A hard cell? Up-market homes plan for former Nazi interrogation prison (From Richmond and Twickenham Times)
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A hard cell? Up-market homes plan for former Nazi interrogation prison
A former prison and World War Two counter espionage base is set to become up-market homes.
Berkeley Homes has put forward two plans for HMP Latchmere on the edge of Ham and Richmond Park.
Berkeley Homes plans of the site
One is for 73 homes, seven inside Latchmere House. The second more ambitious plan is for 89 homes.
The developer is also being asked to extend Tudor Library to house an exhibition on the fascinating past of Latchmere House.
The plans will be decided by Richmond Council, although Kingston Council will also have a say.
The site from the air
Latchmere House was built in the 19th century, and later used as a hospital to treat shell-shocked officers during World War I.
During World War Two it doubled as a shadowy interrogation base for prisoners of war, suspected Nazi double and even triple agents.
Several Nazi leaders were held there, and local historians count Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess and William Joyce, better known as wireless traitor Lord Haw-Haw, among their number.
Councillor David Cunningham said the history of the site should be remembered.
Latchmere House pictured in about 1908
Friends of Latchmere House have asked Berkeley Homes to extend Tudor library to house an exhibition about the history of Latchmere House and the aeronautical history of north Kingston.
Coun Cunningham said: "It is fascinating because of the history going back to World War One.
"It is a history that needs to be remembered and lessons to be learned from and a tremendous history for the area."
Hopes it could help ease Kingston and Richmond's schools place crisis were ruled out in 2012 as it was "too expensive" to buy from the Ministry of Justice.
To see the plans click here.
The BBC's Ben Macintyre talks about Agent Zigzag, the story of the World War II spy, Eddie Chapman.
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