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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article refers only to the town of Wandsworth. For the wider area generally referred to as Wandsworth, see the separate article on London Borough of Wandsworth.

Coordinates: 51°27′52″N 0°11′33″W / 51.4644°N 0.1924°W / 51.4644; -0.1924

Wandsworth is located in Greater London

 Wandsworth shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ255755
London borough Wandsworth
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district SW18
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Battersea
London Assembly Merton and Wandsworth
List of places: UK • England • London

Wandsworth is an inner suburb of London on the south bank of the River Thames in south-west London. Wandsworth takes its name from the River Wandle, which enters the Thames at Wandsworth. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.[1]

Wandsworth appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Wandesorde and Wendelesorde. This means 'enclosure of (a man named) Waendel', whose name is also lent to the River Wandle.[2] It was held partly by William, son of Ansculf and partly by St Wandrille's Abbey. Its domesday assets were 12 hides, with 5½ ploughs and 22 acres of meadow. It rendered £9.[3]



Since at least the early 16th century, Wandsworth has offered accommodation to consecutive waves of immigration; from Protestant Dutch metalworkers fleeing persecution in the 1590s, to recent Eastern European members of the European Union.[4] An influx of French Huguenot refugees in the early 17th century is remembered in many local street names. There is a band of small and expensive terraced housing (known as The Tonsleys) behind Old York Road — the former centre of old Wandsworth — rising to an area of grander, terraced, semi-detached and detached housing along the roads bounded by West Side Wandsworth Common, Earlsfield Road and East Hill. In contrast, at the base of East Hill is a collection of high-rise council blocks.

According to an article in The Guardian in 2004:

Wandsworth has a greater proportion of people whose lifestyle, views and trends shape the zeitgeist more than anywhere else in the UK. Wandsworth, in other words, is groovier than everywhere else in Britain.

According to the Evening Standard"Wandsworth is the hotspot" for those people in London earning over £100,000.

Areas in Wandsworth

The River Front

A former wharf area, and now a long river walk towards Battersea Village and the West End. It is now lined with new apartment blocks, with several bars and restaurants. Notable pubs include The Ship Inn near Wandsworth Bridge. The Waterfront on Battersea Reach is a very large bar with excellent view towards Chelsea Harbour.

Wandsworth Common

Set back from the river, at the top of East Hill, containing an area known locally as "the Toast Rack" that has some of the most expensive townhouses in London[4] across from Bellevue Road containing several boutiques and the famous restaurant Chez Bruce, formerly Harveys, where chef Gordon Ramsay learned his trade, and which co-owner Bruce Poole gained a Michelin star in 1999, subsequently voted one of London's favourite restaurants in 2006. The area also contains one of Wandsworth's most impressive buildings, the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building, which now contains flats, a theatre school and the "Le Gothique" restaurant.

The Tonsleys/Old York Road

A residential area of old Wandsworth close to the river and town centre, so called because many of the street names have the word "Tonsley" included. It has a village feel with the Old York Road's cafes and shops at its heart. The area contains three notable pubs, the Royal Standard, the East Hill and The Alma. Brady's Fish Restaurant serves traditional fish and chips in comfortable middle class surroundings. The area was recently used as the location for the BBC TV series Outnumbered. Houses in this area, although small, sell from £600k to over £1 mil, and are desired because they retain their Victorian character and are in close proximity to the Wandsworth Town train station. The houses are very popular with city workers, lawyers, advertising executives and other professionals.

East Hill

An area of Large Victorian houses bordered by the west side of Wandsworth Common. The De Morgan Centre houses a collection of Victorian artwork.

Wandsworth High Street

A rather traffic-choked street, picking up much of the traffic from the A3, the High Street is dominated by the recently-regenerated Southside shopping centre, cinema and restaurant complex (formerly, and still and more commonly, referred to as the Arndale Centre).


Nearby is Wandsworth prison, which is the largest prison in the London area, and the second largest in Britain, after Liverpool.

