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Hammersmith is a district in west London, England, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, approximately five miles (eight kilometres) west of Charing Cross on the north bank of the River Thames. One of west London's key transport hubs and commercial and employment centres, and home to several multinational company offices, it is focused on the two London Underground stations, bus station and road network node at Hammersmith Broadway.

It is bordered by Shepherds Bush to the north, Kensington to the east, Fulham to the south and Chiswick to the west, and is linked by Hammersmith Bridge to Barnes in the southwest.

It has for some decades been the main centre of London's Polish minority.

Neighbouring districts

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Acton, Barnes, Chiswick, Fulham, Shepherds Bush, Kensington, West Kensington



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.<ref name="Thames-Guide">Template:Cite book</ref> It contained a monument to Crispe as well as a bronze bust of King Charles I by Hubert LeSueur. 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.

The Hammersmith Suspension Bridge, designed by William Tierney Clark, was built across the Thames in 1827, and rebuilt in 1893.<ref name="Thames-Guide" /> In 1984–1985 the bridge received structural support, and between 1997 and 2000 the bridge underwent major strengthening work.

In 1745, two Scots, James Lee and Lewis Kennedy, established the Vineyard Nursery, over six acres devoted to landscaping plants. During the next hundred and fifty years the nursery introduced many new plants to England, including fuchsia and the standard rose tree.

House construction and industrial development flourished.Template:When Major industrial sites included the Osram lamp factory at Brook Green, the J. Lyons factory (which at one time employed 30,000 people) and the largest municipal power station in Britain, built near the gasworks in Sands End.

All these have subsequently been closed and redeveloped as the area has moved from an industrial base to a greater focus on commerce and services.


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Hammersmith is a natural centre of activity, located at the confluence of a key arterial route out of central London (the A4) with several local feeder roads and a bridge over the Thames. The focal point of the district is the commercial centre (the Broadway Centre) located at this confluence, which houses a shopping centre, bus station, an Underground station and an office complex.

Stretching about 750m westwards from this centre is King Street, Hammersmith's main shopping street which contains its second shopping centre (King's Mall), many small shops, the Town Hall, the Lyric Theatre, a cinema and two hotels. King Street is supplemented by other shops along Shepherds Bush Road to the north, Fulham Palace Road to the south and Hammersmith Road to the east.

Hammersmith's office activity takes place mainly to the eastern side of its centre, along Hammersmith Road and in the Ark, an architecturally-unique office complex to the south of the flyover which traverses the area. The offices of International SOS, Bechtel, Coca-Cola, Disney, Pokémon, L'Oréal, NHS Hammersmith and Fulham, Sony Ericsson, Shazam, Universal Music Group, World Wrestling Entertainment, AOL UK, Accor UK, Next Fifteen Communications, US Airways, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Frost Meadowcroft Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and Royal Jordanian Airlines are all found in Hammersmith. Two NHS hospitals provide jobs in Hammersmith - Charing Cross Hospital to the south of the centre on Fulham Palace Road and Hammersmith Hospital in the north. Charing Cross Hospital is a large multi-disciplinary hospital with an accident & emergency department and teaching department run by the Imperial College School of Medicine.

CE Europe, a subsidiary of Capcom, has its head office in the George House in Hammersmith. As of May 2011 it will be relocating to the Metro Building,<ref name="CapcomEurope">Template:Cite web UK: CE Europe Ltd 26-28 Hammersmith Grove, 9th Floor London W6 7HA" and "Germany: CEG Interactive Entertainment GmbH Barmbeker Strasse 4 b 22303 Hamburg, Germany" and "France: Capcom Entertainment France 30 bis, rue du Viel Abreuvoir FR.78100 Saint Germain En Laye</ref><ref name="Metbuilding">Template:Cite web "Maris are pleased to announce the commencement of the office fit-out for CE Europe Ltd, who are relocating offices to the Metro Building, Hammersmith, London, W6." and "Maris are relocating CE Europe’s London operations from their present offices in George House, 26-28 Hammersmith Grove to Hammersmith’s Metro Building."</ref> an 11 storey, Template:Convert building in Hammersmith.<ref name="Metbuilding"/>

For a fifteen-year period,<ref name="MovingtoHatton">Press release (6 January 2006). "Air France and KLM Celebrate Official Inauguration of New Office in London". Air France. Retrieved 17 May 2011.</ref> Air France had its UK and Ireland office in Colet Court in Hammersmith. In 2006 the UK and Ireland office was moved to Hatton Cross, London Borough of Hounslow.<ref name="MovingtoHatton"/>


Architecturally, Hammersmith is notable for

  • "The Ark" office building designed by British architect Ralph Erskine and was completed in April 1992 as the name suggests it has the appearance of a large ship.
  • "Hammersmith Bridge Road Surgery" Doctor's office
  • "22 St Peter's Square" the former Royal Chiswick Laundry and Island Records HQ converted to architects studios and offices by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. It has a Hammersmith Society Conservation award plaque (2009) and has been included in tours in Architecture Week.
  • Several of Hammersmith's pubs are listed buildings, including the Black Lion, The Dove, The George, The Hop Poles, the Hope and Anchor, the Salutation Inn and The Swan.

