The Fascination of London


Hammersmith Fulham Putney

[Pg 34]


The earliest authority for the derivation of the name of Fulham is Camden, in his "Britannia," who is quoted by all succeeding writers. Norden says: "Fulham, of the Saxons called Fullon-ham, which (as Master Camden taketh it) signifieth Volucrum Domus, the Habitacle of Birds or the Place of Fowls. Fullon and Furglas in the Saxon toong signifieth Fowles, and Ham or Hame as much as Home in our Toong. So that Fullonham or Fuglahame is as much as to say the Home House or Habitacle of Fowle. Ham also in many places signifieth Amnis a River. But it is most probable it should be of Land Fowle which usually haunt Groves and Clusters of Trees whereof in this Place it seemeth to have been plenty."

Bowack also quotes Camden, adding: "In all Probability a Place where all sorts of Water Fowls were bred and preserved for the Diversion of our Saxon Monarchs."

Lysons, commenting on this derivation, adds in[Pg 35] a note: "The Saxon word ful is translated foul: fuhl, a fowl: full and fullan are full, as full mona, the full moon." This latter meaning has been chosen by the authors of the Anglo-Saxon dictionaries, notably Somner, Lye, and Bosworth.

Fulham is bounded by Chelsea and Kensington on the east, by the river on the west and south, and by Hammersmith on the north. The eastern boundary follows generally the railway-line between Addison Road Station and the river, and the northern one is identical with the southern one of Hammersmith already given. The earliest record we have of Fulham is in 691, when a grant of the manor was made by Tyrtilus, Bishop of Hereford, to Erkenwald, Bishop of London, and his successors. In 879 a body of Danes made Fulham their winter quarters, and amused themselves by constructing the moat around the palace. Norden tells us that Henry III. often "lay" at the palace, and on two occasions Bishop Bancroft received visits here from Queen Elizabeth. James I. also came here before his coronation. In 1627 Charles I. dined with Bishop Montaigne. In 1642 the Parliamentary army encamped at Fulham, 24,000 strong, under Essex.

If we enter the borough of Fulham at the Hammersmith end, we come upon one of the most interesting associations of the whole district, just before the North End Road makes a decided bend.[Pg 36] Here are two houses, formerly one, called the Grange, in which the novelist Samuel Richardson passed the greater part of his life. This pompous, vain little man, who never to the end of his life abated one whit of his savage envy of his successful contemporaries, was endowed with the genius of originality which prompted him to write as no one had ever thought of writing before. He remained here until 1755, when he moved to Parsons Green. He had begun life as one of the nine children of a man of small means, and was apprenticed to a printer. This work he carried on long after the necessity for it had ceased, for he was above all things punctual, methodical, neat, and entirely the opposite in character to that usually ascribed to genius. To a man of his type it seems almost sinful to give up routine work in order to depend on the work of imagination. He had a house at Salisbury Court near his business premises, and the Grange at North End was his country residence. Here he composed "Sir Charles Grandison" and "Clarissa," writing for the most part in a grotto in the garden, where the admiring circle of women who adored him, and whose effusive flattery he ever received with pleasure, paid court to him. He was twice married, and while at North End was living with his second wife and their four daughters. Thus he was surrounded by womenkind, who forgave[Pg 37] him all faults on account of his appreciation of sentimentality.

The house is distinctly picturesque. The southern half is of red brick, and is surrounded by a high wall, in which is a gateway with tall red-brick piers surmounted by stone balls. Over the wall hangs an acacia-tree, and on the front of the house is an old sundial—altogether a house one could well associate with an imaginative novelist. It was the residence of the late Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Bart. The other part of the house has been painted a light stone colour. Even as early as 1813 the Grange had been divided into two houses.

St. Mary's Church, facing the Hammersmith Road, is in Fulham. It was built by a Mr. Richard Hunt, to whose memory there is a tablet on the wall, and was opened as a chapel of ease in 1814. Some fine carving on the north side of the chancel and the oak panelling of the gallery were brought from Lady Mary Coke's old mansion at Chiswick.

In 1860 the site of Edith Road was, according to Crofton Croker, to be let on building lease. In it, Croker says, "once stood the house of Cipriani." But there is some doubt as to the exact site of Cipriani's house, which is also claimed for Great Church Lane, Hammersmith (see p. 7). Cipriani lived in England from 1755 to 1785, and his works[Pg 38] were largely engraved by Bartolozzi, who also had a house at North End.

Further south, to the east of Queen's Club grounds, are a maze of new streets, in one of which, Castletown Road, is a large and fine Congregational chapel and hall. The chapel has a square tower rising to a considerable height, and the roof is supported by flying buttresses. This is an offshoot of the Allen Street Congregational Chapel, whose trustees still have the control and help to support it financially. The foundation-stone was the last laid by the late Earl of Shaftesbury, November 22, 1882.

The well-known Earl's Court Exhibition has an entrance in the North End Road. It occupies the area between this on the one side, and Eardley Crescent and Philbeach Gardens on the other, and is the largest exhibition open in London. It belongs partly to Kensington and partly to Fulham, for the boundary line is close to the railway.

St. Andrew's Church, at the corner of Greyhound and Vereker Roads, was built in 1873. It has a spire, and differs little from the accepted model.

