From a News Paper Article April 1924
Transformation of the "Dukes Meadows"
When the transformation of the "Dukes Meadows" to which the reference was recently made in the Morning Post, into a public walk and terraced gardens has been effected, Chiswick will possess one of the finest riverside boulevards in the country.
This area of over 200 acres which was acquired by the Chiswick Council from the Duke of Devonshire, stretches on both sides of Barnes Bridge, being overlooked on the north side by Chiswick House, the property of the Duke of Devonshire, from which the famous gates of Devonshire House in Piccadilly. King Edward VII and his sons, the present King and the late Duke of Clarence, were privately educated at Chiswick House in the magnificent grounds of which Queen Victoria gave garden parties. This house is at present a private asylum and is not part of the Councils purchase.
On the invitation of the Council a party of visitors were given an opportunity of visualising the project and made a tour of the Meadows, guided by the Clerk Mr F Fernihough, the deputy clerk Mr Skinner, Councillors Powell and Johnson and Mr E Willis the Councils Surveyor and Engineer.
Boat Race Takings
The Dukes Meadows are already well known to many who go down every year to see the University Boat Race near its finish, and, in fact so many thousands of people availed themselves of this vantage point last Saturday week at the small admission fee charged by the Council, that over £1,000 net was raised towards the promenade project. It is expected that when this pleasaunce is completed the Councils funds will benefit considerably from the demand places to see the race every year. Yesterday work was proceeding in accordance with plan.
The Great Chertsey arterial road running south-west and bordering the area, is in course of construction and it is proposed to build new sixty foot bridge across the Thames, which will link up this artery with Lower Richmond Road on the south side of the river. From this road there will run down to the promenade a road lined with Guernsey Elms, and there is already a smaller approach road from Edensor Road to the most Easterly corner of the promenade lined with small limes and Lombardy poplars. At some future date it is hoped that another bridge will be built connecting the new Elm Road with the south side of the river, with a view to aiding London's traffic problem but the scheme already approved will cost £30,000 and any further developments must be left for the future.
Artistic designs have been prepared for the promenade which will be equipped with summer houses, terrace walks, refreshment kiosks and at one point balustraded steps leading down to the waterside. Behind there will be a wide area of public playing fields with lawn tennis courts, hard and grass, and cricket and football pitches, in addition to fine spaces already taken by the Civil Service Sports Association and a public company.
It is expected that along the arterial road, which, it is hoped will be finished by August, blocks of flats will be put up, and the Duke of Devonshire has given a corner site for the building of municipal almshouses.
The fine new pleasaunce will be set in one of the most picturesque and historic parts of London. From it will be seem Walpole House in Chiswick Mall, indicated by Thackeray as the place where Becky Sharp was educated and actually inhabited by the late Sir Herbert Tree in more recent times, while not far off is Hogarth House with its Mulberry Tree. On the Kew Bridge side there is Strand on the Green, the haunt of artists, and between this and the winning post for the Boat Race, where the London Polytechnic and the Ibis rowing clubs have their boathouses the Chiswick Council has bought twelve acres of conversion into sports grounds. Hard lawn tennis courts are already being laid out which will probably be let to clubs.
Nearby is Cubbits Dock one of those fascinating corners in which the Thames side abounds. It is an irregularly shaped harbour or creek, the existence of which is known to few except those who lay up their motor boats on launches during the winter there, in some cases actually live in these crafts. This inlet will be preserved by the Council in it's policy of maintaining every open space possible.
In pursuance of that policy some waste ground near Turnham Green Station used for allotments during the war is being turned into tennis courts.
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