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.

    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

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    Next Talk 25 January is the 9th Nick Fuentes Memorial Lecture titled 'Reflections on fifty years of London archaeology: 1968-2018'.

    An appeal to trace the owner of a LOST WW1 MEDAL

    This is a plea for help in trying to trace a descendant of WILLIAM ANDREW MURPHY. A medal awarded to him was found at Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium on Remembrance Sunday. The medal is held by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

    It was found by a military historian who believes there is a strong connection to the Wandsworth/Lambeth/Battersea/Tooting area for the Murphy family. The Bampton and Seggars families may well be descendants of William Andrew Murphy.

    If anyone can help with tracing the owner please contact us via the email above.

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    West London Local History Conference - 30 March 2019 - Entertainment in South & West London

    Once again the WHS is a major participant in this popular local history conference. Click [here] to check out the fascinating range of presentations this year. Among them WHS member Neil Robson will be showcasing our particular district by describing the social impact of the music hall on south-west London.

    The conference takes place in The Paragon on the Brentford Campus of the University of West London, a venue which boasts a handsome lecture theatre, a handy cafeteria, and free parking. The site is a short distance from Brentford Station (SW Trains) and Boston Manor Station (Piccadilly Line). Tickets cost £15.00. For further details or to book a place, just drop an email to Neil Robson (020neil119@gmail.com).

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    7th September 2018 - New 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.

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    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.

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    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

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    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.

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    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:

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    Last site update: 12 December 2018