See biography by J. Dunbar (1968); B. Marinacci, Leading Ladies (1961).
It is notable for Teddington Lock, the longest (200 m long) lock on the River Thames, which marks the upstream limit of tides. Teddington is mostly residential but is bisected by an almost continuous road of shops, offices and other facilities running from the river to Bushy Park. There are three clusters of offices on this route: at the lock Thames TV and Haymarket Group form a media hub whilst on the edge of Bushy Park the NPL, NWML and LGC form a scientific centre. Around Teddington Station and the town centre are a number of offices in industries such as Direct Marketing and IT, and offices outside this axis include Tearfund. Several riverside businesses and houses were redeveloped in the last quarter of the twentieth century as blocks of riverside flats.
By the 14th century Teddington had a population of 100-200 and most land was owned by the Abbot of Westminster, the remainder rented by tenants who had to work the fields a certain number of days a year.
The Hampton Court gardens were erected in 1500 in preparation for the planned rebuilding of a 14th century manor to form Hampton Court Palace in 1521 and were to serve as hunting grounds for Cardinal Wolsey and later Henry VIII and his family. In 1540 some common land of Teddington was enclosed to form Bushy Park and acted as more hunting grounds.
In subsequent centuries, Teddington enjoyed a prosperous life due to the proximity of royalty and by 1800 had grown significantly, with a population of over 700. But the "Little Ice Age" made farming much less profitable and residents were forced to find other work. This change resulted in great economic change in the 19th century.
The first major event was the construction of Teddington Lock in 1811 with its weir across the river. This was the first (and now the biggest) of five locks built at the time by the City of London Corporation. In 1889 Teddington Lock Footbridge consisting of a suspension bridge section and a girder bridge section was completed, linking Teddington to Ham in Surrey. It was funded by local business and public subscription.
The Victorians attempted to build a massive church, St. Alban's, based on the Notre Dame de Paris; however, funds ran out and only the nave of what was to be the "Cathedral of the Thames Valley" was completed. It opened in 1889 with a "temporary" wall at one end where the tower was going to be. In 1967 the church congregation reverted back across the road to the historic but much smaller church of St Mary's. In 1993 the temporary wall was replaced with a permanent one as part of a refurbishment that converted St Alban's Church into The Landmark Centre, a venue for concerts and exhibitions.
Several schools were built in Teddington in the late 1800s in response to the 1870 Education Act, putting over 2,000 children in schools by 1899, transforming the previously illiterate village.
Bushy Park became home to Teddington Cricket Club which stemmed Teddington Hockey Club in 1871, famed for being the oldest in Britain and for founding the modern game.
Great change took place around the turn of the century in Teddington. Many new establishments were springing up, including Sim's Opticians and Dowsett's newsagents, which still exist today. In 1902 the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) started in Bushy House (primarily working in industry and metrology and where the first accurate atomic clock was built) and the Teddington Carnegie Library was built in 1906. Electricity was also now supplied to Teddington allowing for more development.
Until this point, the only hospital had been the very small Cottage Hospital, but it could not manage the growing population especially during the First World War. Money was raised over the next decade to build Teddington Memorial Hospital in 1929.
By the beginning of the Second World War, by far the greatest source of employment in Teddington was in the NPL. Its main focus in the war was military research and its most famous invention, the "bouncing bomb", was developed. During the war General Dwight D. Eisenhower planned the D-Day landings at his Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) in Bushy Park.
Most major rebuilding from bomb damage in World War II was completed by 1960 and it was becoming a very attractive place to live. Chain stores began to open up, including Tesco in 1971.
Teddington is home to Teddington Rugby Football Club and the Lensbury sports and social club of Royal Dutch Shell. The Lensbury is now run as a private members club with membership available to non-Shell employees and the sports teams previously associated with it have become independent: Lockside Rugby Club and Weirside AFC still play at the Broom Road site but now have a clubhouse overlooking Teddington Lock.
Primary schools in Teddington include Collis (Fairfax Rd), St Marys & St Peters (Church Rd),Sacred Heart RC School (St.Marks Rd) Stanley Juniors and Infants (Strathmore Rd). Secondary schools include Teddington School.