Our Patch March 2017 - Page 22

Our Patch March 2017

LOOKING BACK

RAVENSCOURT PARK

The estate of Pallenswick , which was part of the manor of Fulham , is recorded in documents from the 13th century onwards . It lay in open countryside between the present Goldhawk Road and King Street . The estate included a large house in extensive grounds with a moat , fed by the Stamford Brook .

One of the most well-known tenants of the Pallenswick estate was the infamous Alice Perrers , the mistress of the elderly King Edward III .
Alice held the estate in the mid- 1370s , but she had powerful enemies . She was eventually stripped of her properties by Parliament .
Later owners included prominent City merchants , lawyers or officers of state . In 1746 , Pallenswick was bought by Thomas Corbett , Secretary to the Admiralty .
He made improvements and largely rebuilt the house , which acquired the
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HAMMERSMITH

name of Ravenscourt , derived from the raven featured on his coat-of-arms .
In 1812 , Ravenscourt House and 60 acres surrounding it were sold to George Scott for £ 15,000 .
Scott came from a wealthy family who owned property in central London , as well as brickfields in Hammersmith . He encouraged development by allowing the building of houses within the estate park and in the area of St Peter ’ s Square .
Scott kept a close eye on the style of building by putting terms and conditions for the builders into the leases . He also insisted that the tenants take out fire insurance , even threatening to evict one woman who failed to do this .
In St Peter ’ s Square , he restricted the number of leases to tradesmen and excluded noxious trades .
Scott was on the management committee for the building of the first Hammersmith Bridge in 1827 , contributed to the extension of the Congregational Church , and also gave land for the building of St Peter ’ s Church and schools . His influence on the appearance and character of this part of Hammersmith was considerable .
George Scott died in 1859 and , after one further change of ownership , Ravenscourt House and 30 acres of parkland were sold to the Metropolitan Board of Works , which opened the park to the public in May 1888 .
In 1933 , memorial gates to Sir William Bull , MP for Hammersmith between 1900 and 1929 , were unveiled at the southern end of the park .
The house meanwhile was opened as Hammersmith ’ s first public library in March 1890 .
Its end came when on 21 January 1941 the building was damaged so severely by incendiary bombs that it had to be demolished . The stables survived and are now used as a tea room .