High Bridge, Hammersmith

Above: One of the very few remaining pictures of High Bridge. The view looks west towards the bridge which is seen at the end of Hog Lane. The lane was named after the pub whose sign, showing a substantial hog, can be seen to the right. All trace of the bridge and also of Hog Lane were swept away when Furnivall Gardens were laid out.

High Bridge once spanned Hammersmith Creek to the south of King Street. How long a bridge had been on the site is not known for certain. There was certainly one as early as 1541 because it is mentioned in the Fulham Court Rolls for that year. The local historian Faulkner says that the bridge was rebuilt by Bishop Compton in 1712 and the London historian Thorne – perhaps referring to another reconstruction of the bridge – credits Bishop Sherlock with building it in 1751. Both statements, however, are unsupported by evidence. The bridge was repaired by Bishop Howley in 1820 and again in a very substantial fashion by Bishop Blomfield in 1837.

The creek was culverted in 1936. After a flying bomb devastated the last remnants of the old buildings around the creek in 1944, during the Second World War, all trace of the High Bridge was lost. Its site was across the creek, linking Upper Mall to Lower Mall. The bridge stood 200 feet (61 m) to the north of the present river wall at Furnivall Gardens. The extensive gardens were laid out in 1951, named after Dr Frederick Furnival, founder in 1896 of the Furnivall Sculling Club and co-creator of the Oxford English Dictionary.

As a further point of interest, it is believed that it was around Hammersmith Creek that the hamlet (later to become a village) started to develop.

-ENDS-

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4 Responses to High Bridge, Hammersmith

  1. Geraldine Moyle says:

    The photo above is actually looking east to High Bridge from Doves Place, & the hog is unrelated to the Hampshire Hog pub (still) on King Street. Eric Gill sculpted the limestone statue, c.1916, for the Hampshire House bakery in Doves Place (he also designed a rather striking woodcut for the shop’s paper bags). The bakery was one of the many projects undertaken by Hampshire House during World War One, initially to provide employment for Belgian refugees. The Hampshire House Social Club for Working Men had been founded in 1905 by a trio of local social reformers (Warwick Draper, Fred Rowntree & Douglas Pepler), intended to ameliorate living conditions in Little Wapping; it was incorporated as a trust in 1913, & survived (as a more modest enterprise) until demolition for the Cromwell Road extension (a.k.a. the Great West Road). Gill’s hog is now owned by Hampshire County Council & located in Winchester.

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  2. I’m glad you find my blogs interesting. The picture I used was captioned ‘High Bridge’ but it did not explain which way the camera was facing. My hunch was that it must be facing west. I am so grateful that you were able to correct my text.

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