Thames Tributary Falcon - Battersea York Road

Thames Tributary Falcon
The Falcon turns north west to reach the Thames at Battersea Creek

This post only covers sites south of the river on this square
TQ 26555 75550

Dense urban area between the river and two main roads running east:west.  The once commercial riverside is now upmarket and fairly garish flats with some waterside bars etc etc etc.  In York Road too commerce has given way to flats and hotels - even Price's famous candle factory is now housing.  The older area around John's Hill still retains some housing and local authority flats although there are flats on the site of St. John's Hospital. Wandsworth Bridge will take you over the river to even more expensive blocks of poky flats.

Post to the west Wandsworth
Post to the east Clapham Junction
Post to the north Battersea Old Town
Post to the south Wandsworth

Bridges Court
Name reflects York Bridge which took York Road over the Falcon Brook. In the 1460s this area included parts of both the manor of Battersea and that of Wandsworth. It was called Bruges or Bridgecourt Manor and was purchased by the Bishop of Durham, Laurence Booth, later Archbishop of York.  It was crenallated in 1474. He left the area to the See of York.
Bridges Wharf. Atlas Transport and Shipping Co. used to be Prices Candles. Archaeological investigation revealed a series of timber revetments on the bank of Battersea Creek, or Falcon Brook. Pottery and clay tobacco pipe were also found.

Clove Hitch Quay
Molasses House
Calico House
Ivory House
Plantation Wharf
. Built late 1980s

Cotton Row
Falcon - the faintest suggestion of the creek
Price’s Court

Eltringham Street
Eltringham School, currently used as depot for Council's Education Service. This was Secondary boys, Junior Mixed, and Infants.

The course of the main stream ran along Ingrave Street, through York Gardens and across York Road. This branch was also known as the York Ditch or York Sewer.

Grant Road
2 Church of the Nazarene. A small circular church built 1968-70 by Green, Lloyd & Son. With a bold lettering and a ramp spiralling around it

Hope Street
Battersea Youth Centre now Battersea Sports Centre. This is soon to close.

Jews Road
Industrial and other features were on the west side

Juniper Drive
Battersea Reach pub
Ascensis Tower
Baltimore House
Commodore House
Kingfisher House
Ensign House

Kambala Road
Kambala is the name of a traditional Indian buffalo race in the mud.
Kambala Estate. Built by the Borough Architect's Department from 1975 onwards, 629 dwellings, disguised.
Lavender Road
York Gardens Community Centre and Library
York Gardens Children’s Centre and One O’Clock Club

Livingstone Road Estate
Built 1969-72 with 342 dwellings and an old people's home.

Livingstone Walk,
Leading past small open spaces but enclosed on three sides

Maysoule Road
Local authority housing in Three- storey yellow-brick terraces by Phappen, Randall & Parkes, built in 1976-80.

Mendip Road
Mendip Wharf. Dawson & Co. Builders’ Supplies operating in the 1990s with Broad family members. They can be seen on drain tops on many streets
Mendip Court flats
Sherwood Court

Nantes Close
On site of Spencer Works

This was previously John Street
Rainproof cloth works. Moved here in the 19th from east London because of demand from Government departments, mainly to the War Office. The plant could handle 4,000 yards of double width cloth a day on four floors.
Charter or Chater Works used as McCrindle’s Sweet Factory in Up the Junction
Charter House Works. Housing and office development 2003.

