30 June 2008

HSBC closed

The branch of HSBC on Ham Parade closed on 27 June 2008 and already all sign that it used to be there has gone. Hopefully there will be a new tenant soon and we won't have to put up with the ugly temporary boarding for much longer.

The NatWest branch closed a few years ago and that leaves Barclays as the sole bank on the parade.

Lock office

The lock keepers' office is on the artificial island between the two main locks. It is familiar Victorian architecture and could just as easily be a railway station.

Brick box

This looks as though it has been built to hold something very valuable so it is rather odd to find it out in the open in Douglas Footpath.

29 June 2008

Rear gate at Ormeley Lodge

The rear gate at Ormeley Lodge used to lead to the hunting grounds but now it is the sanitised landscape of Richmond Golf Club.

28 June 2008

Huf Haus plans

Surprisingly, the latest addition to the period lodges and cottages of Petersham is going to be a very modern Huf Haus. It is being constructed next to Cecil House on Petersham Road.

27 June 2008

Secret lawn

Ormeley Lodge must be one of the best gardens for playing hide-and-seek in; there are probably people, now middle-aged, still waiting to be found. A good hiding place is this small lawn that has been squeezed in behind one of the main borders to the main lawn.

Paved path

Parts of the garden at Ormeley Lodge are maze-like with tall hedges and narrow paths between them. This is a wonderful place to get lost.

Woodbines Cottage

This is a really cute cottage rather let down by being so close to the main road.

26 June 2008


The door-to-door salesman selling reclining lion statues must have had difficulties believing his good fortune when he called on Ormeley Lodge as they bought at least eight of them. This is one of the pair guarding the main path from the house to the rear gate.

Hedges round and square

The front of Ormeley Lodge can just be seen in the background which tells you that this impressive collection of hedges is in the front right corner of the garden.

Quiet corner

This cosy quiet corner with dappled shade is just off a private road in Petersham and is enriched by a motley collection of doors, gates and windows.

25 June 2008


The rear garden at Ormeley Lodge is designed for exploring. It is broken up into many different sections and there are several benches, like this one, where you can rest and enjoy a different view of the garden.

Hidden windows

The house squeezed into the corner of Petersham Road and Sudbrook Lane looks down the main road through windows obscured by trees.

Maak asb die hek joe

This intriguing sign is on the front gate of a house on the stretch of Petersham Road between Sandy Lane and Sandpits Road. I lower text is in Dutch.

24 June 2008

Gorillas in the grass

These friendly gorillas live by the east wall of Ormeley Lodge where they are kept well hidden by the tall hedges and taller trees.

Byam Cottage

Byam Cottage snuggles up against it's bigger neighbour as if looking for shelter or protection, but who would want to hurt a cottage as cute as this?

New Inn

Most photographs of the New Inn on Ham Common are of the front, which admittedly has nice things like hanging baskets, but I like this side view as it has lots of bricks and shows some of the history of the building.

23 June 2008

Wliderness at Ormeley Lodge

In a way that is evocative of Ham House, the rearmost section of the garden at Ormeley Lodge is a wilderness bounded by hedges and with erratic paths through it.

Three doors

Whenever I poke into a secret corner of Ham (or Petersham) I find interesting garages. These are on a private road off Petersham Road and caught my attention because the three doors are all wooden but different, they look like they belong in a garage door showroom.


The housing in the area around Maguire Drive and Lammas Road is uniform brick boxes, some of it prefabricated structured to which a simple brick finish has been added. In the middle of this sea of brick blocks, on the corner of Maguire Drive and Vancouver Road, is this remarkable chalet.

22 June 2008

Hedges and paths

The garden at Ormeley Lodge is split into several sections by tall hedges and a network of paths creates various routes through them.


I am sure that this electricity sub-station in Beaufort Road was not designed with beauty in mind but it has industrial chic none the less. Bricks always look good and the simple door has a certain charm to it.

20 June 2008


Beaufort Court is probably the most attractive and best looked after social housing development in Ham. Here we see an example of why that is with the clean attractive lines of this first floor balcony and the delightful display of plant pots.

19 June 2008


I do not think that Autumn has started yet but this horse-chestnut tree on Ham Common has some discoloured leaves that look very out of place amongst their bright green neighbours.

