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, Wandsworth High Street, SW18, 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.

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


    Our next talk on October 26th is about 'A Roman Villa in Walthamstow' by Shane Maher of
    Pre-Construct Archaeology


    7th September 2018 - New Wandsworth Paper just out!

    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 - New 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.

    Roomy Villas

    October 2017 - Roomy Villas: the story of Southfields Grid and its surroundings
    by Neil Robson

    Now available on line for free!

    It is nearly twenty years since Roomy Villas first made its appearance, and over that time this account of the history of the Southfields Grid area from the 1880s has proved exceptionally popular. As a result its author has decided to place the book in the public domain and make a digitised version of the original easily available at no cost to anyone who may be interested.

    To access your copy for free just click on this link [here]. The text is now fully searchable, and you can even download and save the complete book if you wish.


    July 2017 - More WHS research available on-line

    As part of our drive to make our past research more readily available to readers right across the world we have just added a further four significant articles from our archive.

    These cover such subjects as a Battersea railwayman's contribution to Victorian passenger safely, the development of a huge block of alms-houses on East Hill, Wandsworth in the 1840s, the eighteenth-century theologian who lived with the family of Edward Gibbon near Putney Hill, and the fateful election visit Churchill made to Tooting during the summer of 1945.

    Just click WHS Research and you will be taken straight to a full list.


    The Tooting Common Heritage Project

    Tooting Common

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

    The Heritage Lottery funding for the second stage of the project has now been awarded, some £1.4 Million to be spent in various ways between 2017 and 2019. There is a WHS representative on the project steering group. A professional historian is in the process of writing up the historical research as the "Tooting Common Story".

    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 recently restored fountain and its dedication plaque.

    Tooting Common


    Wandsworth Museum

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

    The former Friends of Wandsworth Museum organisation has been wound up.


    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 October 2018