Medieval Teddington

An island in the river called Creweyte is mentioned in 1502 and in the 18th century there were two aits, which are now joined to the mainland. One island was to the south of the surviving Trowlock Island, and one to the north, which has since disappeared. A lock was opened in 1811, and though it ceased to be the lowest on the river about a hundred years later, it still marks the end of the tidal reach of the river. There was a weir on the Thames at Teddington by 1345, which was destroyed about 1535. A lock and weir was rebuilt in 1858 and has been rebuilt several times following floods until the present double lock was opened in 1904. The footbridge over the lock was opened five years earlier.

Teddington’s major roadway runs south from the London Road at Isleworth to Kingston, where a bridge has crossed the Thames since before 1219. The Teddington and Kingston Road end was turnpiked in 1767. Waldegrave Road and Park Road may have come about through traffic to and from Hampton Court Palace. Other modern routes probably follow much the same course since the Middle Ages. Those in the west over the common came about during the Inclosure of 1800.

Although Teddington is first documented around 1100, prehistoric and Bronze Age finds indicate occupation long before that time. Settlement probably grew up close to the river at the corner of High Street and Twickenham Road, near the parish church and where the manor house once stood. In 1754 a watercourse was made from springs on the common to supply clean water to the village and houses springing up along what is now the High Street. Piecemeal development spread to the village pond at the corner of what is now Park Road and there was another small settlement on the edge of the common close by.

The common, which was part of Hounslow Heath, covered the whole of the parish west of Park Road and Stanley Road. It contained 450 acres when it was enclosed in 1800 and may once have stretched eastwards to Waldegrave Road. Fields lay to the north and south of the village, a great deal of which was enclosed after 1800. Before then, what open-fields remained consisted of North Field to the east of Waldegrave Road and South Field, covering nearly all the parish south of the village and west of Broom Road. The area of North Field included Sparksmead, which was of medieval origin and perhaps lay near the brook which divided Teddington from the open fields of Twickenham. In the Middle Ages these would have been a collection of separate furlongs rather than large, open fields. There was no woodland in the manor by the 14th century.

Stuart Teddington »