Survey of London: Volume 6, Hammersmith. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1915.
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XXX.—Nos. 22 And 24 UPPER MALL, And The Site Of DAY'S BAKERY (Formerly The SUN INN)
Ground landlord, leaseholders, etc.
General description and date of structure.
The plan and photographs of these two houses point conclusively to the fact that they formed originally one dwelling, and from certain of the architectural details, notably the staircase of No. 24, we may learn that the building belongs to the end of the 17th or the beginning of the 18th century. The earliest entry regarding the house in the Court Rolls occurs in 1719, but since it refers to the former owners by name (vide infra) it corroborates the evidence of the architectural style.
The division into two houses has resulted in a curious interlocking of the two properties, which is rendered more complicated by the close proximity of Kelmscott House (see Plate 67), from which the occupier of No. 24 rents a scullery. In No. 24 are the more important survivals from the old house. On the ground floor the kitchen and back sitting-room retain their old sashes with heavy glazing bars. A large recess behind the fireplace in the latter has a small window, above which, on the first and second floors, are small casements. This room on the ground floor is panelled throughout, as is also the staircase, which has square newels, moulded string and handrail and well-designed balusters. These are of late 17th-century character, but are somewhat slight, with the exception of those of the upper landing on the second floor, which are earlier in design and size. On this landing is some heavy bolection-moulded panelling which probably formed part of the decoration of the original house, and also an old twopanel door with an old lock and drop handle.
The south front of No. 22 was apparently raised at the end of the 18th century, when the entrance-door with its side windows and semicircular fanlight was inserted. A little later, perhaps, the curved bay-window on the garden side was added, having the characteristic triple division of lights of the period, their frames decorated with reeding. There are some good chimney-pieces in both houses, and a doorway on the second floor of No. 22 has a carved doorcase with pilasters and enriched entablature of the Adam period, surmounted by an elaborately carved frieze and cornice taken from elsewhere, but of a similar date.
Condition of repair.
Historical and biographical notes.
An entry in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Fulham under date 11th November, 1719, records that Thomas Dickens, lately deceased, devised by will (dated 24th August of the same year) to "Rachel Dickens, his daughter, wife of Francis Dickens," a messuage called "Osburnes Tenement, (fn. 1) lately Vennor's, and divers lands joining and pertaining to it situate near the river Thames." This property, as is made clear by the title deeds of No. 24, (fn. 2) included the sites of Nos. 22, 24 and Kelmscott House (No. 26), Upper Mall. Thomas Dickens of Fulham and Francis Dickens of St. Giles' (his son-in-law) were successively Stewards of the Manor of Fulham. The former is the earliest owner of the original house (now incorporated in Nos. 22 and 24 Upper Mall) to be found in the Court Rolls, but we shall notice later (p. 76) that the Rivercourt Estate in 1658 is described as bounded on the east by "lands of Thomas Witham, Gent," who must thus have been a former owner.
When Catherine of Braganza resided at the adjoining house in the Mall, she took Nos. 22 and 24 also, for her household. From the accounts at the Public Record Office (quoted on p. 79) we find that the rent was paid to Richard Vennor from 1694 until 1706, in which year his name is replaced by that of Thomas Dickens, who apparently had just acquired the property. From the title deeds we find that in 1747 it passed from Rachel Dickens to Joseph Jones, whose son Joseph in 1765 surrendered it to Thomas Harrison. This agrees with the documents relating to the copyhold field adjoining Sussex House (to the rear of Nos. 16, 18 and 20), which describe the western boundary as "premises formerly of Mr. Harrison." Harrison died on 17th November, 1783, and by will (dated 27th October, 1780) left the house to Elizabeth, second daughter of his nephew, Henry Webb. The description of the property at her admission is as follows: "a copyhold messuage on the Great Mall with a large warehouse facing the Thames, stable and garden and little grass field late in the occupation of Mrs. Nicholls and now of Mr. Stavely." By 1790 we find that the warehouse has given way to Kelmscott House (q.v.) with Colonel Ralph Winwood as tenant, and in this year he purchases the copyhold of the whole property on the surrender of Samuel Webb. The grass field is divided between the new walled garden of Kelmscott House and the grounds of the earlier building which is thus described: "also a messuage adjoining [i.e. to Kelmscott] with stable and garden, which garden is other part of the said grass field, late in occupation of John Day, Baker, but now empty." In 1797 Colonel Winwood gives place to James Smith, and the house is occupied by Elizabeth Hernon, widow. No information is available as to the date of the division of the building into two houses (Nos. 22 and 24), although we have suggested that the appearance of the name of Sarah Raitt next that of Mrs. Mary [sic] Hernon in the rate-books for 1795–1798 may indicate that the former occupied the eastern half. (fn. 3) When Catherine of Braganza was here there were two houses on the site.
The baker, John Day, who is mentioned above as a former tenant, occupied as his bakery an ancient building which stood on the site of the flats now numbered 20 Upper Mall. This was originally the Sun Inn, and no doubt its garden reached to the waterside. Entries relating to it occur in the Court Rolls between the years 1718 and 1799, and in the latter year it is stated to be in the occupation of William Day. "Day's Bakery" has only of late been demolished, and a water-colour drawing of the building, in the possession of the late Mrs. Cutler, is reproduced in Mr. Warwick H. Draper's Hammersmith (1913).
Old prints, drawings, etc.
(fn. 4)Photograph of the group of buildings (with Kelmscott House) in the possession of Mrs. Chase.
In the Council's ms. collection are:
No. 22. (fn. 4)Entrance front (photograph).
No. 24. (fn. 4)Garden front (photograph).
(fn. 4)Staircase, ground floor (photograph).
(fn. 4)Plan of Nos. 22 and 24, with Kelmscott House (measured drawing).