2 May, 2020
An article written by our Chairman for the Hammersmith and Fulham Historic Buildings Group.
Fulham was inhabited in Roman times, probably until the early 5th century AD. Archaeological excavations in the late 1980s uncovered a late 5th/6th century Saxon settlement on the site of the former Manbre sugar works at the end of Winslow Road, also the remains of Parr Ditch, which is the historic boundary between Fulham and Hammersmith. Incidentally, this was the site of Brandenburg House and its grounds, the home of Queen Caroline, the divorced consort of King George IV, who died here in 1821.
After the Dark Ages the first recorded date for this location is AD704/5 when the Bishop of the East Saxons (London) acquired a place called Fulanham from the Bishop of Hereford. It included Hammersmith and is virtually identical to the present Borough, Parr Ditch being the common boundary. The ditch was a branch of Stamford Brook that flowed down Brook Green, hence the name. After crossing Hammersmith Road, it became the boundary between Fulham and Hammersmith.
Originally the boundary was slightly south of the present day statue of Capability Brown. In the river wall may be seen the brick archway outlet of the brook and above it a stone bearing the initials HP and FP, pictured above, and the boundary line between Hammersmith Parish and Fulham Parish. The ditch was culverted as a sewer during the 19th century. This would tend to indicate that before the 8th century Fulham and Hammersmith were two separate districts but by the time of the Bishop’s acquisition the two districts had been united.
The boundary has slightly shifted over the years but basically runs along Chancellors Road, Yeldham Road, south of Margravine Gardens, west of Gliddon Road cutting through the former St Paul’s School playing fields and the school itself, then meeting the Hammersmith Road opposite Brook Green. It then turns right along the centre of Hammersmith Road ending at Addison Bridge. The other side of the railway line is Kensington. The railway follows the line of the culverted Counters Creek – also known as Billingwell Ditch – and where it enters the Thames known as Chelsea Creek (now Chelsea Harbour). Counters Creek separated Hammersmith from Kensington, and Fulham from Chelsea.
In 1857 London was a post town but due to its rapid expansion was divided up into many separate postal districts, hence SW, W, EC, N, etc. Fulham was designated as being SW, Hammersmith as W. In 1889, the Post Office decided that the part of Fulham north of Crabtree Lane would get a better delivery service from the Western District office that had its HQ at Paddington. This caused much controversy in Fulham and the Vestry Clerk wrote to the Postmaster General complaining. The Post Office was striking out Fulham on letters and writing Hammersmith. In 1906, Sir William Bull, MP for Hammersmith put a question to the Postmaster General in the House of Commons as Fulham people didn’t like being told they lived in Hammersmith. This was to no avail. The same applied to Fulham residents being told they lived in West Kensington, W. The number suffixes were added to London postal areas in 1917 to increase efficiency of delivery; it has been said to be due to the temporary employment of women postal workers due to the shortage of men because of the Great War.
The Office of National Statistics, in its Postcode Look-up User Guide 2011, states categorically that ‘Postcode areas are defined and used by Royal Mail for the purpose of efficient mail delivery and have no relationship with administrative and electoral areas’. So although Charing Cross Hospital is styled Hammersmith, W6 it is located in Fulham.
Fulham & Hammersmith Historical Society
29 April, 2020
Something for everyone, hope this provides some ideas.
More Personal Memories of the Borough
Last week I received a generous offer to our Members of a free pdf copy of a privately published Family History. It centres on the Lally family living in Carthew Road & St Peter’s Grove Hammersmith from 1914 until 1944. Brackenbury and West Kensington Central Schools, churches and youth organisations all feature. Some of our members helped provide background material. The depression and wartime spirit have a message for our current situation. It provides a narrative of the times that is both fascinating and instructive let me have your email address if you would like a copy. The author has a few hardback copies at £30.
Whilst on the subject of personal histories you may have missed two books in our publications:
Ladybirds on the Wall
Memoirs of a London Childhood by Dorothy L Ash born at Anselm Road in 1899 covers her first 33 years living in Fulham.
Ladybirds on the Wall by Barbara Denny describes a life lived in West Kensington (North End) from 1920-1940.
