Most famous the world over for the Royal Botanical Gardens
, its earliest mentioning is as 'Cayho'
in 1327, followed by 'Kayhough'
during Henry VII's reign and finally it was shortened after the Tudor Dynasty to 'Koo'
. The origin of the name stems from a combination of the Old French 'Kai'
meaning 'Landing place'
, which is also where the English word 'Quay'
derives from, and the Old English 'Hough'
, which indicated that the land near the river was low.
Other points of interest include Kew Palace
, which is located on the grounds of the Gardens, and the National Archives
, formerly known as the Public Record Office. If you fancy a bit of afternoon tea, visit The Original Maids of Honour
for Henry VIII's much-loved cake - the recipe hasn't changed since!
The history of the village has been closely linked with that of the Royal Family; ever since Richmond Palace once stood proudly upon the banks of the Thames as it wound through Richmond, bringing with it an abundance of commerce, Kew has developed dramatically due to its proximity. As time went on, Kew became a popular location for the nobility, who built impressive Georgian and Stuart houses, as the city centre of London became overcrowded. Kew has always had good transport links, further bolstered in the 19th Century with the introduction of the District Underground Line.
Nowadays, the village boasts a number of independent and chain shops and restaurants, while still retaining its charm and continues its popularity due to its green location and proximity to the city.