This page details the developement of the northern half of Twickenham Park which
is now commonly known as St Margarets. This area is presently bordered by Isleworth
to the north and the A316 Chertsey Road by Twickenham Bridge.
The developement centered principly on 3 riverbank properties which had been built
during the 18th century. These houses came to be named after their owners, the
engraving below by Boydell dates from 1770 and shows on the right Railshead
House which later became Seaton House, and then Gordon House which is it's
present name. Next door is what became known as Lacy House, and on the left
is the property eventually to be known as St Margarets House.
The picture below dates from about 1785 and shows the property then known as
Counsellor Baldwin's. It later became St Margaret's House when it was rebuilt.
image courtesy Richmond local studies Ref: lcp3301tw
The next house became known as Lacy House and passed from its one
time owner Edward Walpole (brother of Horace) to his widowed daughter
Laura Keppel who lived there until her death in 1813.
The Honourable Mrs Laura Keppel by Thomas Hudson
Following Mrs Keppel's death the house was auctioned, firstly
in August 1813 and secondly in Apr[l 1814 as presumably the
property did not initially sell.
The two Rate Book extracts below show the 3 properties between 1814 and 1815.
In 1814 Mrs Bland is resident at Railshead House, Mrs Keppel's executors are
in charge of her old house, and Francis Gosling esq has moved into a newly
rebuilt house which for a short time was to be known as Twickenham Park Mansion.
The following year in April 1815 Mrs Keppel's property has a new owner, namely
Earl Cassillis and his family who purchased the house as an addition to their main
estate in Ayrshire, Scotland, and their London residence in Whitehall Gardens.
Rate book images courtesy Hounslow Local Studies
Pictured below are Archibald Kennedy The Earl of Cassillis and his wife Margaret
Erskine who he married in 1793. They had 6 children.
Below is their new home on the banks of the Thames which they purchased
when Lacy House was auctioned in 1813.
The property was now called Laura Villa after it's last owner, and is shown
below in this 1801 engraving by S Sparrow.
The 1816 book The Beauties of England and Wales details the 3 riverside
properties in the northern part of Twickenham Park. It details the houses and
their owners at that time.
Francis Gosling had completely rebuilt the old house he bought in 1814 but he
died in 1817 and the house and surrounding estate known as Twickenham Park
The map below is a detail from the auction catalogue and shows the riverside
mansion and immediate surroundings.
Francis Gosling's estate was purchased by Joseph Todd esq,
a successful businessman in London. He appears to have
been mainly interested in the southern part of the estate
which extended as far as Richmond Bridge.
With plans to build a new mansion, Todd sold Gosling's house
to his next door neighbour Earl Cassillis who purchased the
house and its surrounding land. He then demolished his own
house, the former Lacy House, which was now called Laura Villa.
The auction below in october 1817 may refer to the sale
of materials from the dismantled Lacy House.
The September 1817 Rate Book shows the 3 Riverside Houses at that
time. Mr Birkett is resident at Railshead House, which possibly was
now called Seaton House. Next door is Earl Cassillis in the old Lacy
House, and Joseph Todd is in Gosling's mansion.
The 1818 enclosure map below shows the northern section of Twickenham Park
in detail. On the right is the same area but in 1894.
Click on each image for an enlarged version.
Below is the edited 1818 index for this part of the park showing the 3 houses.
Images Courtesy Hounslow Local Studies Library
Below is the first mention of Gosling's house being named St Margaret's.
This newspaper cutting dates from Feb 6th 1819. Presumably with Joseph
Todd acquiring the Twickenham Park Estate in 1817 he must have sold
Goslings house to Earl Cassillis during 1818.
In 1819 Earl Cassillis's former home Laura Villa was finally taken down and its
materials sold at auction in two parts. Due to the close proximity
of the two
houses we imagine Cassilis didn't want potential neighbours so close, so he
had the old house removed.
The Earl of Cassillis was firmly established in his new home when his daughter
Lady Anne Kennedy married in 1821.
A special Licence was issued for the marriage to take place at
Earl Cassillis House, named St Margarets.
Below is Alexander Nasmyth's 1826 Prospect of London. The view ia
from Earl Cassillis London residence in Whitehall Gardens.
Continued in Part Two