Hammersmith: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 51°29′34″N 0°13′22″W / 51.4928°N 0.2229°W / 51.4928; -0.2229

Hammersmith is located in Greater London

 Hammersmith shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ233786
London borough Hammersmith & Fulham
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district W6
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Hammersmith and Fulham
London Assembly West Central
List of places: UK • England • London

Hammersmith is an urban centre in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in west London approximately 5 miles (8 km) west of Charing Cross on the north bank of the River Thames. One of west London's key transport hubs and commercial and employment centres, and home to several multinational company offices, it is focused on the two London Underground stations, bus station and road network node at Hammersmith Broadway. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.[1]

It is bordered by Shepherds Bush to the north, West Kensington to the east, Fulham to the south and Chiswick to the west, and is linked by Hammersmith Bridge to Barnes in the southwest.

It has for some decades been the main centre of London's Polish minority in United Kingdom.[2][3]



There is evidence of occupation of some riverside areas around Hammersmith as far back as Roman and Saxon times[citation needed], and the area was referred to in the Domesday Book. The name may possibly be a shortening of "Hamoder's Hythe", i.e. the landing-place of a man named Hamoder.[citation needed]

Consequently, house construction and industrial development flourished. Major industrial sites included the Osram lamp factory at Brook Green, the J. Lyons factory (which at one time employed 30,000 people) and the largest municipal power station in Britain, built near the gasworks in Sands End.

All these have subsequently been closed and redeveloped as the area has moved from an industrial base to a greater focus on commerce and services.


Hammersmith (sometimes called Hammy affectionately) is a natural centre of activity, located at the confluence of a key arterial route out of central London (the A4) with several local feeder roads and a bridge over the Thames. The focal point of the district is the commercial centre (the Broadway Centre) located at this confluence, which houses a shopping centre, bus station, an Underground station and an office complex.

The Lyric Theatre, one of Hammersmith's several entertainment venues.

Stretching about 750m westwards from this centre is King Street, Hammersmith's main shopping street which contains its second shopping centre (King's Mall), many small shops, the Town Hall, the Lyric Theatre, a cinema and two hotels. King Street is supplemented by other shops along Shepherds Bush Road to the north, Fulham Palace Road to the south and Hammersmith Road to the east.

Hammersmith's office activity takes place mainly to the eastern side of its centre, along Hammersmith Road and in the Ark, an architecturally-unique office complex to the south of the flyover which traverses the area. The offices of Bechtel, Coca-Cola, Disney, Pokémon, L'Oréal, NHS Hammersmith and Fulham, Sony Ericsson, Universal Music Group, World Wrestling Entertainment, AOL UK, Accor UK, Next Fifteen Communications, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands are all found in Hammersmith. Two NHS hospitals provide jobs in Hammersmith - Charing Cross Hospital to the south of the centre on Fulham Palace Road, and Hammersmith Hospital in the North. Charing Cross Hospital is a large multi-disciplinary hospital with an accident & emergency department and teaching department run by the world-renowned Imperial College School of Medicine.

HammersmithLondon [3] is responsible for delivering a Business Improvement District (BID) to Hammersmith. It is a business-led not-for-profit limited company established to represent the views of local businesses in Hammersmith town centre. The company identifies and delivers tangible initiatives to benefit local businesses and improve their operating environment.

In addition to the cinema and pubs of King Street, leisure activity also takes place along Hammersmith's pedestrianised riverside, home to a number of pubs, rowing clubs and the riverside park of Furnival Gardens. Hammersmith also has a large municipal park called Ravenscourt Park located to the west of the centre. Its facilities include ponds, tennis courts, a basketball court and creche. The whole area is covered by the same W6 postcode as Hammersmith town centre.

Culture and entertainment

Hammersmith has a number of attractions;

The famous Dove Pub - entrance in the alley that is the only surviving trace of the old Hammersmith Village. (September 2005)
  • "The Dove" riverside pub, the oldest surviving riverside pub in London with, reputedly, the smallest bar in the world, frequented in the past by Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene. The narrow alley in which it stands is the only remnant of the riverside village of Hammersmith, the bulk of which was demolished in the 1930s. Furnival Gardens, which lies to the east, covers the site of Hammersmith Creek and the High Bridge. The site of the creek can be ascertained by a mound near the Great West Road.

