1.1 Lord Sterling commissioned the construction of the Royal Row Barge ‘Gloriana’
to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the accession to the throne of Her Majesty
The Queen. Gloriana was designed by Mark Edwards of Richmond Bridge
Boathouses and she was built by a team of boatbuilders from Richmond.
Gloriana led the procession of vessels that took part in the Diamond Jubilee
Pageant on 2nd June 2012.
1.2 It is intended that Gloriana will be used for various state, civic and charitable
events on the River Thames from year to year. An initial draft programme for
2013 is attached as Appendix 1. In between these events it will be necessary
for Gloriana to have a permanent home that provides a secure base for the
operation of the row barge. The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
(‘LBRuT’ or the ‘Council’) is keen for Gloriana to be based in the Borough and it
has commissioned this feasibility study to review various locations it has
identified for locating a mooring for Gloriana and building a barge house.
Richmond is a practical location for Gloriana, positioned on the tideway for
access to Central London and sufficiently upriver for good access to locations
such as Windsor and Henley.
1.3 The Council’s objectives for this study are set out in a draft brief dated 14th
March 2013. The key elements contained in the draft brief are set out in
section 2 of this report.
1.4 This study has been researched by XXX who has experience of various
projects concerning marine facilities in London. In 2007 he led reviews of
boatyard facilities on the River Thames for the Greater London Authority and
on the London canal network for British Waterways. He has observed the
construction of Gloriana and has an understanding of the sort of issues that are
involved in maintaining and presenting a vessel of this size to the general
1.5 We provide an historical context in Section 3 that shows how row barges have
been cared for in the past. Section 3 also provides examples of typical forms
of boathouses in the Borough of Richmond.
1.6 A critical aspect of this study is the Council’s strong town planning policy
framework that seeks to protect and improve the outstanding landscape and
townscape character of the River Thames and adjoining open spaces in the
Borough. An assessment is therefore made for each of the potential locations
of the key town planning policies that provide the context for any development
proposals that may be made to house Gloriana. These matters are dealt with
in the review of options in Section 4.
1.7 The Council’s draft brief identifies three potential locations to house Gloriana.
We have worked up draft proposals in Section 4 to show how the various
objectives of the brief could be met and the nature of the town planning policy
issues that are raised. We also look at the possibility of using an existing
boathouse for winter storage in association with the use of a mooring in
Richmond for the public display of Gloriana.
1.8 We provide our recommendations in Section 4 and report on consultation that
we have undertaken on our preferred option in Section 5.
2 The Project Brief
2.1 The draft brief provided by LBRuT is for a feasibility study to evaluate potential
options for the location of the Royal Row Barge, Gloriana. Gloriana is a 26.9
metres long row barge that was built to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the
accession of Her Majesty the Queen.
2.2 The Council would like the barge to be moored in the borough to act as a
tourist attraction and to be enjoyed by its residents and visitors, particularly as
the barge has strong links with the borough. The priority is to provide a safe,
secure and accessible mooring to view the barge. The feasibility of this will also
need to consider the construction of a boat house large enough to house the
barge to protect her from the elements during the winter and to keep the barge
secure when not in use or on display.
2.3 The Brief identifies three possible locations that it considers present potential
locations for the mooring and winter storage of Gloriana (see Figure 2.1).
1. Buccleuch Gardens, Richmond;
2. The Gothic House site, Richmond; and,
3. Marble Hill Park, Twickenham.
2.4 For each of these sites the Brief sets out a synopsis of land ownership, public
open space and planning issues that will need to be evaluated in the feasibility
2.5 The Brief sets out common objectives for each of the three identified locations.
• To provide a secure mooring for the barge along the banks of the river
together with the necessary pontoons and jetties for safe access and to
provide a mechanism either by crane or slipway construction to allow
the barge to be moved from the boat house into the river.
• To construct a boathouse large enough to house the vessel, in a
suitable location adjacent to the river which would be able to house the
barge during the winter months (and when not in use or on display)
which will also allow for educational visits and repairs and maintenance
to be undertaken.
• The construction of the boathouse is to be in keeping with local
architecture, particularly the buildings and boathouses along the
riverfront in Richmond. The design should also consider the additional
uses in order to the make the building both a popular destination for
visitors as well as a profitable business opportunity. This could be
achieved by including a restaurant/cafe and an educational/visitors
centre within the proposed development.
2.6 Further, the brief sets out a fourth option to be evaluated that is to identify a
secure and safe mooring with jetties and pontoons etc. for display during the
summer months with winter storage and maintenance to be carried out at an
existing boatyard. The purpose of this fourth objective is to obtain some of the
tourism benefits for the borough during the summer with lower capital and
revenue costs of building and operating a barge house.
2.7 The brief does not specify who will run and maintain Gloriana or indicate the
size of a boathouse that would be needed to maintain and display her. We set
out below our working assumptions as to the floorspace required for these
purposes and also to provide for commercial activities and education. These
are based on our discussions with Lord Sterling and Lord True in October 2012
and experience of similar projects. These working assumptions may be
revised in response to the consultation carried out for the study and also the
2.8 Securing planning permission for a large building on the waterfront in
Richmond or Twickenham will be a challenge. The public open space status of
the land identified in the plans that forms part of the brief adds a major
Dimensions of Gloriana and of any potential barge house
2.9 The key dimensions of Gloriana are as follows:
Length: 26.9 metres
Beam 4.0 metres
Height up to 4.65 metres (measured from keel)
Height Up to 3.9 metres (measured from waterline)
Draught 0.75 metres
2.10 This study makes the following assumptions about the dimensions of the
mooring and bargehouse for Gloriana.:
• Floating pontoon with minimum length of 30 metres
• A wet dock / dry dock that is 6 metres wide to enable 1 metre either
side of Gloriana for access for winter maintenance.
