Hammersmith is a district of west London, located 4.3 miles (6.9 km) west-southwest of Charing Cross. It is the administrative centre of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.
It is bordered by Shepherd’s Bush to the north, Kensington to the east, Chiswick to the west, and Fulham to the south, with which it forms part of the north bank of the River Thames.
It is linked by Hammersmith Bridge to Barnes in the southwest.
The area is one of west London’s main commercial and employment centres and has for some decades been a major centre of London’s Polish community.
It is a major transport hub for west London, with two London Underground stations and a bus station at Hammersmith Broadway.
Hammersmith originally meant “Place with a hammer smithy or forge”, first recorded in 1294.
Hammersmith Bridge was first designed by William Tierney Clark, opening in 1827 as the first Suspension bridge crossing the River Thames. Overloading in this original structure led to a redesign by Joseph Bazalgette, which was built over the original foundations, and reopened in 1887.
King Street is Hammersmith’s main shopping street, named after John King, Bishop of London. It contains a second shopping centre called Kings Mall, many small shops, the Town Hall, the Lyric Theatre, a cinema, the Polish community centre and two hotels.
Riverside Studios is a cinema, performance space, bar and cafe. Originally film studios, Riverside Studios were used by the BBC from 1954 to 1975 for television productions.
The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre is just off King Street.
Hammersmith Apollo concert hall and theatre (formerly the Carling Hammersmith Apollo, the Hammersmith Odeon, and before that the Gaumont Cinema) is just south of the gyratory.
The former Hammersmith Palais nightclub has been demolished and the site reused as student accommodation.