Hammersmith shown within Greater London
|OS grid reference|
|London borough||Hammersmith & Fulham|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|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.
There is evidence of occupation of some riverside areas around Hammersmith as far back as Roman and Saxon times, 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.
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.
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  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.
Hammersmith has a number of attractions;
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
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  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)  is based in Hammersmith, with facilities including a library, a theatre, restaurants and cafes, and houses many other Polish organisations.
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.
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.