Wandsworth Historical Society

The archaeology and history of the Borough of Wandsworth

Battersea : Balham : Putney : Tooting : Wandsworth Town

Historical Images

St John's Hill and Clapham Junction, Battersea c.1905
The fountain, Battersea Park c.1906
The Small Lake on Wandsworth Common c.1905

Monthly Talks and Other Events.

We normally meet regularly on the last Friday of the month (but not in August or December) starting at 8.00 pm for an illustrated talk on either the history or archaeology of London.

The talks are held at The Friends' Meeting House, 59 Wandsworth High Street, London, SW18 2PT. Google maps link.

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

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The next talk is on 26th April

'The calico people', about the calico printers of the Wandle valley by John Sheridan.

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Wandsworth Heritage Festival from 18th May - 9th June 2024

The theme is 'Health and Wellbeing'. Here is a link to the Programme of Events

Membership of the Society

Membership of the Society costs just £15 a year for adults and £3 a year for students.

In addition to the programme of talks, the benefits of membership include 2 editions of our journal, the The Wandsworth Historian, every year.

There is also the opportunity to take part in the Thames foreshore survey.

Visits and walks are organised on an occasional basis.

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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


Putney 1851 - An old publication revived

In the mid-1970s the Wandsworth Historical Society organised a practical history-research workshop which focussed on analysing the enumerators' local returns for the census of England held in 1851. The result was a significant insight into the social structure of the inhabitants of Putney in the mid-Victorian period, how they earned their living, how they travelled around, and how they spent their free time. Click [HERE] for more details.

Villas and Mansions of Roehampton and Putney Heath - An earlier revival

Dorian Gerhold's much praised book Villas and Mansions of Roehampton and Putney Heath has long been out of print. To make this significant research widely available once again, we have produced a free-to-download digitised version. Click [HERE] for more details.

Our Publications

The WHS offers an outstanding selection of local history publications. Here are the highlights:

  • Current books and maps.
  • The latest 'Wandsworth Historian'.
  • The 'Wandsworth Historian' digital archive 1971-2021, available for just £5. Click [HERE] for more details.
  • Our fully searchable Index of Publications 1955-2021.
  • Researching record offices at a distance

    A list of online links to original records, which will help you researching local or family history relating to the Wandsworth area without having to visit a record office or library.

    Online links compiled by Dorian Gerhold

    The Tooting Common Heritage Project 2014 - 2019

    Tooting Common

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

    The project completed in December 2019 and a book was 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].

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


    Tooting Common
















    Wandsworth Museum

    This no longer exists. It was briefly part of Battersea Arts Centre and rebranded as "Moving Museum" but post Covid and the fire at Battersea Arts Centre they are no longer involved. The collection remains in store under Wandsworth Council reponsibility.

    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-8pm Tuesday and Wednesday
    9am-5pm Friday and Saturday
    Closed Monday, 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: 17 April 2024