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John Betts House Hammersmith & Fulham


John Betts House was built in 1964 as almshouses for elderly people of Hammersmith in memory of Dr John Betts (1799-1875) by the Hammersmith United Charities. This was set up in 1923 to amalgamate the large number of small charities that provided for the elderly poor in Hammersmith. The almshouses are on land bequeathed by Betts that the Charities held as investment property. The rectangular building surrounds an enclosed communal garden planted with grass, trees, shrubs and flower beds. Behind the almshouses is the residents' vegetable garden.

Basic Details

Site location:
Goldhawk Road / Rylett Road

W12 9NJ ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Housing/Estate Landscaping; Private Garden



Listed structures:

Hammersmith & Fulham

Site ownership:
Hammersmith United Charities

Site management:
Hammersmith United Charities (Gardener: Jackie Thompson)

Open to public?

Opening times:
Has opened for Open Garden Squares Weekend
Has taken part in Open Garden Squares Weekend 9 times, most recently in 2018.

Special conditions:



Public transport:
Tube: Stamford Brook (District). Bus: 94, 237, 272

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2011
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Further Information

Grid ref:

Size in hectares:

Green Flag:

On EH National Register :

EH grade:

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

Local Authority Data

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.

On Local List:

In Conservation Area:

Conservation Area name:
Ravenscourt and Starch Green

Tree Preservation Order:

Nature Conservation Area:

Green Belt:

Metropolitan Open Land:

Special Policy Area:

Other LA designation:

John Betts House

John Betts House - Photo: Celia Lowe

Click photo to enlarge.


Fuller information

John Betts House is part of the Hammersmith United Charities' Almshouses, and was built in 1964 as accommodation for elderly people of Hammersmith in memory of Dr John Betts (1799-1875), on land he had bequeathed that the Charities held as investment property. A plaque on the site records that Betts 'gave this land and other property upon educational and charitable trusts in 1859'. The almshouses were originally built as a 2-storey rectangular building around an enclosed communal garden, but in the 1990s a third floor was added as part of major refurbishment; there are now 39 flats, with a guest flat and warden accommodation, and communal lounge and other facilities. Today the well-planted central garden has lawn, trees and shrubs, flower beds and a fountain. Hanging baskets and residents' container gardens adorn the balconies overlooking the garden, which is a past gold medal-winner in the London Gardens Society and Hammersmith and Fulham in Bloom. Behind the almshouses is the residents' vegetable garden with raised beds and a greenhouse, which is on land that was formerly stables of an old estate.

Hammersmith United Charities was set up in 1923 to amalgamate the large number of small charities that provided for the elderly poor in Hammersmith. The earliest of these was Dr Edwards and Bishop King's Fulham Charity, established as a result of the gift made in 1618 of £100 by Dr Thomas Edwards to enable land to be purchased for the poor in Fulham, shortly followed in 1620 by a gift of £20 by Bishop John King, after whom Hammersmith's King Street is named. Hammersmith became a separate parish from Fulham in 1834 and in 1863 the income and assets of the combined Charities of Dr Edwards and Bishop King were divided equally between a Fulham and Hammersmith branch, the latter later to become Hammersmith United Charities. From the C17th onwards individual benefactors continued to set up small charities with similar purposes, one such being Dr Betts. Hammersmith United Charities continues to provide for the well-being of elderly people in Hammersmith, and in addition to John Betts House, has Sycamore House providing 28 flats, which opened in 1955 and Gloucester House, a care home that opened in 1987.

Sources consulted:

OGSW booklet 2011; Hammersmith United Charities website; LB Hammersmith & Fulham 'Ravenscourt and Starch Green Conservation Area Character Profile', 1999

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