18 June 2008

Cassel Services

The new signs at what was Cassel Hospital say simply "Cassel Services" which suggests that there have been some changes to the establishment but gives no clue as to what they are. The signs themselves are clean and modern, and somewhat of a contrast to the ramshackle building they advertise.

17 June 2008

May Pole

It was good to see some traditional English country dancing at Ham Fair, provided by children from one of the local primary schools.

16 June 2008

Pink roses

The whites of the wall, woodwork and window provide the perfect backdrop to highlight the subtle pink of the flowers and the brash green of the leaves of this rose bush in Upper Ham Road.

15 June 2008

Bright plastic

The children's amusements at Ham Fair provided a dazzling shock of colour to Ham Common. It was a good idea to place them a little away from the main section where they did not intrude on the country village atmosphere.

Sunlight in Ham Common Woods

One of the most delightful things about Ham Common Woods is the way that the sunlight dribbles through the trees to create spots of different colours.

14 June 2008


Ham Fair seemed to be busier than ever this year and there were a large number of stall spromoting the work of local organisations or selling bric-a-brac, cakes, plants, jewellery, books, CDs, etc.


Walking along the footpath to the east of Ham House gives you views across Ham Polo towards Star and Garter Hill. Occasionally the view includes a polo match in play.

Messy hedge at Ormeley Lodge

The entrance to Ormeley Lodge is looking rather messy at the moment as the bushes either side of the magnificent gate have been allowed to go rampant.

13 June 2008

Concrete posts

Ham Common Woods is full of narrow windy paths that cross each other frequently so it is no surprise that a chance turn takes you somewhere that you have never been before. Here I came across a tree ringed by concrete posts that I presume were there to protect the tree when it was much smaller.

Ham Fair 2008 is coming

Ham Fair 2008 will take place on Ham Common on Saturday 14 June.

12 June 2008


The pharmacy on Ham Parade is being converted back into two separate units. The one on the left is being refurbished and has new shutters.

Horse field in Ham Common Woods

This field in Ham Common Woods is a popular place for exercising horses and has two trotting circles mapped out.

11 June 2008

9 June 2008

Ham Common Woods

Ham is a slither of suburbanisation sandwiched between the natural beauty of the Thames and Ham Lands to the west, and Ham Common Woods and Richmond Park to the east. This is a typical view of Ham Common Woods which shows just why it is worth exploring it.

Sudbrook sundial

Confusingly, Sudbrook Cottages are next to Ormeley Lodge (Ham Gate Avenue) and so are some distance from Sudbrook Lodge (Petersham Road). One of the these cottages has a jolly sundial on its front wall.


The continuing construction works at Teddington Locks are an oasis of industry in a desert of nature.

8 June 2008

Inviting path

Ham Lands is littered with paths like this one that tempt you to wander off in new directions and to explore new places.

7 June 2008

Looking south

This is the view looking south from the footbridge to Teddington with Ham Lands on the left protected by a barrier of trees.


As feared, Richmond Council is going ahead with the plans to resurface the gloriously muddy and impassable Douglas Footpath, despite the fact that there are alternative dry routes as the sign confesses.

6 June 2008

Destruction in Ham Lands

I have made several comments about the vandalism in Ham Lands by Richmond Council and other authorities and this satellite view clearly shows the worst example. The straight line cut through the large wooded area in clearly an unnatural scar through an area whose beauty comes from its nature.

Horse riding

The section of Ham Lands between Thames Young Mariners and Ham Street is an ideal place to rise a horse as it has beautiful quiet open spaces, like this one.

Cecil House

Cecil House is on the corner of Petersham Road and Sandpits Road but is normally shielded from view behind a high wall so Petersham Village Open Gardens 2008 was an excellent opportunity to pry on this hidden gem.

5 June 2008


The only bridge over the Thames between Kingston and Richmond is the footbridge at Teddington.

Lock moorings

This large mooring is at the north (downstream) end of Teddington Lock and provides a place to wait for boats wishing to use the lock. It is required because of the many pleasure boats that go between Richmond and Hampton Court in the summer.

Cygnet committee

After much anticipation the carefully guarded nest in the middle of Ham Pond has now produced four cygnets.


Garden #4 in Petersham Village Open Gardens 2008 had my favourite water feature with the water emerging from the shadows under the watchful eye of a heron before falling playfully down to the next level.