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Grid reference: TQ159708
Location: 51°25’27"N, 0°19’56"W
Post town: Teddington
Postcode: TW11
Dialling code: 020
Local Government
Council: Richmond upon Thames

Teddington is a suburban town in Middlesex, standing on the north bank of the River Thames, between Hampton Wick and Twickenham. It stretches inland from the River Thames to Bushy Park.

The town centre is centred on the High Street, reaching from by the river to Teddington Station, a busy high street of shops and offices. An almost continuous road of shops, offices and other facilities runs from the river to Bushy Park. There are three clusters of offices on this route: on the river Teddington Studios and Haymarket Group form a media hub whilst on the edge of Bushy Park the National Physical Laboratory, UK, National Measurement Office and LGC laboratory form a scientific centre. This commercial and scientific axis bisects Teddington, which is otherwise mostly residential.

Several riverside businesses and houses were redeveloped in the last quarter of the 20th century as blocks of riverside flats. The area has been described in the national press as "leafy".[1]

Name of the town

Lloyds Bank, Teddington

The name 'Teddington' is from Old English, assumed to be from an otherwise unknown founder named Tutta or similar, hence "Tutta's clan's town". The town is recorded in the early Middle Ages as Todyngton and Tutington.[2]

Rudyard Kipling proposed a romantic origin as 'Tide's End Town', as the Thames ceases to be tidal here.

Teddington Lock

Teddington gives its name to Teddington Lock, which stretches across the river between Teddington and Ham and is accessible by the Teddington Lock Footbridges. Teddington Lock marks the tidal limit of the River Thames. It is a complex of three locks of which the barge lock at 650 feet is the longest on the River Thames.[3]

In 2001 the RNLI opened the Teddington Lifeboat Station, one of the four Thames lifeboat stations, below the lock on the Teddington side. The station became operational in January 2002 and is the only volunteer station on the river.


  • Church of England:
    • St. Mary's with St Alban's (built c.1400.)
    • St Mark's (South Teddington)
    • St Peter and St Paul (rebuilt c.1980)
  • Evangelical Baptist: Teddington Baptist Church
  • Independent: Christ Church
  • Methodist: Teddington Methodist Church
  • Roman Catholic: Sacred Heart


Teddington's beginnings

There have been isolated findings of flint and bone tools from the Middle Stone Age and New Stone Age in Bushy Park and some unauthenticated evidence of Roman occupation.[4] However, the first permanent settlement in Teddington was probably in Anglo-Saxon times. Teddington was not mentioned in the Domesday book as it belonged to the Manor of Hampton.[5]

Teddington Manor was first owned by Benedictine monks in Staines and it is believed they built a chapel dedicated to St Mary on the same site as today's St Mary's Church. In 971, a charter gave the land in Teddington to the Abbey of Westminster. By the 14th century Teddington had a population of 100–200 and with most land was owned by the Abbot of Westminster, the remainder was rented by tenants.

The Hampton Court Gardens were erected in 1500 in preparation for the planned rebuilding of a 14th-century manor to form Hampton Court Palace in 1521 and were to serve as hunting grounds for Cardinal Wolsey and later Henry VIII and his family. In 1540 some common land of Teddington was enclosed to form Bushy Park and acted as more hunting grounds.

Bushy House was built in 1663, and its notable residents included Lord North, who served as Prime Minister in the late eighteenth century, who lived there for over twenty years. Shortly afterwards, the future King William IV lived there with his mistress Dorothy Jordan[6] before acceding to the throne. He later lived there with his Queen, Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen. The facilities were later converted into the National Physical Laboratory.

Economic change

Sluice gates on the River Thames

In subsequent centuries, Teddington enjoyed a prosperous life due to the proximity of royalty and by 1800 had grown significantly, with a population of over 700. The "Little Ice Age" had made farming much less profitable and residents were forced to find other work. This change resulted in great economic change in the 19th century.

The first major event was the construction of Teddington Lock in 1811 with its weir across the river.[7] Teddington Lock was the first (and now the biggest)[3] of five locks built at the time by the Corporation of London. In 1889 Teddington Lock Footbridge consisting of a suspension bridge section and a girder bridge section was completed, linking Teddington to Ham, Surrey. It was funded by local business and public subscription.

After the railway was built in 1863, easy travel to Twickenham, Richmond, Kingston and London was possible and Teddington experienced a population boom, rising from 1,183 in 1861 to 6,599 in 1881 to 14,037 in 1901.

To account for this, many roads and houses were built, continuing into the 20th century, forming the close-knit group of Victorian and Edwardian streets present today. In 1867, a local board was established and an Urban District Council in 1895.

