Survey of London: Volume 6, Hammersmith. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1915.
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LI.—BLYTHE HOUSE, BROOK GREEN (Demolished)
The present Augustine Road leading from the north side of Brook Green lies on the site of the drive which gave access to a large structure called Blythe House. This stood at the junction of Augustine Road and Blythe Lane, and the house and drive are clearly marked on Salter's map of 1830 (Plate 2). The house was in a dilapidated condition when it was pulled down, but our photographs (taken in 1902) show that it possessed remarkably good detail of the mid-Georgian period, including some ceilings of the time of the brothers Adam. The elaborate Ionic portico to the exterior was no doubt a very much later addition. There is reason to believe that the house replaced one of much earlier date.
Historical and Biographical Notes.
Since Blythe House is the only residence of any size of which we have any record in this position, it is probable that the following reference in the Manor Court Rolls refers to this property: On 11th May, 1652, a surrender is recorded to the use of Thomas and Mary Upman of a house in Hammersmith in the occupation of John Paget, Doctor in Physick. Fifteen rooms are mentioned, a passage to the highway, a garden to the east of the passage, a barn, stable, back-yard, and two newly built rooms adjoining the barn. Beside these is a parcel of ground planted with trees "lying east of the kitchen as far as certain barbery-trees now growing there overthwart the said orchard, eastward and westward, and adjoining to the common sewer there leading from Blinde Lane towards Brookes Green."
No area of the property is given and the description is somewhat vague; in general terms, however, it seems to apply to the area between Brook Green, the parish boundary (the common sewer), and Hammersmith Road. Blinde Lane may be that lane which Salter shows (Plate 2) leading from Hammersmith Road towards the sewer, or it may refer to a portion of what is now Blythe Lane.
Again, in the Court Rolls (6th December, 1792) we find that William Douce surrendered a capital messuage and large orchard on the north side of Brook Green formerly in the occupation of Susannah Downing, since of Charles Smith.
Faulkner says (fn. 1) that Blythe House is called in the Court Rolls "Blinde Lane House," and he states that it was an "ancient mansion, surrounded by large gardens," and "was occupied in 1740 by Captain Henry Doughty." In Warburton's map (1710) the house is also given as the residence of "Doughty Esq." The following is the substance of Faulkner's further remarks: For some time the house remained uninhabited and became the refuge of a gang of smugglers whose strange movements gave rise to a report that it was haunted. In 1801 the house furnished temporary accommodation to a community of Trappist nuns who later settled at Wimborne, and was afterwards occupied by Mrs. Wyatt as a Roman Catholic school. In 1826 Count de Puisaye, a French Royalist who had led an adventurous life in the support of Louis XVI, retired here. He died in the house in 1827 and was buried in Hammersmith Churchyard. In Faulkner's time Mr. J. H. R. Mott apparently lived here and carried out "great improvements."
In the Council's ms. collection are:
(fn. 2) Front of house showing portico (photograph).
Another view of same (photograph).
Large room on first floor showing ceiling (photograph).
(fn. 2) Detail of same ceiling (photograph).
Smaller room with ceiling (photograph).
(fn. 2) Entrance door (photograph).
Internal doorway (photograph).
Georgian fireplace (photograph).
(fn. 2) Fireplace of the Adam period (photograph).