30 April 2008

Ancient Lights

The "Ancient Lights" sign intrigues me as I have absolutely no idea what it means so it adds a certain mystery as well as clutter to this wall off Petersham Road, which makes it look as though this is a deliberate collection of odd things to put on walls.

Church roof

The most interesting feature of St Richard's Church in Ashburnham Road is its roof that goes up and down like a saw-toothed carousel and rises to a dramatic point in the middle.

Covered path

I like exploring the wilder parts of Ham Lands because you come across unknown and unexpected pleasures like this one, a covered path that meanders by the lake towards Riverside Drive.

29 April 2008

Flats in Croft Way

The boarding surrounding the new flats in Croft Way have finally come down allowing us to get a much better idea of what they will look like once finished. The covered space at the front of the flats is for car parking.

Ham Common in April sunshine

Here Ham Common looks verdant and fresh as the trees and grasses respond to the siren call of Spring. Just a few weeks ago it was covered in snow and looked very different.

Lock at Thames Young Mariners

The lock gates at Thames Young Mariners remove the impact of the tide on the boating lake while also allowing access to the Thames, not that I have ever seen the gates open for this.

28 April 2008

Ham Amenities Group garden

The small garden maintained by Ham Amenities Group occupies an odd shaped plot on the corner of Ham Common and Upper Ham Road. This view of it is looking along Ham Common towards Upper Ham Road.

Emerging from Ham Lands

This is the first view you get of the Wates Estate (Ashburnham Road) as you emerge from Ham Lands by Thames Young Mariners. It is reassuring to find a familiar landmark after wandering through the maze of paths in Ham Lands with no real idea of which direction you are walking in.

BMX track

Just off Teddington Lock there used to be a superb place for children to play on their bikes with a big "U" shaped dip that they could easily whiz down one side and free-wheel up the other, going the other way was much harder! This was safe for the children (I went down it with a toddler on the back of my bike) and was far enough away from the path not to interfere with pedestrians but Richmond Council did not like the idea of children speeding on bikes and they cruelly filled the dip in. The kids have retreated back from the path just a few meters and have created this BMX track to play on instead.

27 April 2008

Private road

I am not sure how effective this sign is in deterring people from using the road from Riverside Drive to Murray Road and even less sure why anybody would want to go that way.


The north-west corner of Ham Lands, where the Thames turns sharply from north to east, is heavily wooded with a maze of paths through it and a few clearings, like this one.

Repairs at Langham House

The front of Langham House on Ham Common is covered by scaffolding as the brickwork is being repointed.

26 April 2008


There is a path, of sorts, that skirts the north side of Thames Young Mariners and from this path you get glimpses of the lake through the chain-link fence.


The tow path between Teddington Lock and Ham House is raised well above river height but the water can get through to Ham Lands to create this muddy swamp right next to the dry path.

Fallen tree

This tree has collapsed in to the river near to Ham House but is still alive and coming into leaf.

25 April 2008

Teddington Lock

This view of Teddington Lock gives some idea of its size. In the foreground is one of the open downstream gates and in the distance are the closed middle gates. The downstream gates are normally kept open and are only used when the full length of the lock is required, for most of the time only the smaller section between the upstream gates and the middle gates is used.

Fenced path

Large parts of Ham are made permeable (i.e. easy to get around) by paths like this one that connects Lock Road with Mead Road.

Little House

Little House sits snugly on the corner of Ham Common and New Street and when approached along the path across Ham Common offers this view of how its various parts contrast with and complement each other to make a delightful house.

24 April 2008

The Bench

The Bench is a short alleyway that goes from Ham Street, next to Bench House, through to Back Lane. In it is the entrance to these mock Georgian houses that share a simple but charming and peaceful landscaped garden.

Ham House

This view of Ham House it taken from slightly to the right of the approach to it from the river so that it is seen in its natural setting.

Double parking on Ham Parade

Both of the trucks on the far side of the road are double-parked, seriously and dangerously restricting the space available for traffic.

23 April 2008

Concrete island

The stretch of river between Ham House and River Lane attracts many walkers and cyclists because it is a pretty place with good access. What some of these visitors do not realise is how often the tide covers large parts of the tow path and how quickly it does this. This is the slipway at the bottom of Ham Street and just a minute or so before I took this picture I was standing on it watching the water surround me before making a last-second leap for dry land.

Pink and blue houses

These neat and tidy semis are well hidden in Petersham (I saw them for the first time this week!) in the section of Sandpits Road that shies away from the prospect of joining Meadlands Drive, choosing instead to curl in to a little cul-de-sac that nestles next to The Russell School.

Tidal stream

A sluice gate by Douglas Footpath allows water to flow to and from this waterway in Queen Elizabeth Fields as the tide rises and falls, making this another bit of Ham that looks more like the countryside that south-west London.

