Links to organisations relating to Bushy Park and Hampton Court Palace Park. Mistletoe Walk 2.
Date posted: Thursday 2. February 2. 00. 8Mistletoe at Hampton Court Palace grounds. Saturday 1. 6th February 2.
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The Mistletoe walk – for many years led by Tyrrell Marris and again joined this year by Graham Dillamore is becoming one of the Friends annual favourites. Almost sixty of us met at the Lion Gate on a beautiful spring- like morning. It may be tempting fate to say it, but for many years now the weather has been very good.
Looking up into the trees to see the mistletoe with a bright blue sky behind it, makes it even more special. The early spring bulbs were out too – crocus, daffodil and snowdrops. We started walking through the wilderness area and saw mistletoe on young trees no more than six feet off the ground, as well as on trees some hundreds of years old where the mistletoe was growing high up. York Minster is still the only great church to have mistletoe placed on the altar on Christmas Day. The Church of England used to believe that mistletoe was one of the pagan symbols as it was used to ward off evil spirits and witches, and hung over cow shed doors to bring good luck to the herd. Tyrrell explained that many Mistlethrushes plant the mistletoe as they only eat the fruit and deposit the seeds – after they have digested the fruit. That’s enough explanation of that!
The seeds are trapped in the crevices in the bark and grow on using their own leaves for growth. The only thing they take from the host tree is fluids, so it does no damage to the tree on which it is living. Graham took over at this point and led us to the Clore Centre, named not surprisingly after its benefactor, It is in the courtyard behind the door with bright gold vine leaves; startling in the sun. The Clore Centre is an education centre opened by Prince Charles last year. Its reception area has a stunning model of a flying dragon made by local school children, based on the dragon at the top of the painting “The Field of the Cloth of Gold” which is on display at Hampton Court. We were then led across the courtyard to the old barracks building – actually two, one housing the men from the household cavalry, and the other infantry men. Their horses were stabled below them as they slept 2.
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The building has been turned into classrooms and a lecture room, and is well used by local schools and lectures and meetings for adults. Outside again, and still in bright sun we crossed the green to the south west corner of the palace to see a fine old tree a False Acacia which has several large clumps of mistletoe, and while we were watching a mistlethrush appeared, which just proved that Tyrrell was right. We finished our walk at the now completed Orangery Garden. Last year Graham had shown us the area just after Tudor foundations were found. Those have been recorded by archaeologists and now covered over and the area planted in the original Queen Mary design. There are narrow beds with box surrounds and sparsely planted with bulbs as bulbs were a great rarity and very expensive. In summer Delft plant pots were brought out with delicate plants.
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Tyrrell and Graham gave us a most interesting morning, and we hope that may be persuaded to talk to us again next year. Pieter Morpurgo, February 2. History of Teddington and Environs.
Date posted: Sunday 1st June 2. Paddy Ching, 2. 2 May 2. Paddy Ching, a local historian, gave a most interesting and informative talk illustrated with maps and photographs. She began the story in Saxon times when Teddington was one of many villages which had grown up along the banks of the Thames. Teddington was different due to the main road running away from the river.
This may have been due to flooding along the banks of the Thames. The derivation of the name is not ‘tide end’ which was invented by Rudyard Kipling. In Saxon times we do not know where the tide ended! Other names recorded were Tuddington and Todynton. There were many weirs and a fish trap dating back to the 1. Teddington was in the shallows. The weir at Teddington was destroyed in the 1.
Century and the first lock built in 1. In the 1. 3th and 1.
Teddington, as part of the larger manor of Staines, sent food and money from the sale of produce to Westminster Abbey. The population was halved during the Black Death in 1. Abbey died so food was no longer required. The village expanded at the beginning of the 1. Century, but Teddington was less popular than Twickenham and Hampton. Houses had spread along the High Street to the village pond at the corner of Park Road.
Later wealthy business men and trades- people retired to Teddington. The only surviving 1. Century house of importance is Elmfield House.
Much changed with the building of the railway line in 1. Houses nearer to the river were knocked down, villas built in Cambridge Road and Church Road opened. Only in 1. 90. 8 were shops built in Broad Street and Teddington developed into a town. The Memorial Hospital was built in 1. Nearly the whole of Bushy Park used to be in Hampton, but it is unlikely that it was used for serious hunting. Hare and deer coursing with dogs were more likely.
