Saturday 23 June 2007

Karl Moritz "does" Richmond; at last! - # 147

Karl rushes out in the evening to explore. He crosses the new bridge from Richmond to Twickenham and is astounded by the view looking up towards Richmond Hill from the Twickenham side. Today it's less easy to get the view he saw from that same point (I'll show it later as a comparison), but by standing on the Richmond side close to the Hammerton's Ferry crossing I can recreate the view more or less the same as Karl saw it, and wrote about it in the letter. On the left you can see the river squatter's raft I mentioned in a previous posting. This view is protected by Act of Parliament and cannot be changed (one of the earliest examples of environmental protection law). Karl's description, although emotional, is very accurate and perfectly captures the atmosphere and the scene.


  1. That lovely meander.

    Can we have an aerial view at some stage (post Karl)?

  2. This is a brilliant series on Karl Moritz.

  3. I should add that I mean an aerial view of the meander – i.e. shot from up the hill a bit.

    Karl M. I feel sure would have packed his boots.

    PS: It's now becoming very, very clear why you chose his Travels: he just goes overboard on Richmond.

    Listen to this: 'and on the other the Thames, with its shelvy bank and charming lawns rising like an amphitheatre, along which, here and there, one espies a picturesque white house, aspiring in majestic simplicity to pierce the dark foliage of the surrounding trees; thus studding, like stars in the galaxy, the rich expanse of this charming vale. Sweet Richmond!'

    I like the comparison: it's not all that different today.

  4. I was "off" for a few days, but was very curious to follow your story! So you believe you fond the place for the river crossing, but you are not 100% sure.

    How much time did you "lose" checking for the inn?

    You river squatter obviously chose a very nice place!

    Looking forward to see what it looked like when Karl was there!

  5. Enlarging the picture reveals a beautiful scene with a rich mix of greens from the trees. And it's nice to see the river squatter making a reappearance !

  6. Ahh - so that's where the raft-man is parked. Couldn't have picked a nicer spot. I think this view of Richmond hill would amaze a lot of people who visit the town and never realise h ow rural it can look.

    NB I think you should change your blog layout to make the main pictures bigger. Often you have to click to see the main points, and that interrupts reading the post. I don't know how Blogger works but there's plenty scope for using bigger images I guess.

  7. Quite a pretty view.

    I can't help but wonder what KM would have made of the river squatter.