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HAMMERSMITH
Description and History from 1868 Gazetteer

HAMMERSMITH, a parish and suburban district in the Kensington division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county Middlesex, 6 miles S.W. of St. Paul's. It is a station on the Kew section of the North London railway. The parish is situated on the river Thames, and comprises Brook Green, Pallenwick, and Shepherd's Bush. It was formerly part of Fulham, but is now a distinct parish.

A creek which extends from the Thames to the village is navigable for barges. The Great Western railway passes through the northern part of the parish. The village, which by a continuity of buildings is almost united with Kensington, forms one of the most populous appendages to the western part of the metropolis, and is situated on the northern bank of the river Thames. The principal street extends along the line of the Great Western road, and a wide street called the Broadway diverges from it towards the river. In one of the houses in the Upper Mall, Catherine, dowager of Charles II., resided for many years; and in another, Brandenburgh House, once the seat of Bubb Doddington, the unfortunate Queen Caroline, wife of George IV., died. This noble mansion was subsequently taken down. In another house, called the Dove Coffee-house, the poet Thompson wrote the greater part of his "Winter;" and in this parish resided Loutherbourg, the painter, and Elphinstone, the friend of Johnson. The streets are well paved and lighted with gas, and the inhabitants are supplied with water by the West Middlesex water-works, established by Act of Parliament in 1806, and which have reservoirs, occupying about 3 acres of land, at the back of Theresa-terrace. A suspension bridge was erected across the Thames in 1827. It has a roadway 822 feet long by 20 wide, with 5 more feet of footway path. Hammersmith is a polling-place for the county elections, and petty sessions for the Kensington division are held here. In the neighbourhood are several nursery-gardens and brick-fields. There are an extensive iron-foundry and forge for the manufacture of machinery, steam boilers, &c., two large breweries, and grounds for bleaching wax. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of London, value 546, in the patronage of the bishop. The church, dedicated to St. Paul, is a spacious structure, built in 1629, and contains tombs of Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave, Sir S. Morland, inventor of the speaking trumpet, bishops Lloyd and Sheridan, Sir Elijah Impey, Woolidge, the painter, &c. In an urn is the heart of Sir N. Crisp, the royalist, who invented the present way of making bricks. In addition to the parish church, are the following district churches:-St. Peter's church, a perpetual curacy, value 500, situated at the W. end of the parish; St. John the Evangelist's, a perpetual curacy, erected in 1869 by subscription; St. Stephen's, situated at Shepherd's Bush, also a perpetual curacy,* value 420. They are all in the patronage of the bishop, except St. John's, vested in the vicar. St. Stephen's Church was erected in 1850 at the sole expense of the late Bishop Blomfield, and is a fine specimen of church architecture. The parochial charities produce 722 per annum. There are chapels for Wesleyans, Congregationalists, and Baptists, and a Roman Catholic church at Brook Green, where is also situated the Roman Catholic training college, and almshouses capable of accommodating forty inmates. There is a convent of English Benedictines, founded in 1669, and also the convents of the Good Shepherds and the Daughters of Nazareth. Godolphin school, erected in 1862, near St. John's church, is a handsome building surrounded by about 4 acres of land, and comprises a large school-room capable of accommodating 200 boys, a dining-hall, and dormitories for about 40 boarders. The school was established under the will of the late William Godolphin, Esq., by which boys residing in the neighbourhood, upon payment of 8 per annum, are instructed in classics and mathematics, French, and the various branches of a good education. There are National and infant schools, also a mechanics' institute, savings-bank, and a dispensary.

[Description(s) from "The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland" (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson 2003]
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[Last updated on 9 Oct 2003 by David Hawgood. 2003]