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The approach to the river was relatively flat, avoiding the steep slope to the existing ferry pier on the Surrey bank.
However, the Dowager Duchess of Newcastle refused to allow the approach road on the Middlesex bank to pass through her land at Twickenham Park, and ran between Ferry Hill (Bridge Street today) on the Surrey side and Richmond Road on the Middlesex side; sharp curves in the approach roads on the Middlesex side (still in existence today) were needed to avoid the Dowager Duchess of Newcastle's land at Twickenham Park.
James Paine went on to design three other Thames bridges after Richmond, at Chertsey (1783), Kew (1783), and Walton (1788).
Paine and Couse renewed their working relationship on the design of Chertsey Bridge, the only one of the three still in existence.
The toll houses were demolished, replaced by seating in 1868; investment income from the revenue accumulated during the 83 years the tolls had been charged was sufficient to pay for the bridge's maintenance.
The District Railway (later the District line) reached Richmond in 1877, connecting it to the London Underground.
A warning against damage can still be seen on the milestone at the Surrey end of the bridge.
On 30 January 1987, the Brave Goose, the £3,500,000 yacht of National Car Parks founder Sir Donald Gosling, became wedged under the central arch of the bridge, eventually being freed at low tide the next day.
Severe penalties were imposed for vandalising the bridge.
The Richmond Bridge Act 1772 specified that the punishment for "willful or malicious damage" to the bridge should be "transportation to one of His Majesty's Colonies in America for the space of seven years".
The small town of Sheen on the Surrey bank of the Thames, 10 miles (16 km) west of the City of London or 16 miles (26 km) by river, had been the site of a royal palace since 1299.
After it was destroyed by fire in 1497, Henry VII built a new palace on the site, naming it Richmond Palace after his historic title of Earl of Richmond, and the central part of Sheen became known as Richmond.