|The Vineyard||Hammersmith & Fulham|
The Vineyard is an early C17th 3-storey house with C18th alterations that is said to be on the site of a Tudor monastery. The Gatehouse, now No.76A, is the former stable to the house and is probably early C19th. Remains of an early C17th barn were discovered under part of the house. The garden with its high boundary wall is probably the largest private garden in the borough. In 1918 the house was purchased by Lord Beaverbrook, whose political career began as an MP in 1910 when he moved to Britain from Canada and who went on to become the first of the powerful press barons, influencing public opinion through his newspapers, the Daily and Sunday Express. Winston Churchill was a frequent visitor to The Vineyard, which remained in the ownership of the Beaverbrook family until the 1990s. The garden as laid out for Lord Beaverbrook has changed over time, while its overall shape is unchanged and some trees remain, although part of the front garden was lost when the road was widened in 1930.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2009
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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.
Fulham remained undeveloped until well into the C19th, consisting of small settlements and a few grand houses, and it was renowned for the fruit and vegetables grown in the market gardens and nurseries. The name of the house indicates that there were also vineyards in the area. The land here was once owned by the Bishops of London who resided at Fulham Palace (q.v.) and comprised nursery gardens and meadows along the river, with a smallholding recorded here in 1660. The later history of the area is dominated by the development of Hurlingham House, Hurlingham Club (q.v.) and its grounds, and the surrounding suburban development.
William Maxwell Aitken (1879-1964) was born in Canada and showed his talents as an entrepreneur from an early age, publishing his first newspaper when he was 13. Already a successful businessman, he moved to Britain in 1910 and became MP for Ashton-under-Lyne the same year, and was knighted in 1911 by George V. In 1917 he was granted a peerage, becoming the 1st Baron Beaverbrook, the name derived from a place in Canada he knew as a boy. He briefly became the first Minister of Information in 1918 with responsibility for Allied propaganda, and later held political offices in Winston Churchill's government as Minister of Aircraft Production (1940-41), Minister of Supply (1941-42), Minister of War Production (1942) and Lord Privy Seal (1943-5). Lord Beaverbrook had a country residence at Cherkley Court near Leatherhead, which he purchased in 1911 and a town house near Green Park. He purchased The Vineyard in Fulham in 1918, and like Cherkley Court the house became the venue for meetings and parties attended by the powerful and influential people of the day, and sometimes had significant political consequences. The fall from power of the Liberal Prime Minister Lloyd George in 1922 was influenced by what became the 1922 Committee of Tory MPS, who reputedly gathered at a meeting hosted by Lord Beaverbrook at The Vineyard. His ability to influence public opinion came through his ownership of a chain of newspapers, particularly the Daily Express, in which he had bought a controlling interest in 1916 and transformed into a highly successful journal. He founded the Sunday Express in 1918, and in 1923 he bought the Evening Standard. After WWII the Daily Express had the largest circulation of any newspaper the world over.
The gardens of The Vineyard were laid out for Lord Beaverbrook in park-like fashion with formal flower beds and bedding plants, and contained two tennis courts. His sister later lived here and, a keen gardener, created additional formal flower beds, planting hybrid tea roses and irises. Lord Beaverbrook's grand daughter subsequently lived in The Vineyard and undertook further works in the garden, creating areas of different characters, including a woodland garden, wild garden and orchard, as well as more formal lawns and herbaceous borders. In addition to a vegetable plot the garden also supported beehives. The Dowager Lady Beaverbrook died in 1994. The Vineyard remains in private ownership.
Arabella Lennox-Boyd, 'Private Gardens of London', London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1990; LB Hammersmith & Fulham Hurlingham Conservation Area Character Profile, 1999. Information on Lord Beaverbrook on Beaverbrook Foundation website www.beaverbrookfoundation.org