31 March 2008

Bird box

This tree sits in the middle of the open space between Melancholy Walk and The Copse and so is well away from people, though the occasional horse warms up there.

Latchmere Close

According to my definitions, Latchmere Close is in Kingston but the sign for it is on Church Road so is in Ham. However, the sign was not the purpose of this photo, I took it for the colourful flowers that braved the March snow.

Plant pots in Lock Road

The old part of Lock Road, i.e. the part nearest Ham Common, is quite delightful. Not only are (most of) the houses attractive but many of the gardens are carefully designed, particularly on the north side where the front gardens are a little bigger.

30 March 2008

Reinforcing Teddington Lock

The construction works at Teddington Lock are almost finished and it is now possible to access most of the central island. From here you can see the substantial reinforcements that have been added.

South Lodge

I like this view of the back of South Lodge, taken from Bishop Close, because it shows a curious mix of windows and doors that is a complete contrast to the uniformity that the front of the building presents to Ham Common.

Exposed garden

Most of the back gardens that are split by the alley between Sandy Lane and Meadlands Drive hide behind high walls or fences but this one displays itself with pride through a grand iron gate.

29 March 2008


These allotments are on Riverside Drive by the junction with Ham Street and they have the same joyous jumble of cultivated and neglected plots, sheds and debris that all allotments do.

Douglas Footpath

Douglas Footpath leads from the tow path to the road in front of the German School. It is narrow, crooked and often very wet; that's why I love it so much. Sadly it is now due for "improvement".

Front wall at Ham House

The front wall at Ham House faces north and is sheltered by the ditch in front of it so it is an ideal home for wall-loving plants.

28 March 2008


Garthside is a little cul-de-sac off Church Road at the eastern end of Ham. The houses are fairly large, very much of their period, and also very boring.

Gardens in Lock Road

On the corner of Lock Road and Craig Road there is a terrace of houses that is set back from the road with a path across the front that splits all of their front gardens. The gardens are well kept and bounded by some nice walls so the overall effect is very attractive.

Ham House and railings

I like Ham House and I like railings; this picture has both. I particularly like the contrast between the decorative and defensive railings.

Cottages off Meadlands Drive

The little alley that runs from Meadlands Drive to Sandy Lane has a few cottages at the Meadlands Road end that are typical for Petersham, e.g. the lattice wood porches.

27 March 2008

New houses almost finished

What was merely foundations back in September has now blossomed in to two large three-storey houses. The wall is so high this looks as though it could be an extension of the nearby Remand Centre.

Flooding in Dukes Avenue

The recent heavy rains seem to have been too much for the drainage system on Dukes Avenue by Dysart Avenue. Here the water is running out of the grass bank, across the pavement and in to the road, as if fleeing from some monster hidden in the bushes.

Gate at Ham House

This close up of the large side gate at Ham House shows the decorative iron work in detail. This gate is meant to impress, and it does.


This alley is behind the cottages on Petersham road and goes from near to the junction with Sandy Lane all the way up to Meadlands Drive. In doing so it separates the cottages from the main part of their gardens so as you walk along it you feel as though you are wandering somewhere that you are not meant to be.

26 March 2008


There is nothing like a stile to show that you are deep in the country. This one helps walkers down by the river, near Petersham Lodge Woods. It takes you from Douglas Footpath (i.e. the path behind Douglas House / the German School) on to what may be part of Great River Avenue.

Maisonettes in Bishop Close

Bishop Close winds its way off the north side of Ham Common where it conceals a collection of maisonettes, unlike any other houses in Ham. The developers are to be thanked for using a mix of bricks so that each block of four maisonettes is a slightly different colour than its neighbours which gives each block more of an individual feel and reduces the "sameness" of the close overall.

Royal Oak Garden

The Royal Oak (on the corner of Ham Street and Sandy Lane) has a small beer garden that is a delightful sun-trap in Summer. I'll take a picture of it when it is warmer but for now here is a picture of the advertising sign for it which has a nice clean modern style.

New leaves

Despite the recent snow, a few trees are starting to show a healthy crop of new leaves, like this one by Ham Polo.

25 March 2008


This is part of the fortifications at Ham House, which I suspect are more for decoration than anything else. There is a ditch before the wall and railings that go along the front of the house and these impressive spikes are on each corner of the railings. This set has some decorative spikes on the top.


Ham is full of disused gates and doors that point to a time lost when people had different journeys to make. This is probably my favourite gate and can be found at the end of Evelyn Road where it used to allow passage to what is now the playing fields of Grey Court School.


This is a very appropriate sign as it identifies one of the gardens of the houses in Petersham Road that are split by a small alleyway so are well hidden from all but the most determined explorer.

Pipes and things

This is storage area for the works at Teddington Lock and it harbours a motley collection of metal pipes, girders and fencing. And is that the Tardis at the back on the right?

24 March 2008

Old Ham Lodge

Old Ham Lodge is at the river-end of Ham Street, opposite Riverside Drive, and backs on to Ham House. It is somewhat overshadowed by its more illustrious neighbours, which is a pity as it is a fine building in its own right.