Property management

Hammersmith has a cornucopia of organisations that offer property management. It is a trade that has existed in the area for generations.

Culture and entertainment

  • Riverside Studios is a cinema, performance space, bar and cafe. Riverside Studios was formerly BBC studios used for TV productions.
  • The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre
  • The Hammersmith Apollo concert hall and theatre (formerly the Carling Hammersmith Apollo, Hammersmith Odeon, and before that the Gaumont Cinema).
  • The Hammersmith Palais nightclub, which is now disused and set to be demolished.
File:The dove pub1.jpg
The famous Dove Pub - entrance in the alley that is the only surviving trace of the old Hammersmith Village. (September 2005)
  • The Dove riverside pub, which claims to be the oldestTemplate:Citation needed surviving riverside pub in London with, reputedly, the smallest bar in the world, frequented by Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene. 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. The site of the creek can be ascertained by a mound near the Great West Road.

American broadcasters NBC and ABC both have their London news bureau in Hammersmith.

Leisure and social activities

In addition to the cinema and pubs of King Street, leisure activity also takes place along Hammersmith's pedestrianised riverside, home to a number of pubs, rowing clubs and the riverside park of Furnival Gardens. Hammersmith also has a large municipal park called Ravenscourt Park located to the west of the centre. Its facilities include tennis courts, a basketball court, a bowling lawn, a paddling pool and playgrounds. The whole area is covered by the same W6 postcode as Hammersmith town centre.

Hammersmith is the historical home of the West London Penguin Swimming and Water Polo Club, formerly known as the Hammersmith Penguin Swimming Club.

"Round Table London Hammersmith 48" is a community service and networking club for men aged 18 to 45. Regular meetings are held at the London Corinthian Sailing Club on the banks of the river Thames.

The "Polish Social and Cultural Centre" (known as POSK) is based in Hammersmith, with facilities including a library, a theatre, restaurants and cafes, and houses many other Polish organisations.


Hammersmith tube roundel

The area is on the main A4 trunk road heading west from central London towards the M4 motorway and Heathrow Airport. The A4, a busy commuter route, passes over the area's main road junction, Hammersmith Gyratory System, on a long viaduct, the Hammersmith Flyover. Hammersmith Bridge, the first suspension bridge over the River Thames, carries traffic to and from Barnes and southwest London.

The centre of Hammersmith is served by two tube stations, both named Hammersmith. One is the western terminus of the Hammersmith & City and Circle lines, while the larger one served by the Piccadilly and District Lines . The latter tube station is part of a larger office, retail and transport development, locally known as "The Broadway Centre". Hammersmith Broadway, itself, stretches from the junction of Queen Caroline Street and King Street in the west to the junction of Hammersmith Road and Butterwick in the east. It forms the north side of the gyratory system also known as Hammersmith Roundabout. The Broadway Shopping Centre includes a large modern bus station, which is open 24 hours a day and served by a large number of buses, night buses, airport transfer buses and some long distance coaches.

The length of King Street places the westernmost shops and offices closest to Ravenscourt Park tube station on the District line, one stop west of Hammersmith itself.

Hammersmith also used to be able to boast of having not one but two public passenger transport depots: Hammersmith Trolleybus Depot (coded "HB") situated opposite Fulham Palace Road and a Motor Bus Garage, known as Riverside (coded "R") to stop confusion with "HB". Riverside was originally a mansion and after the bus operations ceased the fascia of the building was listed.

Hammersmith in popular culture

Hammersmith features in Charles Dickens Great Expectations as the home of the Pocket family. Pip resides with the Pockets in their house by the river and partakes in boating on the Thames.

News from Nowhere (1890) written by William Morris is a utopian novel that describes a journey upstream the River Thames from Hammersmith towards Oxford; it is of growing interest to contemporary ecological and socialist political movements.

In 1930, Gustav Holst composed a work for military band (later rewritten for orchestra) entitled Hammersmith to reflect his impressions of the area, having lived across the river in nearby Barnes for nearly forty years. It begins with a haunting musical depiction of the River Thames flowing underneath Hammersmith Bridge. Holst was a music teacher at St Paul's Girls' School, where he composed many of his most famous works, including The Planets suite. A music room in the school is named after him.

