This is a short alley in Richmond town centre with on its corners, two restaurants, a pub and a community hall.
The alley, as with most of this part of the town centre is relatively new – as the town expanded substantially when the railway arrived in 1846 to the then fashionable spa town. The one corner, what is today Thai Square, a rather bland looking building was once far more richly decorated as the Duke of York pub, but converted in 2006 to the restaurant, and somehow getting away with ripping out the Edwardian tiles and old windows to create this scene of a heritage crime.
The other side is (or more likely now, was) a bold blue Carluccios restaurant.
The alley itself is a delight though, being squeezed between the buildings, it has a character created by the ramble of elevations from the buildings that line it. A weirdly ramshackle door half way down with plaster peeling off all over the place is either the sign of very bad workmanship in recent years, or cutting edge modern art.
Opposite is the Odd Fellows Memorial Hall, built in the 18th century, probably when much of the area was developing, as the road used to lead to the former Palace, making it quite fashionable.
The Odd Fellows is an international fraternity first founded in London in 1710, although it claims an admittedly dubious heritage back to Roman times. Although the origins are unclear, in 18th century England, they were mainly made up from smaller trade guilds that were too small to become full scale Livery Companies.
Modeled not unlike the Freemasons, with Lodges and a religious belief, and also subjected to persecution, today they are mostly involved in charity and supporting their local communities.
Location map and local interesting places
- 4] Museum of Richmond
- 5] Syon House
- 6] Kew Gardens
- 7] Musical Museum
- 8] World Rugby Museum
- 9] London Museum of Water and Steam
- 10] Museum of Army Music
- 11] Strawberry Hill
- 12] Hogarth's House
- 13] Chiswick House and Gardens
- 14] Dorich House Museum
- 17] Finucane Court