In 1864 a group of Christians left the Anglican Church of St Mary's, upset at the high church tendencies there, and formed their own independent and Reformed, but Anglican style, congregation at Christ Church. Their church still stands today on Station Road, with the most magnificent stained glass window in the chancel and a thriving congregation. The continuing 'debate' between the two congregations led to religious riots on the streets of Teddington between Anglo-Catholics and members of the Kensit Society (now the Protestant Truth Society).

The Victorians attempted to build a massive church, St Alban's, based on the Notre Dame de Paris; however, funds ran out and only the nave of what was to be the "Cathedral of the Thames Valley" was completed. It opened in 1889 with a "temporary" wall at one end where the tower was going to be. In 1967 the church congregation reverted across the road to the historic but much smaller church of St Mary's. In 1993 the temporary wall was replaced with a permanent one as part of a refurbishment that converted St Alban's Church into The Landmark Centre,[8] a venue for concerts and exhibitions.

Bushy Park became home to Teddington Cricket Club[9] which stemmed Teddington Hockey Club in 1871, which was responsible for introducing important rules of the modern game including the striking circle and the "sticks" rule.

The early 20th century

Carnegie Library, 1906, in the Edwardian Baroque style

Great change took place around the turn of the 20th century in Teddington. Many new establishments were springing up, including Sim's Opticians and Dowsett's newsagents, which still exist today. In 1902 the National Physical Laboratory, the national measurement standards laboratory for the United Kingdom, and the largest applied physics organisation in the United Kingdom started in Bushy House (primarily working in industry and metrology and where the first accurate atomic clock was built) and the Teddington Carnegie Library was built in 1906. Electricity was also now supplied to Teddington allowing for more development.

Until this point, the only hospital had been the very small Cottage Hospital, but it could not manage the growing population especially during the First World War. Money was raised over the next decade to build Teddington Memorial Hospital[10] in 1929.

By the beginning of the Second World War, by far the greatest source of employment in Teddington was in the National Physical Laboratory. Its main focus in the war was military research and its most famous invention, the "bouncing bomb", was developed. During the war General Dwight D. Eisenhower planned the D-Day landings at his Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) in Bushy Park.

Since the War

Thames Television and ABC Weekend TV studios

Teddington was heavily bombed during the war. Most major rebuilding from bomb damage in Second World War was completed by 1960 and it was becoming a very attractive place to live. Chain stores began to open up, including Tesco in 1971.

A Warner Bros film studio had stood in teddington before the war. Teddington Studios (a digital widescreen television studio complex and one of the former homes of Thames Television) opened in 1958.

The "towpath murders" took place across the river in Surrey in 1953. On 1 June, Barbara Songhurst was discovered floating in the River Thames, having been stabbed four times. Her friend Christine Reed, then missing, was found dead on 6 June. On 28 June Alfred Whiteway was arrested for their murder, and the sexual assault of three other women that same year. Whiteway was hanged at Wandsworth prison on 22 November 1953. Whiteway and the girls were all from Teddington. The case was described as "one of Scotland Yard's most notable triumphs in a century".[11]


  • Rugby:
    • Teddington Rugby Football Club
    • Lockside Rugby Club[12]
  • Football: Weirside AFC
  • Other sports grounds: Lensbury] sports and social club of Royal Dutch Shell, now run as a private members' club with membership available to non-Shell employees and the sports teams previously associated with it have become independent:

Around the town

Royal parks

Nearest railway stations

  • Teddington
  • Hampton Wick
  • Fulwell
  • Strawberry Hill

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Teddington)


  1. [1], The Daily Telegraph, 25 October 2007.
  2. John Sheaf, Ken Howe: Hampton and Teddington Past, Historical Publications, October 1995 ISBN 0-948667-25-7 page 9
  3. 3.0 3.1 Statistics from – Environment Agency A User's Guide to the River Thames:Part II
  4. Twickenham Museum
  5. Museum
  6. Armstrong, Clare & Jerrold, Bridgman - The Story of Dorothy Jordan Ayer Publishing, 1969, ISBN 0-405-08672-5, 978-0-405-08672-4
  7. Fred. S. Thacker The Thames Highway: Volume II Locks and Weirs 1920 – republished 1968 David & Charles
  8. Landmark Centre
  9. Teddington Cricket Club
  10. Teddington Memorial Hospital
  11. Cullen, Pamela V., "A Stranger in Blood: The Case Files on Dr John Bodkin Adams", London, Elliott & Thompson, 2006, ISBN 1-904027-19-9
  12. Lockside Rugby Club


  • John Sheaf, Ken Howe: Hampton and Teddington Past, Historical Publications, October 1995 ISBN 0-948667-25-7
  • K Howe, M Cherry: Twickenham, Teddington and Hampton (Britain in Old Photographs), Sutton Publishing, October 29, 1998