A FULHAM WALK – PARSONS GREEN TO PUTNEY BRIDGE

13 October, 2020

This self-guided walk around Fulham was written by Maya Donelan for Open House if you have any additions or suggestions or variations do contact Maya direct or enter a comment below.

If the restrictions increase we may all be looking for such walks!

Fulham Walk – Parsons Green Station to Putney Bridge Station.

A self-guided walk around Fulham

Turn right out of the station and walk down towards Parsons Green, a former hamlet inhabited in the early C18 ‘mostly by Gentry and Persons of Quality’.

Walk down the path in the centre of the Green and you will see to your left: late C19 White Horse pub, red terracotta with tall gable with horse under a canopy. Next door the former Fulham Maternity Hospital opened in 1937 by the Fulham Borough Council on a site previously occupied by a Home and School for Girls. During WW2 a section of the Hospital was used as a First Aid Post for civilian casualties. Now a surgery and medical centre. Then Lady Margaret School, which consists of Henniker House, plain Italianate of c 1841; Elm House c.1800, recorded as a school in 1803 and Belfield House, early C18 front.

Extract Feret’s Map

On the West side, to your right, St Dionis Church (1884-5, Ewan Christian), with a font from Wren’s St Dionis Backchurch in the City, the Vicarage of 1898-9 by William White – his last commission! And church hall, a former mission church of 1876 by Arthur Billing, given by Charlotte Sulivan.

At the end of the Green, walk to your right to look at a terrace of 3-bay houses dated 1795, unusual in having centrally placed doorways. and the adjacent, Aragon House (1805-6), the former home of the local British Legion Club now a pub/hotel.

Back to cross at the pedestrian crossing, past the Duke on the Green, down Peterborough Road, and on the right, past Bell’s Alley, is Sulivan School, 1951, concrete clad, contemporary with neighbouring Sulivan Court 1949-56, built on No 2 polo ground of the Hurlingham Club, followed further down the road by Hurlingham & Chelsea School, Sheppard Robson 1956.

Lion Finials

Glance across to the left down Studdridge Street, which leads to the Peterborough Estate with its well-known ‘lion’ houses. Further down Peterborough Road on the left is South Park which opened in 1904 when local benefactress Miss Charlotte Sulivan sold the land to the Fulham Borough Council for use as a public recreation ground. The land, formerly known as Broom House Farm and Southfields Farm, had been part of the Sulivan private lands though it had been leased to Messrs Veitch & Sons of Chelsea as a nursery for fruit trees. Note the very recent new community centre on the corner.

And as you approach the river, pass on the right, the 1990s gated development, Hurlingham Square,– followed by the former British Gas Offices and laboratories, now Piper Building flats, 1961-3 by E.R.Collister and Partners, with an abstract cheerful coloured relief in polyester resin and glass, designed by John Piper.

Turn right into Carnwath Road, along past the works for the new London sewers. At the end of Carnwarth Road turn left into Broomhouse Dock, from which a ferry (apparently used by King Charles I) used to run to Wandsworth. It was known as a very treacherous part of the river and many drownings were recorded there! Now you have a fine view of the recycling station! Continue right up Broomhouse Lane. On the left the wall of the Hurlingham Club, established in 1869 as a private pigeon shooting club. In 1873, the Club published the rules of polo, which are still followed by most of the world to this day. Polo was first played at the club on 6 June 1874. In the early 1900s ballooning was a popular sport at the Club and a pipe with the relevant gas was installed between the Club and the local gasworks at Sands End.

On the right

The Parsons Green Club– originally established in 1885 as the Parsons Green Working Men’s Social Club by Charlotte Sulivan, the club moved onto this site in 1912 and over the years expanded greatly. It was completely rebuilt in 2019, with flats above.

Castle Club, built as a school by Horace Francis, 1854-5. Symmetrical Tudor brick and stone composition. Donated by Lawrence Sulivan, father of Charlotte Sulivan, a generous local resident. Now scheduled to become a residential home for the elderly.

