Residence of the Bishop of London until 1973. Tudor red-brick courtyard with Georgian additions & Butterfield Chapel (1867). Walled garden. Two previous HLF funded restoration projects; a third is in progress due for completion spring 2019.
Samuel Pepys Cockerell (1814-18), William Butterfield (1866-1893),
Thomas Ford & Partners,
Museum, Historical house
Victorian, Tudor, Georgian
Fulham Palace was for centuries one of the country residences of the Bishop of London, (Lord of the Manor of Fulham) and in the later twentieth century became his only home. The Bishop will move to the Old Deanery, close to St Paul’s Cathedral in December. The building is a mixture of styles and periods, but what survives is a Tudor manor house with Georgian additions and a Victorian chapel. The house was occupied by the Bishop until 1973, by which time he lived in a flat, the majority of rooms being used (and still are) as offices. Fulham Palace still belongs to the Church. Since April 2011 the site has been run by Fulham Palace Trust (Reg. Charity No. 1140088). The gardens contain fine specimen trees and were famous in the C17th due to the zeal of Bishop Compton who imported new species from all over the known world. Tree maps are available in the Museum.
The Phase Two Restoration project (2010-12) included the Palace’s Walled Garden (C19th Vinery by Weeks of Chelsea rebuilt by Alitex in aluminium to its original design) and the adjoining Bishop’s Park. The Victorian stables were converted to the Jessie Mylne Education Centre (Thomas Ford Partnership). The work was funded by Hammersmith and Fulham Council with a grant of £3.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund. A section of the ancient moat (which enclosed the site until 1921) has been excavated either side of the bridge. It will remain dry. Note the new gates to the main entrance, copied from originals visible in photographs. The porter’s lodge 1821, was designed by the Reverend E. P Owen, an amateur architect. The pink colour was applied after scientific analysis. Both lodges have been modernised and are let for residential use. Phase Three of our HLF funded Restoration Project (total cost £3.8m) is in progress. The north range will be opened to the public for the first time in Spring 2019, and new displays and interpretation will be installed throughout the Palace.
WEST (TUDOR) COURTYARD
This is the earliest part of the surviving building. The Great Hall has a timber roof c.1495 (not visible from ground floor level), but was altered c.1750, 1815 and 1866. The rest of the courtyard was added c.1500-20, including the tower which is comparable to that at the Old Palace, Hatfield. The porch was remodelled for Bishop Howley c.1815. The south façade was refaced in 1853 as indicated by the dated badge of Bishop Blomfield. The fountain is by William Butterfield (1886), as is the Coachman’s Lodge (1893) at the entrance. The wooden gates to the courtyard have been dated by dendrochronology to 1493-5. The brickwork on the west façade is currently being restored.
The single block on the north façade for Bishop Sherlock incorporates a late medieval wall on the south side. This room with its magnificent rococo ceiling c.1753 was the main focus of the restoration project of 2005-6, with the help of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (£3.027m).
Gothick additions for Bishop Terrick: Stiff Leadbetter provided three new facades in the fashionable Strawberry Hill style in the 1760s, including a new chapel. The windows of the north façade remain, as well as three altered rooms on the south. Samuel Pepys Cockerell adapted the Palace from 1814-18 for Bishop Howley, removing the crenellations, adding an extra floor and remodelling the East Front.
The Victorian Chapel (Butterfield 1867) was altered in the 1950s for Bishop Wand after damage in World War II. It contains murals by Brian Thomas (1953) a window by Ninian Comper (1953) Victorian glass by Clayton & Bell, a mosaic by Salviati and an altarpiece by Kempe.
These form part of the alterations made to the East front. Formerly a dining room and library, they now house a permanent display on the history of the Palace including a scale (1:50) model by Ben Taggart (1998). The Museum opened in 1992 and new displays were installed in 2007. The shop sells books (including guidebooks).
The Palace can be hired for events and weddings. There is a programme of events and private tours can be arranged for groups. For further information ring 020 7736 3233 or visit www.fulhampalace.org