20 yards S. of Church Street, has a band between the storeys.


(15) House, No. 15, 20 yards S.E. of (14).


(16) House, Nos. 2 and 4 on the W. side of Bell Lane opposite (15), has a modillioned eaves-cornice.

(17) House, No. 2 The Embankment, 5 yards E. of Bell Lane, has a wooden cornice and a parapet perhaps of later date.

(18) House, Nos. 3 and 4 immediately N.E. of (17), has a modillioned eaves-cornice.


(19) House with shops, on the N.W. side of King Street 250 yards W.S.W. of the church.

(20) House with shop, No. 26, 20 yards S.W. of (19), has a modillioned eaves-cornice.

(21) House with shops, Nos. 28 and 30, adjoining (20) on the S.W., has an eaves-cornice with enriched modillions.

(22) Inn, No. 32, adjoining (21) on the S.W., has a similar eaves-cornice. Inside the building, a room on the first floor has original panelling and a bed-recess behind the panelling; the recess is lined with early wall-paper. The upper staircase has original twisted balusters and close strings.

(23) House, No. 34, adjoining (22) on the S.W., has a modillioned eaves-cornice.

(24) House with shops, Nos. 56–60, 60 yards S.W. of (23), has a modillioned eaves-cornice.

(25) Building, on the S.E. side of Holly Road 30 yards N.E. of Queen's Road, is of two storeys.


(26) House with shops, Nos. 28–32 on the N. side of Heath Road 480 yards W.S.W. of the church, has a modillioned eaves-cornice.

(27) House, Nos. 62 and 64, 115 yards W. of (26).

(28) Lime Tree House, on the W. side of London Road 370 yards N.W. of the church, has a modillioned eaves-cornice on the W. side. Inside the building, most of the rooms are lined with original panelling, with dado-rails and cornices; the staircase has twisted balusters and close strings. The S. wall of the garden is of 17th-century brickwork.