Spring bulbs

Daffodils have been planted in many of the grassy areas in Richmond and Kingston but, for some reason, this stretch along Petersham Road and just south of Sandy Lane is home to a colourful collection of crocuses.

Gate House in Petersham

This is another view of the quaint but not very old gate house that leads to the long straight path to the back of Ham House. In some Richmond Council documents this is called Petersham Avenue but the new black sign says that it is one of the Ham Avenues.

23 March 2008

Ham Avenues

This is one of the Ham Avenues by Ham House, which is trying to hide behind the tree on the far right.


This "garden" belongs to one of the houses in Petersham Road and is in desperate need of TLC. The houses in the background are in Clifford Road.


Sadly there is no real surprise that the new black signs are a target for the local chavs. This one is just by the bridge at Teddington Lock.

21 March 2008

Ham Polo

The Ham Polo field is immediately east of Ham House and while most of it is just a green field the pavilion (on the north side) has a quaint colonial charm.

New bridge to Teddington Lock island

There are three gates at Teddington Lock so that the amount of the lock that moves up/down can be adjusted. There used to be only one bridge across to the island and that was on the southern (upstream) gate. Now there is a second bridge across on the middle gate.

20 March 2008

Fast food

These two fast-food outlets are in Ashburnham Road, by the junction with Ham Street, ideally placed to serve the starving hordes at Grey Court School.

19 March 2008

Where is Petersham?

The beauty of being in charge of this blog is that I get to make all the decisions, in particular I have defined the geographic boundaries that I am working to. For example, I include the newish Royal Park Gate development in my definition of Ham even though it is (currently) in the borough of Kingston upon Thames.

The other contentious boundary is Petersham and here I show where I think the southern boundary of Petersham is. This is based on the evidence on the ground gathered from walking all of these streets regularly.

Note that my definition of Ham includes part of Petersham as I include everything either side of Petersham Road until the juction with Star and Garter Hill. This is because that is a natural boundary and before that there is a continuous built up area that includes all of Ham and this part of Petersham.

Hidden door

This door in Boxall Cottages on Ham Common is hiding behind a large bush as if lying in wait for some unsuspecting person to pass when it can leap out and transport them to another world. Or have I watched Monsters Inc. too many times?!

18 March 2008


This delightful donkey lives in Cedar Heights in Petersham where it acts as a playful reminder of the days of "flower power" back in the 60s.

17 March 2008


This is one of the houses on the north-west side of Ham Common and what really attracted me to take the picture was the climbing plant that has twisted around itself several times as if it had a difficult adolescence.

16 March 2008

Spying on Gordon House

I am not that tall so all I could see of the side of Gordon House (on Ham Common) over the brick wall as I walked past was the tops of the two gate posts so I pointed my camera blindly over the wall and took this picture on speculation and was rewarded with this view showing more Georgian grandeur than I expected.

I like the way that the wide frontage of the house hides the depth behind and am amused that even those extra rooms are not enough so an extension has been added at the back.

Red and pink blossom

Spring is really taking hold now and there are bright colours everywhere. This profusion of red and pink is in Ashburnham Road.


The work on Great South Avenue continues, this time it is volunteers working on a Sunday. So far all the work has been clearing and so the path now looks wide, empty and boring. I hope that the planting to come will improve things but am not optimistic.

15 March 2008


I don't know how construction companies choose the colour for their plastic barriers but these on the junction of Dukes Avenue and Northweald Lane are a rather viloent blue, the ones further down Dukes Avenue are bright orange and elsewhere we are treated to the insipid light blue of a football team from the lower divisions.

Storm damage

The recent high winds have damaged one of the willow trees by Ham Pond and a sizeable branch now lies on the ground.

14 March 2008

Ham Children's Centre

Ham Children's Centre is being built next to St Richard's with St Andrew's CE Primary School in Ashburnham Road.

Laying bricks at Morgans

The work on Morgans is finally coming to a close and part of this is the repair of the brick wall that faces directly onto Ham Common. I am pleased that they are repairing the wall rather than replacing it but I do wish that they had used darker bricks so that the difference between the original wall and the repair was less obvious.

13 March 2008

Ham artist's sculpture is just Darling

A Ham artist's papier mache sculpture of Chancellor Alistair Darling was used to help front a news show's budget coverage.

Anita Russell made the 21in sculpture of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that was used in Channel 5's news coverage of the Budget announcement.

Read the full story here.

12 March 2008

Langham House

Langham House is one of the impressive Georgian buildings on the south side of Ham Common.

Different roads, different areas

Fanshawe Road is a very short road off Beaufort Road that suddenly becomes Maguire Drive, for no apparent reason, as we move to a small area of more recent housing.

11 March 2008


I have posted a few pictures of statues of cats and birds previously but this is the only pig that I have seen so far. It sits proudly above a door in Meadlands Drive.

La Trouvaille

La Trouvaille (it means "lucky find") is the French restaurant that forms the main part of the Legless Frog, formerly the Hand and Flower pub.