Hammersmith is a district of west London that is bordered by Shepherd's Bush to the north, Kensington to the east, Chiswick to the west, and Fulham to the south, with which it forms part of the north bank of the River Thames.
HISTORY OF HAMMERMSITH
The area is one of west London's main commercial and employment centres and has for some decades been a major centre of London's Polish community. It is a major transport hub for west London, with two London Underground stations and a bus station at Hammersmith Broadway.
Hammersmith was the name of a parish, and of a suburban district, within the hundred of Osselstone, in the historic county of Middlesex. In the early 1660s, Hammersmith's first parish church, which later became St Paul's, was built by Sir Nicholas Crispe who ran the brickworks in Hammersmith. 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.
Hammersmith Bridge was first designed by William Tierney Clark, opening in 1827 as the first suspension bridge crossing the River Thames. Overloading in this original structure led to a redesign by Joseph Bazalgette, which was built over the original foundations, and reopened in 1887. In 1984–1985 the bridge received structural support, and between 1997 and 2000 the bridge underwent major strengthening work. In August 2020, it closed to pedestrians, cyclists and road traffic as the cast iron pedestals that hold the suspension system in place became unsafe.
Major industrial sites included the Osram lamp factory at Brook Green, the J. Lyons factory (which at one time employed 30,000 people). During both World Wars, Waring & Gillow's furniture factory, in Cambridge Grove, became the site of aircraft manufacture.
PROPERTY IN HAMMERMSITH
In Hammersmith, you’ll find a range of property that includes a mixture of riverside locations, terraces, flats and apartments with great views, modern builds, older period houses, semi-detached houses, and detached and big family homes.
The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham is the fourth most expensive borough in London after City of Westminster, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and Camden. So, property in Hammersmith may not be cheap, although prices do become fairer towards some areas of Shepherd’s Bush and North Fulham. In terms of prices in the UK, it’s of course on the high side, being a West London district so close to the city centre. As far as London goes though, Hammersmith is mid-range and offers more affordable suburban houses for those interested in the urban areas around the city.
LIVING IN HAMMERMSITH
Riverside Studios is a cinema, performance space, bar and cafe. Originally film studios, Riverside Studios were used by the BBC from 1954 to 1975 for television productions. The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre is just off King Street. Hammersmith Apollo concert hall and theatre (formerly the Carling Hammersmith Apollo, the Hammersmith Odeon, and before that the Gaumont Cinema) is just south of the gyratory. The former Hammersmith Palais nightclub has been demolished and the site reused as student accommodation. The Polish Social and Cultural Association is on King Street. It contains a theatre, an art gallery and several restaurants. Its library has one of the largest collections of Polish-language books outside Poland.
The Dove is a riverside pub with what the Guinness Book of Records listed as the smallest bar room in the world, in 2016 surviving as a small space on the right of the bar. The pub was frequented by Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene; James Thomson lodged and likely wrote Rule Britannia here. 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. Furnivall Gardens, which lies to the east, covers the site of Hammersmith Creek and the High Bridge. Leisure activity also takes place along Hammersmith's pedestrianised riverside, home to pubs, rowing clubs and the riverside park of Furnival Gardens. Hammersmith has a municipal park, Ravenscourt Park, to the west of the centre. Its facilities include tennis courts, a basketball court, a bowling lawn, a paddling pool and playgrounds.
Hammersmith is the historical home of the West London Penguin Swimming and Water Polo Club, formerly known as the Hammersmith Penguin Swimming Club. Hammersmith Chess Club has been active in the borough since it was formed in 1962. It was initially based in Westcott Lodge, later moving to St Paul's Church, then to Blythe House and now Lytton Hall, near West Kensington tube station.
SCHOOLS IN HAMMERMSITH
There are three major primary schools sought after in the area, John Betts, Brackenbury and St Peter’s which are excellent educational establishments rated outstanding by Ofsted. There are still lots of great options for primary education including St. Stephen’s and West London Free School Primary (WLFS). There are 38 primary schools in the catchment area of Hammersmith and Fulham with 93% rated as either outstanding or good by Ofsted.
As for secondary and sixth-form colleges in Hammersmith and Fulham, there are some great options, too. West London Free School, Lady Margaret School, Sacred Heart High School and Hurlingham Academy all rate above average in terms of student progression by government data, with most also achieving an outstanding Ofsted rating.
Hammersmith and Fulham also have a reputation for private schools. Ravenscourt Park Preparatory, Latymer Upper, Godolphin & Latymer, St Paul’s Girls and St James Senior are known to be some of the best paid-for educational establishments in all of London.