A stream rose by Upper Lodge running NW and formed the boundary between Teddington and Twickenham. Chestnut Avenue was constructed for William III and a wall constructed round the park to keep it in private use. The park was appropriated by Cardinal Wolsey and then Henry VIII. It was not made available for public use until 1.
Notable residents have included Sir Orlando Bridgeman, Sir Charles Duncombe, John Walter and R. D. Blackmore who all built houses in the village. The Reverend Stephen Hales was appointed minister at St. Mary with St. Alban’s church in 1. Thomas Sackville, Earl of Dorset is said to have lived at the Manor and William IV lived nearby at Bushy House.
Peg Woffington, the actress, retired to Teddington in 1. Jane Cliff – June 2. Deer Talk at Market House, Kingston. Date posted: Sunday 1st June 2.
Ray Brodie, 1. 7th April 2. This was a joint evening talk organised by the Friends of Richmond Park together with the Friends of Bushy & Home Parks.
The event was part of a highly successful two- week Market House Festival organised by Marilyn Mason. Starting earlier than our usual talks it was well attended by both groups. There were three speakers Ray Brodie, Manager of Bushy Park, Simon Richards, Manager of Richmond Park and Chris Howard of the British Deer Society. We are so familiar with our own deer in Bushy Park that it’s easy to forget that less than two miles away there roams another equally spectacular herd in Richmond Park. A reminder of this wealth of local wildlife came at this ‘Deer Evening’ held in the Market House at Kingston in April.
Though the deer herd that Bushy Park manager Ray Brodie has to look after in his thousand acres is half the size of Richmond Park’s, numbering 1. Richmond Park’s manager Simon Richards: combining wildlife interests with those of human visitors; deterring deer from ring- barking and ruining young trees; clearing litter and preventing dogs from running wild. There are calls from members of the public who have found ‘abandoned’ baby deer (which of course are not abandoned at all). There was even, said Ray, a call last summer from a visitor who wanted to know how Park gardeners found the time to prune all the chestnut trees to give them the tidy ‘browse line’. In both parks the herds have to be controlled by annual culling. However, in Bushy Park males are culled in September and females in November, unlike the normal Richmond Park pattern of a female cull in November and a male cull in February.
The evening had started with an informative talk on the distribution and behaviour of deer across Britain by Chris Howard of the British Deer Society. Used as we are to our familiar red deer and fallow deer, neither species is, Chris explained, the commonest of those that are native to Britain or so well established here as to be regarded as naturalised. That distinction belongs to the shy roe deer, known in Britain since the Middle Ages and numerous in woodland and upland areas.
Then there are the Muntjac, a sharp- toothed killer whose ferocity belies its small size, the Sika which was introduced to Brownsea Island in 1. Chinese Water Deer which escaped from Woburn Park and flourishes in the Fens. Among the fascinating facts about deer behaviour given by Chris Howard are the amazing power of their senses: deer can see at a mile, and angle their ears separately to pick up sounds from different directions. They spend three to four hours eating every day, but in between they need to pause to chew their regurgitated food, which is why it is important not to disturb deer when they seem to be at rest. Simon Richards, Richmond Park manager, told us about the history of Britain’s deer parks, the fact that in Victorian times Britain exported deer to New Zealand to start herds there, and that during the Second World War Richmond Park’s deer population shrank to just 7. There was a lively question- and- answer session involving all three speakers.
The perennial question of what happens to a deer’s antlers after they are shed seemed to be a mystery to all of them. The evening ended with refreshments and a chance to chat to another Friends group. Michael Davison & Pieter Morpurgo, June 2. Bat Walk in Bushy Park. Date posted: Sunday 8th June 2. Dr Nigel Reeve 8th June 2. We met at Teddington Gate at 8: 3.
As bats don’t leave their roosts until sunset, Nigel had a few minutes to introduce his walk with a few facts about Bushy Park itself. It is 4. 45 hectares or 1.
Royal Parks. It’s an important area of acid grassland with many important plants including Mudwort, the only site in the London area. For its value to a wide range of invertebrates the park satisfies the criteria for designation as a SSSI (a Site of Special Scientific Interest) and The Royal Parks are working with Natural England to further the possibility of designation in the near future.