What we do
We collect, catalogue and preserve as best we can, in the present limited conditions, items which tell the story of the history of Richmond Park. These include some:
- 290 antique prints and paintings
- 790 postcards
- 82 antique maps
- 500 photographs
- 610 documents
- 720 books and pamphlets, and
- 330 historic objects and ephemera, from police uniforms to ‘magic lantern’ slides.
- 900 press cuttings
The Hearsum Collection is already the most extensive archive anywhere of items relating to the history of Richmond Park, the largest of London’s Royal Parks, and we continue to acquire further heritage material.
The material covers over 400 years of the history of the Park, from a John Speed map of 1610 showing the area before enclosure by Charles I in 1637, through antique maps, prints and paintings showing 18th and 19th century buildings (some of which no longer exist), to postcards showing the Park over the last 100 years. There are also press cuttings covering the second half of the 20th century.
We also actively acquire heritage material from other Royal Parks and currently hold more than 2,600 items relating to Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, St. James’s Park, Green Park and Regent’s Park.
A new heritage centre
To provide proper storage, display and interpretation we are also:
- Consulting the community as to our plans for a heritage centre
- Developing plans with expert professional input for a new heritage centre
- Discussing the centre with The Royal Parks and the planners
- Preparing fundraising plans. Planning permission was granted in June 2017. We are currently finalising the last consent and will then begin fundraising