The entrance to Queen's Club grounds is in the Comeragh Road. On the right of the gate is a grand-stand, from which a fine view of the eleven or twelve acres of ground can be obtained. Along the west side run the principal buildings, including[Pg 39] secretary's offices, grand-stands, tennis and fives courts, etc. The covered lawn-tennis courts are laid with great care and expense, the floors being of American maple, screwed and fitted over a patent wooden floor to insure absolute accuracy. The ladies' lawn-tennis championship is played off here. The great public event of the year is the Oxford and Cambridge sports, which in interest rank after the boat-race and cricket-match.

Close to Queen's Club is the Hammersmith cemetery, an extensive piece of ground of some twenty acres. There is a broad gravel walk down the centre, and two small chapels, round which the graves are thickly clustered, spreading gradually westward as space is required. The first burial took place in 1869. The principal entrance is in the Margravine Road. The significance of this unexpected name in such a position is explained by the fact that the Margravine of Brandenburg-Anspach had a house near the river in this part for many years. It is described in detail below.

Just across the road is the Fulham and Hammersmith Union Workhouse and Infirmary, facing Fulham Palace Road. Between the workhouse and the river is a stretch of land used by market-gardeners. It was by the riverside that Brandenburg House, built by Sir Nicholas Crispe in the beginning of Charles I.'s reign, was situated.[Pg 40] General Fairfax quartered himself here in 1647 during the Civil War, and his troops afterwards plundered the house; but at the close of the war Sir Nicholas returned and restored his property to its former state. After his death in 1666 it descended to his nephew, who sold it seventeen years later to Prince Rupert, who gave it to Margaret Hughes. It passed through the possession of various owners. One of these, George Dodington, afterwards Lord Melcombe, repaired and modernized it, altering the name to La Trappe. In 1792 it became the property of the Margrave of Brandenburg-Anspach and Bayreuth, and at his death the Margravine, formerly Lady Craven, continued to live there. Faulkner gives a minute account of the house and a long inventory of all the pictures in it while it was the residence of this lady. She built a theatre near the waterside, and herself took part in the performances. Bills of the plays in which her name appears are still extant. One of them is preserved in the Hammersmith Free Library. Though Brandenburg House was situated in Fulham, it is often described and spoken of as in Hammersmith. This is perhaps owing to its connection with Sir Nicholas Crispe, who was a great benefactor to the latter parish, and perhaps because the house existed when Hammersmith and Fulham were still one parish. Lysons says that during the[Pg 41] interregnum it was proposed to make the hamlet of Hammersmith parochial, and add to it Sir Nicholas Crispe's house and a part of North End, but, as stated, the separation of the parishes did not take place until 1834.

On May 3, 1820, Queen Caroline, wife of George IV., came to live at Brandenburg House, and on the fifteenth of that month was presented with a congratulatory address by the inhabitants of Hammersmith. On the abandonment of the Bill of "Pains and Penalties" by the House of Lords she received a second address. She had been petitioned by people of all classes and conditions during the progress of the Bill, the demonstration of the watermen and lightermen of the Thames on October 8 having been especially noticeable. The Queen had stood on the balcony of her residence and bowed her acknowledgments to the enthusiastic crowd. The Queen died in 1821, and the King caused the house to be destroyed shortly afterwards, it is said, in jealousy of her popularity.

In a villa near Brandenburg House lived Mrs. Billington, the famous singer, who died at Venice in 1818. At her death Sir John Sibbald, a Civil Servant of the East India Company, and at one time Ambassador to the Court of Hyder Ali Khan, bought the house. It was tenanted later by the novelist Captain Marryat, R.N. South[Pg 42]ward there is a large extent of ground devoted to market-gardens, for which Fulham has long been famous. This is broken only by a few houses about Crabtree Alley and Crabtree Lane. Close to the latter is St. Clement's Church, of yellow brick, consecrated in 1886. The reredos painting is in the early Florentine style, and represents the Resurrection. There are several stained-glass windows and a handsome wrought-iron chancel-screen. The font and its cover were originally at St. Matthew's, Friday Street. Opposite to the church is a public recreation-ground, and south of it the Fulham cemetery, not so large, but more thickly planted with shrubs than that of Hammersmith, already noted.

St. James's Diocesan Home for Penitents is on the river side of the Fulham Palace Road. It was originally established in 1856, though it was not then in Hammersmith. Funds failed, and the institution would have come to an untimely end but for the intervention of the then Bishop of London, who made the Home diocesan; the present building was erected in 1871. The total number of inmates at present is 76. These are employed at laundry and needle work, etc. The penitents are divided into three classes, and are employed according to their position. Very nearly opposite to the Home are the Fulham Waste Land and Lygon Almshouses. The buildings form two[Pg 43] sides of a square, the sides being respectively for married and single pensioners. The latter may be of either sex. The married couples have two rooms and a small scullery, and receive 8s. a week. The single persons have one room, with 5s. per week. The houses are neatly built of brick with slate roofs and high chimneys. In the centre there is a room used as a chapel. There are altogether fourteen inmates. On a stone let into the wall nearest the road is the inscription: "The Fulham Waste Land and Lygon Almshouses, founded 1833 and rebuilt 1886. This stone was laid by Frederick, Lord Bishop of London, April 21, 1886."

