This corner on the left of the island faces the link to the mainland, a chain pulley on a pile-sheeted, concrete wharf and faces the combined Royal Canoe Club and Walbrook Rowing Club.
This corner on the left of the island faces the link to the mainland, a chain pulley on a pile-sheeted, concrete wharf and faces the combined Royal Canoe Club and Walbrook Rowing Club.

Trowlock Island is a residential island in the River Thames 450 metres (490 yd) upstream of Teddington Lock on the non-tidal Kingston reach less than 10 metres from the northern bank, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, England.


Trowlock Island i.jpg

Teddington Lock's Weir is a large structure on the same side of the river by Teddington Studios and the Lensbury Club[n 1], which is 450 m (490 yd) downstream.[1] From the Thames Path crossing across the Lock in the north Ham is accessible.[2] From the Teddington riverside by the island, stations of Hampton Wick and Teddington are 1.4 kilometres (0.87 mi) and 1.9 kilometres (1.2 mi) respectively by foot or road and therefore the centre of Hampton Wick is closer to the island than any other settlement.[1]

Trowlock Island contains 29 bungalows in plots as well as the Royal Canoe Club's clubhouse and gym.[2] Trowlock Island is about a third of a mile (535 metres) long with a path down the middle and houses on either side.[2] Beyond the last house is a lightly wooded area with moorings on both the main river and the backwater.


Like many islands in the Thames, the form of the island has changed over time, being shown as three separate islets on John Rocque's map of 1746.[3] The name derives from Trow, a type of barge averaging 50–60 tons.[4] Harry Gibbs' boat building firm was located on the island in 1910.[5]


Trowlock Island chain ferry
Trowlock Island chain ferry

Access is by way of a hand-wound chain ferry.[6]

Maintenance and facilities

Trowlock Island Limited manages the shared infrastructure of the island and its board of directors is elected by the shareholders — each bungalow or plot of land carries with it a number of shares so that all houseowners plus the Royal Canoe Club collectively own the company. The Canoe Club has made a recent significant investment in providing new facilities for young people, including a new gym, boatsheds and training facility. Included in this re-development is a plan for encouraging bio-diversity, such as bats (pipistrelle and Daubenton's bat being the species most likely to be found in the area), water fowl and rare species of cultivated plants.[7]

A short of a video of Trowlock island in summer, that takes a viewer around the island, is available.[8]


The island, with surrounding water and banks of reach of the Thames are home to numerous species of wildlife; the following can be seen as nesting nearby:[citation needed]

Less frequently spotted are:[citation needed]


Notes and references

  1. ^ On the northern bank, traditionally e.g. in boat races referred to as the Middlesex bank such as Teddington Head Race in early November
  1. ^ a b Grid reference Finder measurement tools
  2. ^ a b c [ Ordnance Survey map, English Heritage[dead link]
  3. ^ An Exact Survey of the Citys of London, Westminster, ye Borough of Southwark, and the Country near Ten Miles round (Map) (1769 print ed.). 5.5 in. : 1 Stat. Mile (1 : 11520). Cartography by John Rocque. London: British Library.
  4. ^ Thacker, Fred. S. (1914). The Thames Highway. Holborn, London: Fred S. Thacker. p. 59. LCCN 15024238.
  5. ^ "Livelihoods, Leisure and the Islands". The Twickenham Museum. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  6. ^ Murray-West, Rosie (25 January 2006). "Islanders in court after refusing to pay £5,000 ferry fee". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
  7. ^ Trowlock Island from a British Isles Topographical Blog
  8. ^ "Trowlock in the summer with a John Martyn soundtrack". 12 July 2007. Retrieved 7 January 2009 – via Google Video.
  9. ^ "Rebuilding of Teddington School has damaged wildlife and infuriated residents" This is Local London. Retrieved 15 June 2013.

See also

51°25′30″N 00°18′33″W / 51.42500°N 0.30917°W / 51.42500; -0.30917

Next island upstream River Thames Next island downstream Steven's Eyot Trowlock Island Swan Island
  • Trowlock Island iii.jpg
  • Trowlock Island v.jpg
  • Trowlock Island vi.jpg