Riverside south bank, west of the Tower. Battersea - power/park/dogs

Riverside south bank, west of the Tower. Battersea - power/park/dogs

Post to the east Nine Elms
Post to the west Battersea west of the Park
Post to the south Battersea Longhedge

Battersea Park
This square covers the eastern half of the park
Battersea Park covers what was Battersea Fields, an area sometimes used for dueling.  The park was sometimes seen as replacing an area which had become notorious.  It replaced Tivoli Tea Gardens and the Red House Tavern and its grounds. The land was purchased about 1828 by the Marquess of Westminster, who leased it to. Cubitt who wanted to turn this marshland into a park’ -an Act of Parliament was passed to allow them to buy land for housing with some of it set aside for the park. Work began in 1848 on land cultivated by allotment-holders and market gardeners. At high tide there were floods and there were difficulties in buying up the riverside frontage.  The Lammas lands and common rights of St Mary, Battersea, were abolished in 1853. Street sweepings delivered by barge were used to build an embankment five feet above high-water mark forming a causeway between the park and river.  The park was laid out by Pennethorne, Architect of the Office of Works and 4 acres opened 1864. In the 1890s in the early days of cycling it became the fashionable place for cycling before breakfast. There were landscaped serpentine lakes, an enclosed Old English Garden with pergolas and roses, a children's zoo and an Herb Garden. During both World Wars, anti-aircraft guns and barrage balloons were installed here. There were also air raid shelters were dug, allotments and a pig farm set up
Festival Gardens. The park was restyled as the Festival of Britain Gardens in 1951. The northern parts of the park became the "Pleasure Gardens" with a new water-garden and fountains, "Tree-Walk", the Guinness Clock and the Far Tottering and Oyster Creek Branch Railway. Another addition was Battersea Fun Fair, with roller coasters, swings, roundabouts and other attractions.
All Weather Pitches. These are on the south side of the park and marked out for football and hockey. These originally had a "cinder" surface, but in 1989 they changed to the astro turf and have since been re-refurbished.
Athletics Ground. The Athletics Ground, which lies towards the eastern boundary of the park, was, until the beginning of 20th, part of the area of open grassed sports grounds.
Bandstand. This is in Central Avenel. In the centre of the Avenue is a bandstand constructed in 1988 to replace that from the 19th. Plane trees mark the original circle around the bandstand
Bowling Green. This dates from 1880 with, a small brick pavilion added in 1930.
Cafe by H. A. Rowbotham, 1939.  Has been known as Park Café, Café Lakeside and currently La Gondola al Parco
Carriage drives. These four drives curve round the edge of the park and into the centre where they meet Central Avenue
Children’s Zoo. As well as animals – all small and friendly – there are various rides and adventure games, a café shop and other facilities.
Entrance. From Queen's Circus – this is the main entrance.  It has an outer pedestrian gateway of Portland stone in the Arts and Crafts style. The wrought-iron pedestrian gates and ramped carriage gates from 1891.
Entrance from Queenstown Road leads onto the northern carriage drive; although a lodge (Ranelagh Lodge) was proposed for the entrance it is doubtful whether it was ever built
Henry Moore sculpture. This is on the north bank of the Ladies Pool. The three standing figures were erected on the site chosen by Moore in 1950.
Sculpture. Single Form by Barbara Hepworth. This dates from 1962 which is a bronze over 10 feet high. It is a memorial to Dag Hammarskjold, the UN Secretary General who died in a plane crash in 1961
Ladies Pond. This is north of the main lake.
Lake The 15-acre, surrounded by dense plantations, is the most extensive and romantic of in London municipal parks in the 19th. The ambitious original layout was, probably designed by John Gibson, the superintendent. It was horticultural focus of the Victorian design and is in the lowest part of the park, surrounded by tree-clad earth mounds which enclose the Subtropical Garden of 1863. To the south the mounds surround the deer enclosure. The lake has a serpentine outline and there is artificial rockwork and a cascade made by W Pulham
Boathouse. This dates from 2002 and is a galvanised steel and wrought timber structure which visually floats on the lake and is clad in long strip copper. This is a building which has to accommodate a diversity of functions. There is a fleet of rowing and pedal boats
London Recumbents Bicycle hire. In 1993 bikes for the disabled were heavy and unstable. This scheme aimed to offer unusual bikes and to give an experience above and beyond the confines of the high street.
Millennium Arena – sports facilities
Nature Reserve - American Ground. This was originally part of Gibson's arrangement of shrubberies and had planting of predominantly North American plants. They covered extensive earthworks associated with the construction of the road leading to Chelsea Bridge. The area has since been developed as a nature reserve. The reserve is named after an enthusiastic local naturalist and keen recorder of the park's wildlife, Brian Mist. Butterflies are particularly abundant in Mist's Pitch.
Plaque dedicated to the ANZAC forces in the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915.
Plaque to the 5397 Australian Aircrew personnel lost in action during the Second World War.
Pump House. The pump house was designed by James and William Simpson and is north of the lake. It has 'VR/1861' in a stone roundel above the doorway. It was constructed in 1861 to house the pump and steam engine used to pump water to the lake and cascade. The machinery was disposed of when it was refurbished in 1992 and it now houses an exhibition on the history of the park plus a classroom and art galleries.
Rosery. This is a small garden with formal planting beds. It is now part of an enlarged deer enclosure.
Russell Page Garden. This formed the central part of the Festival site.
Experimental radio station. Introduced here in the Second World War.  The park is also listed as an airfield and this appears to relate to work by the RAF Experimental Workshops, based in Kirtling Street to the east
Thrive Garden. This is a project to bring gardening to disabled people.
War memorial. This is the 24th Division memorial by Eric Kennington. It shows three soldiers with rifles and tin hats on a small round plinth with Serpents round their feet. This was set up in 1924

