The Opening of Terrace and Buccleuch Gardens

View of Terrace and Buccleuch GArdens from the upper section

For hundreds of years, the parish was the most important unit of local government. The parish vestry members of Richmond hearing In the late 1800s that the Duke of Buccleuch’s estate was for sale felt concerned, This land included the stretch adjacent to the river, where the family house stood as well as acres of land the Duke had acquired when the neighbouring Landsdowne House was demolished. The Duke had developed in the high-class home feature to the time: pleasure grounds. Connecting the lawns of different sides of the road with a subterranean passage still in position today.

Acting as guardians of the town, the town officials became concerned that private development of the Buccleuch site would lead to the loss of the famous ‘Terrace View’ to the river they quickly acquired them. Buccleuch House they sold to a member of parliament, Sir J. Whittaker Ellis and was eventually demolished in 1938.

Terrace Gardens opened to the public in May 1887, by the Duchess of Teck. Pictures of the day show her standing on the upper section of the terrace above the fountain, made of cast iron this fountain marks the spot where Landsdowne House once stood.

George de Sala, editor of the Punch magazine lived in Marlborough Road and attended the opening as did Sir Frederic Leighton the president of the Royal Academy. Although impressed with the ceremony he was not enamoured with the fountain describing it as “abominably hideous’. 

The original fountain at Terrace Gardens

Planned as only as a temporary structure in Terrace and Buccleuch Gardens, it hung around until the Second World War when removed quietly as scrap. Its replacement in 1952 was no-more popular. The modernist and realistic style of ‘Bulbous Betty’, as it became known, was much derided.

'Bulbous Betty' Fountain at Terrace Gardens
Bulbous Betty C. 1952
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