LATCHMERE BROOK

Beneath the Rec, close to the boundary with Aldersbrook Drive lies the Latchmere Stream or Latchmere Brook.

 

The source of this stream is near the junction between Canbury Road and Richmond Road. With the increased urbanisation of Kingston in the early 19th century it served as an open sewer and became a public nuisance and health hazard. In 1866, the Kingston Board of Guardians reported that ‘The stench from this ditch, which is an open one, is always bad, but in summer it is beyond words to describe’. This and other open sewers were the cause of serious public health problems and, in the 1890s the old Latchmere Brook, which, for some, was the only source of drinking water, was cited as the cause of fatalities through infant diarrhoea and diphtheria.

 

The stream was covered over (culverted) throughout its whole length in the early 20th Century.

 

It now emerges 50 metres west of Ham Gate, outside Richmond Park then flows a short distance before entering the park under the wall and joining the Sudbrook by Ham Gate Pond.

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