Hammersmith has provided a location for several TV programmes, including the BBC comedy series Bottom, Channel 4's TFI Friday, and the vampire drama Ultraviolet. The opening credits of Bottom show the Hammersmith Broadway (also mentioned in The Pogues' song Dark Streets of London) development, then called Centre West, when it was under construction. In addition, the Flying Squad were Hammersmith-based in the 1970s TV series The Sweeney. Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective contains scenes that appear to be under and adjacent to Hammersmith Bridge. The popular Thames Television series Minder also features black and white photographs of Hammersmith Bridge and the Blue Anchor pub in the closing credits.

News from Nowhere written by William Morris is a utopian novel that describes a journey upstream the River Thames from Hammersmith towards Oxford. Written in 1890, it is of growing interest to contemporary Ecological and Socialist political movements.

In 1930, Gustav Holst composed a work for military band (later rewritten for orchestra) entitled Hammersmith to reflect his impressions of the town, having lived across the river in nearby Barnes for nearly forty years. It begins with a haunting musical depiction of the River Thames flowing underneath Hammersmith Bridge. Holst was a music teacher at St Paul's Girls' School, where he composed many of his most famous works, including The Planets suite. A music room in the school is named after him.

Architecturally, Hammersmith is notable for

  • "The Ark" office building [4] designed by British architect Ralph Erskine and was completed in April 1992 [4] as the name suggests it has the appearance of a large ship.
  • "Hammersmith Bridge Road Surgery" Doctor's office [5]
  • "22 St Peters Square" former Royal Chiswick Laundry and Island Records HQ converted to architects studios and offices by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. It has a Hammersmith Society Conservation award plaque (2009) [5] and has been included in tours in Architecture Week. [6]

US Broadcasters NBC and ABC both have their London News Bureau in Hammersmith.

Hammersmith is the historical home of the West London Penguin Swimming and Water Polo Club, formerly known as the Hammersmith Penguin Swimming Club.

Round Table London Hammersmith 48 [6] is a community service and networking club for men aged 18 to 45. Regular meetings are held at the London Corinthian Sailing Club on the banks of the river Thames.

The Polish Social and Cultural Centre (known as POSK) [7] is based in Hammersmith, with facilities including a library, a theatre, restaurants and cafes, and houses many other Polish organisations.

Notable inhabitants


Hammersmith tube sign

The area is on the main A4 trunk road heading west from central London towards the M4 motorway and Heathrow Airport. The A4, a busy commuter route, passes over the area's main road junction, Hammersmith Gyratory System, on a long viaduct, the Hammersmith Flyover. Hammersmith Bridge, the first suspension bridge over the River Thames, carries traffic to and from Barnes and southwest London.

The centre of Hammersmith is served by two tube stations, both named Hammersmith. One is the western terminus of the Hammersmith & City and Circle lines, while the larger one served by the Piccadilly and District Lines . The latter tube station is part of a larger office, retail and transport development, locally known as "The Broadway Centre". Hammersmith Broadway, itself, stretches from the junction of Queen Caroline Street and King Street in the west to the junction of Hammersmith Road and Butterwick in the east. It forms the north side of the gyratory system also known as Hammersmith Roundabout. The Broadway Shopping Centre includes a large modern bus station, which is open 24 hours a day and served by a large number of buses, night buses, airport transfer buses and some long distance coaches.

The length of King Street places the westernmost shops and offices closest to Ravenscourt Park tube station on the District line, one stop west of Hammersmith itself.

Hammersmith also used to be able to boast of having not one but two public passenger transport depots: Hammersmith Trolleybus Depot (coded "HB") situated opposite Fulham Palace Road and a Motor Bus Garage, known as Riverside (coded "R") to stop confusion with "HB". Riverside was originally a mansion and after the bus operations ceased the fascia of the building was listed.

