Kew: a Potted History

Kew has an impressive history. It was mentioned in Caesar’s Gallic Wars as the place where the Roman army forded the Thames, but came to prominence with the Tudors. Kew Farm was an important building and home to Henry Norris, a close friend of Henry VIII and subsequently Robert Dudley, Elizabeth I’s favourite. Its royal history continued with Queen Anne, who donated the land for St. Anne’s Church. Princess Augusta, founder of the Gardens, and her husband Prince Frederick lived in Kew and the summer court of King George III and Queen Charlotte moved here too.

With Royal visitors, came trade and prosperity which in turn brought more people to live in Kew. It became known as the bread basket of London as much of the area was given over to market gardens, which fed London for many years. But inevitably as London grew, so these gardens decreased to make way for more homes.

Much of what is here today dates from the late 19th Century with the arrival of the District Line and easy access to London. This has created a popular area for families with wide open spaces, good schools and access to the City. It retains its village feel and you can still find traces of the past in Kew Village with its selection of independent shops, restaurants and cafés.

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