Battersea Park Road
Dogs’ Home. This began in 1860 as The Temporary Home for Lost & Starving Dogs set up by Mary Tealby in Holloway, moving to Battersea in 1871 and taking in cats from 1883. In 1898 they opened a site at Hackbridge – the first of several outside central London. At Battersea Architect Clough Williams-Ellis, designed a new cattery Whittington Lodge, which is still used as offices. Statues of two begging dogs. Moved here from Holloway in 1875.
Battersea Park Road Station. This station was originally ‘Battersea Park, York Road’, or ‘York Road (LCDR)’, and was at the junction with Prince of Wales Road near the Dog’s Home.  It was positioned across the high-level lines of the London Chatham and Dover Railway crossing Battersea Park Road. It was built 1866–7 designed by Charles Driver with Sir Charles Fox & Son. Entrances either side of the bridge led to a booking hall and waiting room beneath the tracks. It was then renamed Battersea Park Road in 1877, closed in 1916, and demolished in 1923. All that remains are some Gothic arches set into railway arches ear the Dogs’ Home
Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St.Joseph. Battersea Park mission was established by Canon Drinkwater of Clapham Common. The land was bought for the church in 1868 from the liquidators of the abortive West London Wharves and Warehouses Company.  Sketches for a church were prepared by C a Buckler in 1867 and a small version of this was opened in 1869. It became the Lady Chapel of a larger church in 1879 built by John Adams, a local architect. In 1881 Fr William Connolly, extended the Mission Schools and the priest’s house. These buildings are arranged around a close which may be the work of F A Walters. The church bombed in the Second World War and there were thus Post-war alterations.
St Joseph’s Boys School. Single-storey buildings of  1882. The school was run at first by the Xaverian Brothers (a religious institute named after Saint Francis Xavier & dedicated to Roman Catholic education. to which additions were made in 1891 This front originally had small porthole lights only, the present windows being later insertions. In 1974 the school moved and became a parish centre. St Joseph's Playgroup was the last to use this building which is now derelict.

Battersea Power Station site
Hills’ naphtha and vitriol works. One of several such works set up by the Hills family in London and elsewhere. This one was run by Arthur Hills
Flora Tea Gardens. This seems to have originally been the Regency Tea Gardens extant in 1822. They were run by a Mr. Faulkner, who developed a particular strawberry, described by Loudon – indicating that this was a horticultural centre as well as a place of entertainment.
Southwark and Vauxhall Water Works. This was an amalgamation between the Vauxhall and the Southwark Water companies. In 1845 they promoted a Parliamentary Bill to amalgamate and became the Southwark and Vauxhall Waterworks Company formed later that year. The Southwark Company had built a waterworks at Battersea Fields on a site of about twelve acre with a reservoir, a filter-bed, engine-house, boiler-house and superintendent’s residence—all designed by William Anderson and built by Joseph Bennett. An iron main connected the works to the company’s existing supply pipes at Elephant and Castle. The works included a 130ft standpipe to ensure a steady pressure before the water reached the mains. Following competition with the Vauxhall Water Works Company a merger was agreed and a new company, the Southwark & Vauxhall Water Company was set up in 1845.  The Battersea works were enlarged in 1845–6. The engine house was extended – and this is the building which remains and a second standpipe erected. However their water quality was very poor. In the early 1850s it became mandatory for water to only be extracted up river of the tidal reaches of the Thames and in 1855 the company built a new intake at Hampton. A new, circular filter-bed was added at Battersea to meet the increased demand and   later a bigger engine house and engine and a third 180ft high standpipe. In the 1869s the railway into Victoria cut part of the site and the filter bed. More filter beds and a bigger reservoir were built. Their water continued to be of poor quality and uncovered filter beds in Battersea continued to be used until 1900.  Eventually the company was taken over by the new Metropolitan Water Board. It closed in 1903 and was obliterated in the 1920s. The surviving engine house is in the square to the east.  The site became waste land.
South Lambeth Goods Depot GWR. This was built as late as 1911–13 when land in the south-west corner of the waterworks site and next to Battersea Park Road were bought by the Great Western Railway Company. This included a siding for the Metropolitan Water Board. The goods shed built in 1913 had a Hennebique reinforced-concrete frame and brick infill. Above it were storeys of warehousing, and a basement for bacon, butter and other foods. There were also concrete stables, a garage and an  office. The site was extended in 1928. There was a milk depot here plus bottle storage and general provisions. It had the third largest concentration of Great Western Railway employees in London. It closed in 1970 and the buildings were all demolished.
Battersea Power Station. This was two power stations in one building. West a Station built 1929/37 and East B Station built 1944/45 – and the second building completed its four chimney layout. It was originally built by the power private companies as the London Power Company - in the early 1939s as a defensive move against nationalisation .It was coal fired. The, now disuse, wharf was built in 1929-35, by S. L. Pearce, engineer-in-chief, with H. N. Allot as consultant engineer. It is one of the first examples in England of contemporary industrial architecture, and set the pattern for the power stations of the next two decades. It is one of the largest brick buildings in the world and its outline is square and bold in art deco style.It has a steel frame with brick cladding.  J. Theo Halliday was the architect for the brick exterior, and the interior with giant pilasters faced in faience, marble-lined walls, and bronze doors with sculptured panels. Sir Giles Gilbert Scott was brought in as consultant on the exterior when the building was already under construction and was responsible for the parapet and the bases to the fluted chimneys. Innovative features were, in the earlier part - water sprays to clean the chimneys. Bronze doors show a muscular chap pulling a switch.  There is a plaque to Faraday. Post Second World War hot water was piped over the river to flats in Churchill Gardens. On the north bank was a closed walled accumulator. The site includes two tunnels under the Thames, one with electricity cables and a walkway in the centre.  It ceased generating electricity in 1983, but is a both a landmark and a cultural reference point. Its dereliction since closure has accelerated despite many plans for its re-use. It is now being converted to flats.