Plough Road
Leads from St John's Hill down to the river through a lot of post-Second- World-War council housing. Features in film 'Poor Cow’,
Highview Primary School 1890 Listed Grade II. A London School Board building with a terracotta date plaque. Designed by J Bailey
St.Peter. The church was built in 1875-6 by William White, and a tower added in 1911. . George Cubitt paid for it. In 1970 the church was burnt down on bonfire night but the spire remained. A small building was built and used as a church, and then structural problems meant that the tower had to be demolished. Later the church went into a partnership with St.Mark.
Church Hall and Community Centre murals of New Testament scenes by John Lessore, 1960
Railway crossing – originally there was a level crossing here
Plough Road Institute and Museum plus public bathing facilities it stood on the corner of Benham Close
Railway gas works
Oake Room Gospel Hall

St John’s Hill
St.John's Hospital. Saint John's Hill Workhouse was used by the Wandsworth and Clapham Poor Law Union from 1836. The gaunt older buildings began as the infirmary and casual wards added by Beeston Son & Brereton in 1868. In 1870 an infirmary was also built and from the 1880's when the workhouse moved all the buildings on the St John's site were used as the infirmary. Additions included a nurses' home in 1899. From 1911 it was used for the chronic sick. At the onset of the NHS it was administered by Battersea and Putney Group Hospital Management Committee and the South West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board with chronic and tubercular patients. In the 1970s Saint John's Day Hospital and Chest Clinic were built on the site. By 1988, it was known as Saint John's Health Care Unit and closed in 1990. Now flats
89 Plough. Demolished and redeveloped. In the middle ages it was the focus of a hamlet called Roydon.
St.Paul's ragstone church of 1868 H. E. Coe. Tower and spire. Now in use as a community centre
126 Cuban Bar. This was previously called One Two Six
197 Beehive pub
92 Centre Academy, school L.C.C. education offices of 1909 T.J. Bailey like a Queen Anne house.
Napier Arms
Surrey Hounds pub. Took a hit from a V1
137-139 Hydro pub. Now flats
St.Peter’s Hospital, Fishmongers Company. Built as almshouses in 1849. It had been established in Newington in 1618. In 1923 it was sold to the LCC who built flats but kept the archway

Strathblane Road
Covers the site of what was Plough Green – this was the focus of a small hamlet called Royden.

Usk Road
St.John’s National Schools. Originally in the 1850s for boys and infants.
St.Johns. Built 1863. The church was brick in a 13th style. In 1938-1939 the parish was amalgamated with St Paul's, which had begun as a chapel of ease for Saint John's

Wandsworth Bridge Gyratory
Roundabout at the southern end of the bridge where four main roads meet. It is an example of 1960s design. It carri++es a large bespoke advertising structure.
Tunnel No. 1. Features in films 'A Clockwork Orange’.

Wandsworth Bridge.
The first bridge here was a toll bridge built by Julian Tolme in 1873 because it was thought a railway station was to be built on the north bank. It was not successful, and became public in 1880, but could not take buses. In 1937 it was demolished, and a steel cantilever bridge by Sir Pierson Frank was built, opened in 1940.

Winstanley Estate
Estate begun by the Met. Borough of Battersea, and finished under Wandsworth London Borough. Designed by Trew Dunn.

Wye Street
Battersea Baptist Church. The building dates from 1973 but goes back to 1672 and a connection with the Sir Walter St. John School.
Thames Christian College in old Library including Hornsby Dyslexic Centre.
Falconbrook Primary School. London School Board type building

Wynter Street
Joseph Tritton Primary School closed and the site is now housing - seven buildings, constructed around landscaped courtyards. Tritton was a supporter of Battersea Baptist Church

York Place
Once known as Silk Factory Lane.
The silk factory failed as the trade declined but in 1840 looms and weaving machinery remained in place.
Fownes took the building over for a glove factory in the 1840s.
Sugar factory here in 1670s owned by John Smith. In 1715 said to be brick built of six storeys. Sugar imported from Barbados.
Distillery, Warehouses, granary and stables as a still house, possibly replacing the sugar works in the 1740s. Included pigs fed on distillery waste and resulting butchery and bacon works. In operation until 1815.
Saccharum Works which belonged to Garton Hill & Co had come here from Southampton in 1882. Garton's Saccharum was a specialist brewing sugar. Taken over by Manbre of Hammersmith from 1926 with Richard Garton as Chair. From then on glucose production concentrated here while cane sugar was processed in Hammersmith. In 1976 they were taken over by Tate & Lyle. 'This was a glucose works with a bad smell locally. Now a trading estate
Homebase on the site of Garton’s Saccharum works,