The origin of the double name was in this wise: The vestry of the parish of Fulham and Hammersmith in 1810 had a fund of money derived from the enclosure of certain waste lands belonging to the parish. By 1833 this fund had so much increased that it was resolved to build almshousess, which were accordingly erected on a piece of land in the Dawes Road. In the beginning of the eighties Lady Lygon bought a piece of land in the Fulham Palace Road for the purpose of founding almshouses on it. This project was never carried out, and the ground was eventually given to the Waste Land Trustees, who built the present almshouses on it in 1886.

The part of Fulham to the east of the Fulham[Pg 44] Palace Road is very dreary; long, dull streets, lined by small houses and varied by small chapels and big Board schools, constitute an area at the best highly respectable, and at the worst squalid. It is useless to enumerate all the churches and chapels that have sprung up here, particularly as there are none of any architectural or historical interest. They have been built from time to time to meet the rapid increase of population in a growing district that will doubtless soon spread over the market-gardens that now reach the river. The principal churches are St. Augustine's, in Lillie Road, of red brick with freestone dressings; and St. Peter's, in Reporton Road, which contains a pulpit that might make more ancient churches proud, for it is of carved oak, and is supposed to be the work of Grinling Gibbons. It came from St. Matthew's, Friday Street. The Church of St. Thomas of Canterbury in Rylston Road is Roman Catholic, and was designed by Pugin, who also designed the altars and reredos of the minor chapels in it.

Lillie Road is so named after Sir John Lillie, who was a director of the East India Company and lived at Fulham. To Normand House in Normand Road there is some interest attached. The name is supposed to be a corruption of "No-man." Bowack alludes to it thus: "There is also a handsome ancient seat in Fulham Field called[Pg 45] No-Man's-Land House, now belonging to —— Wild, Esq. The piece of ground which it stands on was known as No-Man's-Land." The date 1664 is worked into the iron scroll-work of a gateway. The house has been considerably added to from time to time, but the wide, low passage with its pretty archways and panelling, which is seen on entrance, is distinctly one of the oldest parts. Two staircases, one of which is carved with the Tudor roses, are very picturesque. Many of the rooms are panelled. Crofton Croker gives the date incorrectly as 1661. He adds: "It is said to have been used as a hospital for persons recovering from the Great Plague in 1665." Sir E. Bulwer Lytton resided here at one time. Later on it was used as a lunatic asylum, and was so when Thorne wrote his "Environs" in 1876. It is now the Community of the Sisters of St. Katherine for the work of assisting and rescuing young women convicted of a first offence or discharged for dishonesty without conviction, but otherwise of good moral character. The girls are employed in house and laundry work, which is taken in from outside, and the proceeds go to the funds. After two years' training they are placed in service. This institution has a branch at Hammersmith, and a small one at Walham. It belongs to the Church of England. In Lillie Road, to the east of North End Road, is the Mount Carmel[Pg 46] Hermitage. This convent is a red-brick building with a small chapel attached, erected in 1880 by some French Sisters who had come to London in 1865, and settled at Fulham in 1867 in a house near the site of the present convent. There are eleven nuns, of whom three are lay Sisters. They are devoted to the contemplative life. Just opposite is a large brewery, established 1867. At the east end of Eustace Road is a small brick Wesleyan chapel, hidden away in a corner, which deserves a word of mention, as it is a German chapel and the services are in that language.

The Fulham Congregational Church in Dawes Road is a large building of red brick with stone facings, opened on April 5, 1887. There is a lecture-room beneath, besides library, class-rooms, and infant Sunday-school.

We have now arrived at Walham Green, once a small village standing in the fields. It has been variously spelt. In a map of 1686 by Lea it is "Wollam," and in 1706 "Wallam"; in a 1720 map (Seale) it is "Wallom," and in Rocque of 1754 "Wallam" again. Before 1686 it was Wandon and Wansdon, according to Crofton Croker, and Lysons derives it from Wendon, either because the traveller had to wend his way through it to Fulham, or because the drainage from higher grounds "wandered" through it to the river. The Church of St. John is situated at Walham[Pg 47] Green. It has a high square tower with corner pinnacles, and is partly covered with ivy. It is built of stone, and the total cost was about £9,680. It was consecrated on August 14, 1828, and restored in 1892-93. The schools in connection with it, built in 1894, stand in the Dawes Road opposite. Passing eastward on the Fulham Road, we come to the Walham Green Station of the District Railway. Just opposite is the Town Hall, a square building of brick with stone frontage, ornamentally decorated with carving. It was built in 1891. Further on, on the opposite side, is the Wesleyan Chapel at Walham Green, opened in April, 1892. The buildings are of brick, with stone dressings. In the Moore Park Road, which branches off the Fulham Road near the boundary, stands St. James's Church, an ugly brick building with no spire or tower, which was consecrated on June 28, 1867, and the apse was built out at the east end about a dozen years later. There is a row of stained-glass windows low down across the west end. Going back to Walham Green proper, we find a double row of almshouses, shut off from the Vanston Place Road by iron gates. These are the almshouses of the Butchers' Charitable Institution, which was founded on October 16, 1828. The almshouses themselves were begun at Walham Green in 1840. The object is described in the report as "for affording relief to decayed or[Pg 48] distressed master butchers, master pork-butchers, cattle and meat commission salesmen, their widows and orphans."

