The name Fulham comes from the Saxon 'Fullenhame', meaning settlement of birds, presumably wildfowl along the marshy riverside. Fullenhame was a small fishing village at Putney Bridge, whilst Parsons Green, Walham Green and North End were all medieval villages that have become consumed by Fulham's growth over the years. Walham Green was the name of the area now known as Fulham Broadway, in fact the District line Underground station there was originally called Walham Green station.
Fulham Palace, one of the oldest buildings in the SW6 postcode, was once the provincial seat of the Bishops of London. The earliest of its surviving buildings date from 1480 however there were similar buildings on the site as early as 1066. In 1973 the house and grounds were opened to the public and now host weddings, open air film screenings and concert picnics.
Hurlingham House, near the southernmost tip of Fulham, was, in the late 1700s and early 1800s, a wealthy businessman's country retreat. In 1869 the house became the home of an exclusive sports and social club, and it was here, in 1874, that the first game of polo was played. Ever since then, the Hurlingham Club has been synonymous with polo and attracted royal spectators not only from the UK but around Europe too. With its grand neoclassical fade and notable alterations by the acclaimed architect Sir Edwin Lutyens at the turn of the 20th century, it is a formidable treasure of south-west London, and today the park hosts the annual Polo in the Park event.
In the 1700s and 1800s, Fulham's industry included paper-making, pottery, tapestry-weaving, launderies and brewing. During the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 20th century, Fulham was home to painters, engravers and even a bronze foundry and a stained glass studio.
The mainline that serves Imperial Wharf and West Brompton stations was built along the route of a short-lived project in the early 1800s to link the Grand Union Canal in North Kensington with the River Thames. Unfortunately the project became doomed once rail transport gathered traction and became a faster, more modern way to move goods around the capital.
Prior to around 1870, Fulham was completely unrecognisable when you compare it to today's densely populated streets, bustling shopping areas and busy arterial roads. When the area was predominantly laid to farmland, Fulham was considered an expanse of green countryside to which wealthy noblemen from central London escaped to at the weekend for parties and fresh air. By contrast, by the 1920s when all land had been built on, Fulham was a predominantly working class district packed with modest family homes.
Housing developments for the lower classes were built around the turn of the 20th century on land that was previously used for market gardens and gentlemen's estates. The streets leading off Munster Road were built on the site of fruit and vegetable fields which served central London markets, and the 'Alphabet Streets' between Fulham Palace Road and the river were built on the site of a farm. In the south of the area, near Parsons Green, the grand Peterborough House was demolished in the late 19th century and redeveloped as the Peterborough estate. The area, made up of around a thousand terraced houses in a network of ten streets, is characterised by the small stone lion sculptures at the top of each house's front gable. Houses here have largely remained family homes and with the increasing popularity of basement and loft conversions here, the accommodation in some houses extends to over 4,000 square feet. Originally advertised for just £300 in 1899, these houses now change hands for between £2 and £4 million, depending on their size.
To find out which area of Fulham has the right property for you, call our lettings team on 020 8741 2200 or our sales team on 020 8994 9886.