Twickenham as a Patriotic Town


By Michael Lee, published 1st December 2005

Twickenham from the 1890s onwards grew as a town with a special sense of history. Nobody in authority on the local council could quite forget the reputation which the district had acquired as a rural arcadia. The aristocrats and gentry who built villas in the parish in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, often simply to have retreat from the stifling conditions of central London, left their mark on local conceptions of what kind of development was appropriate to a place of such distinction. The papers of Alexander Pope and Horace Walpole were a constant source of reference to its former glory. John Ruskin had coined the phrase 'Twickenham classicism' for the custom of designing houses that betrayed the influence of the Grand Tour.

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