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History

The name Hammersmith has always been associated with the northern bank of the River Thames between Chiswick and Fulham.  The historic part of the riverside is now predominantly within The Mall Conservation Area.

So far as is known, there is no archaeological record for The Mall Conservation Area.  By the 17th Century, a small dock had been developed at Hammersmith Creek (now covered over by Furnival Gardens), later known as Little Wapping, which was used to supply the area and take produce from it to markets in the City.

From around the second half of the 17th Century, the south facing bend of the river had attracted some substantial houses to be built and Rocque’s map (1741 – 1745) gives a clear idea of what is now known as The Mall Conservation Area.

However, little of this has survived: industrial development and bomb damage has taken its toll on the area.  The creation of a narrow riverfront strip is a modern intervention brought about by the building of the A4 in the late 1950s.  While this severed the area from the hinterland towards Hammersmith, it actually opened up the area along the river which has now become a place which many visitors come to enjoy the riverside environment.

Much is recorded about the well-known people, such as William Morris and Emery Walker, who lived and worked in the area and lent much to its character.  Fortunately, their houses remain and much information survives.  However, much less is known about the houses that have disappeared and the inhabitants of the buildings that took their place, be it the factories, mills, Victorian terraces, pubs, boathouses etc.  HAMRA intends to build a more complete history of the conservation area, recording the physical, architectural and social history.

Georgina Williams, HAMRA's Honorary Historian, will be collating an inventory of any information relating to the area and its inhabitants.  Information on the existence of relevant historical material such as photographs, etchings, maps, written and oral histories will be welcomed.  The information will be recorded and it is hoped to stage an exhibition of the history of The Mall Conservation Area in due course.

Contact Georgina Williams at historian@hamra.org.uk

 
 
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