HISTORY OF SHERLAND ROAD
An entry in the 1871 Census implies that Sherland Road, Twickenham, was under construction, as illustrated in the photograph.
The large house in the background is Holly House, which straddled the land that became Sherland Road and Queens Road (formally known as Avenue Road). The man in the photograph with his right arm extended is George Ramsay, a surveyor to the local board of health. The pillars on the right still survive, though now much weathered.
By 1894 Sherland Road was extended and joined Staten Road at the North end. Avenue Gardens had also been re-named Queens Road. Copthall Gardens had not yet been created and the land to the West of Sherland Road remained allotment gardens.
Reproduced with kind permission from Richmond Local Studies
The imposing Holly House was at one time the home of John Spackman, who lived there around 1784. Around 1838, it became the residence of C.T. Swanston Q.C., who wrote a valuable series of articles “The Literary Suburb of the 18th Century” and which were published anonymously in Frazers Magazine in 1860.
(next photograph to follow)
Photograph of Grosvenor school, for the sons of gentlemen. The Principal was Mr F Jago (London University).
A newspaper cutting Richmond Library Local Studies reads:
Holly House, Twickenham, at one time the residence of the Swanston family, is now in the hands of the house-wreckers; and as every cartload of rubble passes out through the old gateway shuddering ghosts and tender memories, enshrined for so long in the old walls, fade away forever. How many of us are aware that it was in a house, on the Swanston Estate that Fielding wrote “Tom Jones”. The writer of a series of articles contributed to “Frazer’s Magazine” in 1860, tells us that in a wooden-fronted house on the estate of Mr Swanston, “in a little parlour, with two small windows looking on a trim Dutch garden with old box borders, in silence only broken by the occasional rustling of the leaves and the singing of the birds in the neighbouring orchards, or by the hearty laugh of Fielding as he sketched the humours of Partridge, “Tom Jones” was written.
For many years past, Holly House has been occupied at intervals first I believe as a school for young ladies and subsequently as a boy’s school and now very shortly it will have ceased to exist and the site of it will be covered with cottages. The old order changes. No longer need the rich man live in the immediate neighbourhood of London. His motor car, the modern equivalent of the seven league boots, opens up for him the country-side and he builds his home where the air is fresher and the horizon wider; where villadom, ugly and pretentious, does not parade itself between the wind and his nobility. And so one by one the brave old houses go down before the crowbar and the pick.”
Article and photograph reproduced with kind permission from Richmond Local Studies
The map (to follow) shows two houses at the South end – 108 (“Sherland House”, home to Read & Co. Solicitors), and 106. The first row of cottages to be built on the West side (now numbered 90 – 72) and five houses at the North end (now numbered 1-9). Holly House was situated at the bend in the road and spanned across to Queens Road.
The cottages and houses were built in phases and subsequently renumbered once most of the houses were built. Although the house numbering in Sherland Road spans from 1 - 108, there are actually 101 houses (as at 2012) and two business premises in the road. There is no number 56 or 58, no number 70 and no house numbers 98-102.
The land between 58– 70 was originally land owned by the owner of the Timber Yard in Heath Road and was used to store wood. This land was subsequently sold and houses built on the site in the 1970s. The cottages and houses were built in phases and subsequently renumbered once most of the houses were built.
A Laundry stood at the North End of Sherland Road, at the junction of Station Road. The railway line at the North end was opened in 1848; the railway Station being on the other side of London Road (near the former Royal Mail Sorting Office). The original Station was demolished in 1954 and a new Station built on the other side of London Road, where it stands today.
The nearby Albany Hotel (now The Albany Pub) in Station Road was a famous landmark of the 19th century and the main Station hotel in Twickenham.
The area which is now Holly Road Car Park was a continuation of the market gardens and open land. The area was bought by Messrs Shaker Squire (1913) Limited and became a Motor Works (numbered 110 Sherland Road). A Drill Hall was adjacent to the site (behind the Methodist Church in Queens Road).
By 1913, Poppe Rubber & Tyre Company Limited occupied the entire “Sherland Works” site.
Twickenham suffered extensive bomb damage during the Second World War and Incendiary bombs fell in Sherland Road. The six Victorian cottages, which originally formed part of a terraced row spanning from 90 – 104 were so badly damaged by Incendiary bombs in World War II they were subsequently demolished. The Air Raid wardens logs from the night of Saturday 30th November 1940 state that six cottages 92-102 were so seriously damaged that demolition was necessary. Houses 91-108 suffered damage capable of repair and were still habitable, as was number 80. A bomb also fell at the North end of the Road close to the railway. Fortunately, there was no record of any fatalities or hospital admissions of Sherland Road residents!
The Pre-fab houses that were constructed were later replaced by nineteen Council owned garages.
In 2006, the garage site was sold off for housing. In 2011, work began on the building of three rental houses, numbered 92 - 96.
The houses were finished in October 2012.
The left-hand side of the site was to become a small car park for 6 cars, to be offered for rental to residents of the road (but not those in the new build). Given this would never be sufficient parking and we are fortunate to be able to utilise nearby Holly Road car park, SRRA proposed that a garden would be preferable. The developer (Paragon) and Richmond Council agreed and following a consultation, we were given the green light!
The garden, designed by residents Julie Hill and Mark Suzenberg was officially opened by Deputy Mayor Lisa Blakemore on 18th November 2012 and is known locally as "No. 98".
(c) Julie Hill