Kew with Petersham, Surrey Family History Guide

Kew with Petersham is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Surrey, created in 1769 from Kew Ecclesiastical Parish and Petersham chapelry in Kingston upon Thames Ecclesiastical Parish.

Other places in the parish include: Toll House, Petersham, Thames, and Navigation.

Alternative names: Kew

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1714
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1800

Separate registers exist for Petersham

  • Parish registers: 1574
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1685

Nonconformists include:

Adjacent Parishes

  • Old Brentford
  • Ham
  • Turnham Green
  • Robin Hood
  • Mortlake
  • Isleworth
  • Richmond
  • Twickenham St Mary the Virgin
  • New Brentford

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

KEW, a village and a parish in Richmond district, Surrey. The village stands on the river Thames, at the boundary with Middlesex, opposite Brentford, near the loop-line of the Southwestern railway, and near the North London railway, 2 miles NNE of Richmond, and 6 WSW of Hyde-Park-Corner; is notable in connexion with adjacent palace and public gardens; and has stations with telegraph on the railways, a post office under Brentford, London W, and a steam-boat pier. Omnibuses run to it, from Piccadilly, every ¼ hour; and steamers ply to it, from the London piers, during summer, every ½ hour. A seven-arched stone bridge connects it with the Southwestern r. station, and with Brentford; was erected in 1789, after a design by Paine; superseded a wooden bridge of 1759; and was sold, not many years ago, for £22, 000. The place is first mentioned in records of the time of Henry VII., and was then called Kayhough; and that name may possibly be a form of Quay, in allusion to proximity to the river; and was afterwards written variously Kayhowe, Kayhoo, Keyhowe, Kayo, Keye, and Kewe. The village consists chiefly of houses scattered on the borders of a green, with the parish church near the centre; and it contains, on the N side, a house which was inhabited, for some time, by Sir Peter Lelys. The green has been enclosed with iron posts and rails, and is ornamental. The church was built in 1714; was enlarged by George III. in 1766 and 1805; was enlarged again, in 1837, at a cost of £4,000, by William IV.; is a brick structure of plain appearance; and contains the organ which was used by George III., and which is said to have belonged to Handel, and was presented to the church by George IV. The churchyard contains the graves of the artists Meyer, Gainsborough, and Zoffany, of General Douglas, of Governor Sir Charles Eyre, of W. Aiton, author of "Hortus Kewensis," and of Sir William J. Hooker. The parish was constituted by act of parliament in 1769, and was previously a hamlet or chapelry of Kingston. Acres, 230. Real property, £5,702. Pop., 1,099. Houses, 191. The living is a vicarage, united with the vicarage of Petersham, in the diocese of Winchester. Value, £409. Patron, the Crown. There are a free school, and charities £51. Kew first became a royal residence about 1730. Kew House then belonged to the Capel family. Frederick, Prince of Wales, took a long lease of this; laid out the pleasure grounds under the direction of Kent; and died here in 1751. His widow, the Dowager Princess of Wales, continued to reside here; and erected extensive additional buildings, of an ornamental kind, after designs by Sir. W. Chambers. George III. afterwards re. sided much here, without courtliness or ceremony; and, in 1803, he took down the old house, and erected a new palace, partly near the river, after designs by Wyatt. This was entirely demolished by George IV. The present palace is an edifice of the time of Charles I.; belonged to Hugh Portman, a Dutch merchant, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth; is a structure of red brick; was leased by Caroline, queen of George II., and afterwards bought by Queen Charlotte; received the furniture from Kew House, when that edifice was taken down; and was the death place of Queen Charlotte, and the place of George IV. 's education under Dr. Markham.

