Wandsworth Historical Society

Battersea : Balham : Putney : Tooting : Wandsworth Town

Old Battersea

St John's Hill and Clapham Junction, Battersea c.1905
The fountain, Battersea Park c.1906

The archaeology and history of Wandsworth

We meet regularly on the last Friday of the month (but not in August or December) for an illustrated talk on either the history or archaeology of London. The talks are at The Friends' Meeting House, 59 Wandsworth High Street, London, SW18 2PT, starting at 8.00 pm. Google maps link.

For full details of our forthcoming talks, please click here.

Membership of the Society costs just £12 a year for adults and £3 a year for students. In addition to the programme of talks, benefits of membership are:

  • 2 editions of our journal, the The Wandsworth Historian, every year
  • a regular newsletter
  • the opportunity to take part in the Thames foreshore survey.

  • The borough of Wandsworth covers 5 town centres:

    Balham Battersea Putney Tooting Wandsworth Town

    It also includes Earlsfield, Roehampton and Southfields.

    As a small voluntary organisation, we are unable to undertake any research for you.

    However some examples of WHS Research are available on line.

    For any inquiries about the work of the society, please contact the Secretary at: info@wandsworthhistory.org.uk


    Our next meeting: 28 February 'Caroline Ganley and the Women's Co-operative Guild in Battersea and Wandsworth' by Susan Demont.


    Another local event: At the Museum of Wimbledon. A special exhibition 'Mapping Merton' from January 18th to March 8th. The maps on display include several that cover Wandsworth.


    West London Local History Conference, 21 March 2020 - 10.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.

    University of West London, Boston Manor Road, Brentford

    Celebrations and commemorations in South & West London

    Once again the Wandsworth Historical Society is a major participant at this popular local history conference. Click [HERE] to check out the impressive programme of excellent speakers. On this occasion, WHS member Philip Evison will be telling the story behind the 'Grand Opening' of the ABC Regal cinema in Putney in 1937.

    The conference takes place on a site just a short distance from Brentford Station (SWR) and Boston Manor Station (Piccadilly Line). The campus offers a handsome lecture theatre as well as a handy cafeteria and free parking. Tickets cost £15.00. Do come and support this consistently stimulating local-history event. For further details or to book a place, just drop an email to 020neil119@gmail.com.


    7th September 2018 - Wandsworth Paper

    The Staff of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway in Battersea and Wandsworth 1856-1901 by Keith Bailey tells the story of the many thousands of nineteenth-century railway workers who were located in our area. Using surviving personnel records the writer paints a fascinating picture of the lives, careers and misdemeanours of a whole host of men and women who made an incalculable contribution to the well-being and efficiency of everyday Victorian life.

    Price £5; plus £2; for post and packing. Available from WHS, 119 Heythorp Street, London SW18 5BT or email via 020neil119@gmail.com. Cheques payable to 'Wandsworth Historical Society', please.


    26th January 2018 - WHS publication on Thomas Cromwell

    The Society has published 'Thomas Cromwell and his Family in Putney and Wandsworth', by Dorian Gerhold. By going back to original sources Dorian has uncovered new information and shown that certain things long taken as facts were actually the creation of a victorian historian. The cost is £5, plus £1 postage, from Dorian Gerhold, 19 Montserrat Road, Putney, SW15 2LD.


    The Tooting Common Heritage Project

    Tooting Common

    For information on this see the Tooting Common Heritage Project webpage.

    The project has now been completed and a book produced containing the historical research. There were a limited number of printed copies but it is also available online as a pdf via this link.
    The Common Story - A History of Tooting Common.

    Some background information from March 2014 when WHS had a Friday evening talk can be found here. Now updated to the past tense.

    The photos show the fountain and its dedication plaque which were restored as part of the project.

    Tooting Common


    Wandsworth Museum

    What was Wandsworth Museum is now part of Battersea Arts Centre. and has been rebranded as "Moving Museum". See the link of that name on their home page banner for details.


    Wandsworth Heritage Service

    The Wandsworth Heritage Service can be contacted at:
    Battersea Library,
    265 Lavender Hill,
    SW11 1JB.
    Tel 020 7223 2334
    Email heritage@gll.org

    Opening hours:
    9am-5pm, Monday, Friday and Saturday
    9am-8pm Tuesday and Wednesday
    Closed Thursday and Sunday

    The Heritage Service has its Archives Catalogue and a selection of historic photos available online via these links:


    Last site update: 11 February 2020