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Richmond Hill View

733 of 1160 nominations


Richmond Hill View

Is this an icon?


Richmond Hill View

“The view from Richmond hill is, by universal consent, the finest within a few miles of London. Indeed, of its kind, it is difficult to surpass anywhere.” So said The Queen’s London: A Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, published in 1896. The panoramic prospect is one of lush, undulating heath and woodland, with the Thames meandering towards Kew among great houses and palaces, Richmond and Twickenham massed on its banks, and Windsor in the western distance.

Sir Joshua Reynolds painted the scene in about 1780. William Wordsworth heard choirs of nightingales here, recording them in a sonnet of 1820, and a century later, the Austrian Expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka produced one of the more striking contemporary depictions of the view. So iconic is it that it was the first landscape in England to have a parliamentary preservation order applied to it, the Richmond Ham and Petersham Open Spaces Act 1902. Preservation work continues under the auspices of the Arcadia in the City scheme.

Courtesy Angela Kidner
Environment Trust for Richmond

Photo: Jolyon Phillips


Your comments

Beloved of artists, poets and musicians since the 17th century, immortalised by Turner, Reynolds, Rowlandson, Knyff and Ruskin, the View is a great landscape icon of England. Threatened by development at the end of the 19th century, this was the first view to be safeguarded by an Act of Parliament (Richmond, Petersham and Ham Open Spaces Act 1902). It is an icon for campaigners for the protection of the environment, and in 2002 work began to restore its beauty. That work is ongoing today through the London's Arcadia project.

Angela Kidner

Each time I visit Richmond, this is always the first place I go to take in the view. Breathtaking.
Catherine Ford

Looks like a nice place to visit, I would like to go there myself and think this would make a very nice icon!

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My nomination is the garden shed.