XXXV.—LINDEN HOUSE, GRAFTON HOUSE, AND THE SITE OF SEAGREENS
Ground landlord, leaseholders, etc.
Owner, Mrs. Arter. Occupiers, St. Katherine's College for Girls.
General description and date of structure.
WINE-CELLAR DOOR AT LINDEN HOUSE UPPER MALL HAMMERSMITH
No documentary evidence has come to light regarding the precise
date (fn. 1) of either of these 18thcentury houses, nor have we
the assistance of the rate-books
before the year 1795. In this
year, however, we find next to
Seagreens (the house belonging to Mr. Lewis Weltje,
which is rated at £90) two
houses in the occupation of
Mr. Thomas Winter and Mr.
Barford, with rateable values
of £75 and £30 respectively.
The former of these is evidently Linden House and the
latter Grafton House, and the
existence of the two houses as
far back as 1733 is affirmed
by a deed quoted below.
Whatever their history, they
must have been quite delightful residences before the indifference of modern commercialism permitted the erection
of a margarine factory in close
proximity and the intervention of a motor-boat works
between them and the river.
While Grafton House has
been considerably altered by
modern additions, Linden
House still presents a pleasing front, spacious and low in its proportions,
towards the south. The building is of two storeys, treated quite simply in
stock brick, the central portion projecting slightly beyond the face of the
main wall and surmounted by a plain brick-filled pediment. A further
slight projection in the centre marks the entrance with its flanking windows
and carries the lines vertically through the first floor. The horizontal
cornice of the pediment is taken round the rest of the house above the
heads of the first-floor windows, while above this the brickwork is carried
up to half the height of the pediment itself. The entrance is a charming piece of design. The door and the semicircular-headed windows on
each side are separated by Ionic columns, and flanked by pilasters which
carry a frieze and dentil cornice without any architrave, while the central
portion has a pediment. The whole design is in wood. The grouping of
the windows and door on the ground floor is repeated in the arrangement
of the first-floor windows, and the whole front, though unostentatious, is
an excellent example of the style of the middle part of the 18th century,
worthy of better neighbours than the present oil mills, which disfigure the
river-side and which Hammersmith could well afford to lose.
The two houses are now used as one residence, and in all probability
they were originally designed as such. In the garden is a wrought-iron
gateway of early 18th-century date and of excellent design. Whether it
originally belonged to the property or was brought from elsewhere is not
known, but it is not improbable that it has come from one of the early houses
on the Mall. The gardens have some old walls, and are of good size.
Historical and biographical notes.
Seagreens, the house which lay west of Upper Mall House, owed its name to a building or
estate which had a respectable antiquity. Now that it has disappeared and Weltje Road
occupies the site of the gardens, its memory is almost lost to Hammersmith. Sufficient information has not yet been obtained to enable us to give the full history or extent of the property,
but since it must hold an important place in any account of the Mall, it may be worth while
to give such data as are at present available, which will at least form some foundation for future
Two early references to Seagreens in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Fulham must be
given to indicate the antiquity of the name, although we have no precise evidence of its position.
In 8 Richard II. (1384–85) Richard, son and heir of John Stiler, is admitted to a messuage and
"10 akeware terre" in Fulham called "Segrnns"; and in 33 Henry VI. (1454–55) John Burton
surrendered to Robert Burton (son of William Burton) and Isabella his wife a garden of
wood called "Segrymeshaugh in Palengswyk," (fn. 2) where was formerly the tenement called
We have already referred to the gift of Edward Trussell to the poor when he closed the
old right of way across the Seagreens' property in the middle of the 17th century. (fn. 3) This
footpath is apparently referred to in an entry in the Fulham Court Rolls on 27th September,
1651, from which we learn that Edward Trussell and Susan his wife surrendered, inter alia,
to the purposes of the former's will, a messuage or tenement in Hammersmith, with gardens,
orchards, curtilages and backsides, and 2½ acres of land near adjoining to the messuage, as
well as a piece of waste, lately enclosed, formerly a common footway, lying within the garden
wall of the said messuage. A tablet formerly in the church commemorated the death in 1657
of Mary Green, a married daughter of Edward Trussell. The next reference to be found in
the Fulham Court Rolls is in 1681, after the death of George Trussell (who came into the
property during his father, Edward's lifetime (fn. 4) ), when Alderman Breedon (fn. 5) is given as tenant.
This is confirmed by the Hearth Tax Rolls, which give the name of Alderman Trussell at a
house, assessed at sixteen hearths, in 1666, and Alderman Breedon at the same house in 1674.
At the Court of the Manor held in 1681 George Trussell's death was recorded, and it was stated
that, his son Edward Trussell being also dead, his daughter Elizabeth became heir to his estate,
and she was admitted accordingly. Elizabeth Trussell subsequently married Francis Merrick, (fn. 6)
and in 1707 their son, John Merrick of Southall, succeeded at his father's death. He left
the property by will to his sister Isabella, whose married name was Nelson, and Isabella Nelson,
widow, was admitted in 1749. At her decease in 1770 her nephew, Francis Ascough, "of
Southall," inherited the property under her will, and in 1786 he surrendered it to George
Merrick Ascough, his son. The latter sold the premises in 1790 to Louis Weltje. In all
these entries in the Court Rolls the description varies little from the last, which runs: "all
that customary messuage or Tenement situate on the Mall in Hammersmith called Seagreens
with the appurtenances and two orchards, curtilages and courtyards to the said messuage
belonging or appertaining."