In Fulham Road, westward, John Rocque lived. His maps of London and environs are still used by all topographers, and are full of accurate detail. In the map published in 1741-45 his name is printed across the road at this spot. On the south side of the road formerly stood Ravensworth House, pulled down in 1877. The site of it is now occupied by the Swan Brewery. The grounds of Ravensworth House stretched out as far as the present railway, where there was a large pond. When Thorne wrote his "Environs" in 1876, the house was still standing, and he describes it as of "but moderate proportions, but more capacious than it looks." The Queen and Prince Consort were entertained here by Lord Ravensworth in 1840. Faulkner refers to Ravensworth House as "Mr. Ord's house and garden," and mentions the Glastonbury thorn which flowered on Christmas Day, and the moss-rose which, being "laid" year after year, at length covered a space in diameter 47 feet. The Swan Brewery, owned by Messrs. Stansfeld, was founded on the same site in 1765. It passed through several hands, and eventually, in 1880, Messrs. Stansfeld acquired possession and proceeded to erect new premises. Bolingbroke House was a little further on. Tradition says it[Pg 49] was the residence of Lord Bolingbroke, who was visited here by Pope. It was eventually divided into two houses—Dungannon House and Albany Lodge—and these were demolished only in 1893. Dungannon House was also known as Acacia Cottage, and in it lived the first publisher of Cowper's works—a Mr. Joseph Johnson—until 1809.

We are now at Purser's Cross, and after a digression southward shall presently return. East End House, pulled down in 1885, stood at the corner where Delvino Road now joins the Green. It was the residence for some time of Mrs. Fitzherbert, morganatic wife of George, Prince of Wales, afterwards George IV. It was built by Sir Francis Child, Lord Mayor of London in 1699, and was a plain white house. Admiral Sir Charles Wager and Dr. Ekins, Dean of Carlisle, lived here at different times. The gardens stretched over much of the land now built upon at the back, and contained a magnificent cedar-tree, which had to be blown up by dynamite when the house was pulled down. Sir Thomas Bodley, founder of the Bodleian Library at Oxford, lived at Parson's Green from 1605 to 1609 (Lysons).

At the back of a network of small streets to the east lies Eelbrook Common. In Faulkner's map, 1813, it is marked Hell-brook, though in the printed matter he uses both titles. It has[Pg 50] been suggested that the title may have originally been Hill-brook, as there was a curious rise in the ground just to the west; but, on the other hand, eels may have been common in the pond above referred to. Faulkner gives a notice relative to it embodied in an order relating to Wormholt Wood, presented at a court held for the Manor of Fulham on May 9, 1603, which runs as follows: "That no person or persons shall put in any horse or other cattle into Hell-brook until the last day of April every year henceforth: nor shall not at any time after the 11th of May put in nor take out any of their said cattles, any other way but the old and accustomed way upon pain to forfeit to the lord for every such offence £01.00.00." In 1656 Colonel Edmund Harvey, who had bought the manor confiscated under the Commonwealth, agreed to pay fifty shillings yearly to the poor for taking in the common called Hell-brook. Through part of the land included in Eelbrook Common runs the District Railway between Walham Green and Parsons Green stations.

We now return to the junction of Parson's Green Lane and Fulham Road, called Purser's Cross, which has been variously written Persicross, Percycross. The stone bearing inscription "Purser's Cross, 7th of August 1738," is built into the wall of the corner house, now a grocer's shop. It was originally in the house on the same site occupied[Pg 51] for a time by Madame Grisi. The stone itself is very small, about 8 by 6 inches, and, being high up, is rather difficult to see. The story goes that the place was so called in memory of a highwayman, who, being overtaken at the cross-roads, shot himself after flinging his purse into the crowd, and was buried here with a stake driven through his body. Purser's Cross is mentioned in the parish books in 1602.

Arundel Gardens were built over the site of Arundel House, demolished in 1898.

The origin of the name Arundel House is not known. It seems probable that the house was originally a Tudor structure, as some unmistakable Tudor mullions were found built up in an old wall; yet the greater part of it dated from the Stuart period. A large ornamental cistern which stood in the scullery bore date 1703. The back view of the house, with its irregular dark-brick buildings and additions, here and there covered with creepers, was very picturesque. Tradition says that Henry Hallam, the historian, lived here about 1819.

Close at hand stands the Fulham Free Public Library. It came into existence in 1886, when an old building, standing a few feet back from the main Fulham Road, was adapted for offices, lending and reference rooms, and a new reading-room of magnificent dimensions—70 by 30[Pg 52] feet, and 22 feet in height—was added at a cost of £6,000. This was opened by the then Bishop of London, October 20, 1888.

Further westward, at the entrance of Chesilton Place, stands Munster Park Wesleyan Chapel, with a square tower surmounted by four high pinnacles. It was opened in 1882.

At the west entrance of the Munster Road stood Munster House, demolished in 1895. Faulkner spells it Mustow or Munster, and in John Rocque's Survey of 1741-45 it is "Muster." Lysons says: "Mustow (commonly called Munster) House on the north side of the road to London between Fulham and Purses Cross was during the greater part of the last century the property of the Powells, from whom it came to Sir John Williams of Pengethly, Monmouthshire, Baronet. It is now the property of Arthur Annesley Powell, Esq., and is occupied as a school." Faulkner mentions the tradition of its having been a hunting-seat of King Charles II. Croker says it is supposed to owe its name to Melesina Schulenberg, created by George II. Duchess of Munster. For some time before it was pulled down it was used as a lunatic asylum.

