Conservation of Fulham Palace Historic Grounds Moves Ahead

A report by landscape architects The Landscape Agency represents a significant step in the restoration of the grounds of Fulham Palace.

Fulham Palace
The main façade of Fulham Palace

The Conservation & Management Plan, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, contains recommendations for improvement works at the West London site to be implemented over a number of years.

The Thames-side site is the former home of the Bishops of London, several of whom were leading horticulturalists and responsible for the collection and introduction of many species of garden plants and trees. The grounds, owned by the Church Commissioners and leased by LB Hammersmith & Fulham, are currently used as a public open space with a museum housed in the Palace.

Fulham Palace Facts

As well as providing a park for local residents, the designed landscape contains exotic plant species which were introduced from abroad in the 16th and 17th centuries. A handful of notable specimens survive. The landscape also contains some modern botanical species.

The Landscape Agency's report included an analysis of the designed landscape's 1000-year history, together with a detailed survey, ecological and arboricultural assessments. Proposals were developed through a process of consultation with valuable input from local stakeholders, including the neighbouring Fulham Palace Meadows Allotments Association.

Work Begun

Implementation of the ten-year restoration plan has already begun, with much of the work being carried out by the team of on-site gardeners. The buildings are currently undergoing a major programme of restoration backed by £4 million of lottery funding.

The report will be used to help secure further funding HLF funding for future projects, such as rebuilding the derelict early 19th century vinery, and the development of a working organic kitchen garden in the two-acre walled garden.

Scott Cooper, Director of Fulham Palace, commented "[The Landscape Agency] team has managed to steer diplomatically through the various interests of the stakeholders, whilst at the same time putting the needs of the landscape first. The report recognises the historical importance of the estate, whilst making appropriate recommendations of changes where necessary. This is a well considered, well argued, succinct, readable and practical landscape management plan."