Faulkner, (fn. 7) after referring to Edward Trussell, says that Seagreens "was subsequently
occupied by William, Lord Allington, his son-in-law, Sir George Warburton, Sir Thomas
Beavor and a Duke of Norfolk." The house was divided into two parts at a later date, and
in a document quoted below (1751) the tenants are given as Mrs. Russell and Mrs. Alexander.
Faulkner also mentions that the house was "divided into two separate dwellings" when in
the occupation of Christopher, brother of Louis Weltje.
The actual date of the erection of Linden House and Grafton House has yet to be ascertained, but the following notes relate to the property. In the sale of the Manor of Palingswick
by John, Eleanor and William Payne to Richard Gurney in 1631 (fn. 8) were included one messuage
with appurtenances and 3 acres and 2 roods of land in possession of Richard London. Dame
Elizabeth Gurney disposed of the property in question to Maximilian Bard in 1651, on which
occasion it is described in detail. The messuage and I acre have already been dealt with
under the head of Upper Mall House. (fn. 9) The description of the remainder is as follows: "Also
all that close of land in Hamersmyth, now or late in occupation of Richard London . . .
containing 2½ acres, being now planted with fruites and herbs and made and converted into
an orchard and garden, abutting east on the land now or late of the said Richard London,
west and north upon the land of John Lasleyes, and south on the river of Thames." The
property is mentioned in precisely the same terms (save that the occupiers are said to be Richard
London, then Mrs. Winter, since Richard Rawlins) in a mortgage (afterwards redeemed)
dated 24th November, 1716. (fn. 10) On 25th October, 1733, Dame Persiana Bard sold it (fn. 11) to
Samuel "Bever" of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, woollen draper. In addition to the names
of the three former occupants, as above, being mentioned, it is stated to be in the occupation
"now of the said Samuel Bever," and to comprise, in addition to the orchard, etc., "all that
messuage or tenement and dwelling house (heretofore divided into two tenements) thereupon
There can be little doubt that the 2½ acres comprised the land on the east of Beavor Lane
containing the sites of Linden House and Grafton House on the south and of Beavor Lodge
on the north, all three of which are known to have been in Bever's possession, though it must
be admitted that the description of the eastern boundary in 1651 as land of Richard London is
On 8th February, 1750–51, Samuel "Beaver" sold (fn. 12) to Isabella Nelson, executrix of her
brother, John Merrick, "all that parcell of land commonly called the Green Walk or Green
Lane (fn. 13) in Hammersmith lying between the land of the said Isabel on the west and the land
of the said Samuel Beaver all along on the east side, and abutting chiefly on a certain messuage
or house standing at the lower end of the said Walk or Lane and near to the River Thames,
but some part thereof on the said River Thames on the south, and on the London to Brentford
Road on the north." In the release the grantor is said to assign a way or passage into, through
and over a piece of ground called the Wharfe or Mall at Hammersmith, lying between the
River Thames and the said Samuel Beaver's brick wall before his two houses in the occupation
of Mr. Clarke and Mr. Winter, "with full and free liberty and licence for the said Isabella
Nelson . . . and tenants for the time being of her two messuages or tenements and premises
at Hammersmith . . . called Seagreen in the occupation of Mrs. Russell, widow, and Mrs.
Alexander, widow . . . to use and enjoy the said way or passage by passing and repassing
through and over the said piece of ground . . . from the lower end of . . . the Green Walk
. . . to the said messuages . . . called Seagreen." The two houses belonging to Bever are
evidently Linden House and Grafton House, and are met with eight years later when Bever
mortgaged (fn. 14) "those two messuages or tenements, adjoining to each other, with the gardens,
yards, stables and coachhouses thereto belonging, and also all, that piece or parcell of Land
laying [sic] contiguous thereto containing about half an acre used for the drying of Linnen . . .
abutting to the south on the River of Thames, west on a lane commonly called the Washway, (fn. 13)
north on lands of Samuel Bever in the occupation of William Bedcut, (fn. 15) east on lands of Isabella
Nelson in the occupation of Stephen Ranwall." The two houses were at that time in the
tenure of John Winter and Thomas Walter Young, and thirty-seven years later they were, as
we have seen from the rate-books, occupied by Thomas Winter and a Mr. Barford.
Old prints, drawings, etc.
(fn. 16) View of Seagreens in the "View of Hammersmith" by J. Boydell, 1752.
(fn. 16) Internal door with date and initials (drawing by A. O. Collard).
In the Council's ms. collection are:
(fn. 16) Plans of Linden and Grafton House (measured drawings)
(fn. 16) South front (photograph).
Centre of south front (photograph).
Entrance doorway (photograph).
(fn. 16) Detail of the same (photograph).
(fn. 16) Detail of the same (photograph).
(fn. 16) Wrought-iron gate (measured drawing).
View of same (photograph).