From Munster Road onwards the houses on the south side of the Fulham Road are not aggressively new. In the grounds of one of them—Eridge House—there is a fine cedar, which shows[Pg 53] that the grounds must have belonged to some building older than that standing at present, probably that of Fulham Lodge. On the east of the High Street stand All Saints' National Schools. In the continuation of the High Street is an old house on the left-hand side called Fulham House. It stands back on the east side of the road behind a wall. Some of the carving on the fireplaces and doors is very elaborate. In a large room upstairs a sumptuously carved wooden mantel encloses a coloured marble block with a white marble centre. The door of this room is also very fine. The cellars are extraordinarily large and massively built. This used to be called Stourton House. Faulkner mentions that in 1449 John Sherbourn and others sold a house and garden at Fulham, then valued at 3s. 4d. per annum, to John, first Lord Stourton, and it remained in possession of the family many years. The Fulham Pottery and Cheavin Filter Company stands just at the corner of the New King's Road and Burlington Street. The business was established here by John Dwight in 1671. Specimens of his stone-ware are to be seen in the British Museum, which in 1887 acquired twelve new examples. It is said that John Dwight, M.A., of Christ Church College, Oxford, was the inventor of porcelain in England. He also discovered the mystery of the Cologne ware, and successfully competed with it[Pg 54] in England. Doulton himself, the founder of the great Doulton ware, was an apprentice at Fulham. In 1840 the buildings were greatly enlarged and improved, and again in 1864. The ornamental pottery which is still made—though in a small quantity—resembles Doulton ware, but the great development of the industry has been in the direction of glazed ware of great resisting power. Cheavin's patent filters are sent all over the world, and a speciality is made of the chemical trade, immense baths for the electro-plating acids being supplied to Government.

Close at hand, at the back of High Street, stood the old workhouse, which has been for many years pulled down. At the back of the High Street also was a gaol for female convicts, which has now vanished. The gaol was built about 1854 on the site of Burlington House, which had been a school.

Church Row is a charming old-fashioned row, and the houses mentioned by Bowack as "very handsome and airy" are probably those still standing. At the end of the row are Sir William Powell's Almshouses, prettily designed with red-tiled roofs, and at one end is a tower surmounted by statues of female characters from the Bible. Directly across the road is the old rectory-house. A shady avenue of young limes leads up to the church. The tower, which is square, is shown in[Pg 55] old prints to have been surmounted by a steeple. It contains a peal of bells cast by Ruddle in the middle of the eighteenth century; all the bells bear inscriptions, and many of them the date of casting. Within the church porch is a board with the following words: "1881. The Parish Church of All Saints, Fulham, lapsed into a state of decay, and, being subject to the floods from the river Thames, was pulled down and rebuilt. In the construction of the present church, stones belonging to three previous churches, the oldest of which apparently dated from the twelfth century, were discovered.

"The east end has been carried nine feet, and the south wall five feet, beyond the limits of the previous church, while the floor of the nave has been raised two feet nine inches, and the roof thirteen feet above the former levels. The cornerstone at the east angle of the north transept was laid by Archibald Campbell Tait, 1880, and the church was re-consecrated by John Jackson, Bishop of London, on July 9th, 1881."

The monuments preserved from the older buildings stand in the church in rather different order from formerly. In the west end is that in remembrance of Viscount Mordaunt, son of the Earl of Peterborough. It is a statue of a man larger than life; the figure, which is carved in marble, has a proud and defiant attitude. It stands on a slab of[Pg 56] black marble supported by a pedestal. On either side on smaller pedestals are the Viscount's coronet and gauntlets. He is in Roman dress, and holds a baton as Constable of Windsor Castle. On the left is his pedigree engraved on marble. The date inscribed on the tablet to his memory is 1675. At the west end of the north aisle is the ancient font mentioned by Faulkner as standing in the east end of the south aisle. It was the gift of Mr. Thomas Hyll, churchwarden in 1622, and is of stone, painted and gilt. On the east wall of the north aisle are three monuments which attract attention. That of "Payne of Pallenswick Esqre," who "hath placed this monument to the memory of himself and Jane his wife who hath lived with him in wedlock XLIIII years and died the first day of May in Anno Dmi 1610, and the said William Payne the day of ____ Anno Dmi ____. The sayd William Payne hath given forever after his decease an Ilande in the Ryver of Thames caled Makenshawe to the use of the poor of this parish on Hammersmith side." The date of his own death not having been filled in, it is probable he is buried elsewhere. Next to his is the monument of Thomas Bonde, dated March, 1600, with a quaint inscription beginning: "At Earth in Cornwell was my first begininge, from Bondes and Corringtons as it may apere." Next to this is the monument of Katharine Hart, of[Pg 57] which a representation is given by Faulkner. She is kneeling with her two sons and two daughters, in a style similar to the Lawrence monument in Chelsea Old Church. The inscription bears date 1605. On the north side of the chancel is a large monument to Sir Thomas Smith, died November 28, 1609. Opposite is that of Lady Margaret Legh, who is represented life-size dressed in stiff ruff and farthingale, holding an infant in swaddling bands on her knee. Another infant in swaddling bands is on her left side. Over her is an arch supported by pillars. The coat of arms of her family rests in the centre of the arch. She died July 3, 1603. The monument has been very much admired. In the southern aisle is the organ, with handsomely carved oak case. On a jutting wall close by is a curious old brass plate found buried in 1770. The inscription is in Latin to Margaret Svanders, who died 1529. The floor of the church is thickly covered with flat tombstones. One of these is in memory of Thomas Carlos, son of Colonel Careless, who hid in the oak-tree with King Charles II., and who was consequently allowed to change his name to Carlos, and to bear upon his arms a branching oak-tree. The coat of arms on the tomb is very distinct, and the date 1665.

