Hammersmith Broadway, W6

Place Name

Originally a hamlet of Fulham Parish, so part of the estate of the Bishops of London. The exact origins of the name Hammersmith are uncertain.  It was first recorded in 1294 as Hammersmyth (it went through various spellings including Hameresmithe in 1312, Hamyrsmyth (1535) before taking the present spelling in 1675).  It is thought to come from the Old English words hamor and smiththe, suggesting this was a place with a hammer smithy or forge and so an area important for metal working – quite some advertising. Others however believe it derives from Hammoder’s Hythe, meaning a safe haven or a landing place belonging to Hammoder. In any case the Broadway is literal, here stood the crossroads between the Great West Road to Brentford and crossing from the Fulham river crossing to Shepherd’s Bush. As such it became a focal point of the area with two ancient inns serving the traffic. Such a location would also be the ideal place for a blacksmith to set up shop to maximise passing business.

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