Richmond park has a fascinating history spanning almost four centuries since its enclosure by Charles I in 1637 as a Royal hunting ground. Whilst unpopular at the time, the physical enclosure of the park in Royal ownership has protected it from the creeping encroachment of an ever-growing urban London, thus creating one of the finest urban parks in the world.
Since 1997 Daniel Hearsum has collected historic material relating to the park. In 2009 The Friends of Richmond Park and The Hearsum Collection entered into a partnership to catalogue, digitise and publicise the collection for all to enjoy.
The items catalogued so far include:
Interpretation boards have been installed at the entrance to Pembroke Lodge and pictures of 'the lost houses of the park' are now on display in the entrance hall.
This website is being rebuilt and will contain many of the new items in The Collection. Plans are in hand for a new purpose built visitor centre to make The Collection accessible to all.
In the meantime here is a taste of what is to come......
18th Century entrance token for what was then the 'New Park' in Richmond