History

For such a small area, Strawberry Hill has a rich and interesting history.  Two of the most celebrated literary figures of the 18th century, Alexander Pope and Horace Walpole, settled here and many other less well-known, but equally interesting people, made it their home.

Apart from Pope’s Villa and Walpole’s Strawberry Hill House, Cross Deep was, at one time, lined with the grand villas and houses of ladies and gentlemen who had chosen to follow Pope and Walpole to this peaceful area on the River Thames. Much has changed, of course, since those times, but the history of our area has been well documented by local historians and is easily available to those who are interested.

A good starting point is the Twickenham Museum’s web site. Go to: Places, then Strawberry Hill, where you will find articles on Strawberry Hill, Radnor House, Radnor Gardens, Pope’s Grotto, St Mary’s College and other interesting buildings.  Some interesting people can be found in the People section of the same web site:

Baroness Howe of Langar (the destroyer of Pope’s Villa)
The Earl of Radnor (creator of the original Radnor House)
Kitty Clive (actress who lived at Little Strawberry Hill)
The Berry Sisters (who also lived at Little Strawberry Hill)
Anne Damer (sculptor who inherited Strawberry Hill)
Laetitia Matilda Hawkins (19th century gossip, lived at Twickenham House on the site of Heath Gardens)
Samuel Scott (the English Canaletto)
Sir Robert Shirley (occupied Heath Lane Lodge)
Thomas Hudson and William Hickey (portrait painter and his son who lived in Cross Deep House)
Colley Cibber (Actor-manager who occupied the house which became Strawberry Hill)
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (friend of Alexander Pope)
and, of course:
Alexander Pope
Horace Walpole

Street and House Histories

A team of SHRA local historians is researching the history of the streets of Strawberry Hill.  Summary articles are being published in the Bulletin, as part of the Streetwise series, but the full versions can be read and downloaded from the links below.   The first street history is Upper Grotto Road.

Street histories

Upper Grotto Road (pdf)

House histories

There are also occasional reports on the history of large houses of Strawberry Hill that have been demolished.

The Elms

The Elms was a large house at 1 Strawberry Hill Road which has been demolished.

Milton House

Milton House was also known as the Alexander Nursing Home and was on the site of Milton Court, Wellesley Road.

The team is also offering a house history service to residents of Strawberry Hill.  We will research their house’s history and produce a report which may be published as part of this series.  People are requested to make a small financial contribution to aid the cost of the Bulletin.

A History of the Neighbourhood by Anthony Beckles Willson

This short history has been sponsored by the Association. It is primarily, though not exclusively, for the people who live in the area and wish to know more about their neighbourhood, their roads or even their houses. The history has a topographical bias which is deliberate: there is already considerable literature about the famous and not-so-famous residents of our area (see above). This book is mainly about the place they lived in and where we live today.

It is now in its third edition, published in March 2010, with 84 A5 pages, printed on high-quality cream paper with 38 illustrations and 16 maps, ISBN 0 9518283 0 4.
You can purchase it at:

  • The Twickenham Museum, 25 The Embankment, Twickenham, TW1 3DU
  • Waterstone’s, 19 King Street, Twickenham, TW1 3SD
  • Strawberry Hill House bookshop, 268 Waldegrave Road, Twickenham, TW1 4ST

or by post:
Send a cheque for £6.99 (inclusive of postage and packing in the UK ), payable to: Strawberry Hill Residents’ Association, to:
Pam Crisp
10 Spencer Rd
Twickenham
TW2 5TH

Other information

We are commissioning an series of occasional illustrated articles about other aspects of the social history of Strawberry Hill. The following are currently available on this web site:
A history of shopping in Strawberry Hill
Catholicism in Strawberry Hill
Travel and Transport
The Strawberry Hill Riots of 2000
A history of Strawberry Hill Station

Possible future subjects include:
Road names and their origins
Famous people of Strawberry Hill
Strawberry Hill Then and Now (old and new photographs)
If you have any suggestions for inclusion in this series, please let us know.