TQ2476 : Wisteria in the walled garden at Fulham Palace


Fulham Palace is of medieval origin. It was the country home of the Bishops of London from at least the 11th century until 1975, when it was vacated. The Palace is now managed jointly by the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and the Fulham Palace Trust, though it is still owned by the Church of England. It is freely accessible.

The two acre walled garden was first enclosed from 1764 to 1766. Separate kitchen gardens became fashionable in the late 18th century, due both to improvements in horticulture and the desire to move the smells and sights of cultivation away from the house. An estate map of 1838 shows the traditional layout with the garden divided by paths into four quarters and with a path around the perimeter. Fruit trees were planted along the paths and trained up the walls, whilst soft fruits and vegetables were grown in each of the sections. Flowers were also grown for the house.

The glasshouses and vinery at Fulham Palace were visible on maps of 1868. By 1888, 15 glasshouses were used for flowers and plants. By 1853 the Head Gardener was raising two crops of grapes a year in spring and autumn. When the Bishop of London was in his town house at St James’s Square, vegetables, fruit and cream from Fulham Palace would be sent there. The vinery and glasshouses have been recently restored. The tower of All Saints Church Fulham can be seen in the distance.