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Hammersmith, Middlesex

Historical Description

Hammersmith, a metropolitan suburb, a parish, and a parliamentary borough in Middlesex. The suburb lies on the river Thames, 6 miles WSW of St Paul's, is joined to London through Rensington, within the districts of the London County Council, the Central Criminal Court, and the Metropolitan Police, and is in the Western Suburban Postal district. Acreage, 2286; population, 97, 239. It was created a parliamentary borough in 1885. It is noted for salubrity, was formerly a favourite resort of invalids, and has undergone during a recent period great sanitary improvements. King Street traverses it, in continuous buildings, from end to end; Broadway, a wide and handsome thoroughfare, goes to the Suspension Bridge over the Thames; the Upper and Lower Malls range along the river, contain together with numerous modern houses, some remnants of the time of Queen Anne and the earlier Georges, and command a fine view of the Surrey side; minor streets, though narrow, have been greatly improved; and the outskirts and environs have become so studded or filled with new and elegant buildings as to encroach largely on grounds which were formerly disposed in market-gardens. The bridge across the Thames is an elegant suspension one, and was opened in June 1887 by the late Duke of Clarence. St Paul's Church, originally built in 1630 as a chapel of ease to Fulham, was not a handsome building, yet, with trees about it, presented a picturesque appearance, and contained monuments or memorials of Sheffield Earl Mulgrave, Sir Samuel Morland, Bishops Lloyd and Sheridan, Sir E. Impey, Sir George Shea, Sir N. Crisp, Arthur Murphy, Thomas Worlidge, and Bubb Doddington, and a copper bust of Charles I., given by Sir N. Crisp, whose heart was enclosed in an um beneath the bust It was pulled down in 1882 to make room for the present large and handsome edifice. The living is a vicarage in the diocese o5 London; net yearly value, £550, with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of London. For particulars relating to the other ecclesiastical parishes of Hammersmith, see LONDON. There are numerous dissenting chapels, and several Roman Catholic institutions.

Hammersmith was frequently a scene of operations between the contending forces in the Civil War of Charles I-The Earl of Essex was quartered here in 1642; Fairfax was quartered here in 1647; and a plot against the life of Cromwell, to be carried out by Miles Sydencombe, was planned here in 1656, and was detected before fully ripe. Branden-burgh House, situated on a spot near the bridge, was built in the 17th century by Sir N. Crisp at a cost of £23, 000; waa seized by the parliament, but regained by Crisp; passed by sale to Prince Rupert, went afterwards through various hands, and was purchased in 1748 by Bnbb Doddington, afterwards Lord Melcombe; was remodelled and decorated to such a degree by Doddington as to be considered " one of the most magnificent places in the neighbourhood of London;" went by sale, toward the end of the century, to the Margrave of Brandenburgh-Anspach, and then took the name of Bran-denburgh House; became eventually the residence and death-place of Queen Caroline, the wife of George IV., and soon after her death was razed to the ground. Queen Catherine, the wife of Charles II., lived in the Upper Mall. Dr Bat-cliffe also lived there. Elphinstone, the friend of Johnson, Loothenberg, the painter, and Mrs Billington likewise were residents. Thomson, the poet, wrote his " Winter " at the Dove coffee-house, in the Lower Mall. See also LONDON.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyMiddlesex 
Ecclesiastical parishHammersmith St. Paul 
Poor Law unionKensington 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Hammersmith from the following:

Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Middlesex is online.


Online maps of Hammersmith are available from a number of sites:

Villages, Hamlets, &c

Shepherds Bush
Starch Green
DistrictHammersmith and Fulham
CountyGreater London
Postal districtW6
Post TownLondon