Twickenham is a district of west London on the north bank of the River Thames. Part of the former county of Middlesex, it is a place of some antiquity and its name is first known to have been recorded - as Tuican hom - in AD 704. However, settlement in the area goes back considerably further, and prehistoric finds have been made in the town.
Twickenham achieved note in the eighteenth century as it was a favoured residential area, close to London but possessing attractive riverside scenery. Among the many 18th and 19th century notables who lived at Twickenham are Sir Godfrey Kneller, Horace Walpole, Alexander Pope, Henry Fielding, and Charles Dickens. Louis Philippe and other members of the exiled French royal family lived at Orleans House in Twickenham, and Maria FitzhHerbert, the morganatic wife of King George IV, lived at nearby Marble Hill House.
In the later 19th century Twickenham began to lose its village status and take on the attributes of a London suburb. It was linked to central London by train in 1848, and gained an electric tram (streetcar) service at the turn of the 20th century. In 1894 it became an urban district and in 1926 a municipal borough, which in 1937 incorporated the neighbouring districts of Teddington, Hampton and Hampton Wick, giving the enlarged borough a population of more than 100,000. In 1965 Twickenham merged with the boroughs of Richmond and Barnes to form the new London Borough of Richmond upon Thames; the administrative centre of the borough is Twickenham.
Twickenham is probably best known for its large Rugby Union stadium, first used in 1909 and considerably enlarged in the last 15 years.