As well as personal, indeed social, history both books give an insight into life in West London at those times and have a nice style of prose, the second being written by a well known local reporter.
Jigsaw Therapy and History
These innovative interactive jigsaws have been put together by our local Archivist Kath Shawcross. Quite good fun and of course a reminder that all have significant histories. Challenge the grandkids or neighbours (electronically) to complete in a faster time than you and also to find out their history.
We have only a few Hammersmith Bridge books left but plenty of Fulham Bridge see Publications.
For something more national and on a grander scale here is a brief video of Julian Humphrys’ Top Ten Castles.
Finally BBC4 tomorrow Thursday 7:30pm Museums in Quarantine does a virtual tour of the British Museum.
26 February, 2020
On Tuesday we hold our 49th AGM; a chance to have your say, vote in the committee and hear the reports. We also have a talk from Dorian Gerhold about London Bridge and its houses. In history terms this is bridging the middle ages to Victorian times. Should be a fascinating talk. Don’t miss it. All welcome £3 to non-members. see our latest newsletter for details of venue and transport.
13 October, 2019
THE LILLIE ENCLAVE: A HISTORY OF BRITISH INDUSTRY, ART, CRAFT AND FUN WITHIN A QUARTER OF A MILE.
Map of The Lillie Enclave
An illustrated talk on this interesting part of Fulham centred on
Empress Place adjoining the now demolished Earls Court Exhibition Centre. This talk is by Ann Kutek, who was involved in the fight to save Earls Court, and is still fighting to save the Victorian houses in Empress Place from demolition. Ann has spent most of her life a stones throw from either side of “Counters Creek”.
Come and hear this talk on a lesser known part of Fulham.
Venue: St Matthews church, on Wandsworth Bridge Road, corner of Rosebury Road SW6 2TX
By Bus: 295 & 28 both pass the door, stop TK Oakbury Road is the nearest.
By tube: to Fulham Broadway and catch one of the buses above on Harwood Road.
FREE (£3 for non-members that includes refreshmenst)
28 May, 2019
Annika Hall a lively, knowledgable and experienced Blue Badge guide will lead us around this world
famous cluster of Museums, a University, the RCM, Albert Hall
and more. This should be a fascinating tour and an opportunity to
learn more about the institutions we visit. We will meet at 1030
outside the Cromwell Road entrance to the V&A museum. This
is a fairly gentle walk and will take in all the key buildings and aim
to finish in time for lunch at any of the many venues nearby. There
will be a charge of £15, payment in advance to the Treasurer at 49 St Peter’s Terrace, London, SW6 7JS or on the day but you must let him know if you intend to come. firstname.lastname@example.org or 07717359913.
Buses: 14, 414, 430, 74 to South Ken or 9 to Royal Albert Hall
Tube: District and Picadilly lines to South Kensington.
4 October, 2018
Temple of Mithras
Situated at 12 Walbrook, on the line of one London’s ancient rivers, the
Temple of Mithras
Mithraeum recreates the Roman Temple of Mithras in its original location now under the Bloomberg Centre in the heart of the city.
St Stephen’s Walbrook
Afterwards we will visit St Stephens Wallbrook which dates to 1672 with even earlier predecessors. https://ststephenwalbrook.net/history/
Also the Wikipedia entries: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Mithraeum https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Stephen_Walbrook
This should be an interesting morning we have tickets for 15 at the Temple but any extras could easily join the next public group. We have a timed slot so do try to be there promptly.
Meet at 1050 outside the Bloomberg Centre at 12 Walbrook – EC4N 8AA by the entrance to the Mithraeum. By tube to Mansion House (district) or Bank (central). Maphttps://goo.gl/maps/G6HwAq81mXH2
25 June, 2018
15 MAY ST PETER’S CHURCH & SQUARE
On a very balmy evening we gathered at the church and had a look inside. We heard what Pevsner had to say about it and a little of its history. It must have been idyllic before the predations of motor transport. The group then walked around the square noting the splendid buildings and even a small terrace in similar style that was built to complete the square when the Commodore Cinema was demolished. Diverting into some of the less grand streets it was interesting to note the number of corner shops that have now been converted to homes.
