Former Gate House to Ham Common

From Wikimedia Commons:

“The former Gate House to Ham Common on the A307, Upper Ham Road. The inscription to the left states: “Erected by the inhabitants of Ham and Hatch, 1771”. The house and gate was operated as an almshouse, the gate was to prevent animals straying off the common, not a toll gate. There were two other similar gates bounding the common. The inscription to the right states “Restored by the Hon. Mrs Algernon Tollemache, 1892″. The building was further restored in 1968.”

From Wikipedia:

“The earliest known written record of Ham as a separate village dates from the 12th century when Hamma was included in the royal demesne as a member of Kingston, contributing 43s. 4d. in 1168 towards the marriage of Matilda, the eldest daughter of Henry II.

Between the Royal Courts at Richmond and Hampton Court, Ham’s predominantly agricultural area developed from the beginning of the 17th century, with the construction of Ham House in 1610, the best-preserved survivor of the period. The related history of the Earls of Dysart dominated the development of Ham and Petersham for the following four centuries.

When the park was enclosed by Charles I in 1637, Ham parish lost the use of most of the affected land, over 800 acres (3.2 km2) stretching towards Robin Hood Gate and Kingston Hill, almost half of which was common land. In return for this, a deed was struck which has effectively protected most of the remaining common land, Ham Common, to the present day. The enclosed land, whilst lost to agriculture, remained within Ham’s administrative boundaries.

The whole area was referred to as Ham cum Hatch, or Ham with Hatch, until late Victorian times.”

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