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In reality, however, the project was over budget and delayed by contractor bankruptcies and only opened in 1828, when railways were already gaining traction.The short-lived canal concept did however leave a legacy: the creation on Lillie's land of a brewery and residential development, 'Rosa' - and 'Hermitage Cottages', and several roads, notably, the Lillie Road connecting the canal bridge, (Lillie Bridge) at West Brompton with North End Lane and the eventual creation of two railway lines, the West London Line and the District line connecting South London with the rest of the capital.In 1792 it was occupied by Charles Alexander, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach and his wife, and in 1820 by Caroline, consort of George IV.His non-political 'wife' was Maria Fitzherbert who lived in East End House in Parson's Green. The 19th century roused Walham Green village, and the surrounding hamlets that made up the parish of Fulham, from their rural slumber and market gardens with the advent first of power production and then more hesitant transport development.In recent years there has been a great revival of interest in Fulham's earliest history, due almost entirely to the efforts of the Fulham Archaeological Rescue Group.This has carried out a number of interesting digs, particularly in the vicinity of Fulham Palace, which show that approximately 5,000 years ago Neolithic people were living by the riverside and in other parts of the area.Fulham has a history of industry and enterprise dating back to the 15th century, with pottery, tapestry-weaving, paper-making and brewing in the 17th and 18th centuries in present-day Fulham High Street, and later involvement in the automotive industry, early aviation, food production, and laundries.Lillie Bridge Depot, a railway engineering depot opened in 1872, is associated with the building and extension of the London Underground, the electrification of Tube lines from the nearby Lots Road Power Station, and for well over a century has been the maintenance hub for rolling stock and track.
This attracted a host of other automotive enterprises to move into the area.
The last farm to function in Fulham was Crabtree Farm, which closed at the beginning of the 20th-century.
A principal recorder of all these changes was a local man, Charles James Féret (1854-1921), who conducted research over a period of decades before publishing his three volume history of Fulham in 1900.
Meanwhile, another group of local landowners, led by Lord Kensington with Sir John Scott Lillie and others had conceived, in 1822, the idea of exploiting the water course up-river from Chelsea Creek on their land by turning it into a two-mile canal.
It was to have a basin, a lock and wharves, to be known as the Kensington Canal, and link the Grand Union Canal with the Thames.