Heritage Centre

Hearsum Collection – new Centre and exhibition

Hearsum Collection

The Hearsum Collection is the most extensive archive anywhere of items relating to the history of Richmond Park. It has been assembled over the last 15 years by Daniel Hearsum, who operates Pembroke Lodge, and recently has received other smaller collections.

The collection includes 220 antique prints and paintings, 720 postcards, 70 antique maps, 400 photographs, 450 documents, 600 books and pamphlets, and 320 historic objects and ephemera, from police uniforms to ‘magic lantern’ slides. it continues to grow at the rate of about 20 items per month.

The collection is being catalogued to museum standards and put on the internet by 20 volunteers from the Friends of Richmond Park, who include specialists such as a landscape historian, a museum curator and a librarian. Their work is now producing lots of fascinating stories and images of the past, which is being put on the Collection’s website.

You can see more about the collection and read some of the stories here 

Please note that the Collection is not yet open to the public.

Proposed Heritage Centre and consultation

Plans are underway to house the collection in a new Heritage Centre, which will also provide information about the Park’s heritage and ecology. The Centre will be located adjacent to the current Visitor Centre, in front of Pembroke Lodge.

The Friends’ Facebook page has a drawing of where the Centre will be located here

A public consultation about the plans took place on Thursday 7 August.

World War exhibition

In the entrance hall of Pembroke Lodge is a small exhibition entitled ‘Richmond Park in the First World War’, with items from the Hearsum Collection and put together by the Collection and the Friends’ History Project volunteers. It tells the story of some of the notable things that took place in the Park during the war, including cavalry training, the construction of a large hospital, a top secret military experiment, and women working on the Home Front. Entry to the exhibition is free and it will be open to December.