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April 2021



London, United Kingdom. 2019 X

After returning from Italy, I spent the last couple of days wandering about Hammersmith in London.

Entrance Gates & West Lodge, Margravine Cemetery, Margravine Road, Hammersmith, London, England UK

Opened in 1868 on a site previously occupied by market gardens and orchards, known as Fulham Fields. The first burial took place on 3 November 1869 and closed for new burials in 1951.

The cemetery grounds are also the location of a War Memorial.

Lyons and Company First World War Memorial, Margravine Cemetery, Margravine Road, Hammersmith

See the story of Lyons and Company

Memorial, George Thomas Brown & Amelia Brown, Margravine Cemetery

Memorial, John Francis Taylor Ware, “Little John” – Margravine Cemetery

Died 11 December 1904 – Aged 6.

Memorial, George Robert Broad & Caroline Broad, Margravine Cemetery

In Memory, Abraham George Smith, Margravine Cemetery

In Memory, James Frederick Fletcher, Margravine Cemetery

Memorial Wall, Margravine Cemetery

Inscribed: Those Honoured Here Dies in the Service of Their Country and Lie Buried Elsewhere in this Cemetery

A Child’s Grave, Margravine Cemetery

In Loving Memory of George J Dyett Jan 5, 1882 Aged 5 months also his Father William Dyett 7 Jan 1904

The Parker Family, Margravine Cemetery

Squirrels, Margravine Cemetery

Cemetery Grounds, Margravine Cemetery

Chapel, Margravine Cemetery

Hammersmith Bridge, River Thames, Hammersmith

This is the second Hammersmith Bridge, built on the pillars of the first which had opened in 1828.

At the turn of the 19th century Hammersmith was still a hamlet of Fulham. To cross the river you had to use the ferry service at either Chiswick Mall or at Ferry Lane in Barnes. A bridge to cross the river at Hammersmith had been mooted for many years and, once an approach road on the Surrey side had been established, the Hammersmith Bridge Company was formed and a brief for an iron bridge was drawn up.

The brief was fulfilled by William Tierney Clark in 1824 when he designed a “bridge of suspension with a view to the strictest economy”. Clark was a respected engineer, apprenticed at one time to Thomas Telford. He designed part of the West Middlesex Waterworks nearby, where he lived and worked as chief engineer.

He was appointed to work as consulting engineer on the bridge, and there is a fine memorial to him on the North Wall of St Paul’s Church, Hammersmith, depicting the original bridge. The foundation stone was laid on 7th May, 1825, by the Duke of Sussex (Not Harry!) and it was opened in October 1827 to a fanfare of fireworks and music. The Bridge was a wonder of its time, an impressive feat of engineering and described as ‘as handsome as it was useful’. It had two large York stone arches and graceful white chains and ironwork. At each end were a pair of toll houses, painted white and manned by liveried toll men managing the passage of people and livestock.

It was a huge success and justly received much admiration, but it was not terribly practical. The walkways ended at the arches so that pedestrians had to join the busy carriageway, and it was also rather narrow. The Toll was scrapped in 1880 and the huge increase in traffic put a strain on the already inadequate structure. It was decided to re-build the bridge rather than repair it and so the bridge was replaced.

Sir Joseph Bazalgette was Chief Engineer to the Metropolitan Board of Works from 1858-1889, during which time he designed new bridges at Hammersmith, Putney and Battersea, oversaw the construction of the Thames Embankment and built 83 miles of intercepting sewers throughout London. In 1877 he began to question the safety of the original Hammersmith Bridge and recommended that urgent repairs take place. After 1880, when the toll was scrapped and traffic increased, the repairs became even more urgent. In fact in November 1881, Police Constable Bullock was leaving the footway to pass through the tower arch on the Barnes side and he fell through a hole in the footway into the river!

After a full assessment it was decided to re-build the bridge and a design by Bazalgette was approved. Traffic was diverted onto a temporary wooden bridge in 1885 and works began. The new bridge was opened by Prince Albert Victor of Wales in June, 1887. However, it was built on the same piers as the previous bridge and is therefore of the same narrow dimensions and unsuitable for heavy loads. Inevitably, and again, this bridge too has proved insufficient to cope with modern traffic; a weight and width restriction has been imposed. Nevertheless, the bridge is an attractive feature in the river landscape, traditionally painted green and gold with colourful coats of arms.

There was an attempt to destroy it by the IRA in March 1939, mainly averted by the quick thinking of a pedestrian who threw the bomb, in a case, into the river where it exploded, damaging one of the pillars, and more recently in 2000. The bridge has had to be closed to traffic for structural repairs, which creates a backwater from what are generally very busy approach roads. It is currently closed to all traffic both motorised and pedestrian and it is expected to take another six years to effect repairs. (Announced Mar 2021)

The Blue Anchor, Lower Mall, Hammersmith

Originally titled the Blew Anchor, this is one of the area’s oldest pubs, licensed in 1722 but probably on the site for many years before. It was a popular watering hole of watermen.

The Old City Arms, 107 Hammersmith Bridge Road, Hammersmith, est: 1827

Rutland Arms, 15 Lower Mall, Hammersmith

Built in 1849 and lost its top floor and balcony during the German bombing of London during “The Blitz”.

Pre-bombing image:-

Lower Mall, Hammersmith

The Pear Tree, Margravine Road, Hammersmith

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