|Samuel Richardson House||Hammersmith & Fulham|
Although Samuel Richardson House dates from c.1960 the original building on this site, The Grange, was built in c.1715 and was the home of Samuel Richardson and Sir Edward Burne-Jones in the C18th and C19th respectively. The house and gardens were later used by a company run by the Crowther family to display antique monuments, garden ornaments and statuary. The garden was used for allotments in WWII. Eventually the house was pulled down and Samuel Richardson House was built on the site, as part of the Lytton Estate. Behind the flats are the remnants of the garden, including some old trees.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/11/2011
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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.
Samuel Richardson House garden, December 2010. Photo: Chris Johnston/Lytton Residents.
Click photo to enlarge.
The Grange was one of a number of fine villas built at North End in the C18th, which remained a rural idyll into the C19th. It was built in c.1715 on the site of two cottages that were demolished for the double-fronted villa, which was occasionally used as two separate residences. The novelist Samuel Richardson and the Pre-Raphaelite painter Sir Edward Burne-Jones both lived here. Richardson from 1738 until 1754, when he moved to a house on Parson's Green (q.v.) and Burne-Jones from 1867 until his death in 1898. His wife Georgina was the aunt of Rudyard Kipling who visited them here as a boy and described his visits in his memoir 'Something of Myself' (1937). In chapter one 'A Very Young Person 1865-1878' he wrote: 'But, for a month each year I possessed a paradise which I verily believe saved me. Each December I stayed with my Aunt Georgie, my mother’s sister, wife of Sir Edward Burne-Jones, at The Grange, North End Road. At first I must have been escorted there, but later I went alone, and arriving at the house would reach up to the open-work iron bell-pull on the wonderful gate that let me into all felicity. When I had a house of my own, and The Grange was emptied of meaning, I begged for and was given that bell-pull for my entrance, in the hope that other children might also feel happy when they rang it.' He also wrote of playing with his two cousins in the garden where there was 'a sloping mulberry tree which we used to climb for our plots and conferences'. Other visitors to Burne-Jones and his family included William Morris who lived at nearby Kelmscott House (q.v.).
Burne-Jones built his studio in the garden, evidently quite a substantial structure. The garden at one time contained a grotto decorated with shells and fossils, and some of the garden plants were represented in his paintings, such as a briar rose, mulberry tree and walnut tree. The last private owners were the Crowther family, relatives of Thomas Crowther, who had established his thriving business in antique and architectural monuments in North End Road in the late C19th. During WWII the gardens were used as allotments, but the house was eventually demolished in 1957, one half of the house having become derelict by 1950. Samuel Richardson House was built on the site as part of the large Lytton Council Estate that now comprises 8 blocks, two of which recall the famous occupants of The Grange. Burne Jones House is the oldest block on the estate and was built between the wars; another block, named The Grange is on the site of Burne-Jones garden studio.
When The Grange still existed and in the early years of its current use, the gardens were used as open space, and there is a belief that they dated from Burne-Jones’s time. The garden is now for private use of residents of the estate and public access is no longer possible because of some infilling and security. However, the garden can be glimpsed through the now fenced-off entrance from the Grange, and the trees can be seen over the wall of the Samuel Lewis Trust Dwellings.
Bayliss p21; Barbara Denny, 'Fulham Past' (Historical Publications, 1997); Lytton Estate Tenants & Residents Association website has slide show 'History of The Grange'