Opposite to the Peterborough monument at the west end is a very large marble monument in memory of Dorothy Clarke, and her second[Pg 58] husband. A great marble urn upon it is said by Bowack to have been the work of Grinling Gibbons, and to have cost £300. A memorial window to Archbishop Tait is fixed in the west end of the south aisle. In the churchyard are the tombs of Bishops Compton, Robinson, Gibson, Sherlock, Hayter, Terrick, and Lowth. Here also is the grave of Theodore Hook, the wit, with a perfectly plain stone at the head recording his death, "24th Aug. 1841 in the 53rd year of his age."

Near the entrance to what are now the public gardens stood Pryor's Bank, a well-known house, built about the beginning of the eighteenth century in an ancient style. It was originally called Vine Cottage, and was very elaborately fitted up. Nearly all the doors were surrounded with carving and golding. Many of them were of solid oak, and the panelling in the rooms corresponded. Two quaint old panels of painted wood in one of the reception-rooms bore curious figures on pedestals; underneath one who was in ecclesiastical robes was written: "John Baylis, Lord Pryor, 1554, of Werlock Abbey"; and under the other: "William of Wickham, 1366, Bishop of Winchester." Close by Pryor's Bank stood Egmont Lodge, where Theodore Hook lived. It was a small house, pulled down in 1855. The aspect of the whole of this part has been completely changed[Pg 59] of late years by the building of a river-wall, and the laying out as a public garden of the strip of ground by the river called Bishop's Park.

The grounds of this public park are decorated with flower-beds and supplied with seats. On part of the space once stood Craven Cottage, built by the Margravine of Brandenburg when she was Countess Craven. Sir E. Bulwer-Lytton lived here from 1840 to 1846. At the beginning of Bishop's Avenue is the entrance to the Manor House, or Fulham Palace, as it is commonly called, the residence of the Bishop of London. Passing between two lodges of red brick, and following a short drive, we come to a massive gateway with heavy oak doors. Through this lies the first courtyard, very little altered from Faulkner's print in 1813. The Manor of Fulham, as we have seen already, has belonged to the See of London since about 691, when it was given to Bishop Erkenwald and his successors by "Tyrtilus, a bishop, with the consent of Sigehard, king of the east Saxons and the king of the Mercians." Lysons adds that Tyrtilus, Bishop of Hereford, who he supposes is intended, was contemporary with Erkenwald. In 1647 it was sold to Colonel Harvey with the leasehold land belonging to it for £7,617 8s. 10d., but was given back to the See at the Restoration. In Domesday Book we read: "In Fulham the Bishop of London holds forty[Pg 60] hides.... Its whole value is forty pounds, the like when received in Edward's [the Confessor's] time fifty pounds."

The carriage-entrance is in Fulham Palace Road, and this leads to an avenue of limes. To the north lies a part of the public park, once a field belonging to the Bishops. The drive crosses the wonderful moat, which is nearly a mile in circuit, and, if dug by the Danes as conjectured, must be a thousand years old. This moat has given rise to much discussion, as it is too far from the palace for any purpose of defence, and the idea that it was made by the Danes as a partial safeguard against the floods of the river is that which gains most credence.

The palace is built round two courtyards, and the one first entered is by far the older. It was built by Bishop Fitzjames in the reign of Henry VII., and the great gateway which leads to it bears his arms cut in stone. There are few places that preserve so completely their ancient aspect as this courtyard; the material is red brick, and in summer, when creepers climb over the worn bricks, its attractiveness is greatly enhanced. The wing on the west or river side contains the rooms used by Laud while Bishop; this part has been refaced, and the buttresses were added at the same time, but within it is unchanged. Opposite, on the eastern side, are the rooms once occu[Pg 61]pied by Bishop Bonner, which carry an association no less interesting, though of a different kind. The great porch facing the entrance gateway leads into the hall, which is also part of Bishop Fitzjames's work. The hall is divided by a screen of dark oak, which came from old Doctors' Commons, and the other oak fittings were brought here from the former chapel, and originally belonged to the chapel of London House, Aldersgate Street. A new ceiling was put up by Bishop Sherlock, whose arms are over the fireplace, in conjunction with a framed inscription recording the building of Bishop Fitzjames on a site where buildings had stood as far back as the Conquest. The hall was at one time used as the chapel, of which more will be told presently. In the same block is the kitchen, once the dining-room.

