Hammersmith is a district in west London, England, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, approximately five miles (eight kilometres) west of Charing Cross on the north bank of the River Thames.
Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital is one of the oldest maternity hospitals in Europe, dating from 1739, and until 1998 occupied a site in Goldhawk Road
The hospital strictly dates its foundation to 1739 when Sir Richard Manningham founded a hospital of lying-in beds in a 17-room house in Jermyn Street. This was called the General Lying in Hospital, and was the first of its kind in Britain. Some sources date the foundation to 1752, the year in which the hospital relocated from Jermyn Street to St Marylebone, and first became a teaching institution.
In 1809 Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III, became its patron, having been persuaded by her son to become involved. A Royal Charter was incorporated in 1885 and when this was amended in 1924 the present name came into use. The hospital subsequently merged with the Chelsea Hospital for Women and is now based at the Hammersmith
Hospital site in West London to which it was relocated in 1998. The hospital was originally a voluntary hospital. At different times over the years the hospital has been located in Bayswater, on Marylebone Road and at Ravenscourt Park
. The Chelsea Hospital also moved site and used to be based in Chelsea, in the building now occupied by the Chelsea Wing at the Brompton Hospital.
Actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Radcliffe, Mischa Barton, and Dame Helen Mirren (who in 1994 portrayed the hospital’s namesake in The Madness of King George), musicians Zak Starkey and Steve Jones, athlete and politician Sebastian Coe, and writer Graeme K Talboys are among the many prominent people born at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital.
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One of west London's key transport hubs and commercial and employment centres, and home to several multinational company offices, it is focused on the two London Underground stations, bus station and road network node at Hammersmith Broadway
Hammersmith's pedestrianised riverside is popular for its many pubs, and excellent views of the river and its annual Boat Race.
The area has provided a location for several TV programmes. The Flying Squad were Hammersmith-based in the 1970s TV series The Sweeney
. It has for some decades been the main centre of London's Polish minority.
Hammersmith is served by two tube stations, one is the western terminus of the Hammersmith & City Line, the other by the Piccadilly and District Lines. Both are called Hammersmith. The latter tube station is part of a larger office, retail and transport development, locally known as The Broadway
after its large encompassing roundabout.
The present Hammersmith & City station is situated on Beadon Road
and opened on 1 December 1868, replacing the original station slightly north of here which opened on 13 June 1864 when the line extension was built from Paddington. The Circle line has served Hammersmith since 13 December 2009.
The Piccadilly and District line station was opened on 9 September 1874 by the Metropolitan District Railway (MDR, now the District Line) as the western terminus of the railway when it was extended from Earl's Court.