York Road
York House. Built by Laurence Booth, future Archbishop of York – when he became Archbishop it became part of the See. He had previously bought the Manor of Bruges – known as Bridges. This was then the London residence for the See. It was little used.
Mill - York House grounds – in the 18th century a mill stood in the North East corner on the Falcon Brook. This was associated with the Bell & Bishop distillery.
205 Nags Head
228 Little Bay. Once called the Unity Tavern
327 Builders Arms
499 Alma Tavern
closed and gone,
Battersea Enamel works. In the grounds of York House. This was owned by Steven Theodore Jansen1750s and employed Simon Ravenat. He brought from France a technique for enamelling using copper plates. Bankrupt in 1756 but work was carried on by John Brooks until the 1770s. Belmont Works. Price’s Candle Factory. Opened on the site of the Archbishop of York’s house. It began as Edward Price & Co. in 1830 at Vauxhall. Used West Indian palm oil and claimed to subvert slavery. By the 1870s it covered 13 acres and employed 1,000.They also made soaps and white spirit as electric light undermined the candle trade. Manufacture now takes place abroad and much of the site has been sold for housing. The firm retains a shop on site.
Gargoyle Wharf site of a Shell Oil Terminal. Renamed Battersea Reach
Wandsworth Distillery. Owned by Watney’s but originating in 1817 as Bush & Co.
Orlando Jones Starch manufactory. Opened next to the candle works in 1848. Jones extracted starch from rice using caustic potash of soda. Closed 1901.
S.N.Bridges – Stanley-Bridges electrical tool works
Southampton Wharf. Garton’s Wharf
Thames Water's Falconbrook Pumping Station. Stormwater pumping station.
Travel Lodge
York Gardens Park covering some of the grounds of York house.

Battersea Baptist Church. Web site
British History on Line. Web site
Church of the Nazarene. Web site
Highview Primary School. Web site.
London Borough of Wandsworth. Web site
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Port of London Magazine

Price's Candles. Web site.
Thames Basin Archaeology of Industry Group. Repor


Aileen Reid said…
This is a useful resource... the Survey of London, the official history of London's streets and buildings, has been working on Battersea for the past four years and the books will be published next year by Yale University Press. In connection with this we are working on a project to produce a website, film database and phone app about Battersea history with our research attached as well as images and film. We're currently looking for amateur footage of Battersea - old cine film, video, camcorder/phone film - of anywhere in the parish of Battersea which runs from Nine Elms to Wandsworth Bridge down to the south end of Wandsworth Common including Clapham Junction/Lavender Hill... we'd love to hear from you if you have any you'd like to see used in the project... there's more info at the website listed below or you can email
Anonymous said…
McCrindle's Sweet Factory in the film Up the Junction was the former Auborn & Heaviside confectionery makers factory on the opposite side of Petergate to the Rainproof Cloth Works. The Charterhouse Works was in the adjoining Eltringham Street. It was originally Munt Brothers Piano Works and later Sandle Brothers Stationery Wholesalers.
Unknown said…
I was intrigued to see your comment to the effect that Bridges Court was named after the bridges around there in earlier years. What I had assumed was that the name came from the Bridges factory that existed in the area in the 50s and 60s. I have tried to find references to the factory on the internet to no avail. My impression is that they might have made electric drills but that is a vague impression.
Unknown said…
Post script
I have found a reference to Bridges in Grace's Guide to British Industrial History. They were a manufacturer of power tools and later became known as Stanley Bridges. They were definitely in York Road in 1961.
Anonymous said…
As a Battersea boy I can confirm that Bridges did exist in York Road in 1959. I left school in 1959 and hoped to get an apprentiship there but for some reason it never materialised.

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