22 April 2008

Flooding by Ham House

The area in front of Ham House floods a little on every reasonably high tide, i.e. several times a month which makes the path to/from the river (crossing left to right in the middle of the picture) rather wet but it is usually passable with care. There are worrying stories that this path might be included in the monstrous London’s Arcadia project and a dry walkway installed, as one has nearby and is also proposed for Douglas Footpath.

Selling Morgans

Now that the construction work has finally finished a lot of effort is being put in to selling the flats at Morgans on Ham Common. I suspect that the sign will be there for quite a while given the current state of the housing market and the prices that they are asking.

Faded garage door

This garage door is drained of any colour that it may have once had which may explain why it hides itself behind the shops on Ham Parade. Which is a shame really as I think that it has aged nicely and should not be ashamed of how it looks.

21 April 2008

Letting the grass grow

This is Melancholy Walk leading towards Ham House (just visible in the distance in the gap between the trees) with The Copse on the right. At the moment the grass is growing exuberantly next to the path and this adds to the wild and natural look. Sadly I expect Richmond Council to cut this back before too long, they do not seem to like natural things.

Boat in Teddington Lock

The sunshine and warm weather bring out the pleasure boats that cruise along the Thames between Richmond and Hampton Court and so Teddington Lock comes in to regular use.

Pink and blue houses in Ham Street

Bench House and Stokes House in Ham Street have gone for an interesting colour combination with a pastel pink wall at Bench House and features highlighted in sky blue at Stokes House next door. Somehow it works.

20 April 2008


A fair is not a proper fair without a carousel and this one is traditional, colourful and joyous.

A new season of cricket

Sunday 20 April 2008 sees the first cricket match of the new season being played on Ham Common. The bare trees show the Spring has not yet established itself.


The Victorian Fair was brought to Ham Common by grand vehicles like this Dinky toy look-alike.

18 April 2008

New sign at Rowleys

The shop sign at Rowleys has been upgraded. Previously the sign was simpler and smaller but now the green banner stretches across the shop front and the shop name is written in a posh font and is bracketed by ears of wheat.

Big Wheel

The Victorian Fair starts tomorrow (Saturday 19 April) so today was an opportunity to take some photos of the delightful machines without the clutter of children to mess things up.

The Victorian Fair is coming

The Victorian Fair will be on Ham Common this weekend, 19 - 20 April 2008.

16 April 2008

Edge of Ham

Ham Parade forms the south-east boundary of Ham. Behind the shops there is an access road and in that there is a row of garages and behind them there is this little used path. The backs of the garages are on the right of the picture and on the left are the boundary fences for houses in Barnfield Avenue, North Kingston.

Ham Pond on an April evening

Ham Pond is the seductive heart of Ham and is a delightful place to be any time on any day and viewed from any perspective.

15 April 2008


I think I prefer this vine when it is not in leaf as you can see more of the delicious brick wall of this beautifully proportioned building in the grounds of The Manor House in Ham Street.

Sitting on a bench

The Ham Amenities Group garden on the corner of Ham Common and Upper Ham Road provides a welcome respite from the bustle. Here you can sit on one of the benches and enjoy the tranquil garden while the traffic buzzes by nervously but out of reach.

14 April 2008

Behind Ham Parade

Superficially the two sides of Ham Parade are much the same but when you go behind the shops the difference is much greater. This is the rear of the shops on the east side of the parade with bold white steps up to the flats above them. This side of Ham Parade is much more orderly and the access road is properly surfaced. Some of the shops have large extensions at the back which means that, again, they all look much the same from the front but are quite different inside.


St Thomas Aquinas Church on Ham Common looks every inch a Victorian school, which I presume it once was. This is one of the windows that faces on to Ham Street and, clearly, it needs some work doing to it.

LB03 LLX double parked

13 April 2008

Cottages in Ham Street

Ham Street has a wide mix of buildings reflecting its development over a large period. This little stretch of cottages are opposite the Ham Brewery Tap.

Sheds at Morgans

The are the storage sheds at Morgans on Ham Common (with Cassel Hospital in the background) but they look more like 1950s holiday camp chalets to me. Hi-de-Hi!

Winged lion

This proud winged lion stands guard at The Palm Centre in Ham Street. It is a long way from Venice where it is on the municipal coat of arms.

12 April 2008


An open gate at Cassel Hospital allowed me to sneak in to the site to take this picture of a plaque on a wall that faces on to Ham Common.

Havok in Dukes Avenue

The cable laying works that have snaked their way up Riverside Drive then Dukes Avenue have now arrived at the main junction with Richmond Road causing havok with the traffic. The works have also taken out of action the 371 bus stop and the new pedestrian crossing at Northweald Lane that was completed only the day before it was closed.

Back gate at Ham House

Ham House is best approached from Melancholy Walk that leads you to this magnificent gate and a view through to the house across the gardens. Sadly you cannot get in that way, the only entrance being at the front.

11 April 2008


There is an unmade-up access road behind the west side of Ham Parade that looks largely derelict but is also home to a few gems like this garage.