Captain Gray's Houses: A History of Sion Row, Twickenham

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Book Details

Format: Hardback (full colour) (546 pages)

Publisher: Sacristy Press

Date of Publication:

ISBN: 978-1-78959-000-5

Permission must be requested to reuse any content from this book.

Synopsis

Twickenham is known today as the home of rugby, but its heyday could be said to be in the eighteenth century, when first Pope and then Horace Walpole made it their home there. Captain Gray, a naval officer, acquired plots of land close to the river in Twickenham in 1718 on which he built two rows of houses, Sion Row and Montpelier Row, which survive to this day and are much admired.

This book tells the story of Sion Row, built for Gray by Edward Reeves, a remarkable local craftsman, who had ambition to become an architect. It explains the features of the houses and how they were built. It then follows them through to the present day showing how they were used and what modifications have been made to them and, not least, how they survived. 

We hear of the owners and the residents, many of whom have fascinating stories to tell. They are immensely diverse, some international, some purely local, some disreputable, others pillars of respectability. Their lives are put in the context of changes in Twickenham as it evolved from out-of-town retreat to prosperous commuter suburb.

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