Thames Tributary Falcon - Balham

Thames Tributary Falcon
The Falcon continues to flow northwards towards Battersea and the Thames

Busy urban area with an late 19th and early 20th shopping centre along the A24 with many facilities, churches, temples, mosques, pubs and places of entertainment - an amazing number of ex cinemas..  This replaces big houses and estates which once fronted the main road and there were also once mills here. The station provides an interchange between London Underground's Northern Line and main line services to Brighton and elsewhere. The station was designed by Holden.  This is far from being a fashionable area but is is lively and engaged.

Post to the west Wandsworth Common
Post to the South Upper Tooting
Post to the east Hyde Farm
Post to the north Clapham South and Balham

The word ‘Balham’ may derive from a Saxon personal name. Balham was never a real village but a small settlement on Roman Stane Street between Clapham and Tooting, overtaken by growth of London in the 19th. There were three manors and 'Balaam's Farm'. In the 18th there were half dozen cottages on the main road – and a road going to the George Inn, and a tile kiln.

Balham Hill
Balham Hill Estate. Flats on the site of the Balham Hippodrome, Also known as Royal Duchess Theatre, Duchess Palace Theatre, Duchess Theatre. The Royal Duchess Theatre opened in 1899. It had a Beaux-Arts style exterior topped by a huge copper dome under a cupola with a Classical winged figure. It had 1,268 seats and was designed by W.G.R. Sprague. In 1903, it was named Duchess Palace Theatre and films were screened from 1908. In 1909, it was re-named Balham Hippodrome Theatre, and was a full time cinema until 1915 but then reverted back to variety. It was bombed in the Second World War and it was closed. It was demolished in the 1960's.

Balham High Road
Falcon. A branch of the stream here was once known as the Hydeburn with a reference in 693. It became a sewer and covered in 1866.
33 Radha Krishna Temple. Founded by Guru Shyamadevi after fund raising in Leicester for a London base to serve the Gujarati community and opened in 1977.The Temple is run by three women, but the Guru herself died in 1999.
38 Congress Hall Salvation Army. Operates in a modern building as both a church and a social centre
39 The Devonshire was the Duke of Devonshire, previously.
47a Balham Mosque
58 shop on the site of the Cosy Electric Theatre, which operated in 1912. The parade of shops was bombed in World War II and a new parade of shops and flats was built in the early 1960's.
75 site of Gaumont Cinema which had opened as the The Swimming Baths Concert Hall in 1890, and had a swimming pool under the wooden concert hall floor. It only had a narrow entrance on the High Road and the auditorium was behind. In 1907, it became the Balham Empire Theatre showing films. In 1909 it was re-named Theatre De Luxe and in 1915 became the Olympia Cinema and the Pavilion Cinema in 1922. In 1928 it was over by Denman/Gaumont Theatres and re-named Gaumont in 1949. It closed in 1960 and became a Top Rank Bingo Club, but was later demolished and used as car sales space.
90-92 The Clarence. Clarence appears to be a cart
96-100 Jackdaw and Rook
110-126 Holdron Bros. Large drapers shop, now closed.
157 Blithe spirit
172 Marks and Spencer, on the site of the Ritz Cinema which opened as The Cinematograph Theatre in 1911. It was re-named Picture House in 1916 and a Christie 2Manual/6Rank organ was installed, in 1927 when the building was remodelled by Clifford A. Aish. In 1953, a new facade was built and it re-opened as the Ritz Cinema. It closed by ABC in 1968 and was converted into a bingo club and also used for Asian films. The building was demolished in 1985.
177 Steel House. This was previously Station House built on the site of the Palladium Cinema which had been demolished in the 1950's. The cinema had opened in 1914 and then remodelled by Cecil Masey plus a big stage for theatre. It had been was bombed in 1940 when 68 people were killed and it never re-opened.
194 The Moon under Water. Wetherspoon pub
Art Metal Works
Assembly Rooms
Balham House was on the west side of Balham High Road south of Ramsden Road. It was owned, but let out, by the Duchess of Bedford and built in 1787. It was rebuilt in 1880 before being demolished for the Duchess Theatre in 1898.
Gunpowder works in the grounds of Balham House. Seven gunpowder production houses in fields to the rear. Derelict in the early 18th. Probably owned by Walton, operator of the mills at Waltham Abbey.
Balham Station. This is made up two interconnected adjacent stations one London Underground and one national rail
Balham Underground Station is on the Northern Line between Clapham South and Tooting Bec. Built by City and South London Railway when they extended from Moorgate following the line being rebuilt and joined to Camden Town, it went out as far as South Wimbledon. It was on the extension to Morden, which became the Northern Line House style as for all those on the line. Designed by S A. Heaps, who was responsible for the inside and Charles Holden, who designed the stone- exteriors with detail like the London Transport signs for capitals. There is a memorial plaque in the entrance hall to 65 civilians killed in 1940 when the station was used as a deep shelter. A bomb fell into the road above and a bus fell in the hole.
Balham Rail station is on the Brighton Main Line which is on an embankment. Beyond the station, the line divides into the Brighton Line, going to Croydon and another line going to Crystal Palace. The station was opened in 1863 by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway called Balham and Upper Tooting.
Church Schools. Behind the church.
St Mary. The church was originally a proprietary chapel built in 1805 and which became parochial in 1855. It is plain church built by F. Hurlbatt in 1807 but a new front was added in 1903 by William Newton Dunn, with a projecting baptistery and one of two planned towers. Inside there are mosaic panels done in the 1890ss.

