History of Hammersmith
Our service are covers most of Southwest London and we wanted to know a bit more about some of there areas we cover. Today we take a look at the history of Hammersmith.
The first record of the name Hammersmyth appears in 1294, the name possibly derived from a combination of the Old English words of Hamor (a hammer) and Smyththe (smithy). The land was part of the Manor of Fulham,owned by the Bishop of London whose country palace lay downstream on the river’s bend at Putney. The original topography featured heavily forested land, which provided acorns and beechnuts to feed pigs whilst the river was a valuable source of food including eels, salmon and wild fowl as well as providing a means of transport to the City of London.
In the early 1660s, Sir Nicholas Crispe who ran the brickworks in Hammersmith built Hammersmith’s first parish church, which later became St Paul’s. It contained a monument to Crispe as well as a bronze bust of King Charles I by Hubert Le Sueur. In 1696 Sir Samuel Morland was buried there. The church was completely rebuilt in 1883, but the monument and bust were transferred to the new church.
The Hammersmith Suspension Bridge, designed by William Tierney Clark, was built across the Thames in 1827, and rebuilt in 1893. In 1984–1985 the bridge received structural support, and between 1997 and 2000 the bridge underwent major strengthening work.
In 1745, two Scots, James Lee and Lewis Kennedy, established the Vineyard Nursery, over six acres devoted to landscaping plants. During the next hundred and fifty years the nursery introduced many new plants to England, including fuchsia and the standard rose tree.
During the 19th century a considerable amount of farmland was turned over to the creation of brickfields as the clay soil provided good building materials for London as it continued to expand westwards. Many ponds and lakes were formed as a result of this activity and Lakeside Road near Brook Green is a reminder of this extremely profitable business. Nearer to the river, the good soil enabled farmers to grow soft fruits such as gooseberries, red currants, raspberries and strawberries which were taken by boat or carried in panniers made by osiers from riverside willows to sell at Covent Garden market.
One of the biggest changes to the face of Hammersmith was the opening of the A4 flyover in 1961 and the development of the Broadway itself, which saw the last Victorian shop terraces swept away and replaced with glazed office blocks, apart from the facade of Bradmore House. In the 1980s The Ark, an innovative office building, which resembles an ocean liner, rose beside the flyover and in recent years Lyric Square has been revitalized and the flourishing weekly market stalls act a vibrant reminder of Hammersmith’s village past.
1 History of Hammersmith Accessed online 17 February 2016 http://www.finlaybrewer.co.uk/brook-green-w6/history-of-hammersmith/
2 Hammersmith Wiki Accessed online 17 February 2016 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammersmith