Chiswick is a suburb of London, located on a meander bend of the River Thames in the west of the city. The name is from Old English and means ‘Cheese Farm’ – until the 18thcentury a cheese fair was held annually in the meadows by the river. Originally a fishing and farming village, by the early nineteenth century trade was beginning to wane as the pollution of the River Thames meant it could no longer be successfully fished. As Chiswick was easily accessible it had often been used as a country
retreat, and during the nineteenth century it was one of the places turned to by the population moving out of over-crowded London. The population grew almost tenfold during the 1800s and into the twentieth century; it was officially made a municipal borough in 1932. Chiswick is also known as the home of the Palladian villa Chiswick House and the 350-year-old brewery Fuller, Smith & Turner P.L.C., and it was the site of the Royal Horticultural Society’s first flower shows and school, before they moved to Wisley in 1904.