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FULHAM BROADWAY District Line (Wimbledon)

Some interesting and unusual buildings can be found in this area.The walk can also be linked to Brompton Cemetery.The Tube exit is via Fulham Broadway Shopping Centre.   As you emerge, you will see theTown Hall opposite - a grand old building of 1888. Walk to the right - the bank over the crossroads was clearly also built to impress. Continue following Fulham Broadway and bear right to go down VanstoPlace past the 1920’s Samuel Lewis Trust Dwellings, an attractive set of buildings. Notice the clever use of horizontal tiles as a decoration.  Follow the road to the end and then turn left past The Malt House (originally the Jolly Maltster  pub, 1900). 

Go into Farm Lane skirting right round the church. Looking over North End Road you may blink slightly as you set eyes on the Fulham Baths with their eclectic architecture. I particularly like the statue of Neptune half way up the building. Nearby is the pretty facade of the old Cock and Hen pub - don't miss the bird perched on the top.  Turn left and walk down North End Road, following it round the bend into the Fulham Road. Here you will discover The Slug  (once the Red Lion - which explains the stone animal parading on its roof). This is a serious contender for the most confused building in London. Continue along the road, crossing Jerdan Place. 

Shortly you will be retracing your steps towards the Underground station, but this time go past it to have a look at  the Oswald Stow Foundation. Established in 1915, today it provides help with housing for ex-service personnel. The gate pillars have an impressive list of battles engraved in the stone. Continue for a few minutes until you reach  Chelsea Football Club. (Incidentally, you might want to check that are they not playing at home before you visit the area.) Go into the club forecourt and turn right.  Soon you will see the old Shed End wall. Opposite the main reception entrance is a passageway. The small buildings on the left have an interesting history, being part of the 'Italian Village' - quaint little studios with pantiled roofs built in the 1920's round a sculptor's bronze foundry. Among the painters who worked there were William Holman Hunt and Pietro Annigoni .  
Walk to the end of the Shed End path to get back to the Fulham Road.  Turn left and continue over Stamford Bridge until Billing Road.  Opposite is an octagonal building. This was originally part of an early teacher training college. Students in the galleries could observe classes below - the children being grouped round the centrally-placed fireplace whose  (octagonal) chimney stack you can see in the photo.  The college was set up in 1841 by The National Society for the Education of the Poor in the Principle of the Established Church - not what you might call a snappy title. To the left is a pleasant
pathway which is a cut-through to the Kings Road. It's worth wandering through this little park to get a good view of the handsome blocks of the original school, now apartments.  You can also catch a glimpse of the late seventeenth-century Stanley House in whose grounds the college was built.  Note the crinkle-crankle wall along the way - not many of those in London.

Return to the Fulham Road, cross over again and go down Billing Road,  an enclave of pretty Victorian cottages, plus a tiny pub, The Fox and Pheasant.  It's a strange area - originally adjacent to Counter's Creek a tidal tributary of the Thames - and an open sewer. In 1828 it was canalised, but the canal failed and a railway line was built in
its place, the creek becoming one of the 'lost' rivers of London.   After pottering about the streets that make up The Billings return to the Fulham Road and turn left. Soon you will reach the leafy avenues of Brompton Cemetery. If you wish to explore this great early Victorian burial ground, click here to go to the entry for West Brompton Underground, otherwise just walk straight through the cemetery to get to the station (turn left when you reach the Old Brompton Road). 

Photos left to right (click on image to enlarge)
Baths, Chelsea F.C.
Battle list
Old training college (2)
Stanley House, The Billings
Fox and Pheasant pub sign
This is just one walk from the many to be found at London Tube Rambles. There are architectural gems, beautiful country views, historic places and quirky buildings to be found in the area covered by the outer London Underground stations. Usually the discoveries are within a mile of the Tube - often only five minutes walk away. If you reached this as an individual page via a search engine, you might like to click on the link above see the other destinations explored. You'll be amazed at what's out there!

© DR