Arcadian Times



Twinings of Twickenham

Amongst the modest readership of this website there is a Madrileña who is a dedicated tea drinker. Her preferred choice is Twinings tea (which may well include those fancy modern herbal fusions). Within the mainland European supermarket (tourist resorts excepted) , our traditional builders tea is not usually amongst the choices, but rather the teas that in this country we could consider to be more on the 'fine' side are. Today the Twinings name is synonomous with tea and has a certain cachet that appeals to a wide market.

It was in 1720 that the Twining family moved to Twickenham after Thomas Twining had for some years succesfully gone about establishing a tea drinking business (considered slightly avant-garde) at their shop in the Strand. With the success of the business, The Twining family over the generations, were able to leave a legacy that is still very much apart of today's Twickenham.

The Twining family lived at Dial House from 1720 on the riverside in Twickenham next to St. Mary's Church, which was the Twining family's parish church and where many of the family are buried. The house was left to the parish by Elizabeth Twining in 1890.

Dial House

The house which is now the Twickenham Museum on the embankment was also owned by Thomas Twining, and not surprisingly the museum maintains the history of the Twining family with due respect.

St. Mary's Church, Twickenham

Elizabeth Twining (1805-1889) restored the almshouses in Amyand Park Road in 1876 (the original ones are no longer there) and in 1879 founded St. John's hospital in Strafford Road.

St. John's Hospital

Holy Trinity Church on Twickenham Green and Twickenham's second parish church, owes a lot to Thomas Twining as he donated funds for various parts of the construction including the bell tower and the clock.

Holy Trinity Church

Whether your preferred tea at home is Twining's or on your travels you are offered a cup of Twinings tea (at least one person in Madrid thinks this the best thing an English person can be offered), seeing the label should remind one of Twickenham and the role the Twining family have played in Twickenham's history. Let us not forget also it was Thomas Twining who began the English peoples irrevocable relationship with a cuppa tea.


Article: Arcadian Times, April 21st, 2011

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