Hidden London


Latest addition
Index of places
Clickable map
About this site
London football
London lyrics
London proverbs
London quotes
London statues
London images
Contact us

Richmond upon Thames

A Georgian and Victorian residential locality centred on a ‘boulevard’ that leads from Barnes to Hammersmith Bridge, lined with substantial detached family homes with large gardens. The Castelnau area is increasingly considered to include Barn Elms common and playing fields. Until the opening of Hammersmith Bridge in 1827 the only way to cross the river was by ferry from Chiswick. When Major Charles Lestock Boileau built his home here he called it Castelnau House after his family’s former estate of Castelnau de la Garde, near Nīmes in France. Boileau’s family were Huguenots who had fled to England to escape religious persecution and settled in Mortlake. In 1843 Boileau began to build Castelnau Villas and several rows of cottages. The church of Holy Trinity was consecrated in 1868, by which time the settlement had around 140 houses and 800 residents. The population had more than doubled when Holy Trinity became a parish in 1888. After Boileau’s death the following year Upper Bridge Road was renamed Castelnau. With the sale of the Boileau estate more streets were laid out and lined with housing over the next two decades. In 1928 the London County Council laid out an estate of 640 houses on the western side of Castelnau, with streets named after deans of St Paul’s, former lords of the manor of Barnes. This increased the housing stock to 2,000 and the population to over 5,000. Castelnau House was demolished in the early 1960s and replaced by a public library. The north-western rim of the peninsula has the Harrodian, Swedish and St Paul’s schools.

click for area map (opens in a new window)
The main boulevard of Castelnau is lined with substantial family homes with large gardens

Postal district: SW13
Further reading: Rev. S Linton, The History of Castelnau, self-published, 1968

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

Text and selected images are reproduced with the permission of Chambers but may differ from the published versions
All content © 2005–2010