On the left: Hurlingham Park, a post-war development on land previously used as a polo ground by the Hurlingham Club. Now nostalgically the venue for Chestertons Polo in the Park, an annual event which brings together a combination of international polo and family entertainment.

Turn left into Hurlingham Road, passing on the corner Hurlingham Lodge of 1856, now much altered, further along on the left, the former Park Keeper’s cottage, now a grand house and on the right, The Vineyard, rendered 3-storey, 3-bay front, part early 17th century. For many years owned by the Beaverbrook family.

Left down Napier Avenue – at the bottom on the left the main entrance to the Hurlingham Club. Turn around and continue towards station, with on your left Rivermead Court, with its 1930 mansion blocks.

As you approach the bridge, keep to the right and look up to the left to see the pill-box on the station above you, a relic of WWII defence fortifications.

Walk under bridge past the bus station and turn right at the second hand bookshop on the corner to the Eight Bells Pub, first mentioned in 1771, then Fulham House, 1730s, five bay yellow brick front, somewhat in the manner of Vanbrugh, now used by the Territorial Army. The pedimented gateway to the forecourt is a reproduction based on old photographs. For many years the building was used as a school which was attended in the 1860s by Avis, small daughter of Anna Leonowens, the Victorian governess to the Siamese Court, subject of the romantic musical ‘The King and I’.

This walk ends here, but if you want a bit more history continue as follows:

Fulham Pottery Post Card

Walk towards New Kings Road, facing the Temperance Billiard Hall, 1909 with large barrel roof, art nouveau glass, turn right into New Kings Road, at the green railway bridge cross road and on corner of Burlington Road is the last remaining kiln from the Fulham Pottery. Continue up Burlington Road, past some buildings (now residential) which were part of Fulham Refuge, later

Fulham High Street 1863

known as Fulham Female Convict Prison (1855-1888). Turn right into Rigault Road where the present Burlington Lodge is formed out of former prison properties, notably the laundry building with it small upper windows.

On the other side of the Fulham Palace Road, you will find All Saints Church, Bishops Park, Fulham Palace and way up towards Hammersmith, Fulham Football Ground This is another expedition!

Note on Charlotte Sulivan: Charlotte Sulivan (1824-1911), lived in Broom House, a large villa, now gone, whose grounds covered much of the area of this walk, from Bells Alley down to the river. She never married and devoted much of her time and money to the welfare of local inhabitants and donated heavily to the provision of churches.

If you have enjoyed this walk either physically or virtually from your armchair particularly the detail on Parsons Green there may be more interest next year, our 50th, with a new publication written by Sue Pierson.  If you haven’t already, do get her earlier volumes on Peterborough House and Charlotte Sulivan.  See our Publications pages.

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FULHAM IN WWII AND A TASTE FROM THE PAST

26 September, 2020
Fulham in the Second World War

Fulham in the Second World War

Given the current largely adverse BLM presence in the news it is encouraging to hear of  kindness in Fulham during the war. Under Fire: Black Britain in Wartime 1939-45 by Stephen Bourne (ISBN: 9780750994354) is a book that includes just such a story. It was reviewed recently in the ‘i’ newspaper here. For those who have not already seen our publication Fulham in WWII there are a few copies left, see our publications page.

On a rare COVID safe visit to the outside space of the Captain Cook pub I spotted a bit of living history.  Still in use as a door stop this tin of Nuttall’s Mintoes brought back memories of a Yorkshire childhood – admittedly not really history – yet.  Notice the use of the old coinage and Imperial weights. Eight old pence per quarter pound or 4 ounces. About £0.03p for 113 grams much less prosaic!

II

As a postscript those with an interest in the first item might like to look up LBHF’s Newsletter article on Edmonia Lewis a well travelled and impressive black sculptress who died in Hammersmith.


QUIZ ANSWERS AND MURALS AT HAMMERSMITH

30 July, 2020

Well we are still constrained and cannot meet, we all hope that we will be able to do something soon.  The priority is for everyone to stay safe.  If you have found the quiz a useful way of recalling past visits and landmarks the answers to the June Quiz will not surprise you.  I shall have to try a lot harder for the next quiz.