Balham Grove
5-15 19th villas. Listed
59 Balham Grove Hall. Church hall now used as a nursery.
20 Post Office
80 Flats called Paper Bag Factory
Public toilets with ornate ironwork around the entrance.

Balham New Road
18 Balham Pentecostal Church.
1 building once used by the Salvation Army, and previously was Balham School. Now in other use

Bedford Hill
33 William Hill shop on site of the Bedford Cinema. This was in a shop premises, with an auditorium at the rear. It ran from 1911 to 1920. It was then used by St. Phillip's Church Mission.
Coal Brook Mansions
Sainsbury’s Car park
77 The Bedford

Boundaries Road
14 old hall, now a nursery
The Balham Tup

Cavendish Road
Falcon - It is believed that the waters can be heard near where Weir Road meets Cavendish Road.
260-262 Balham Glass and Joinery
270 Prince of Wales. Irish pub
St Andrews United Reform Church, once called Zennor Hall

Cloudsdale Road
The line of the York Ditch down to the Balham High Road,
Chestnut Grove
Chestnut Grove School. This was Hydeburn School. A comprehensive school for 900 children. Built by I.L.E.A. in the 1970s.
21 Balham Tup which was previously The Regent. Closed.

Endlesham Road
48 Balham Community Church - the Kalos Centre. In the late 19th The Brethren Movement was set up. A Balham assembly of Brethren met in Balham Grove and then in 1934 to this hall and developed an associated youth organisation. In 2003 it became Balham Community Church
72 Balham Nursery School and Children’s Centre.

Hearnville Road
Hydeburn Secondary school. Board School of 1905, with additions of 1973-7 by P. Reynolds and B. Wilson of the G.L.C. Architect's Department Education Branch.

Hildreth Street
Street market
5 shop which was once a cinema operating from March 1909.

Larch Close
Site of gravel pit

Nightingale Lane
99 Queen Elizabeth House. Sheltered flats. The site had previously been the Queen Elizabeth Maternity Hospital, part of the South London Hospital for Women. It had originally been Helensburgh House and the home from 1857 of the evangelist Charles Haddon Spurgeon
101 Oak Lodge Home for Deaf and Dumb Girls set up in 1905. Now Oak Lodge School for the Deaf. Established by the London County Council in 1905 as a boarding school for deaf girls of 11-16. The house had belonged to the curator of Kew Gardens and because of the oaks in the garden the school was called Oak Lodge. The school moved away during the Second World War and after that it became a day school and included boys who came from a school in Anerley demolished in 1968 and the new Oak Lodge - was built on the site of the Jewish School.
School for Jewish deaf children opened 1899. There was a high wall between them and Oak Lodge next door. Closed and demolished 1965.

Nightingale Square
Holy Ghost, Roman Catholic Church built in 1897, and designed by Leonard Stokes. Very plain brick church but with an interesting interior.
Holy Ghost Catholic Primary School
St.Gertrude’s House. Convent of Perpetual Adoration. This was at the back of the church

Old Devonshire Grove
22 Tudor Gothic
A Dispensary was opened here under the will of Benjamin Weir

Oldridge Road
Falcon. The road follows the valley of the stream and is criss-crossed by terraced streets that rise and fall.39 Grove pub
Alderbrook Primary School
Aura House. Used by local housing bodies.

Ramsden Road
21 Balham Baptist Church. The church and its Sunday School dates from 1873. Ramsden Hall was added in 1902 and the Memorial Building in 1932. The church itself was rebuilt following a fire in the 1950s.
7 Balham Bowls Club. This is a pub and no longer a bowls club. However the green is still at the back, used as a beer garden and the interior is full of memorabilia of the club.
3 Be At One. Pub
Balham Library. Was a branch of Streatham. The current building was an extension to a Victorian library.

Rowfant Road
Falcon. the road follows the line of the stream.

Shipka Road
Housing on the site of the auditorium of the Bedford Cinema.

Balham Baptist Church History. Web site
Balham com. Web site
Balham Community Church.Web site
British History Online. Streatham. Web site
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Crocker. Gunpowder Mills Gazette
Day. London Underground
Field. London Place Names

Holy Ghost. Web site
London Borough of Wandsworth. Web site
London Encyclopedia
Met. Water Board. London's Water Supply
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Radha Krishna Temple, Web site

St. Mary's Church. Web site


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