Living in Brackenbury Village

Living in Brackenbury Village

There are a great many reasons why living in Brackenbury Village, one of the most sought-after parts of west London, is such a desirable prospect.

Brackenbury Village, in central Hammersmith, spans the area between King Street and Shepherd’s Bush.

Brackenbury Road itself runs down the middle of this largely Victorian network of attractive streets full of sturdy, well-maintained terraced houses, typically with bay windows, and flat-fronted cottages.

There is a real sense of community and belonging among residents who feel insulated from the hustle and bustle that’s just around the corner, while enjoying hidden-gem shops, pubs and eateries as well as having easy access to fantastic transport links – west to Heathrow and east into London.

This blog explores life in Brackenbury Village, starting with a brief history of this intriguing part of the capital.

Brackenbury Road

A brief history of the area

The orchards and vegetable beds that once served London’s rapidly rising population in the 18th Century stretched north from the Thames, filling the area that eventually became known as Brackenbury Village.

From peas to cucumbers, strawberries and asparagus, the land proved productive, interspersed with small piggeries and cattle farms.

Irrigated by the Stamford Brook, Bradmore Fields (as the district was once known) also included acres devoted to cultivating landscaping plants, and only began filling with people in the early 1800s as pubs began appearing in King Street and other thoroughfares.

But it was the arrival of the railway in 1864 that led to rapid growth. With regular trains chugging to central London on the Hammersmith & City Railway, houses, shops, churches, light industrial factories and schools started springing up, many built with bricks baked in a factory in Cambridge Grove.

Hammersmith Grove was laid out by housebuilder George Wimpey in 1898, while local work was plentiful along the busy riverbank, on wharves and in breweries, and in the businesses using the Thames as a transport artery.

The Metropolitan Borough of Hammersmith was created in 1900, and while the area went into a decline in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, gaining a reputation as one of the shabbier working-class suburbs of the capital, in dire need of regeneration, it has bounced back spectacularly.

Steadily improving through the 1980s and 90s, it’s now transformed into a highly desirable area preserved by conservation rules and overseen by a thriving residents’ association. The neighbourhood is now one of the most unique and popular in West London.

At its heart is the southern end of Brackenbury Road, where the street splits and wiggles into Aldensley Road and Banim Street, where it’s a matter of local pride to support and encourage the independent businesses that add so much to the village character, and where some of the finest architecture can be found.

So where is Brackenbury Village?

Brackenbury Village is ideally positioned for access to Hammersmith station the main shopping centres and the local green spaces.

King Street is to the south, Goldhawk Road to the north, Ravenscourt Park to the west and Hammersmith Grove to the east.

What about the area’s green spaces?

Ravenscourt Park, on the western edge of Brackenbury Village, is one of London’s loveliest parks – a glorious asset, and a favourite of residents, with more than 600 trees. Among them are some unusual specimens, including a Dawn Redwood, a Yellow Buckeye, a Red Oak and a Caucasian Wingnut.

The park boasts several children’s play areas, tennis courts and vast open spaces to be enjoyed.

Ravenscourt Park

Brackenbury Village shops

The little cluster of shops in the heart of Brackenbury Village includes the traditional and busy Stenton Family Butchers, the Village Food Hall to stock up on groceries, and Sisi Hardware is a shop run by folk who know their stuff and are happy to share their wisdom, stocking all the DIY bits and bobs you need, plus key-cutting and tool repair.

Hepsibah is a landmark combination hat shop and gallery at 112 Brackenbury Road, with rentable wall space for artists on the one hand, as well as a stunning array of couture hats to rent or buy. If you need a trim, options include Snippers and the VCSF hairdresser.

In easy walking distance of Brackenbury Village there is a huge range of restaurants and shops with Goldhawk Road to the north, and King Street to the south, Westfield Shopping Centre is also just a short distance away, around 15 or 20 minutes on foot.

Places to eat and drink in Brackenbury Village

It’s an area that boasts some notable pubs which also serve excellent meals. The Anglesea Arms in Dalling Road is one of the original gastropubs in the area that specialises in best-of-British food, such as pan-fried pigeon breast with truffled egg.

You’ll also get a warm welcome at the Thatched House, a Dalling Road pub that dates from 1855 and boasts a good menu of tasty pub grub. Or try the Andover Arms at 57 Aldensley Road. Built-in 1878, it’s an excellent hidden-away local. The house burger is very good, while the batter for the fish and chips is made with local London Pride ale.

Shops Brackenbury Village

An excellent Thai/Oriental eatery in the area is Poppy’s at 129 Brackenbury Road. For takeaways, Chillies at 127b Brackenbury Road is good for curries.

There’s also a bounty of good places to eat and drink in Hammersmith Grove, including the try-by-the-glass Brackenbury Wine Rooms, the artisanal Indian street food of Patri, The Grove pub and the Italian café and ice cream parlour Bertotti.

Areas are often defined by their cafes, and Brackenbury is no exception, with the trendy Pekoe Mellow Tea House near the Aldensley/Brackenbury junction the top choice for teas and coffees, and home-cooked Sri Lankan food. Eat outdoors when the weather’s nice.

Bears Ice Cream Company, a short walk from Brackenbury is a small independent family-run business. New flavours are added all the time, from basil, white chocolate chip & passionfruit to lavender jam and meringue. There are also a host of vegan options.

Schools in Brackenbury

At the heart of the area is Godolphin & Latymer School, with the former St John the Evangelist church incorporated into its scattering of buildings. Originally it was two separate educational institutions for boys, founded by 17th-century bequests, but they later merged, it is now a school for girls. Alumni include Kate Beckinsale, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Nigella Lawson and Hattie Jacques.

Brackenbury Primary School in Dalling Road is one of the district’s most imposing buildings, constructed over three floors in 1879, while other sought-after local state primaries include John Betts, West London Free School and Flora Gardens.

Property in Brackenbury Village

Brackenbury Village is one of West London’s most desirable residential areas.

The steady flow of people moving west from the heart of London to buy up leafier, larger homes in Hammersmith has been continuing for decades.

Terraced houses have been upgraded and extended, boosting the local market while retaining a solid, reassuring Victorian look. In terms of age, Cardross Street is one of the oldest in the neighbourhood.

Built in an era before the motor car, the side streets seem narrow by modern standards, but with so many handy tube stations, many get by quite happily without a jalopy.

Sensitively improved homes retaining original period features such as fireplaces and sash windows are the most sought-after, those with 40-foot south or west facing gardens, a garage or off-street parking, rarely become available to buy.

It is often the case that these properties are sold off market prior to any open advertising, given the competition to secure an idyllic family home in this peaceful leafy corner of Hammersmith.

House Brackenbury Village

Considering living in Brackenbury Village?

Brackenbury Village is an area with personality, attractive independent shops, neighbourliness and a sense of belonging.

It’s the kind of place where there’s always something going on, and where residents actually do know each other and chat over the garden fence.

Surrounded by tube stations and encircled by bus routes, the transport links are second to none, while the rich range of shops, stores and restaurants in King Street and Hammersmith Broadway are a short stroll away.

To talk to Horton and Garton about property in Brackenbury Village, whether you are selling, buying, letting your property or looking for a home to rent, get in touch for a no obligation discussion.