Kew Gardens are botanic; originally occupied only 11 acres; occupy now 75 acres; and adjoin pleasure grounds of more than 250 acres. They were formed by the Dowager Princess of Wales; were improved by Queen Charlotte; became enriched with collections obtained by Capt. Cook, Sir Joseph Banks, Flinders, Wallis, Carteret, Vancouver, and others; went afterwards into comparative neglect; were transferred, in 1840, to the Commissioners of Woods and Forests; were placed, for enlargement and improvement, under the care of Sir. William J. Hooker; and now include what were portions of the palace kitchen gardens and pleasure grounds, and are one of the most beautiful and well stocked establishments of their kind in Europe. The entrance gateway was erected in 1846, after a design by Decimus Burton. The conservatory, to the right on entering, was removed hither from Buckingham Palace in 1836; and contains a rich collection of Australian, Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican shrubs. The orangery, close to the broad gravel walk, was erected in 1766 by Sir W. Chambers; and contains, in winter, a collection of tender pines, which are placed in summer on the adjoining lawn. The Victoria House, to the right of the fountain in front of the great palm stove, has a circular tank, 36 feet in diameter, with the Victoria water lily, and contains also the "sacred bean" of India, and other. interesting aquatics. The palm house was completed in 1848, after designs by Decimus Burton; occupies an area. of nearly an acre; has upwards of 40,300 superficial feet of glass; measures 137½ feet up the centre, 362½ feet in. total length, and 69 feet in height to the summit of the lantern; has a gallery round the centre portion, 27 feet above the floor; is maintained, in the coldest winter days, at a temperature of 80°, by hot water pipes; has, at a considerable distance, a smoke shaft, in the form of an ornamental tower, 96 feet high; has also a tank with capacity for 42,000 gallons, supplied with water, by means of steam engine and pumps from the Thames; contains a very rich collection of palms, the names of which are all labelled; and cost about £33,000. The Temperate House was completed in 1861, at a cost of about £10,000; comprises a central portion, 212 feet long, 137 feet wide, and 60 feet high, two side octagons, 50 feet in diameter, and two wings, each 112 feet long, 62 feet wide, and 36 feet high; is of iron and glass; and contains valuable trees and plants from temperate climates. Another conservatory, 500 feet long, has been added. A pinetum, extending W of the palm stove, contains all the coniferous plants which will bear the open air. The New Museum, at the head of a lake, fronting the palm-stove, contains a large collection of dead vegetable products. The Herbaceous Ground, near the museum, contains a classified collection of indigenous plants. The Orchid Houses, the Tropical Aquarium, the Succulent House, the New Zealand House, the Australian House, the Tropical Fern House, the Amherstia House, the Heath House, the Museum Stove, the Azalea House, the Aroideous House, the Temperate Fernery, and the Camellia House contain collections or specimens of the kinds indicated by their several names. Very interesting trees also are scattered over the lawns, especially about the old Arboretum; and they contribute, with parterres, avenues, and the general disposition of the grounds and of the buildings, to render the gardens decidedly picturesque. The pleasure grounds adjoining the gardens on the S, contain an arboretum, nursery grounds, the new lake, the Queen's gardens, and many of the ornamental buildings erected for the Princess of Wales by Sir W Chambers. The Pagoda here is 136 feet high; consists of ten stories, each with a balcony; and commands, from the summit, a panoramic view to the distance of 30 milesThe Temple of Victory was erected, in 1759, to commemorate the battle of Minden. The Pantheon was built for William IV. by Wyatt; has the form of a small Doric temple; and bears the dates of battles fought by British the pleasure grounds, and contains an observatory, built for George III. by. Chambers, given by the Crown to the British Association, and used for magnetic and meteorological observations. The salary of the director of Kew gardens is £800 a year; and the sum required to keep them in order is upwards of £20,000 a year. They are open to the public every week day during summer, from 1 to sunset, every Sunday from 2 to sunset; and in winter, till dusk

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Parish Records


Online Records (Free)

England, Surrey Parish Registers, 1536-1992


Vision of Britain historical maps


County: Surrey
Civil Registration District: Richmond (Surrey)
Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Surrey
Diocese: Winchester
Rural Deanery: Ewell
Poor Law Union: Richmond
Hundred: Kingston
Province: Canterbury