In 1715 Bishop Robinson presented a petition to the Archbishop of Canterbury, stating that the palace was in a ruinous condition, and was too large for the revenues. A number of commissioners, amongst whom were Sir John Vanbrugh and Sir Christopher Wren, were accordingly appointed to examine into the matter and report upon it. The purport of their report was that, after taking down "the bakehouse and the pastry-house, which adjoined to the kitchen, and all the buildings to the northward of the great dining-room, there would be left between fifty and sixty[Pg 62] rooms beside the chapel, hall, and kitchen." These being judged sufficient for the use of the Bishop, a license was granted to pull down what was superfluous and put the rest into better condition.

However, in 1764 Bishop Terrick began a further extension and rebuilding, and it is to him we owe the idea of the second quadrangle or courtyard. He died too soon to complete his project, and left only the western wing of the new courtyard, but his work was carried on by his successor, Sherlock. The design was distinctly good, particularly for that age of debased taste. Engravings of Sherlock's palace show battlemented angle towers, and a recessed main building which is very picturesque. In the southern wing he placed the library and dining-room, and on the eastern side he made the chapel. When Bishop Howley came into power, he set to work at once to alter the palace of his predecessors, and replace it by something which can only be described as a block. He levelled the frontage between the towers, and cut off the battlements, and made the building much as we see it now, with the exception of the modernization of some of the windows. Howley then converted the building made for the chapel into the library, which it still remains. It includes the famous collection of books made by Bishop Porteous.[Pg 63] The rooms on the south side became under Bishop Howley's modifications the dining and drawing rooms, and the great hall he used for a chapel.

It was not until 1867, under Bishop Tait, that the present chapel was opened. It is connected with the main building by a passage, and stands on the river side of the palace. It was designed by Mr. Butterfield, and is bright and well proportioned. Behind the altar at present stands a reredos of carved wood with a representation of the Crucifixion.

The palace grounds have been considerably curtailed by the formation of the public park, which now bounds them riverwards. The idea of giving this portion of land to the public was carried out by Bishop Temple, though it originated with his predecessor. The park includes the long strip above mentioned, lying outside the moat, and the field to the north already spoken of in connection with the drive. The embankment has entirely altered the aspect of this part of Fulham, and the days when the Bishop of London "took water" at his private stairs have gone for ever.

Within the palace gardens are many curious specimens of trees not found elsewhere in England. Bishop Grindal was the first of the Bishops to take an interest in gardening, but it is to Bishop[Pg 64] Compton that we owe the real beauty of the gardens. He was bold enough to defy James II., and to declare in the House of Lords that the civil and ecclesiastical constitution of the kingdom was in danger; he further incensed the King by refusing to suspend a clergyman who had preached a sermon against Roman Catholicism. For this he himself was suspended, and not allowed to exercise his ecclesiastical functions, though, as according to the law, the temporalities of the see were his own—they could not be touched. The Bishop therefore retired to Fulham and sought solace among his plants, to the great gain of his successors in the See.

But the palace and its grounds have occupied us long enough, and the ramble through Fulham must be resumed.

A small footbridge leads across the moat to the churchyard. Crossing this, we find ourselves in Church Row, which brings us to the junction of the New King's Road and the old High Street. Following the New King's Road and passing under the railway, we come almost immediately to the shady drive leading to Mulgrave House. Adjoining the grounds of Mulgrave House are those of Hurlingham Club, which cover fifty acres, and include a picturesque lake. Pigeon-shooting, polo-playing, tennis, and archery are all provided for. The entrance in the Hurlingham[Pg 65] Road leads to a well-kept drive, which takes us straight up to the club-house. The house is of white stone, and the front facing the river has an arcade supported by enormous pillars running right up to the cornice. On the west side is a fine conservatory, on the east the large dining-rooms and smoking-lounge, which have been added to meet requirements. Within the house itself the drawing-room and coffee-room have been ornamented with coloured designs on ceiling and walls, and are very bright and handsomely furnished. Many of the rooms upstairs have ornamented carved cornices and panels. The club was started in 1867, mainly for pigeon-shooting, under the auspices of Mr. Frank Heathcote, who leased it from Mr. Naylor. Before that time the house had been the residence of the Horsley-Palmers and of Lord Egremont. In 1874 the property was bought by the club, and polo-playing was begun. The King and Queen—as Prince and Princess of Wales—and Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh watched the first game in the June of that year.

The ancient history of the house is defective. In the churchwarden's accounts of the parish in 1681 we read: "It is ordered that there be built and erected two small tenements next to the north side of ye poore Almes Houses given by John Lappy with such old stuff as was lately[Pg 66] taken downe from the Pest Houses in Hurlingham Field at ye charge of the Parish contayning two roomes." And Faulkner adds an extract from Brayley's "London" to the above in the form of a note: "Hurlingham Field is now the property of the Earl of Ranelagh, and the site of his house. It was here that great numbers of people were buried during the plague." The origin of the name seems lost in obscurity, though it has been suggested, perhaps facetiously, it was derived from the custom of hurling the bodies of the plague dead into any grave without care or compunction. Broom House, next door, with adjoining grounds, is noticed in Rocque's 1757 map, and is inscribed on Faulkner's 1813 map as "Broom Houses." Faulkner refers to it as a little village, but mentions that "the Dowager Countess of Lonsdale has an elegant house and garden here in full view of the Thames." The place is said to have received its name from the broom which grew here profusely. Broomhouse Road runs from Hurlingham Road, past the gates of Broom House, down to the river. It is a veritable lane, with leafy trees shadowing it. On the east side, a little above Broom House, is a very striking building of red brick, with bright white stone facings, and a square central tower surmounted by four pinnacles. This is the Elizabeth Free School, founded and endowed by[Pg 67] Mr. Sulivan of Broom House, in 1855. Further down the road, close by the river, is Carnwath House, the residence of the Earl of Carnwath. It is irregularly built of brick. Beyond it is a raised path, which winds along by the river and leads past acres of market-gardens, in which are large plum-orchards.

