Nos. 6 to 9 Lower Mall

Pages 39-40

Survey of London: Volume 6, Hammersmith. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1915.

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Nos. 6 to 9 Lower Mall

XI.—Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 9 LOWER MALL

These houses form a pleasant group, but are all somewhat modern. They are, however, the successors of earlier houses on the same site, and may still have some portions of the older fabrics incorporated in the re-erected buildings. The building of the Suspension Bridge has cut a large hole in this part of the Lower Mall, and has altogether changed its aspect. Nos. 1 and 2 Lower Mall are also partly old, and in the former is a fanlight and hood over the door. Of the group further west, the doorway of No. 6 has an overdoor with reeded frieze on brackets; that of No. 7 has a broad architrave round a square frame enclosing a fanlight; and No. 8 has an Adam doorway with quarter columns on each side and a semicircular fanlight above. The history of these properties is by no means complete, but the following notes may prove to be of local interest.

The whole property is now freehold, belonging to Miss Julia King-Salter, the owner of Kent House (No. 10), but it was formerly held as copyhold of the Manor of Fulham. Nos. 6 and 7 occupy the site of a "messuage and orchard" (containing ½ an acre and 3 perches) called Bedles, (fn. 1) to which Sarah Spriggins was admitted in 1734. In her admission it is described as formerly occupied by Gerard van der Needen and Gilbert Laty. Peter Dupont married Sarah Spriggins in 1764, and in 1769 he surrendered the property to John Cruikshank. On the latter's death, in 1786, George Cruikshank succeeded. In 1811, on the admission of Joseph Purdon, the old house had probably been pulled down, for the property is described as three messuages, and in 1865, when the Rev. Peter King-Salter came into possession, we find him admitted to "all those two copyhold houses situate in Hammersmith Lower Mall in the several occupations of Joseph Allen and Captain Henry West, also all that messuage in Ship Lane being at the rear of Mr. Allen's messuage . . . formerly known as all that customary messuage called Bedles by estimation ½ an acre 3 perches which said premises consist of 3 messuages with the ground, gardens, etc. belonging."

Nos. 8 and 9 are smaller plots of land having a frontage on the Lower Mall, but being separated from Rutland Road (formerly Ship Lane) by part of the gardens of the adjoining Kent House. They seem to have been under one ownership during the second half of the 18th century, for in 1754 we find Robert Cary admitted to the property, which was afterwards divided. No further admission takes place until 1803, when Amy Askew and Mary Cary are admitted to two-thirds, and Adam Askew and his wife to the remaining one-third. The description of No. 8 in 1898, when it was enfranchised, reads "all that tenement on the Lower Mall continuing on the South side from East to West 20 feet and on the North side from East to West 25 feet," and in the same entry it is further described as "all those two cottages abutting South on the river Thames, North on lands belonging to Mrs. Kirkman, (fn. 2) East on a house in possession of Joseph Purdon, West on a house belonging to Thomas Wetherall, which now consist of Aston House and the site of Hope Cottage lately pulled down." Hope Cottage was apparently the house at the rear of No. 8 shown on the 1870 Ordnance plans but absent from those of 1894.

In the Council's ms. collection are:

Views of Nos. 6 to 9 (photograph).

Another view of the same (photograph).

Doorway of No. 7 (photograph).


  • 1. An earlier reference (one of several) to Bedles is found in the Fulham Court Rolls for 15th April, 1631: when the Homage presented that William Smith, citizen and grocer, of London, held a customary tenement in Hammersmith "vocatum Bedells" abutting on the Thames on the south, with an orchard adjacent leading from the north of the tenement to the common field called Pingsworth. The name is obviously derived from the Bedyll family. Henry Bedyll, "son and heir of John Bedille" (Court Rolls, St. Katherine's Feast, 19 Edwd. IV.), was "presented" in 5 Henry VII. (1489–90) for not having repaired the wharf facing the Thames in front of his dwellinghouse.
  • 2. This description is evidently cited from an earlier period, when the Kirkman family held Kent House, and Joseph Purdon owned Nos. 6 and 7.