Eel Pie Island

Orientation & Geography

Europe, United Kingdom, London

Eel Pie Island is an island in the River Thames in England at Twickenham, in the Borough of Richmond upon Thames, London. It is situated on the Tideway and can be reached only by footbridge or boat. The island was known as a major jazz and blues venue in the 1960s. Eel Pie Island was earlier called Twickenham Ait and, before that, The Parish Ait; even earlier the island was three separate aits. A bridge to the island was proposed in 1889, but it was not until 1957 that one was completed. Today, the island has about 50 houses with 120 inhabitants and some small businesses. It has nature reserves at either end, but there is no public access to these. The island is privately owned and the public can only access the main pathway from the bridge, to all the doors and gates of the houses and businesses on the island. On a few weekends a year the public can go into the collection of art studios, known as Eel Pie Island Art Studios. The Island is also home to Twickenham Rowing Club, one of the oldest rowing clubs on the Thames, and Richmond Yacht Club. The Eel Pie Studios, on the mainland nearby, formerly owned by Pete Townshend and now owned by The Lightning Seeds, were the location of several significant pop and rock recordings. Townshend's publishing company, Eel Pie Publishing, is named after the ait.