As the temperatures plummet, it is possible to embark on a historical journey without leaving the warmth of 20 The Barons. One needs merely to consider the address to venture beyond the building’s façade into the hidden story of its environs. The Barons derives its name from a key moment in the chronology of England and English democracy that occurred a few hundred metres away. On 29 June 1263, the parched fields of the 200-acre Manor of Isleworth (later Twickenham Park), were ablaze with the tents and fluttering standards of rebellious barons, the noblemen who held the key to the King’s power. The reign of King Henry III (1207–72) had been one of failed campaigns, famine, misrule and rebellion. Five years earlier, an uprising in London had imposed the Provisions of Oxford on Henry, requiring him to govern through an advisory council selected by the most powerful barons. By the summer of 1263, the King had overturned the Provisions through an appeal to the Pope, but his authority was hollow. In June, the historic Encampment of the Barons gathered under Simon de Montfort, Duke of Leicester, a French nobleman married to the King’s sister. Henry was holed up in his brother Richard’s nearby manor house. For a fortnight, the two sides parleyed as De Montfort sought to temper royal power with civil government. There was to be no peaceful solution. In the spring, the Manor of Isleworth and its watermills were sacked as civil war broke out, leading to the defeat and imprisonment of the King at the Battle of Lewes. De Montfort now called to Westminster Hall not just barons and church leaders, but two knights from each shire, and two citizens from every important town. This established England’s first true Parliament. Sadly, de Montfort did not live long enough to enjoy his revolutionary achievement. He was defeated and killed at Evesham by Henry’s son Edward, his head paraded around the country on a pole. But the noble gathering is commemorated at The Barons; the Manor of Isleworth would become the streets of St Margarets; and the principle of royal rule through parliamentary government was here to stay.