Alfred Daniels Mural

When we first moved to the area we went to a presentation at the Town Hall on the impressive murals there.  Here is an article from the Spitalfields Life that explores them.  Enjoy and thank Maya for finding this, it also appears in the Library Blog which is always worth a browse.


JUNE QUIZ, MORE READING AND WALKING

6 June, 2020

We are all able to get out a bit now but still mainly at home so how about another Quiz?  Something to read? Or perhaps a Walk?

First up Here is the Quiz.

Foreshore Recording and Observations Group

FROG

For the reading you might try a Thames theme.  We’ve had a couple of talks from the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA)’s Nathalie Cohen and Eliott Wragg about their work on the Thames foreshore and the work of the splendidly named FROG (Foreshore  Recording and Observation Group) indeed a couple of our members have given updates on the work.  MOLA produced a book written by Natalie and Eliott – The River’s Tale   ISBN 9781907586453.

I have just started reading an independent mudlarker’s account which is also fascinating and almost immediately relates the fate of the Dove type (thrown from Hammersmith Bridge!). – Mudlarking – Lost and Found on The River Thames by Lara Maiklem ISBN9781408889237.

You might like to build up a thirst by checking out London’s Riverside Pubs by Tim Hampson ISBN9781847735027 which could lead to walks!  Especially when they re-open.

For those interested in post war buildings try John Gringrod’s Concretopia ISBN9781906964900 a catalogue of triumphs and failures in this unloved but practical material (even the Roman’s used it!)

A crime novel linked to the histoic bombing of St Pauls The Blue Last by Martha Grimes ISBN9780747268420 or 0747268428 will keep you gripped.

  

And finally to walks. LBHF has catalogued a number of short walks with a set of downloadable guides here. Some cover ground trod on our outings but there are plenty so should last the lockdown.  thanks to Vernon Burgess for the link.

If you cannot get out then you may like to delve into the William Morris Society’s online exhibition a short video and a trail through the exhibits.

 

 

 

 


A SHORT WALK THROUGH HAMMERSMITH AND SHEPHERDS BUSH

12 May, 2020

During the present restrictions I’m taking walks for exercise but also hoping to discover more, as I walk, about local history.

Today I’m starting out from home in Brackenbury Village, walking briskly through side streets and making sure to keep my distance from other people according to the rules.

I’m going up Iffley Road and noticing that work is commencing again on No. 41 which is being refurbished and renovated for up-to-date studio space. When I first moved to the area I was stunned by the wonderful

Iffley Road Mission
c/r Historic England

which is in a 15th century Venetian Gothic style. Quite unexpected in an ordinary residential road. I’ve learned that the original Mission Hall was built in 1883-4 by the architect H.R. Gough before the rest of the street and is Grade 2 listed. There is a blue plaque to the scenic artist John Campbell who worked here. Sadly most of the façade is at present hidden behind scaffolding but you can see the very top from the road. I can’t wait for the work to be finished!

I’m now heading down Sycamore Gardens towards Goldhawk Road. I really like the almshouses with their pleasant outside space. What I’ve learnt is that Sycamore House was built in 1950 and renovated in 2012. It is supported by what was originally Dr Edwards’s and Bishop King’s Fulham Charity and is now Hammersmith United Charities. John King was Bishop of London from 1611 to 1621. In his will he left £20 to be bestowed upon the poor of the parish at the discretion of his wife. The first distribution of “a twopenny loafe of breed and a pice of befe to eleven poor people of Fulham and fourteen poor people of Hammersmith” was made on Easter Eve 1623.

On I go across Goldhawk Road and then left along Lime Grove. The very impressive façade on the left was originally that of

Hammersmith Bath House

Hammersmith Public Baths. The full name is still proudly displayed on the façade. Apparently it opened in 1906. The website “Finding Lidos: Dive into lost Lidos” tells me that “the walls were lined with glazed tiles and the bath was converted into a public hall on some occasions often staging boxing matches.” During the first World War it served as a public food kitchen. It is now apparently converted into residential flats.