Hammersmith has provided a location for several television programmes, including the BBC comedy series Bottom, Channel 4's TFI Friday, and the vampire drama Ultraviolet. The opening credits of Bottom show the Hammersmith Broadway (also mentioned in The Pogues' song Dark Streets of London) development, then called Centre West, when it was under construction. In addition, the Flying Squad were Hammersmith-based in the 1970s TV series The Sweeney. Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective contains scenes that appear to be under and adjacent to Hammersmith Bridge, and Peter Howitt's Sliding Doors includes scenes in and around Hammersmith Bridge. The popular Thames Television series Minder also features black and white photographs of Hammersmith Bridge and the Blue Anchor pub in the closing credits.

The BBC's 2008 Miniseries Lost in Austen stars Jemima Rooper (who was born in Hammersmith) as Amanda Price, a character who lives in modern day Hammersmith, but is transported (through a portal in her flat's bathroom) into Jane Austen's fictional story Pride and Prejudice. Amanda Price gets stuck in fictional Georgian England and upon returning to Hammersmith of the 18th century, discovers it to be a small village miles from London.

Notable people


  • Lily Allen (born 1985) – pop singer
  • Alfie Allen (born 1986) – actor
  • Bill Bailey (born 1964) – comedian
  • Jamie Bamber (born 1973) – actor
  • Sacha Baron Cohen – comedian and actor
  • Tina Barrett (born 1976) – singer and dancer, formerly of S Club 7
  • Mischa Barton (born 1986) – actress
  • Marcus Bent (born 1978) – footballer
  • George Boyd (born 1985) – footballer
  • Charlie Brooker (born 1971) – comic journalist
  • Joe Calzaghe (born 1972) – boxer
  • T. J. Cobden Sanderson (1840–1922) – artist and bookbinder
  • Marie Colvin (1956–2012) - journalist
  • William Crathern (born 1793) – composer
  • Benedict Cumberbatch (born 1976) - actor
  • Roger Daltrey (born 1944) – rock singer with The Who
  • James DeGale – boxer
  • Danny Dichio (born 1974) – footballer
  • Lily Donaldson – model
  • Ella Edmondson (born 1986)   singer-songwriter
  • Estelle – singer/rapper
  • Mary Fedden (1915-2012) – artist
  • Emilia Fox (born 1974) – actress
  • George Groves (born 1988) - Boxer
  • Hugh Grant – actor
  • Tom Hardy (born 1977) – actor
  • Miranda Hart (born 1972) - actress
  • A. P. Herbert (1890–1971) – humourist, novelist, playwright and law reform activist
  • Heather Hogan (born 1977) – actor
  • Gustav Holst - see above
  • Christian Jessen (born 1977) – English doctor and TV presenter
  • Edward Johnston (1872–1944) – scholar, credited with the revival of calligraphy


  • Lewis Kennedy (circa 1721–1782) – nurseryman
  • James Lee (1715–1795) – nurseryman
  • Lee Mack – comedian
  • Russ Malkin (born 1960 ) – television presenter and producer
  • James May (born 1963) – television presenter and writer
  • Crispian Mills (born 1973) - singer, songwriter, guitarist and film director
  • John Milton (1608–1674) – poet
  • William Morris (1834–1896) – artist, writer, socialist and activist
  • Maurice Murphy (1935-2010) - principal trumpet, LSO (1977-2007)
  • Gary Numan (born 1958) – singer, songwriter and musician
  • Scott Overall (born 1983)  - Olympic Marathon Runner
  • Stuart Pearce – footballer
  • Rosamund Pike (born 1979) – actress
  • Imogen Poots (born 1989) – actor
  • Augustus Prew (born 1987) – actor
  • Lucy Punch (born 1977) – actor
  • Daniel Radcliffe (born 1989) – actor
  • Eric Ravilious (1903–1942) – painter, designer, book illustrator and wood engraver
  • Alan Rickman (born 1946) – actor
  • Jemima Rooper (born 1981) – actor
  • Vidal Sassoon – hairdresser and businessman
  • Labi Siffre – musician
  • Tony Swatton - blacksmith
  • Gabriel Thomson (born 1986) - actor
  • Julian Trevelyan (1910–1988) – artist
  • Sir Emery Walker (1851–1933) – engraver and printer
  • Ed Westwick (born 1987) – actor
  • Evelyn Whitaker (died 1929 in Hammersmith), children's writer
  • Alan Wilder (born 1959) – musician from Depeche Mode
  • George Wimpey (1855–1913) – stonemason


External links




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