Hammersmith and Fulham, London Borough of

Above: Map of Inner London. The black lines show the original 28 Metropolitan Boroughs. In 1965 the two green ones were combined to form the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.

Until 1900 the name ‘London’ meant only one thing – the City of London. It is shown on the above outline map in pink and still exists today. Around the City were three Counties – Middlesex was on the north side of the Thames. The County of Surrey and the County of Kent formed parts of the south bank of the Thames. The area outlined on the above map consisted of many villages and parishes which were becoming larger and larger as time went by. Most of the land was gradually being covered by roads and houses. In 1899 a new ‘County’ was formed by taking parts of Middlesex, Surrey and Kent and forming Metropolitan London, administered by the London County Council (LCC). There were 28 Metropolitan Boroughs and, in addition, the City of London remained a separate administration. That newly formed land is shown by all the black boundaries on the top map.

In 1965 it was decided to combine the 28 Metropolitan Boroughs into 12 London Boroughs. Another 20 boroughs were added to the administrative area and the whole was called Greater London. What had been the area shown above is now called Inner London.

In 1965 the Metropolitan Borough of Fulham and the Metropolitan Borough of Hammersmith were combined to form the green area on the above map. The new name chosen for it was the London Borough of Hammersmith – Hammersmith having been the larger of the two original administrations. However, the residents of Fulham were enraged that their borough name had been dropped from the newly formed London Borough. They had every right to be annoyed because Fulham had been a parish long before the hamlet of Hammersmith ever came into existence. After considerable lobbying of the Council, the administrators gave in and the name was changed to ‘Hammersmith & Fulham’ on 1 January 1979. The Fulham residents had, therefore, waited 14 years to get their old parish name incorporated into the name of the London Borough. This also annoyed the Fulhamites who said that the name should be ‘Fulham & Hammersmith’ but that was never brought into use.

This academic year we shall be taking a look at the places of interest within this London Borough which, as can be seen, is a ‘long narrow borough’ with quite a long riverfront.

Comment 07 – London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

Today we start a new series. Having considered some aspects of the London Borough of Wandsworth, we now turn out attention to the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. These two London Boroughs are the most westerly in Inner London – one each side of the Thames. The next few weeks will be devoted to the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, taking Fulham first and then having a look at Hammersmith.


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