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Hammersmith

HAMMERSMITH, a western metropolitan borough of London, England, bounded E. by Kensington and S. by Fulham and the river Thames, and extending N. and W. to the boundary of the county of London. Pop. (1901) 112,239. The name appears in the early forms of Hermodewode and Hamer smith; the derivation is probably from the Anglo-Saxon, signifying the place with a haven (hythe). Hammersmith is mentioned with Fulham as a winter camp of Danish invaders in 879, when they occupied the island of Hame, which may be identified with Chiswick Eyot. Hammersmith consists of residential streets of various classes. There are many good houses in the districts of Brook Green in the south-east, and Ravenscourt Park and Starch Green in the west. Shepherd's Bush in the east is a populous and poorer quarter. Boat-building yards, lead-mills, oil mills, distilleries, coach factories, motor works, and other industrial establishments are found along the river and elsewhere in the borough. The main thoroughfares are Uxbridge Road and Goldhawk Road, from Acton on the west, converging at Shepherd's Bush and continuing towards Netting Hill; King Street from Chiswick on the south-west, continued as Hammersmith Broadway and Road to Kensington Road; Bridge Road from Hammersmith Bridge over the Thames, and Fulham Palace Road from Fulham, converging at the Broadway. Old Hammersmith Bridge, designed by Tierney Clark (1824), was the earliest suspension bridge erected near London. This bridge was found insecure and replaced in 1884-1887. Until 1834 Hammersmith formed part of Fulham parish. Its church of St Paul was built as a chapel of ease to Fulham, and consecrated by Laud in 1631. The existing building dates from 1890. Among the old monuments preserved is that of Sir Nicholas Crispe (d. 1665), a prominent royalist during the civil wars and a benefactor of the parish. Schools and religious houses are numerous. St Paul's school is one of the principal public schools in England. It was founded in or about 1509 by John Colet, dean of St Paul's, under the shadow of the cathedral church. But it appears that Colet actually refounded and reorganized a school which had been attached to the cathedral of St Paul from very early times; the first mention of such a school dates from the early part of the 12th century (see an article in The Times, London, July 7, 1909, on the occasion of the celebration of the quatercentenary of Colet 's foundation). The school was moved to its present site in Hammersmith Road in 1883. The number of foundation scholars, that is, the number for which Colet's endowment provided, is 153, according to the number of fishes taken in the miraculous draught. The total number of pupils is about 600. The school governors are appointed by the Mercers' Company (by which body the new site was acquired), and the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London. Close to the school is St Paul's preparatory school, and at Brook Green is a girls' school in connexion with the main school. There are, besides, the Edward Latymer foundation school for boys (1624), part of the income of which is devoted to general charitable purposes; the Godolphin school, founded in the 16th century and remodelled as a grammar school in 1861; Nazareth House of Little Sisters of the Poor, the Convent of the Sacred Heart, and other convents. The town hall, the West London hospital with its post-graduate college, and Wormwood Scrubbs prison are noteworthy buildings. Other institutions are the Hammersmith school of art and a Roman Catholic training college. Besides the picturesque Ravenscourt Park (31 acres) there are extensive recreation grounds in the north of the borough at Wormwood Scrubbs (193 acres), and others of lesser extent. An important place of entertainment is Olympia, near Hammersmith Road and the Addison Road station on the West London railway, which includes a vast arena under a glass roof; while at Shepherd's Bush are the extensive grounds and buildings first occupied by the Franco-British Exhibition of 1908, including HAMMER-THROWINGHAMMOND a huge stadium for athletic displays. In the extreme north of the borough is the Kensal Green Roman Catholic cemetery, in which Cardinal Manning and many other prominent members of this faith are buried. In the neighbourhood of the Mall, bordering the river, are the house where Thomson wrote his poem "The Seasons," and Kelmscott House, the residence of William Morris. The parliamentary borough of Hammersmith returns one member. The borough council consists of a mayor, 5 aldermen, and 30 councillors. Area, 2286-3 acres.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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