• A walkway with a minimum width of 1.5 metres on each side of the wet
dock and 3 metres around the bow to allow access for maintenance and
• A minimum clearance of 2 metres headroom above Gloriana to allow for
maintenance and public viewing.
2.11 The minimum internal dimensions of the barge house are therefore:
Length 30 metres
Width 9 metres
Height 6 metres
2.12 The key requirements for the bargehouse are:
• Minimum bargehouse dimension to allow for circulation, storage
display and work bench 30 metres x 9 metres (internal);
• Bargehouse should provide dry storage of hull during winter months
for maintenance period;
• Additional floorspace of approximately 100 square metres covered
floorspace for education / storage / crew room;
• A restaurant / cafe / toilets of 100 square metres is desirable;
• External floorspace of 100 square metres minimum for circulation and
• Minimum pontoon mooring length 30 metres;
• Utilities of electricity, water and foul drainage are required;
• The amount of glazing should be restricted to avoid damage to the
barge from sunlight or high temperatures.
2.13 The barge house has two quite different functions that derive from the cycle of
operations that are expected to take place during the year. Firstly, it will be
used to house Gloriana during the operating season when she is not in use.
The easiest way to move Gloriana in and out of the barge house would be to
float her in and out during the high tides that occur approximately twice every
2.14 Secondly, there is a need for Gloriana to be dried out and aired internally for a
period of a month or two each year. Any necessary maintenance and repairs,
including painting and varnishing would be carried out during this period.
Maintenance could be carried out in a dry dock or on a slipway
3.1 The purpose of this section is to review the operation of royal, state and
pleasure barges in history and to learn how their operation could inform
proposals for housing Gloriana.
3.2 Two of the surviving Royal barges have connections with the Borough of
Queen Mary’s Shallop
3.3 William III built this shallop for Queen Mary II in 1689 at the same time that he
commissioned the re-building of Hampton Court Palace. The shallop is 12.65
metres long by 2 metres beam. After 1849 when Prince Frederick’s Barge was
taken out of service she was the only state barge of the English Crown. She
was last used in 1919 by King George V and Queen Mary. She was presented
to the National Maritime Museum by Queen Mary and is currently in store.
Prince Frederick’s Barge
3.4 The barge was built in 1731 – 1732 for Frederick Prince of Wales, the eldest,
though estranged son of George II and Queen Caroline. After Prince
Frederick’s death in 1751, the barge became the principal royal barge. It made
its last appearance in 1849. Figure 3.1 is an engraving of 1895 that shows the
barge in storage at the boatyard of James Messenger, the Queen’s
Bargemaster 1862 – 1901, at Teddington. It demonstrates how the barge
would have been raised into the boathouse using a Spring tide and then
chocked into position. Prince Frederick’s barge is displayed currently in the
National Maritime Museum.
The City Barge
3.5 The last City Barge was built by Searle and Godfrey for the Lord Mayor of
London in 1807. She was 24.4 metres long by 4 metres beam. The barge was
last used for the Lord Mayor’s Procession in 1856. Figure 3.2 shows the barge
in storage at the City of London Bargehouse on Bishops Walk, Lambeth in
1825. The barge would have been moved into the bargehouse on a Spring
3.6 The design of Gloriana is based on the 1807 City Barge but with a length of
26.9 metres and a beam of 4.0 metres. Gloriana has a draft of 0.75 metres
and weighs 10 tonnes. Gloriana has a substantial keel and bilge rails so that
she can ‘take the ground’.
Barge Houses and Boat Houses
3.7 In the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century it was the practice to either keep
large ceremonial barges at boatyards (as shown in Figures 3.1 and 3.2 above)
or for their owners to commission a purpose-built bargehouse. Figure 3.4
shows a plan of the bargehouse built by the Apothecaries Company at Chelsea
Physic Gardens that also provided accommodation for the barges of the Tallow
Chandlers and Vintners companies. These were large structures up to 25
metres long that were located directly on the riverfront. The bargehouses
downstream of Battersea Bridge were cleared as a result of the
commencement of construction of the Thames Embankment in 1862.
Figure 3.4 Extract from a plan of Chelsea Physic Garden of 1753 showing
bargehouses extending into the River Thames
3.8 In Richmond and Twickenham the main highways are set back from the River
Thames enabling boathouses to survive longer such as the Buccleuch House
boathouse and the Orleans House boathouse that are recorded on the
Ordnance Survey 1894 edition. Some of these boathouses survive. A good
example is the boathouse and deep water dock that was built at Wharf Lane,
Twickenham in the grounds of Poulett Lodge in 1870. It is listed Grade II.
3.9 The wet dock arrangement of the boathouse at Wharf Lane, Twickenham
enabled pleasure boats to be moved in and out of the boathouse more easily.
This arrangement was also used for the boathouses serving Buccleuch House
and Orleans House enabling easy access to the river.
3.10 Figure 3.6 shows the wet dock and boathouse that served Orleans House.
This was demolished in the latter half of the 19th Century and replaced by a
larger boathouse in the same location. A dock wall and the subterranean
passage that linked the boathouse to Orleans House survive.
1. Gloriana is larger than earlier royal barges and is more comparable in
scale to the large livery company barges and the Lord Mayor’s City Barge
2. During the Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Century state barges were
used infrequently and spent most of their time in dry boathouses under
the care of boatyards or livery company barge masters.
3. The bargehouses were large structures built up to the riverbank so that
barges could be moved in and out on Spring tides.
4. In the Victorian period access from the river into the boathouse was
made easier by the use of a wet dock to enable the vessel to be floated
into the boathouse more easily.