On the right are Gaumont Terrace and Gainsborough Court. I’m pleased that the original names remain from the film studios that were here from 1915. Alfred Hitchcock made “The 39 Steps” here in 1935 and David Lean and Michael Powell worked here. When I lived in Shepherds Bush I remember the impressive Gaumont Towers which dominated the surrounding streets. They were demolished in 1993. I’m surprised that I don’t remember that happening as it must have been a very noisy and dramatic affair!

Now across Uxbridge Road and left down Frithville Gardens. There are tall trees in the distance at the end of the road which look quite promising. Yes…it is a park… Hammersmith Park (although it is in Shepherds Bush!). There is a small rock garden with a bridge and a pool. An unexpectedly calm space with beautiful trees and plants. The notice board tells me that it

Photograph of White City Japanese British Exhibition

Japanese British Exhibition

was the site of the 1908 Olympic Games and the Japan British Exhibition in 1910. The rock garden is on the site of a traditional Japanese garden and it still has a Japanese feel to it. The avenue of traditional stone lanterns is unfamiliar to me: apparently it was added in 2018 together with an authentic Japanese gateway by the Japan Society, the Embassy of Japan and various local businesses and Japanese companies. The original gateway from 1910 is now in Kew Gardens as part of a Garden of Harmony. That gateway was restored in 1996 before creation of the Japanese landscape around it at Kew.

Just around the corner is the QPR football stadium. Maybe I’ll go back home another way past the stadium and down Bloemfontein Road. The South African street names are interesting: most people think that they relate to the British Commonwealth and Franco British exhibitions of 1908.

I’ve enjoyed my walk. As well as appreciating being out of doors I have learnt quite a bit about the local area. I’m sure that there is much that I have missed and so I will be walking that way again soon!

Susan Richards

II – POSTSCRIPT

Quick as a flash these old photos came to hand, hope they add some flavour if not colour.

Iffley Road

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lime Grove


THE APRIL QUICK QUIZ

7 May, 2020

Those who read our latest Newsletter (149 Spring) may not have had all the answers to our quiz so here they are.  How did you do? Should we try this again?


THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN FULHAM AND HAMMERSMITH & THE POSTCODE ANOMALY

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.
Keith Whitehouse,
Chairman
Fulham & Hammersmith Historical Society


HISTORY AT OUR FEET

5 September, 2018

We all travel around London heading to our destination and probably not noticing the history on the pavements of our streets. Much of course is modern and ever changing. The Victorian pavements clearly had stone paving as can be seen where there are still coal-hole covers set into the stone. Elsewhere the concrete slabs have taken over. These coal-hole covers themselves vary from the generic mass produced versions to those bearing names of local purveyors. These are all from Fulham streets in a very small area.
Coal Hole London

Coal Hole London

Coal Hole Mansfield

Coal Hole Mansfield

There are also markings on kerb stones: these in Munster Road are believed to mark the pitches of the now defunct street market. They consist of a series of arrow head inscriptions about 15 feet apart with a number inbetween.

Kerb Munster Road

Kerb Munster Road

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kerb - Hammersmith TerraceSome are more difficult to understand such as this one on Hammersmith Terrace we saw when viewing St Peter’s square and Black Lion Lane area earlier in the year.

or this in Clareville Street Kensington

Kerb Clareville St

Kerb Clareville St

– possibly long gone utilities?

More modern are the utility manhole covers; for example you can see the morphing of GPO to Post Office Telephones, British Telecom, BT and Open Reach. The water companies show a similar pattern of change from local utilities to a modern day giant company.

This boundary stone doesn’t seem to relate to known land owners so there is a story to discover here.

Boundary Stone

Boundary Stone

 

 

Postbox Warwick Gardens

Postbox Warwick Gardens

 

 

 

Of course there are the obvious such as this post box in Warwick Gardens Kensington

Gate in Bloom Park Rd

Gate in Bloom Park Rd

or this original gate on Bloom Park Road  although sadly not many of these are left. The original lock plate is still in place containing the mark of its Glasgow makers.  Britain was a very connected society even then.

So our London streets can reveal their history even on a walk to work or the shops.