Introducing the FHHS

19 August, 2013

Here you can find information on the Fulham and Hammersmith Historical Society, contact info, how to join, and a list of the books that we have published and you can buy. We will also be publishing reports on past events (for forthcoming events, you are encouraged to join and receive the Society’s regular newsletter).

The membership rate is £8 full rate and £5 concessions.

A Walk Around The Moat of Fulham Palace

26 March, 2014

Our Chairman Keith Whitehouse who directed the first archaeological excavations of the moat and Palace grounds in 1972-73 discovered a Romano-British settlement and prehistoric occupation as far back as 4000BC. A tour of the mile long circuit is an experience not to be missed.

Keith will lead the walk  beginning 1430 Sunday 30 Mar 14 at the Bishops Avenue entrance to Fulham Palace.  There will be a £5 donation to the Fulham Palace Trust towards the cost of an excavation in the Palace grounds later this year.


6 March, 2014

Museum of the Order of St John

Seven members/guests of the Society visited the Museum in Clerkenwell on Saturday, 22 February 2014. Most of us travelled to Farringdon Station, and negotiated our way around the hoardings above Crossrail’s excavations – part of Europe’s largest infrastructure project.

In the Crossrail Visitor Centre at Tottenham Court Road, for a month only to 15 March, a selection of archaeological finds from across the project are currently on display in its Portals to the Past exhibition.

But, that Saturday, we walked to another Gate, only five minutes away: St John’s Gate was the great south entrance to the Priory of Clerkenwell – founded in the early 1140s – outside the walls of the City of London. Now, it is the only gateway spanning a highway in London.

St John's Gate Clerkenwell dates to 1504

St John’s Gate taken by J B-D

At 11:30 am we met our Guide for an excellent private tour of the Grade 1 Listed buildings to discover the story of the former Priory and of the Order of St John from the 11th century to today’s role with St John Ambulance and the Eye Hospital in Jerusalem. As well as the 1504 Gate and its Towers, we saw the Tudor-style Chapter Hall, and Council Chamber. Crossing the busy Clerkenwell Road, we visited the Grand Priory Church, beside the herb garden – a quiet oasis.  Above ground, the Church is a post-war restoration following destruction of the roof and most of the interior fittings by a bomb in 1941. Beneath, is a remarkable Norman crypt: all that remains visible of the original Priory. Of the effigies, that of William Weston, Prior 1527-1540 – looking completely emaciated – was the most moving. Weston, we were told, was the last Prior of the Order at the time of its dissolution in England under Henry VIII, and died of a broken heart on the very day the act went through. The public Museum Rooms contain displays exploring further the fascinating history of the Order of St John.

This FHHS visit proved really worthwhile; thank you Keith.

Museum of Order of St John Website

By Jane B-D/4 Mar 14

Museum of the Order of St John

13 February, 2014

The Society will be visiting the Museum in Clerkenwell on Saturday 22 Feb at 1130.  This is an interesting Museum in two old buildings that are themselves worth a visit. See Museum of Order of St John Website


St John's Gate Clerkenwell

St John’s Gate Clerkenwel

Those attending should meet at the entrance to St John’s Gate in St John’s Lane Clerkenwell, EC1M 4DA

Chapter House 12th C

Chapter House






The entry to the Museum is £5 (concessions £4) do bring friends who may be interested.

Fulham Union Talk

22 January, 2014

A strong audience turned out on Tuesday 14 Jan despite the weather and the Fulham FC crowds to hear Michael Hill give his very detailed presentation of the records he has found in both the London Metropolitan Archive (LMA) and the The National Archive (TNA).

aerial view of workhouse in 1849

Fulham Workhouse 1849

Sadly we exhausted the time available before Michael’s material but it gave us a taste of the history of care for the poor from Elizabethan times up until the beginning of the last century.  His presentation included extracts of original documents, instances of individuals in care and the petty political machinations of rival Parishes.  Clearly he has a lot more to tell and we hope that he will use the society to publish his work so that we can understand more of the history of Charing Cross hospital site and similarly the Hammersmith Hospital.

Sign up to this blog to be informed of future events and talks about our area of Fulham and Hammersmith and its interesting history.

The Fulham Union

13 January, 2014

Tomorrow, Tuesday 14 Jan, at St Clement’s Church Hall there will be an illustrated talk on the Fulham Union (workhouse and infirmary) by Michael Hill who has done extensive original research as yet unpublished. So we should be in for an interesting lecture.

These buildings became Hammersmith and Charing Cross Hospitals so subjects close to everyone in Hammersmith and Fulham. Do come to this free event.

Latest Newsletter Winter/Spring 2014

1 January, 2014

All members will have received the latest newsletter through the post it gives details of recent events covered in this blog and publishes  the forthcoming events and meetings.

Newsletter 132

Forthcoming events include:

Tuesday 14 Jan at 1930

Michael Hill gives illustrated lecture on The Fulham Union 1845-1899 the Fulham Union workhouse and infirmary became Hammersmith hospital and Charing Cross Hospital so lots of local interest.  This is a Free talk.

Saturday 22 Feb at 1130

Visit to the Museum of the order of St John, Clerkenwell. There is a small charge for the visit.

Sunday 30 Mar 1430

Walk Around the Moat of Fulham Palace with  our chairman Keith Whitehouse who directed the revealing first archaeological dig of 1972-73.  A later dig financed by the Lottery revealed the bridge and gothic arch at the entrance in Bishop’s Avenue. The walk should be an interesting taster of things to come as the small charge of £5 will be used to support the new 2014 dig in the grounds. See Newsletter

Do  look up the details in the newsletter.

Tour of the Royal Albert Hall on 16 November

26 November, 2013
The Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall Kensington

14 of us enjoyed a private tour of the front of house with a knowledgeable and amusing guide. Those of us who have been to events there were familiar with the miles of corridors and different levels. However we had never seen the Queen’s private staircase or her Withdrawing Room whose walls were lined with pictures of her relatives past and present.
An unexpected and delightful bonus was being able to sit in a box and listen to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra practicing for the evening’s concert, while on a giant screen was the film of ‘Fantasia’. We marveled at the volcano in ‘The Firebird’ and chuckled at the ostrich and hippo ballerinas in ‘The dance of the hours’. There were no other tours following us so our guide was in no hurry. We actually had an hour and a quarter rather than the 45 minutes we were expecting.


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