|Fulham Palace Gardens *||Hammersmith & Fulham|
* on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens
Fulham Palace was a moated site and an important botanic garden from the C16th. From 701 AD - 1973 the land was owned by the Bishops of London, the Palace, built in the C16th, becoming their official residence in the mid C18th. Now a museum, it has elements of the Tudor, Georgian and Victorian eras. The gardens reflect the C18th landscape design and the walled garden contains remains of an early C19th vinery.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2010
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.fulhampalace.org
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
Photo: Colin Wing
Click photo to enlarge.
Site on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens, for Register Entry see https://www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list
There is evidence of human settlement in this area for some 2,000 years, with Roman presence followed by Saxon farming. The name Fulanharn or Fulanham is first recorded in the C7th and in 701 AD, when the Manor of Fulham was granted to the fifth Bishop of London, Bishop Waldhere, there was a church on the site of the current parish church of All Saints (q.v.). In the winter of 879 AD Viking raiders camped on the Meadow following their defeat in battle by King Alfred. They had demolished London Bridge, the only bridge over the Thames at that time, before rowing up the Thames to Fulham. While here they may have dug the moat, although archaeological excavations indicate it may date back to pre-Roman times. After the Norman Conquest, the bishops played an important role in governing the country. The earliest record of a bishop residing at Fulham is in 1141, and Richard de Gravesend (Bishop of London 1280-1303) was known to have spent time here.
Fulham Palace, which is reputed to be the largest moated site in Europe, was built between 1506-20 by Richard Fitzjames (Bishop of London 1506-22), and was one of the earliest brick buildings in England. Henry Compton who was Bishop from 1675-1713 was a keen gardener and arranged for rare plants to be shipped back from the colonies by the Anglican settlers in North America for whom he was responsible. As a result the plant lists for Fulham Palace garden included Lebanon and Virginian Red Cedars; black walnut, honey locusts, Judas and tulip trees; Indian bean trees, a cork tree and clustered pine. Compton's gardener at Fulham was George London (1653-1714), who founded his famous nursery in Brompton. Bishops before and since Compton are known for their interest in horticulture, particularly Edmund Grindal (Bishop from 1559-70), who is credited with establishing the botanic garden and introducing the tamarisk tree to England. Elizabeth I was annually sent grapes from the Bishop's garden at Fulham Palace. However the gardens created by Grindal and Compton were later replaced in the 1760s by Bishop Richard Jarvis. In the C19th Bishop Howley (1813-28) improved the grounds, and was succeeded by another keen botanist, Bishop Blomfield (1828-56). By then only part of the formal garden was retained and this has since gone. Bishop John Jackson (Bishop from 1869-85), who engaged Sir Richard Owen to identify the trees of Compton's introduction, was responsible for the creation of Bishop's Park (q.v.), which was formed from riverside land that was formerly on the flood plain of the Palace. It was sold to the local vestry for the public park, retaining the gardens in the ownership of the church. The Warren to the north and north-east of the Palace was converted for allotments in 1917, now Fulham Palace Meadow Allotments (q.v.) and in c.1960 St Mark's Secondary School was built in the north-west corner of the Warren. The 2km long moat that enclosed the palace was drained in 1921-24. After it ceased to be the Bishop's residence, Hammersmith & Fulham Council took a 100-year lease of Fulham Palace and its grounds from the Church Commissioners and the garden was opened to the public in 1976.
Fulham Palace is now a museum with displays of the history of the site including the gardens. The Walled Garden has an arched entrance with now eroded coat of arms of Bishop Richard Fitzjames
Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (Penguin, 1999 ed) p 237-8; John Archer, Daniel Keech 'Nature Conservation in Hammersmith & Fulham', Ecology Handbook 25, London Ecology Unit, 1993. See Hammersmith Council website Historical Sculptures Search