The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 47 Hammersmith, Chiswick and Fulham

Hammersmith 2

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King Street prolongs Hammersmith Road to Chiswick from Hammersmith Broadway, an important traffic centre, where six roads converge. Close by is the Lyric Theatre. Queen St. leads south to the parish church of St. Paul, founded in 1628 but rebuilt in 1882-83. The garage of the Omnibus Co., opposite, incorporates the fine facade of Bradmore or Butterwick House, Cromwell's headquarters in 1647 (pulled down in 1913; panelling from the old mansion is shown on application at 55 Broadway, S.W. 1). At the church Fulham Palace Road diverges on the left for Fulham. Brook Green Road and Shepherd's Bush Road run north from Hammersmith Broadway to Shepherd's Bush. Thence Wood Lane goes on to Harrow Road, passing the exhibition grounds of the White City, in which are a large stadium (the arena of the Olympic Games of 1908) and various pavilions built of white 'staff' for the Franco-British Exhibition of 1908. Farther to the north, opposite St. Quintin Park Station stretch Wormwood Scrubs, a featureless public park, with a large Prison on its south verge. From the Broadway Hammersmith Bridge Road leads south-west to Hammersmith Bridge, a suspension bridge with a span of 400 feet, opened in 1887, leading to Castelnau and Barnes. The north bank of the Thames, to the west of the bridge, is skirted by Hammersmith Hall, a fashionable place of residence in the 18th and early 19th century and still retaining a number of picturesque houses. Near the creek dividing the Lower Mall from the Upper Mall is the Hampshire House Trust, an interesting little colony of craftsmen, comprising a bakery, wood-carving shop, etc. No. 19 Upper Mall is the old Doves Inn, in which tradition has it that James Thomson wrote part of 'The Seasons.' Kelmscott House (No. 26) was the home of William Morris, 'poet, craftsman, socialist,' from 1878 to his death in 1896. In 1816 Sir Francis Ronalds invented the first electric telegraph in this house, laying down 8 miles of cable in the garden. Morris named the house after Kelmscott Manor, his country-home near Lechlade. In 1891 he established in Hammersmith the Kelmscott Press for the production of beautiful books, the finest of which is the superb 'Kelmscott Chaucer' of 1895. Before 1878 this was the home of George MacDonald (1824-1905); it was then known as 'The Retreat,' and Ruskin was a frequent visitor.