Platt’s Eyot

Platt’s Eyot, Richmond upon Thames

The westernmost and one of the largest of London’s Thames islets

A steep and wooded path leads down to the north riverbank
A steep and wooded path leads down to the north riverbank on Platt’s Eyot

The words ‘eyot’ and ‘ait’ are used inter­change­ably to denote the small islands of the Thames and the two are pronounced iden­ti­cally. Platt’s Eyot is linked by a narrow bridge to the Lower Sunbury Road.

Until the 1880s osiers were grown here, a species of willow used for basket-making. The islet owes its hilly topog­raphy to the dumping of soil excavated during the creation of addi­tional filter beds at Hampton water­works at the end of the 19th century.

Platt’s Eyot was home to the Thor­n­ey­croft boatyard, which built torpedo boats in the two world wars. In 1994 The Inde­pen­dent described the old yard as “now suffi­ciently mellow in appear­ance to be consid­ered part of the picturesque confusion rather than an indus­trial eyesore.” The islet was also formerly a base for the river police.

Although its features are on a small scale, Platt’s Eyot has an unex­pected amount of both woodland and light industry, together with amenities like a café and public conve­niences provided for workers and sailors. Many of the islet’s workshops and studio units presently lie empty, but its moorings are almost fully occupied.

Postcode area: Hampton, TW12