In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Kew like this:
Kew, par. and vil. (ry. sta. Kew Gardens), Surrey, on r. Thames, at boundary with Middlesex, opposite Brentford (with which it is connected by a bridge), 1½ mile NE. of Richmond and 6 miles from Hyde Park Corner, London, 298 ac., pop. 1670; P.O., T.O., and P.O. at Kew Road. Kew has a special celebrity, due to its Royal Botanic Gardens and Arboretum. ...
The gardens were originated by George III. and his gardener, the well-known William Acton, in 1760. They contain the collections of Captain Cook and Sir Joseph Banks, and are said to show the finest collection of exotic plants in the world. In 1840 Queen Victoria, by presentation, made the gardens a national property. The herbarium is the largest in the world, and there are conservatories, museums, fernhouses, a library, and a picture gallery - the latter being presented by Miss M. North in 1882. Kew is one of the great suburban attractions of London. The gardens are free to the public every day after 1 p.m. They are maintained by a Parliamentary grant of about #20,000. Gainsborough (1727-88), the painter, is buried in Kew churchyard.
Kew is now part of Richmond upon Thames district. Click here for graphs and data of how Richmond upon Thames has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Kew itself, go to Units and Statistics.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Kew, in Richmond upon Thames and Surrey | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 30th April 2017
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