No 7 Hammersmith Terrace forms one of 17 tall, narrow houses, built on the north bank of the River Thames between Chiswick Mall and Lower Mall in the 1750s.
At this period Hammersmith and Chiswick were still villages, situated several miles west of the fringes of London proper. The rural character of this area was evident up until the 1860s, when Hammersmith Terrace was still bordered on its north side by market gardens.
By the time Emery Walker moved into the Terrace in the late 1870s the character of the area, and of the Terrace, had changed considerably. The market gardens gave way to smaller houses and industry such as waterworks, breweries, timber wharves, appeared along the river close to the terrace.
However, the area remained popular with various artists because of the beauty of its riverside location. As Edward Johnston’s daughter said of Hammersmith Terrace in her father’s biography:
“basements and no bathrooms – not so much as a tap above the ground floor – but they had great charm and a wonderful view and little gardens running down to the river wall.”
Other residents of the Terrace included the bookbinder T.J. Cobden-Sanderson (1840-1922), with whom Walker set up the Doves Press in 1900, the calligrapher Edward Johnston (1872-1944), and the art critic F.G. Stephens (1927-1907). Meanwhile Walker’s friend, William Morris, was a short distance away in Upper Mall.
Since the 1950s the industry has departed, and the riverside area has become increasingly residential and forms part of the Thames Path.