Between the town centre and the river lies the site of Young & Co's Ram Brewery, in the heart of Wandsworth. Traditional draught beer was produced on the site from 1581, which made the Ram Brewery the oldest site in Britain on which beer had been brewed continuously. Until late in 2006, shire horse-drawn brewery drays were still used to deliver beer to local pubs. However, beer production was stopped in September 2006 when Young & Co merged their brewing operations with Charles Wells of Bedford and a new use for the site is being discussed. Young & Co however still have their Headquarters in Wandsworth.

One of the underpasses under Wandsworth roundabout was used in the opening scene of A Clockwork Orange, where a gang of youths beat up a rough sleeper using baseball bats.

The Pet Shop Boys' Iconic "west End Girls" Cover was shot in Charterhouse Works.

In December 2006, Sport England published a survey which revealed that residents of Wandsworth were the seventh most active in England in sports and other fitness activities. 27.2% of the population participate at least three times a week for 30 minutes.[5]

In the Genesis song "The Battle of Epping Forest" (from their album Selling England by the Pound) about a street fight between rival hoodlum gangs, the nearby prison is referenced: "And his friend, Liquid Len by name, Of wine, women and Wandsworth fame..."

Notable residents

Nearest places

Local attractions

Notable Restaurants

Notable bars and pubs

Places of interest

  • Wandsworth Museum and Local History Service

Places of worship


Nearest railway stations:

See also


  1. ^ Mayor of London (February 2008). "London Plan (Consolidated with Alterations since 2004)". Greater London Authority.  
  2. ^ Oxford Dictionary of British Place Names. p 482.
  3. ^ Surrey Domesday Book
  4. ^ a b Time Out London for Londoners. London: Ebury Publishing. 2006. ISBN 978-1-904978-52-7.  
  5. ^ Sport England. "Active People Survey". Retrieved 2007-01-27.  

External links

London/Wandsworth travel guide from Wikitravel

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

WANDSWORTH, a south-western metropolitan borough of London, England, bounded N. by the river Thames and Battersea, and E. by Lambeth, and extending S. and W. to the boundary of the county of London. Pop. (1901) 232,034. The name, which occurs in Domesday, indicates the position of the village on the river Wandle, a small tributary of the Thames. Wandsworth is the largest in area of the metropolitan boroughs, including the districts of Putney by the river, part of Clapham in the north-east, Streatham in the south-east, Balham and Upper and Lower Tooting in the centre and south. These are mainly residential districts, and the borough is not thickly populated. Towards the west, along the Upper Richmond and Kingston roads, there is considerable open country, undulating and well wooded. It is to a great extent preserved in the public grounds of Putney Heath, which adjoins Wimbledon Common, outside the borough, on the north; and Richmond Park and Barnes Common, parts of which are in the borough. Other public grounds are parts of Wandsworth Common (193 acres) and Clapham Common, both extending into Battersea, Tooting Bec (147 acres) and Streatham Common (66 acres), and Wandsworth Park bordering the Thames. The borough is connected with Fulham across the Thames by Wandsworth and Putney bridges. The annual Oxford and Cambridge boat-race starts from above Putney Bridge, finishing at Mortlake; and the club-houses of the principal rowing clubs of London are situated on the Putney shore. Putney Heath was formerly notorious as a resort of highwaymen and duellists. Among the institutions of Wandsworth are the Royal Hospital for Incurables, Putney; the Fountain and the Grove fever hospitals, Lower Tooting; the Clapham School of Art, Wandsworth Technical Institute; the Roman Catholic Training College for Women, West Hill; and Wandsworth Prison, Heathfield Road. The parliamentary borough of Wandsworth returns one member, but the municipal borough also includes part of the Clapham division of the parliamentary borough of Battersea and Clapham, and part of the Wimbledon division of Surrey. The borough council consists of a mayor, 10 aldermen and 60 councillors. Area, 9129.7 acres.

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