Neighbouring districts

External links



1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HAMMERSMITH, a western metropolitan borough of London, England, bounded E. by Kensington and S. by Fulham and the river Thames, and extending N. and W. to the boundary of the county of London. Pop. (1901) 112,239. The name appears in the early forms of Hermodewode and Hamersmith; the derivation is probably from the Anglo-Saxon, signifying the place with a haven (hythe). Hammersmith is mentioned with Fulham as a winter camp of Danish invaders in 879, when they occupied the island of Hame, which may be identified with Chiswick Eyot. Hammersmith consists of residential streets of various classes. There are many good houses in the districts of Brook Green in the south-east, and Ravenscourt Park and Starch Green in the west. Shepherd's Bush in the east is a populous and poorer quarter. Boat-building yards, lead-mills, oil mills, distilleries, coach factories, motor works, and other industrial establishments are found along the river and elsewhere in the borough. The main thoroughfares are Uxbridge Road and Goldhawk Road, from Acton on the west, converging at Shepherd's Bush and continuing towards Notting Hill; King Street from Chiswick on the south-west, continued as Hammersmith Broadway and Road to Kensington Road; Bridge Road from Hammersmith Bridge over the Thames, and Fulham Palace Road from Fulham, converging at the Broadway. Old Hammersmith Bridge, designed by Tierney Clark (1824), was the earliest suspension bridge erected near London. This bridge was found insecure and replaced in 1884-1887. Until 1834 Hammersmith formed part of Fulham parish. Its church of St Paul was built as a chapel of ease to Fulham, and consecrated by Laud in 1631. The existing building dates from 1890. Among the old monuments preserved is that of Sir Nicholas Crispe (d. 1665), a prominent royalist during the civil wars and a benefactor of the parish. Schools and religious houses are numerous. St Paul's school is one of the principal public schools in England. It was founded in or about 1509 by John Colet, dean of St Paul's, under the shadow of the cathedral church. But it appears that Colet actually refounded and reorganized a school which had been attached to the cathedral of St Paul from very early times; the first mention of such a school dates from the early part of the 12th century (see an article in The Times, London, July 7, 1909, on the occasion of the celebration of the quatercentenary of Colet's foundation). The school was moved to its present site in Hammersmith Road in 1883. The number of foundation scholars, that is, the number for which Colet's endowment provided, is 153, according to the number of fishes taken in the miraculous draught. The total number of pupils is about 600. The school governors are appointed by the Mercers' Company (by which body the new site was acquired), and the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London. Close to the school is St Paul's preparatory school, and at Brook Green is a girls' school in connexion with the main school. There are, besides, the Edward Latymer foundation school for boys (1624), part of the income of which is devoted to general charitable purposes; the Godolphin school, founded in the 16th century and remodelled as a grammar school in 1861; Nazareth House of Little Sisters of the Poor, the Convent of the Sacred Heart, and other convents. The town hall, the West London hospital with its post-graduate college, and Wormwood Scrubbs prison are noteworthy buildings. Other institutions are the Hammersmith school of art and a Roman Catholic training college. Besides the picturesque Ravenscourt Park (31 acres) there are extensive recreation grounds in the north of the borough at Wormwood Scrubbs (193 acres), and others of lesser extent. An important place of entertainment is Olympia, near Hammersmith Road and the Addison Road station on the West London railway, which includes a vast arena under a glass roof; while at Shepherd's Bush are the extensive grounds and buildings first occupied by the Franco-British Exhibition of 1908, including a huge stadium for athletic displays. In the extreme north of the borough is the Kensal Green Roman Catholic cemetery, in which Cardinal Manning and many other prominent members of this faith are buried. In the neighbourhood of the Mall, bordering the river, are the house where Thomson wrote his poem "The Seasons," and Kelmscott House, the residence of William Morris. The parliamentary borough of Hammersmith returns one member. The borough council consists of a mayor, 5 aldermen, and 30 councillors. Area, 2286.3 acres.

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