Brightwells is a name synonymous with the history of Fulham, having been the manor house of John Tamworth, privy counsellor to Queen Elizabeth I.
Tamworth, born in 1524, came into favour early during Elizabeth’s reign (1533 – 1603) and was given several posts at Windsor Castle.
He was chosen in 1565 to go to Scotland to intercede with the Queen’s sister Mary Stuart on behalf of the Scottish Lords who had opposed her marriage to Lord Darnley.
His mission failed, and he reported that Mary spoke to him “some sharp words that biteth the quick”.
Tamworth died in 1569 and is buried in Fulham.
The original estate covered about 20 acres including what is now Eel Brook Common and the property underwent many incarnations in the centuries after Tamworth’s death.
According to a 1795 history book “The Environs of London”, it was rebuilt by Thomas Carey, second son of Robert, Earl of Monmouth. He named it Villa Carey.
Carey’s daughter married into the family of the Earl of Peterborough and the estate became known as Peterborough House. By 1723, it is recorded that it was a fashionable musical academy frequented by “the most eminent musicians of the time”.
Today, what was Brightwells, is the area covered by Bovingdon,Chiddingstone, Chipstead and Quarrendon streets.