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A brief history of Fulham

Fulham, or in its earliest form “Fulanhamme”, is uncertainly stated to signify “the place” either “of fowls” or “of mud” (which probably had to do with the fact that the River Thames would flood it periodically), or alternatively, “land in the crook of a river bend belonging to an Anglo Saxon chief named Fulla”. The manor is said to have been given to Bishop Erkenwald about the year 691 for himself and his successors in the see of London, and Holinshed relates that the Bishop of London was lodging in his manor place in 1141 when Geoffrey de Mandeville, riding out from the Tower of London, took him prisoner. During the Commonwealth the manor was temporarily out of the bishops’ hands, being sold to Colonel Edmund Harvey.

During recent years there has been a great revival of interest in Fulham’s earliest history, due almost entirely to the efforts of the Fulham Archaeological Rescue Group. This has carried out a number of interesting digs, particularly in the vicinity of Fulham Palace, which show that approximately 5,000 years ago Neolithic people were living by the riverside and in other parts of the area. Excavations have also revealed Roman settlements during the third and fourth centuries AD.

There is no record of the first erection of a parish church, but the first known rector was appointed in 1242, and a church probably existed a century before this. The earliest part of the church demolished in 1881, however, did not date farther back than the 15th century.

In 879 Danish invaders, sailing up the Thames, wintered at Fulham and Hammersmith. Near the former wooden Fulham Bridge, built in 1729 and replaced in 1886 with Putney Bridge, the Earl of Essex threw a bridge of boats across the river in 1642 in order to march his army in pursuit of Charles I, who thereupon fell back on Oxford. Margravine Road recalls the existence of Brandenburg House, a riverside mansion built by Sir Nicholas Crispe in the time of Charles I, used as the headquarters of General Fairfax in 1647 during the civil wars, and occupied in 1792 by the margrave of Brandenburg-Anspach and Bayreuth and his wife, and in 1820 by Caroline, consort of George IV.

Fulham during the 18th century had a reputation of debauchery, becoming a sort of “Las Vegas retreat” for the wealthy of London, where there was much gambling and prostitution.

Fulham remained a working class area for the first half of the twentieth century, but was subject to extensive restoration between the Second World War and the 1980s. Today, Fulham is one of the most expensive parts of London, and therefore the UK; average actual sale price of all property (both houses and flats) sold in the SW6 area in 2014 was £1,023,440.

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1 History of Fulham Wiki Accessed online 29 January 2016 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulham

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