The station exits onto Goldhawk Road. here you can see the viaduct carrying the railway above the streets of Stamford Brook. I turned left out of the station to look for a memorial to Lucien Pissarro.
About a five minute walk from the station is Stamford Brook Common which was enclosed as a recreation ground in around 1890. Prior to that it was common land.
In the 16th century a few cottages were built around Stamford Brook Common. By the 18th century it had grown in importance and Stamford Brook became the location for larger country houses including Stamford Brook House. When this house was built the common was an extension of Turnham Green Common . However by the 19th century the land between the two commons began to be developed.
On the other side of Stamford Brook Common is this house where Lucien Pissarro lived. The French born son of the artist, Camille Pissarro, Lucien, had moved to England in 1890 where he married an English girl. In 1897 Lucien suffered two strokes and Camille came to stay here with his son for a couple of months. Whilst here he completed seven paintings of Stamford Brook. It is said that Camille painted them from a flat roof at the back of this house on Bath Road. Camille did not return to London again and died in 1903.
Lucien made a slow recovery always walking with a limp and his left hand paralysed. In 1902 Lucien and his family moved to this cottage, 'The Brook' on Stamford Brook Road where they remained for the rest of their lives. Dating back to1760, it was one of four country houses that overlooked Stamford Brook.
I returned back along Goldhawk Road and crossed over the High Street to follow this lane called British Grove
This interesting looking Victorian building was once the Royal Chiswick Laundry Western Dying and Cleaning Works which closed in 1968. It was constructed in 1899 with two long buildings. Part of the building is now home to the British Grove Studios, a large recording studio complex built for Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits fame. The studios were set up by David Stewart who sadly died last year from the Coronavirus.
It wasn't long before I came to the Great West Road and a subway. I didn't realise there were so many subways under this road. After travelling to and from work along here in the 70s, I never once wondered how people crossed the road!
Walking down Black Lion Lane you come to a pub of the same name which dates from the late 18th century. The pub is one of only two in the London area still to have a skittles alley. Skittles is the game of bowling at pins and used to be very popular in pubs. The pub is also said to be haunted by a bricklayer named Thomas Millwood who died in the pub. His death, in 1803, was a most unfortunate one as returning from work covered in white dust he was mistaken for a ghost by a local man, Francis Smith, and shot. Mr Smith had been trying to rid the area of the 'Hammersmith Ghost' which had been terrorising local people.
At the end of the lane is the River Thames. On one of the walls was this old parking notice. Forty shillings in old money was two pounds. The equivalent in today's money would have been £32. Cheaper than a parking fine today which in London is usually between £80-£130.
I turned right off Black Lion Lane onto Hammersmith Terrace, a row of 1750s Georgian houses. They all face onto the river which does not have pedestrian access along here. There are a few blue plaques on the houses relating to a variety of notable figures who lived here.
There was plenty of muddy paths on the island and I didn't really have appropriate footwear so it really was just a fleeting look at the island.
This is the view of the Thames from the other side of the island.
In the past Chiswick was an industrial area with a dock for loading and unloading barges carrying cargo for the breweries, fitting out warships and other industries. Since the late 19th century this part of the river has been mainly residential and has had residential houseboats moored here since WW2. Originally they were created as affordable homes for returning servicemen.
This is Bedford House and below is Eynham House. The houses were built as one house in the middle of the 17th century by the Russell family who later became the Dukes of Bedford. It is thought the house was split into two during the 18th century.
On the other side of the road are the private gardens leading down to the river.
This is Walpole House, one of the finest on the Mall. Parts of it date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. It is named after one of its former residents, Thomas Walpole (1727-1803), an MP and nephew of Sir Horace Walpole, England's first prime minister. Walpole and his family lived here from 1799 until his death. In 1817 the house was used as a school for young gentlemen and one of its students was William Makepeace Thackery, author of Vanity Fair. It is thought that Thackery used Walpole House as the setting for Miss Pinkerton's Seminary for Young Ladies.
I left Chiswick Mall behind and went onto Church street to the church of St Nicholas. The current building dates from the 1880s but the tower is from the 15th century. There has been a place of Christian worship on this site for over a thousand years. St Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors and fishermen and was a common name for a place of worship near water. Churches that have a history going back hundreds of years are a great source of information for historians. Here in the archives they have complete registers of baptisms, marriages and burials from 1678 to the present day.
There are 30 listed graves in the churchyard including the artist J.M.Whistler, actor David Garrick, Frederick Hitch,VC in the Zulu war and the artist William Hogarth
William Hogarth (1697-1764) was an artist known for his life-like portraits and his 'Modern Moral Subjects'. His most famous works were The Rake's Progress and Marriage-a-la-mode. His satirical works feature the seedy and debauched side of urban society. He also published prints of his work but the images were pirated by other print sellers, so he campaigned for a copyright law which was passed in 1735. Hogarth was also concerned about the welfare of children and was governor of London's Foundling hospital.
The pink building at the front of the photo was The Lamb Tap. This pub was established in 1732 and was the brewery tap for Sich's brewery. It closed in 1909 and is now a residential property. ( A brewery tap is the nearest outlet for a brewery's beer.)
Old Chiswick was the village that grew up around the church. The residents of the village would have been fishermen and farmers. The barley grown in Chiswick was said to be 'exceptionally fine' and was used for malting and brewing. It was also an important ferry point as there were no bridges over the Thames between London Bridge and Kingston Bridge throughout the Middle Ages. Although I am familiar with many parts of London I had no idea that Old Chiswick existed. I have walked the 187 miles of the Thames Path but that was on the South side of the river so this section has been new to me. There was just one more surprise for me before returning to the tube station. As I am reading this information about the pub, the noise of traffic behind me is deafening as I am now back on the Great Western Road next to the Hogarth roundabout where two of the major roads taking traffic into and out of central London meet. I walked just a few metres on and came to Chiswick Square. I had no idea that there were any houses facing one of the busiest traffic interchanges in London.