ToponymyHammersmith may mean "(Place with) a hammer smithy or forge", although an alternative proposes the initial ''Ham'' being derived from Saxon in connection with Hammersmith's riverside location. The earliest spelling is Hamersmyth in 1294, with alternative spellings of Hameresmithe in 1312, Hamyrsmyth in 1535, and Hammersmith 1675.
HistoryHammersmith was the name of a parish, and of a suburban district, within the hundred of Osselstone, in the historic county of Middlesex. In the early 1660s, Hammersmith's first parish church, which later became , was built by who ran the brickworks in Hammersmith. It contained a monument to Crispe as well as a bronze bust of by . In 1696 was buried there. The church was completely rebuilt in 1883, but the monument and bust were transferred to the new church. was first designed by , opening in 1827 as the first crossing the . Overloading in this original structure led to a redesign by , which was built over the original foundations, and reopened in 1887. In 1984–1985 the bridge received structural support, and between 1997 and 2000 the bridge underwent major strengthening work. In August 2020, it closed to pedestrians, cyclists and road traffic as the cast iron pedestals that hold the suspension system in place became unsafe. In 1745, two Scots, , established the , over six acres devoted to landscaping plants. During the next hundred and fifty years the nursery introduced many new plants to England, including and the standard . 1804 saw the trial of Francis Smith for the murder of Thomas Millwood in Beaver Lane, Hammersmith. Called the , it set a unique standard in English legal history. Major industrial sites included the lamp factory at , the factory (which at one time employed 30,000 people). During both s, 's furniture factory, in Cambridge Grove, became the site of aircraft manufacture. Hammersmith Borough Council had provided the borough with electricity since the early twentieth century from . Upon of the electricity industry in 1948 ownership passed to the and later to the . Electricity connections to the rendered the 20 (MW) coal-fired power station redundant. It closed in 1965; in its final year of operation it delivered 5,462 of electricity to the borough.
EconomyHammersmith is located at the confluence of one of the arterial routes out of central London (the ) 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 and an office complex. Stretching about westwards from this centre is , Hammersmith's main shopping street. Named after , it contains a second shopping centre ( ), many small shops, the , the , a cinema, the and two hotels. King Street is supplemented by other shops along Shepherds Bush Road to the north, Fulham Palace Road to the south and to the east. Hammersmith's office activity takes place mainly to the eastern side of its centre, along Hammersmith Road and in the , an office complex to the south of the which traverses the area. on Fulham Palace Road is a large multi-disciplinary hospital with accident & emergency and teaching departments run by the .
Architecture, designed by British architect Ralph Erskine and completed in 1992, has some resemblance to the hull of a sailing ship. Hammersmith Bridge Road Surgery was designed by Guy Greenfield. " " the former Royal Chiswick Laundry and HQ converted to architects studios and offices by . It has
Culture and entertainment[[Riverside Studios is a cinema, performance space, bar and cafe. Originally film studios, Riverside Studios were used by the [[BBC from 1954 to 1975 for television productions. The [[Lyric Theatre (Hammersmith)|Lyric Hammersmith Theatre is just off King Street. concert hall and theatre (formerly the Carling Hammersmith Apollo, the Hammersmith Odeon, and before that the Gaumont Cinema) is just south of the gyratory. The former nightclub has been demolished and the site reused as student accommodation. The [[Polish Social and Cultural Association is on King Street. It contains a theatre, an art gallery and several restaurants. Its library has one of the largest collections of Polish-language books outside Poland. '' '' is a riverside pub with what the ''[[Guinness Book of Records'' listed as the smallest bar room in the world, in 2016 surviving as a small space on the right of the bar. the pub was frequented by [[Ernest Hemingway and [[Graham Greene; [[James Thomson (poet)|James Thomson lodged and likely wrote ''[[Rule Britannia'' here. 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. Leisure activity also takes place along Hammersmith's pedestrianised riverside, home to pubs, rowing clubs and the riverside park of Furnival Gardens. Hammersmith has a municipal park, [[Ravenscourt Park, to the west of the centre. Its facilities include tennis courts, a basketball court, a bowling lawn, a paddling pool and playgrounds. Hammersmith is the historical home of the [[West London Penguin Swimming and Water Polo Club, formerly known as the ''Hammersmith Penguin Swimming Club''. Hammersmith Chess Club has been active in the borough since it was formed in 1962. It was initially based in [[Westcott Lodge, later moving to St Paul's Church, then to [[Blythe House and now Lytton Hall, near West Kensington tube station.
TransportThe 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. closed in August 2020 to pedestrians, cyclists and road traffic, severing the link with in the southwest. Its cast iron pedestals that hold the suspension system in place had become unsafe. The centre of Hammersmith is served by two stations named Hammersmith: [[Hammersmith tube station (Circle and Hammersmith & City lines)|one is served by the [[Hammersmith & City line|Hammersmith & City and [[Circle line (London Underground)|Circle lines and [[Hammersmith tube station (District and Piccadilly lines)|the other is served by the [[Piccadilly line|Piccadilly and [[District line|District lines. The latter station is part of a larger office, retail and transport development, locally known as "The Broadway Centre". 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 major bus station. The length of King Street places the westernmost shops and offices closest to [[Ravenscourt Park tube station|Ravenscourt Park Underground station on the [[District line, one stop west of Hammersmith itself.
In literature and musicHammersmith features in [[Charles Dickens' ''[[Great Expectations'' as the home of the Pocket family. Pip resides with the Pockets in their house by the river and goes boating on the river. [[William Morris's utopian novel ''[[News from Nowhere'' (1890) describes a journey up the river from Hammersmith towards [[Oxford. In 1930, [[Gustav Holst composed ''Hammersmith'', a work for military band (later rewritten for orchestra), reflecting his impressions of the area, having lived across the river in Barnes for nearly forty years. It begins with a haunting musical depiction of the River Thames flowing underneath Hammersmith Bridge. Holst taught music at [[St Paul's Girls' School and composed many of his most famous works there, including his ''[[The Planets'' suite. A music room in the school is named after him. Holst dedicates ''Hammersmith'': ''To the Author of "[[The Water Gipsies (novel)|The Water Gypsies."''
17th century* [[John Milton (1608–1674), poet[[Lewalski, Barbara K. ''The Life of John Milton''. Oxford: Blackwells, 2003. * [[William Sheridan (Bishop of Kilmore and Ardagh)|William Sheridan (c. 1635 – 3 October 1711), Bishop of Kilmore and Ardagh
See also* [[List of districts in Hammersmith and Fulham