Museum of Richmond

For centuries Richmond has been a centre of fashion and the arts, as well as home to several of Britain’s monarchs. Formerly the historical borough of Shene, Richmond was founded following King Henry VII’s building of Richmond Palace in the 16th century, named after the King’s earldom in Richmond, North Yorkshire.

Even before the building of the Palace, the area had long been a seat of the monarchy and the elite, ranging from King Henry I to King Richard II. The re-establishment of Richmond as a popular retreat of the royalty and aristocracy, both of England and elsewhere, led to the rapid economic development of Richmond as an attractive tourist destination and centre of leisure.

This reputation still holds true today, as Richmond is considered one of the most sought-after boroughs of London, as well as one of its most beautiful, and many famous personalities still choose to make Richmond their home.

The Museum of Richmond celebrates the rich heritage of Richmond, Ham, Petersham and Kew and, through the exhibition and education programmes, all other areas of the borough. The colourful displays span from mediaeval times to the present day. It is ideal for family visits: admission is free, and there are always lots of activities to keep children entertained. The museum is close to the River Thames and to Richmond Green.

The collection covers the area of the old pre-1965 Borough of Richmond which comprised Richmond, Ham, Petersham and Kew. The foundation of the collection came from the Borough collection then stored at Orleans House, but has grown considerably over the years. It should also be noted that, through a wide-ranging education service and special exhibitions, the Museum embraces the whole area of the present London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. In addition to comprehensive permanent displays, the Museum of Richmond has a rotating schedule of touring exhibitions, as well as those developed and curated by the staff of the Museum itself. As these temporary exhibitions change throughout the year, no two visits to the Museum are the same

Look out for…

  • Painted Glass from Richmond Palace
  • Hatchment from St. Anne’s Church, Kew
  • Rump Hall Workhouse Clock
  • Cardboard Wedding Cake from 1943
  • Mayoral Robes 1907-8
  • Model of a Double Sculling Skiff

Did you know?…

  • The Museum of Richmond was opened in a formal ceremony by Queen Elizabeth II on 28th October 1988, attached are two photographs from this event. The gentleman standing beside the Queen in both photographs is the late John Cloake, who helped the Museum come into being and was its curator for many years.
  • The Royal Patron of the Museum of Richmond is Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy, KG GCVO
  • The Patrons of the Museum of Richmond include Sir David Attenborough, Greville Dare, Bamber Gascoigne, Lady Annabel Goldsmith, Andrew Marr, Alan Lord Watson of Richmond CBE and Julian Lord Fellowes.

Museum Facilities


Audio Guide

Wheelchair Access


Tour Guide




Venue Hire

All information is drawn from or provided by the museums themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.