Ham derives its name from the Old English word 'Hamme'
, which means 'Place in the bend in the river'
and quite aptly describes the location of the village, as together with Petersham
, it lies to the east of the bend in the River Thames. It also appears in the Domesday Book
of 1086 as 'Estreham'
It is connected to Teddington
by Teddington Lock Footbridge, and in the Summer months Hammerton's Ferry provides pedestrian links between Ham House and Marble Hill House,Twickenham
The eastern boundary is formed by Richmond Park, and when King Charles I enclosed the park in 1637, Ham lost close to over 800 acres of land stretching towards Robin Hood Gate and Kingston Hill. In return for this, a deed was established that has effectively protected the remaining Common Land - Ham Common - to this day. Predominantly agricultural land in its youth, Ham underwent developement in the 17th Century and is home to a number of buildings and houses dated from that period, with Ham House as the best preserved survivor.