Northward is Parsons Green, so called from the fact that the old rectory-house stood on the west side. Lysons says: "Parsonage house stands upon the west side of Parsons or Parsonage Green, to which it gave its name. It is now divided into two tenements. In the year 1598 it was in the tenure of Sir Francis Walsingham's widow." Bowack, in 1705, wrote that it was old and much decayed. He says an old stone building adjoining seemed to be 300 or 400 years old, and might have been used for religious services by the Rectors and their households. Parson's Green was once a very fashionable place; in Strype's edition of Stow's "Survey" it is commented on as having "very good houses for gentry." St. Dionis' Church is a noticeable object, built of red brick, with Bath stone dressings. Though only consecrated on June 18, 1885, it carries with it associations from an older building, St. Dionis Backchurch, which stood at the corner of Lime Street and Fenchurch Street. When that church had been pulled down, the pulpit, font, and altar were[Pg 68] transferred to the new building at Fulham, and £10,000 was devoted out of the proceeds of the sale of the site for the use and endowment of the new church. The pulpit and font date from 1666. The plate also is interesting, including two flagons, four chalices, four patens, etc., which are of various dates from 1625 to 1725. A large red-brick hall, separated from the church by Rectory Road, is used as a mission-hall. A few steps further northward, partly hidden from the road by intervening buildings, was the old house called Rosamund's Bower. Before its demolition in 1892 it was quaintly pretty, with leaded window-panes and red-tiled roof, and was then known as Audley Cottage. It was called Rosamond's Bower first in order to perpetuate the tradition of its standing on the site of a mansion of Fair Rosamund. The earliest mention of it is in 1480, when it was valued at ten marks per annum. It belonged to Sir Michael Wharton before 1725, and when he died in that year it was divided between his co-heirs. It was the residence of Mr. Crofton Croker between 1837 and 1846, and he has written a very full account of it. Samuel Richardson came to Parson's Green in 1755 from North End. In Ashington Road stands the Church of the Holy Cross, a Roman Catholic building of plain yellow brick, with a cross at each end, built in 1886. Just after[Pg 69] leaving Parson's Green, there is on the right a high red-brick wall, which shows signs of age. Within it stood until recently Peterborough House, the second of the name. The original Peterborough House stood on the site of one still older, known as Brightwells. It was the property of John Tarnworth, Privy Councillor to Queen Elizabeth, and he died here in 1569.

Sir Thomas Knolles afterwards owned it, and sold it in 1603 to Sir Thomas Smith, whose only daughter married the Hon. Thomas Carey. It was he who pulled down the old house and built a new one, calling it Villa Carey. Carey's daughter married Viscount Mordaunt, younger son of the Earl of Peterborough. The house recently demolished only dated from the beginning of the nineteenth century. Bowack describes the old house as a "very large square regular Pile, built of brick, and has a gallery all round it upon the roof." Building of red-brick mansions and small houses is being carried on vigorously all about here, and the face of the district has changed very rapidly.

Wandsworth Bridge Road runs across Townmead Road to the bridge. On the south of Townmead Road there is a small hospital for small-pox, built in 1876. Below it lies West Wharf. Eastward acres of market-gardens extend right up to the premises of the Imperial Gasworks. This part of the parish is called Sands End. Some[Pg 70]where about here a very ancient house, called Grove House, stood. Rocque marks it "The Grove" in 1757 and 1761. The house called Sandford Manor is still standing, and is very little changed from the small print of it given on the title-page of Faulkner's large edition. It is a small white house close to Stanley Bridge, and has been often spoken of as if it were included in Chelsea. Addison, who lived here, used to date his letters from Chelsea. Therefore the house has been more particularly described in the section devoted to Chelsea. The Manor of Sandford is first mentioned in 1403, when Henry, Earl of Northumberland, gave it to the Dean and Chapter of St. Martin-le-Grand in exchange for a house in Aldersgate Street. King Henry VIII. granted the collegiate church of St. Martin and endowments to Westminster. The Dean and Chapter of Westminster granted the manor to the King again in 1549. It was sold by Queen Mary to the Maynards, in whose family it remained till 1756.

We have now traversed Fulham from end to end, beginning at the north-east corner, and ending in the south-east corner close to Stanley Bridge. Fulham can boast with pride of one ancient mansion—the palace of the Bishops of London—and of one literary reminiscence—that of Richardson—worthy to rank, if not in the very first class, yet somewhere near it.


Published by A. & C. Black, London. FULHAM DISTRICT.
Published by A. & C. Black, London.

Hammersmith Fulham Putney