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Hammersmith Bridge.jpg
Hammersmith Bridge
Grid reference: TQ233786
Location: 51°29’34"N, 0°13’22"W
Post town: LONDON
Postcode: W6
Dialling code: 020
Local Government
Council: Hammersmith and Fulham

Hammersmith is a town in Middlesex, deep within the in the metropolitan conurbation, all contiguous with the towns around it but of its own, distinctive identity.

Hammersmith stands on the north bank of the River Thames. It is a commercial and employment centre and home to several multinational company offices. Hammersmith is also one of Middlesex's key transport hubs, with the two London Underground stations, a bus station and road network node at Hammersmith Broadway.

The town is bordered by Shepherds Bush to the north, Kensington to the east, Fulham to the south and Chiswick to the west, and is linked by Hammersmith Bridge to Barnes in the southwest.


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.

King Street

Stretching about 800 yards 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 International SOS, Bechtel, Coca-Cola, Disney, Pokémon, L'Oréal, NHS Hammersmith and Fulham, Sony Ericsson, Shazam, Universal Music Group, World Wrestling Entertainment, AOL UK, Accor UK, Next Fifteen Communications, US Airways, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Frost Meadowcroft Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and Royal Jordanian Airlines 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 Hammersmith Hospital in the north. Charing Cross Hospital is a large multi-disciplinary hospital with an accident & emergency department and teaching department run by the Imperial College School of Medicine.

CE Europe, a subsidiary of Capcom, has its head office in the George House in Hammersmith. As of May 2011 it will be relocating to the Metro Building,[1][2] an 11 storey, 106,000-square foot building in Hammersmith.[2]

For a fifteen-year period,[3] Air France had its UK and Ireland office in Colet Court in Hammersmith.

American broadcasters NBC and ABC both have their London News Bureau in Hammersmith.

Hammersmith has a cornucopia of organisations that offer property management. It is a trade that has existed in the area for generations.

HammersmithLondon[4] is responsible for delivering a Business Improvement District (BID) to Hammersmith. It is a business-led not-for-profit limited company established to represent the views of local businesses in Hammersmith town centre. The company identifies and delivers tangible initiatives to benefit local businesses and improve their operating environment.


Architecturally, Hammersmith is notable for

  • "The Ark" office building designed by British architect Ralph Erskine and was completed in April 1992[5] as the name suggests it has the appearance of a large ship.
  • "Hammersmith Bridge Road Surgery" Doctor's office[6]
  • "22 St Peter's Square" the former Royal Chiswick Laundry and Island Records HQ converted to architects studios and offices by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. It has a Hammersmith Society Conservation award plaque (2009)[7] and has been included in tours in Architecture Week.[8]
A panoramic view looking of the Thames at Hammersmith, opposite the Harrods Repository.
Panorama of the Thames river at Hammersmith, April 2011.

Culture and entertainment

The Lyric Theatre
The famous Dove Pub - entrance in the alley that is the only surviving trace of the old Hammersmith Village
  • Riverside Studios is a cinema, performance space, bar and café. Riverside Studios was formerly BBC studios used for television productions.
  • The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre
  • The Hammersmith Apollo concert hall and theatre (formerly the Carling Hammersmith Apollo, Hammersmith Odeon, and before that the Gaumont Cinema).
  • The Hammersmith Palais nightclub, which is now disused and set to be demolished.
  • "The Dove" riverside pub, the oldest surviving riverside pub in Middlesex 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. Furnivall 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.

Leisure and social activities

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 Furnival Gardens. Hammersmith also has a large municipal park called Ravenscourt Park located to the west of the centre. Its facilities include tennis courts, a basketball court, a bowling lawn, a paddling pool and playgrounds.[9] The whole area is covered by the same W6 postcode as Hammersmith town centre.

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" 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.

The "Polish Social and Cultural Centre" (known as POSK)[10] is based in Hammersmith, with facilities including a library, a theatre, restaurants and cafes, and houses many other Polish organisations.

Hammersmith in popular culture

  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens has Hammersmith as the home of the Pocket family. Pip resides with the Pockets in their house by the river and partakes in boating on the Thames.
  • News from Nowhere (1890) written by William Morris is a naïve utopian novel that describes a journey upstream the River Thames from Hammersmith towards Oxford.
  • In 1930, Gustav Holst composed a work for military band (later rewritten for orchestra) entitled Hammersmith to reflect his impressions of the area, 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. A music room in the school is named after him.

Hammersmith has provided a location for several television programmes, including:

  • Bottom (the BBC comedy series
  • TFI Friday (Channel 4)
  • Ultraviolet, a the vampire drama.

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 Sweeney (the 1970s police drama) had the Flying Squad based in Hammersmith
  • Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective contains scenes that appear to be under and adjacent to Hammersmith Bridge
  • Sliding Doors (film) includes scenes in and around Hammersmith Bridge.
  • Minder (the original television series) also features black and white photographs of Hammersmith Bridge and the Blue Anchor pub in the closing credits.
  • Lost in Austen, a BBC miniseries form 2008 centres on Amanda Price, a character who lives in modern-day Hammersmith, but is transported (through a portal in her flat's bathroom) into Jane Austen's fictional story Pride and Prejudice. Amanda Price gets stuck in fictional Georgian England and upon returning to Hammersmith of the 18th century, discovers it to be a small village miles from London.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Hammersmith)


  1. "Contact". capcom-europe.com. http://www.capcom-europe.com/contact. Retrieved 12 August 2011.  UK: CE Europe Ltd 26-28 Hammersmith Grove, 9th Floor London W6 7HA" and "Germany: CEG Interactive Entertainment GmbH Barmbeker Strasse 4 b 22303 Hamburg, Germany" and "France: Capcom Entertainment France 30 bis, rue du Viel Abreuvoir FR.78100 Saint Germain En Laye
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Office Relocation for CE Europe to the Metro Building". Maris Interiors. May 2011. http://www.maris-interiors.co.uk/#/news/2011/office_relocation_for_ce_europe_to_the_metro_buiding/. Retrieved 13 August 2011.  "Maris are pleased to announce the commencement of the office fit-out for CE Europe Ltd, who are relocating offices to the Metro Building, Hammersmith, London, W6." and "Maris are relocating CE Europe’s London operations from their present offices in George House, 26-28 Hammersmith Grove to Hammersmith’s Metro Building."
  3. Press release (6 January 2006). "Air France and KLM Celebrate Official Inauguration of New Office in London". Air France. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
  4. iWeb @ www.iwebsolutions.co.uk. "hammersmithlondon.co.uk". hammersmithlondon.co.uk. http://www.hammersmithlondon.co.uk. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  5. "Savills UK | 404". Savills.com. http://www.savills.com/intinvest/the_ark.html. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  6. "Hammersmith Bridge Road Surgery London by Guy Greenfield". Galinsky.com. http://www.galinsky.com/buildings/hammersmith/. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  7. Dan Hodges. "Best and worst of Hammersmith and Fulham buildings named". http://www.ealinggazette.co.uk/ealing-news/local-ealing-news/2009/05/27/best-and-worst-of-hammersmith-and-fulham-buildings-named-64767-23726569. 
  8. "architectureweek.org.uk". architectureweek.org.uk. 24 June 2007. http://www.architectureweek.org.uk/event.asp?eventURN=3638. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  9. "Time Out, "London's best local parks," 29 August 2008". Timeout.com. http://www.timeout.com/london/features/5576/5.html. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  10. "posk.org". posk.org. http://posk.org. Retrieved 1 February 2012.