Bradmore House, Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, London W6

From the Historic England entry:

“Bradmore House is listed for the following principal reasons:

  • Architectural and historic interest: while much restored, the facade is a very good example of English Baroque domestic architecture; its re-erection, at considerable effort, in 1913 was a remarkable response at a time when the concept of preserving such buildings was barely nascent; * Interior: fine-quality early-C18 panelling and carved decoration salvaged from the original house, installed in 2002.

Bradmore House originated as an early-C18 extension to a large C16 mansion known as Butterwick House. The extension was built onto the north side of the house and may have been a remodelling of an existing wing. It was almost certainly built by Henry Ferne, Receiver General of Her Majesty’s Customs, who purchased Butterwick House in 1700 and lived there until his death in 1723. According to the late-C18 historian Daniel Lysons, the new wing was intended for Ferne’s mistress, Mrs Anne Oldfield (1683-1730), the leading actress of the day. This liaison is alluded to in Oldfield’s memoirs and probably began after 1712, but there is little else to authenticate the connection with Ferne’s house.

In 1739 Butterwick House was bought by Elijah Impey, merchant, father to Sir Elijah Impey, Chief Justice of Bengal. It appears that Impey divided the main house and wing into two, the latter becoming a school for several decades. Butterwick House was demolished in 1836. In 1913 the site was bought by the London General Omnibus Company (LGOC) and redeveloped as a garage.

At the behest of the London County Council (LCC), the fine baroque elevation, which faced east onto the garden, was dismantled and re-erected as the façade of the new LGOC offices fronting the garage, now facing west rather than east. The facade was jacked up to allow headroom for buses, with a large vehicle entrance in each of the wings leading to a shed behind. Also retained were two panelled first-floor rooms, the larger of which was incorporated into the new offices as a billiard room; this in turn was relocated to Trinity House Almshouses, Mile End, in the 1950s. The smaller room was installed in part at the Geffrye Museum, along with a brick alcove from the external stair on the north side which remains at the Museum. The garage closed in 1983.

Bradmore House was rebuilt in the baroque style in 1994 as part of the Hammersmith Broadway development, incorporating the restored early-C18 façade. The panelled room from the Geffrye Museum was installed at Bradmore House in 2002.

Although Bradmore House was long thought to be the work of Thomas Archer, one of the foremost architects of the English Baroque, there is no documentary evidence to support this attribution.”

From Survey of London: Volume 6, Hammersmith. Originally published by London County Council, London (1915):

“The London General Omnibus Company, at the suggestion and with the help of the London County Council, resolved to preserve the main architectural features, and were successful in reerecting the brick and stone front as the facade of their new offices. It now faces west instead of east, but the fine workmanship is visible to the public in Queen Street in place of being hidden in a private garden. The building has been set somewhat higher than originally, and the windows of the wings on the ground floor have been omitted to allow of the entrance doors. The fine decorative woodwork of the principal room has been refixed in the billiard-room, which was specially built to receive it. This woodwork is the property of the London County Council, and, in accordance with an agreement between the Council and the company, arrangements have been made for the public to have free access to the room on the first Monday of every month between the hours of 10 a.m. and noon. The brick niche has been carefully removed by the Council, and re-erected in Geffrye’s Garden, Kingsland Road, and the panelling of the second room has been refixed in its entirety in the Geffrye Museum.”

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