Thence underneath the roaring A4 to wander along Hammersmith Terrace noting its former residents which include A P Herbert and Emery Walker (list). Again a number of former shops were evident in the houses opposite, a reminder just how local shopping was despite the presence of King Street so near. The evening was concluded, for some at least, with refreshment at the Black Lion.
An extra event was arranged to see the Cecil French Bequest to LBHF of pre-Raphaelite works before the exhibition closed at the end of the month. Four cars worth of members braved the rather damp weather to journey down to Guildford. The weather improved soon after arrival and a good exhibition was complemented by a great lunch in the cafe. Some visited the Church and the Watts studio and we were all met by a wall of water as we headed home. Nevertheless a good visit and well worth seeing as the works may not be exhibited again for some time.
13 May, 2018
We had a successful series of talks through the winter months including – The Lion Houses, London in the Civil War, Roman London, Thames Archaeology and Panaorama of the Thames. Now with lighter evenings we venture out starting with St Peter’s Church and Square in Hammersmith, probably finishing in the Black Lion. Meet:
7:30PM Tuesday 15 May Outside St Peter’s Church, Black Lion Lane W6 9BE
hope to see you there.
Next will be a visit by shared private cars to Watts Gallery near Guildford to see the Cecil French bequest of Burne-Jones and other paintings before the exhibition closes. Details of travel will be agreed with those who have shown an interest, its not too late email: email@example.com
Departing at 1030AM 29 May For Watts Gallery returning late afternoon
In June we will visit Kensal Green Cemetery at 11:00AM 30 June
For July we have secured a talk on St Pauls Girls School by Dr Howard Bailes which will be at
7:00pm on Tuesday, 17 July 2018 In the Jessie Mylne Education Centre at Fulham Palace
Further details will be found in our current and next newsletters
21 September, 2017
Summer saw us having a truly revelatory visit to Buscot Park the home of Lord Farringdon with previously unseen drawings and documents by Charlotte Sulivan, a stand at the Parson’s Green Fair and summer Garden Party.
Now for the Winter programme we have two splendid talks and a show and tell evening with a Christmas Party in December. Full details are in the latest Newsletter here are the dates:
26 Sep 7:00pm The Development of the Peterborough Estate (Lion Houses) a talk by Peter Kulpa. Jesse Milne Centre Fulham Palace.
10 Oct 7:00pm A Proud Unthankefull City? – London & the English Civil Wars A Talk by David Flintham. Jesse Milne Centre Fulham Palace.
15 November 7:30pm Show and Tell – following last year’s success, a chance to talk about your and other’s pieces of history. At St Clements Church Hall, Fulham Palace Road.
11 December 7:00pm Members’ Christmas Buffet at Pryors Bank, Bishop’s Park Fulham.
Do note the two talks are slightly earlier and in the Palace Education Centre to ensure the best facilities.
To all those interested in our local history there can be no greater event than an archaeological dig. At our own Fulham Palace a search for the documented Dovecote and possible earlier medieval buildings will begin in October but your help is needed please look at the website and persuade your friends and local businesses to contribute. The Society will be making a significant donation but lots of help is needed. We eagerly await news of whatever they uncover.
3 April, 2017
TUESDAY 11 APRIL, 7:30PM
We had a lively AGM re-electing the Committee and officers and were treated to the postponed talk on “Mr Albert Smith’s Ascent of Mont Blanc” by our chairman. Amazingly this doctor cum dentist and adventurer found it better to run theatre shows of his adventures; becoming popular in the highest circles including the Queen.
Keith also did a succesful talk on the postal services in Fulham and Hammersmith at the West London Local History Conference. He and our secretary sold 80 books so a great success.
Our next event will be Jacina Bird talking about her forebears who during the 19th century built much of Hammersmith including St Peter’s Church and the stone piers of the first Hammersmith bridge. The talk will be supplemented by slides and items from family collection.
So do join us for what promises to be an interesting talk at 7:30pm in St Clements Hall Fulham Palace Road near the corner of Crabtree Lane details of buses etc in the Newsletter