Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for HAMMERSMITH

HAMMERSMITH, a metropolitan suburb and a parish in Kensington district, Middlesex. The suburb lies on the river Thames, 6 miles WSW of St. Pauls; is almost joined to London, through the medinm of Kensington; lies within the district of the Metropolitan Board of Works; has stations, with telegraph, on the Hammersmith and City railway, and on the Kew section of the North London railway; has post offices‡ in Broadway, King street, Dorcas terrace, and Starch green, a post office‡ in New road, and pillar boxes in Brook green, Fulham road, Hammersmith terrace, and the Grove, under London W.; and is a seat of petty sessions, and a polling place. It is noted for salubrity; has long been a favourite resort of invalids; and has recently undergone great sanitary improvements. King street traverses it, in nearly continuous buildings, from end to end; Broadway, a wide and handsome thoroughfare, goes to the suspension bridge over the Thames; the Upper and Lower Malls range along the river, and command a fine view of the Surrey side; minor streets, though narrow, have been greatly improved; and the outskirts and environs have become so studded or filled with new buildings and elegant buildings as to encroach largely on grounds which were formerly disposed in market gardens. The bridge across the Thames is an elegant suspension one; Was constructed in 1825-9, at a cost of £45, 000; and is 688 feet long, and 20 feet wide. St. Paul's church was built in 1630, as a chapel of ease to Fulham; is not a handsome building, yet, with trees about it, presents a picturesque appearance; and contains monuments or memorials of Sheffield Earl Mulgrave, Sir Samuel Morland, Bishops Lloyd and Sheridan, Sir E. Impey, Sir George Shea, Sir N. Crisp, Arthur Murphy, Thomas Worlidge, and Bubb Doddington. St. Peter's church, at the west end, was built in 1829; and is in the Doric style. St. Stephen's church, in Acton road, Shepherd's Bush, was built in 1850. St. John's church, in Bradmore, was built in 1859, at a cost of £6, 000; is in the decorated English style; and consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with provision for tower and spire. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, Methodists, and Roman Catholics. The Roman Catholic chapel on Brook green, was founded in 1851; has a tower and spire 170 feet high; and is connected with a training college for 70 students. Another R. Catholic chapel was erected in 1866. A Benedictine convent, with about 42 inmates, a school for young ladies, and a chapel, is in King street. A convent of the Good Shepherd, principally designed for the reformation of Magdalenes, and with about 167 inmates, was formerly in Beauchamp Lodge, and is now in Fulham road. A convent of the Daughters of Nazareth, serving mainly as a home for aged women, with about 134 inmates, is in Nazareth House. A Roman Catholic reformatory for boys, with about 104 inmates, is in Blyth House, BlythLane. Roman Catholic alms houses, with about 40 inmates, are opposite the Brook green chapel. The Godolphin grammar school, a very fine building, was erected in 1862, in Bradmore, at a cost of about £7, 000; and, for a capitation fee of £8, affords a liberal education to boys. National schools are connected with the churches of St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Stephen, and St. John. The Latymer charity was founded in 1624; has an endowed income of £474; clothes 30 poor men; clothes and educates 100 boys; and, with the aid of voluntary coutributions, clothes and educates 50 girls. There are also an orphanage, at Eagle House, with about 75 inmates; Ile's alms houses, with £142; the Waste Land alms houses, in Brook green; a lunatic asylum, in Mall House; a dispensary; and charities, additional to those already mentioned, with about £106. An institute, in West Kingstreet, has a considerable library, and a good supply of periodicals and newspapers. A large distillery is in Fulham road; two large breweries, an extensive iron foundry, grounds for bleaching wax, brick fields, and nursery gardens, are in the neighbourhood; and a weekly newspaper is published. The works of the West Middlesex water company also are here, and have been much enlarged since 1852. The parish, politically, is in Fulham poor law union, and is divided into the sub-districts of H. St. Paul and H. St. Peter. Acres of the whole, 2, 292 of land and 29 of water. Real property, £100, 159. Pop. in 1851, 17, 760; in 186, 24, 519. Houses, 4, 164. Acres of H. St. Paul, 2, 103 of land and 15 of water. Pop., 19, 104. Houses, 3, 164. Acres of H. St. Peter, 189 of land and 14 of water. Pop., 5, 415. Houses, 1, 000.-The parish, ecclesiastically, was disjoined from Fulham in 1834; and is divided into the four charges of St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Stephen, and St. John, together with a small pendicle included in Kensal Green. St. Peter's was constituted in 1836; St. Stephen's, in 1850; St. John's, in 1860. The living of St. Paul is a vicarage, and the other livings also are vicarages, in the diocese of London. Value of St. Paul, £546; of St. Peter, £500; of St. S., £420; * of St. John, not reported. Patron of the first three, the Bishop of London; of St. J., the Vicar.-Hammersmith was frequently a scene of operations between the contending forces in the civil war of Charles I. The Earl of Essex was quartered here in 1642; Fairfax was quartered here in 1647; and a plot against the life of Cromwell, to be carried out by Miles Sydencombe, was planned here in 1656, and was detected before fully ripe. Brandenburgh House, situated on a spot near the bridge, was built, in the 17th century, by Sir N. Crisp, at a cost of £23, 000; was seized by the parliament, but regained by Crisp; passed by sale to Prince Rupert; went afterwards through varions hands; was purchased, in 1748, by Bubb Doddington, afterwards Lord Melcombe; was remodelled and decorated to such a degree, by Doddington, as to be considered "one of the most magnificent places in the neighbourhood of London;" went by sale, toward the end of the century, to the Margrave of Brandenburgh-Anspach, and then took the name of Brandenburgh House; became eventually the residence and death place of Queen Caroline, the wife of George IV.; and, soon after her death, Was razed to the ground. Queen Catherine, the wife of Charles II., lived in the Upper Mall. Dr. Ratcliffe also lived there. Elphinstone, the friend of Johnson, Loutherburg, the painter, and Mrs. Billington, likewise were residents. Thomson the poet wrote his '' Winter '' at the Dove coffeehouse, in the Lower Mall.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a metropolitan suburb and a parish"   (ADL Feature Type: "populated places")
Administrative units: Hammersmith CP/Ch/Vest       Middlesex AncC
Place: Hammersmith

Go to the linked place page for a location map, and for access to other historical writing about the place. Pages for linked administrative units may contain historical statistics and information on boundaries.