infobox UK place
country = England
map_type = Greater London
region= London
official_name= Hammersmith
latitude= 51.4928
longitude= -0.2229
london_borough= Hammersmith and Fulham
constituency_westminster= Hammersmith and Fulham
post_town= LONDON
postcode_district = W6
postcode_area= W
dial_code= 020
os_grid_reference= TQ233786

Hammersmith is an urban centre in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in west London, approximately 5 miles (8km) 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, 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, West 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 is the main centre of London's Polish minority in United Kingdom. [http://www.untoldlondon.org.uk/news/ART44180.html UnToldLondon] [http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article344755.ece 750000 and rising: how Polish workers have built a home in Britain ...]


There is evidence of occupation of some riverside areas around Hammersmith as far back as Roman and Saxon times, and the area was referred to in the Domesday Book. The name may possibly be a shortening of "Hamoder's Hythe", i.e. the landing-place of a man named Hamoder. Fact|date=June 2008

However it was not until the arrival of the railways that the present day district of Hammersmith began to develop. The extension of the Metropolitan Railway to Hammersmith from Paddington in 1864, followed by the District Line in 1874, began a period of considerable expansion and the second half of the 19th century saw a huge increase in population from 10,000 in 1801 to 250,000 in 1901.

Consequently, house construction and industrial development flourished.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.


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 VisitBritain (the national tourist board), Bechtel, Coca-Cola, Disney, EMI, L'Oreal, Sony Ericsson, World Wrestling Entertainment, AOL UK, and Accor UK 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 Ravenscourt Park Hospital to the west by Ravenscourt Park. Charing Cross Hospital is a large multi-disciplinary hospital with an accident & emergency department and teaching department run by the world-renowned Imperial College School of Medicine, whilst Ravenscourt Park Hospital specialises in orthopaedics and related surgery. [ [http://www.hhnt.org/ravenscourt/index.htm Ravenscourt Park Hospital] . Accessed 24 June 2006.]

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 Furnivall Gardens. Hammersmith also has a large municipal park called Ravenscourt Park located to the west of the centre. Its facilities include ponds, tennis courts, a basketball court and creche. The whole area is covered by the same W6 postcode as Hammersmith town centre.

Culture and entertainment

Hammersmith has a number of attractions;
* [http://www.riversidestudios.co.uk Riverside Studios] is a cinema, performance space, bar and cafe. Riverside Studios was formerly BBC studios used for TV productions.
* [http://www.lyric.co.uk The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre]
* The "Hammersmith Apollo" concert hall and theatre (formerly the Carling Hammersmith Apollo, formerly the Hammersmith Odeon, and before that the Gaumont Cinema).
* The "world famous" Hammersmith Palais nightclub. (featured in The Clash song "(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais). Now disused and set to be demolished.
* "The Dove" riverside pub, the oldest surviving riverside pub in London with, reputedly, the smallest bar in the world, frequented in the past 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. Furnival 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.

Hammersmith has provided a location for several TV 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. The popular Thames Television series Minder also features black and white photographs of Hammersmith Bridge and the Blue Anchor pub in the closing credits.

News from Nowhere written by William Morris is a utopian novel that describes a journey upstream the River Thames from Hammersmith towards Oxford. Written in 1890, 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 town, 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. The music wing of the school is named after him.

Architecturally, Hammersmith is notable for
* "The Ark" office building [http://www.thelondonark.co.uk/]
* "Hammersmith Bridge Road Surgery" Doctor's office [http://www.galinsky.com/buildings/hammersmith/]

US Broadcasters NBC and ABC both have their London News Bureau in Hammersmith.

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 [http://www.rt48.org.uk/] 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.

Notable inhabitants

* Stuart Pearce English footballer
* Mischa Barton Actress
* Mary Fedden (b 1915) British artist
* A. P. Herbert (1890-1971) English humourist, novelist, playwright and law reform activist
* Edward Johnston (1872-1944) British scholar, credited with the revival of calligraphy
* William Morris (1834-1896) English artist, writer, socialist and activist
* Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) English painter, designer, book illustrator and wood engraver
* T. J. Cobden Sanderson (1840-1922) English artist and bookbinder
* Julian Trevelyan (1910-1988) British artist
* Sir Emery Walker (1851-1933) English engraver and printer
* Lily Allen (b 1985) English pop singer
* Tina Barrett (b 1976) Singer and dancer, formerly of S Club 7 fame
* Gary Numan (b 1958) Singer, Songwriter and Musician
* James May British TV host and writer.
* Roger Daltrey British rock singer with The Who.
* Alan Rickman (b February 21, 1946) British actor
* Please Sir Comedy crackhead and frothy-mouthed beggar
* Bill Bailey Comedian
* Sacha Baron Cohen British Comedian/Screenwiter
* Joe Calzaghe (b 1972) Boxer, World Super-Middleweight Champion.
* Harry Lloyd Actor
* Gabriella Cilmi Top selling Australian Singer
* Hugh Grant Actor and Film Producer
* S-Kay English Grime rapper


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, one of them is the western terminus of the Hammersmith & City Line, 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.

Neighbouring districts

*Shepherds Bush
*West Kensington

Twin Towns

*flagicon|Italy Marino, Italy
*flagicon|Belgium Anderlecht, Belgium

External links

* [http://www.lbhf.gov.uk London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham]
* [http://thecowanreport.blogspot.com Cllr. Stephen Cowan (Lab) - Leader of the Opposition]
* [http://www.hammersmithtoday.co.uk Hammersmith's local community web site]
* [http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/GUI_HAN/HAMMERSMITH.html Hammersmith] - 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article
* [http://www.myhammersmith.co.uk/ MyHammersmith Guide to Hammersmith]
* [http://homepages.gold.ac.uk/genuki/MDX/Hammersmith/HammersmithHistory.html Description of Hammersmith in 1868]
* [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/20310 Hammersmith, Fulham and Putney] , by Geraldine Edith Mitton and John Cunningham Geikie, 1903, from Project Gutenberg
* [http://www.rt48.org.uk Round Table London Hammersmith 48: Fun, Friendship, Fundraising. We don´t just sit there, do you?]


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