Hammerton’s Ferry at Richmond can most certainly be considered one of the lesser known or unusual ferry crossings.

Close on to Twickenham, Hammerton’s Ferry is of much more recent origin, only having begun in 1908. it crosses the Thames between Marble Hill House in Richmond and the previously-mentioned Ham House. Its proximity to the route of the Twickenham Ferry did in fact cause a lawsuit that went all the way to the House of Lords.

Carrying both pedestrians and bicycles, Hammerton’s Ferry was begun by Walter Hammerton, a local resident who saw the need for cross-river service after Marble Hill House was opened to the public. He used a home-built skiff that could carry twelve passengers and charged 1d per journey per person. In 1913, the owners of the Twickenham Ferry tried to close down Hammerton’s Ferry in court. The lawsuit swung back and forth both ways until the House of Lords ruled in Hammerton’s favour in 1915.

Hammerton’s Ferry still runs every weekend and weekdays between the months of February and October. The north bank terminus near Marble Hill House is a anchored boathouse; there is a jetty on the south bank. Originally set as the starting point for the Great River Race, a rowing competition for watercraft of all types held annually on the Thames since 1988, the Hammerton Ferry terminus is now the endpoint of the race which has run upstream from 2009 on. Because the ferry has right-of-way over any rowed craft, the timing of those finishing the race and the scheduled ferry crossings must be tightly coordinated.