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:
- 220 antique prints and paintings
- 720 postcards
- 70 antique maps
- 400 photographs
- 450 documents
- 600 books and pamphlets, and
- 320 historic objects and ephemera, from police uniforms to ‘magic lantern’ slides.
- There are also around 1,000 press cuttings yet to be catalogued.
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 at the rate of about 20 items per month.
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. Recent acquisitions cover the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and 2012 Olympics.
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 a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund.