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Richmond upon Thames/Hounslow

A residential suburb situated on the south-eastern edge of Hounslow and separated from Twickenham by the Duke of Northumberland’s River. Its name means ‘white farm’. A heath-side hamlet since the eleventh century, Whitton’s first spur to growth was the building of two great houses, Kneller Hall and Whitton Place. The German artist Sir Godfrey Kneller was the leading portrait painter of his day and founded the English Academy of Painting in 1711, the same year that he moved into his new house here. In the 1720s Lord Islay, later third Duke of Argyll, built Whitton Place, a property so grand that one of its outbuildings later became a separate mansion. The first Kneller Hall was demolished in 1847 and replaced by the present building, where the Duke of Cambridge founded the Royal Military School of Music in 1857. Whitton did not acquire a separate church from Twickenham until 1862 and was still largely rural in character, with several strawberry gardens, until suburbanisation began in earnest at the beginning of the twentieth century. Developers knocked down Whitton Park’s fine old buildings in 1911 and laid out a housing estate. The Chertsey Road sliced off the district’s south-east corner in the early 1930s. Later that same decade Whitton acquired a high street with around a hundred shops, on what had previously been a peaceful stretch of Percy Road. By 1950 bungalows and semis had covered most of Whitton’s former gardens and parkland.

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Kneller Hall is the home of the Corps of Army Music

Because of the proximity of desirable Twickenham, house prices have risen relatively rapidly, especially in what estate agents call the Kneller Hall area, which has seen additional housebuilding recently. More than four-fifths of homes are owner-occupied – a very high proportion.

During the summer months the school of music stages a series of outdoor concerts at Kneller Hall, with three army bands and a fireworks display at each event.

Postcode areas: Twickenham, TW2 and Hounslow, TW6
Population: 9,149
Station: South West Trains (Zone 5)

Corps of Army Music website

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

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