The Collection and its stories

The Hearsum Collection has diverse items from over 400 years of history relating to Richmond Park.

They tell stories about kings and queens, prime ministers, and other notable personalities including a leading philosopher, the campaign for public access, the impact of two world wars, changing patterns of sport and recreation – including the Olympics in 1948 and 2012, and connections with visitors from around the world.

Four generations of monarch

This photograph in the Hearsum Collection is from a royal christening which took place at White Lodge in Richmond Park, then the home of the Duke and Duchess of Teck.

The Duchess, known as ‘fat Mary’ because of her generous waistline, was a first cousin of Queen Victoria, and mother of Princess May, who was married to the future King George V (and became Queen Mary). For the birth of her first child in 1894 May went back home to White Lodge to be with her mother.

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The First World War and Richmond Park

Richmond Park has been the scene of many military-related developments over the years, not least during the First World War. This antique postcard from the Hearsum Collection shows one such instance, the military hospital built for South African troops, located between Conduit Wood and Bishop’s Pond.

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