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Fulham Palace and the site it occupies has been a residence of the Bishops of London since AD 704, when Bishop Waldhere acquired the Manor of Fulham — a vast estate covering most of Hammersmith, Fulham, Acton, Ealing and Finchley. As bishops were called ‘Princes of the Church’ the estate became known as Fulham Palace.

photograph of a late 19th century garden party

During the World Wars, Fulham Palace was a refuge for more than the Bishops and their families. In 1918 a hospital for wounded soldiers occupied much of the house. During the Blitz in 1940 two hundred people stayed for several nights after their homes were destroyed by bombs.

Bishop Stopford was the final Bishop of London to live here, leaving in 1973. The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham ran the site until April 2011, when the independent charity Fulham Palace Trust was formed and took over the management of the estate.  Now Fulham Palace is being restored to its former glory.

This was the setting for today’s wedding between Leah and Will. With our brief being to play for their wedding breakfast we decided to set off mid morning arriving in Fulham just before lunch. This gave us plenty of time to scout out parking at the venue (which there was none) but had the advantage that we were able to park almost right outside the main entrance with the on street parking, albeit at a cost of £6 per hour!

Nevertheless this made things easier for later on when we had to unload and then later reload our instruments and kit.

Whilst we were passing the time, as well as a nice lunch in the gardens at Fulham Palace we also wandered to the nearby All Saints Parish Church where Jonathan Wikeley is the current organist and choirmaster.

We also took in the starting point of the Oxford and Cambridge boat race as well as a quick look at Fulham FC’s ground, at least from the outside. Then it was back to the venue for the job of the day which was to provide music for Leah and Will’s wedding breakfast.

Leah and Will had chosen a few songs which they wanted us to include in the set with the rest left up to us:

Kodaline – The One
John Legend – I’ll Get Lifted
Van Morrison – Days Like This
Phil Collins – A Groovy Kinda Love
Penny and the Quarters – You and Me
Sam Cook – You Send Me

We really enjoyed being part of this lovely wedding. Leah and Will make a lovely couple and we wish them every happiness in their married future together.

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