Richmond Old Town Hall: the Riverside Gallery and the Museum of Richmond

Richmond

On a cold crisp day in December, I headed down to Richmond for a day out. I wanted to take a walk in the fresh riverside air, but mostly I wanted to visit the Old Town Hall. The building is home to two gallery spaces: the Museum of Richmond and the Riverside Gallery.

Old Town Hall
Richmond Old Town Hall

I started off on the ground floor, where I visited the current exhibition in the small Riverside Gallery. Virginia Woolf and the Hogarth Press was presented in conjunction with the Richmond Literature Festival, celebrating a century since Virginia and Leonard Woolf began publishing in Richmond.

Riverside Gallery

They established the Hogarth Press, named after their house, in 1917, in order to self-publish and allow writers and artists to showcase their work in small print runs. It was fascinating, and there were some beautiful examples of the books published.

Exhibition

I then headed upstairs to the museum, which was opened in 1988. It followed a plan similar to that of most local museums, following the history of the area from earliest times to the present day. Interestingly, the area has only been known as Richmond since the building of Richmond Palace by Henry VII in the early sixteenth century. It used to be part of the area known as Shene. The museum is pretty small but it has some interesting artefacts.

Museum of Richmond

Inspired by what I found out, when I went for my walk later I made a point of looking for the remnants of Richmond Palace. Most of them are on private property, but I spotted a few things of interest.

Richmond Palace

Richmond Palace plaque

FACTS

Address: Old Town Hall, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond, TW9 1TP

Website: Riverside Gallery – richmond.gov.uk/home/services/arts/riverside_gallery    Museum of Richmond – museumofrichmond.com

Opening Hours: Riverside Gallery closed Sunday; Museum of Richmond closed Sunday and Monday

Prices: Free

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