Chelsea Bridge
Chelsea Bridge The first bridge here, called Victoria Bridge, was opened in 1858 and despite being publicly owned was a toll bridge, designed by Thomas Page. It was designed to access Battersea Park but its construction was delayed by the work on the Victoria Embankment. It was soon clear that it was inadequate and it was strengthened in 1863-64, and again after it had been taken over by the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1879.  It was Very expensive to maintain and both the Middlesex County Council and London County Council wanted to demolish it... The present bridge was built in 1934-37 is also a suspension bridge designed by Ernest James Buckton and Harry John Fereday of Rendel Palmer & Tritton.  It represented a major step forward in British bridge design. Its foundation and piers built in steel sheet-piled cofferdams were the same similar position to the previous structure, but of completely new construction. The main suspension cables were made of 37 locked coil ropes bundled to form a hexagon.  The contractors were Holloway Brothers, Furness Shipbuilding Supplied the steelwork and the cables were by Wright's Ropes Ltd. As there was so much fir used in the decking that the new bridge was opened by the Prime Minister of Canada.  A temporary bridge was built alongside it during the Second World War, just in case. In 2004 a new curved footbridge was built beneath the southern end of Chelsea Bridge this is intended as part of the Thames Path.

Grosvenor Bridge
This was originally called the Victoria Bridge. It originated when the London Brighton and south Coast railway opened what they called their Pimlico terminus at the end of what is now Queenstown Road, on the river in   1856. In 1858 the Victoria Station and Pimlico railway got Parliamentary consent for a bridge from there to what is now Victoria Station. . The original bridge dates from the mid 19th.  It was built by Sir John Fowler for the Victoria Station and Pimlico Railway on 1860 to carry two tracks into Victoria Station – in mixed gauge because of use by the Great Western Railway - and was the first railway bridge across the Thames in central London.  Because it had to be high enough not to impede the navigation locomotives had to negotiate a gradient 1:50 to cross.  But on reaching the north bank the line ad to drop to reach the canal along which the line was planned to go.  The bridge was widened by Sir Charles Fox in 1866 to carry the London Brighton and South Coast Railway and London Chatham and Dover Railway. This was designed to cut out a lot of curves and bottlenecks on the south side ad to remove the broad gauge track. By 1907 it consisted of three different bridges on common piers with different foundations.   It was rebuilt in 1963–67 and a tenth track added to designs by Freeman Fox & Partners for the Southern Region of British Rail. It is said to be the busiest railway bridge in the world.

Prince of Wales Drive
Gas Holder site. This was a gas storage area for the London Gas Light Company whose manufacturing base was to the east on the south side of Battersea Park road. The holders are currently being demolished. They are: four, five and six. These were all designed by the London Gas Light Company’s engineer, Robert Morton. The tans were dig nu John Aird and Sons. Four and five were built by Joshua and William Horton of Smethwick. Six was built by Ashmore and While, of Stockton on Tees. Seven is a MAN holder -  Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg. It was built by R&J Dempster. R&J Dempster under license
Engineer’s House. Designed by Robert Morton
St Mary’s Girls and Infants School, designed by C.A. Buckler in 1869.
Notre Dame High School for Girls. This was originally originally a Higher Grade School. It is now a Seventh Day Adventist church;
All Saints Church. This replaces the earlier church burnt down in 1969. It was built in 1978,
Vicarage 1890. Plain -brick linked to the new church

Queen’s Circus
This was laid out by John Mowlem & Company for the London County Council for the Festival of Britain in 1951 but it originated in the 1860s
Public Lavatories. This is now an estate agents, previously it was an architect’s office. An ornate Old English composition 1899 by the park entrance.
Site of All Saints. The church dated from 1883 and was burnt down in 1969. It was replaced by flats by Sir. Keay & Partners, 1979
Arch 75. Plaque to Short Brothers. in June 1906 the Short Brothers moved here from central London. This was because Charles Rolls had chosen the brothers to build his entry for the first Gordon Bennett international balloon race in 1906.  Shorts built about thirty balloons here filled with gas from the adjoining gas works. in 1908, the brothers set up a formal partnership but they had already built a glider here for J. T. C. Moore-Brabazon, to his designs. Although they began to manufacture elsewhere, lighter-than-air work continued here until 1919. In 1909 Frank McClean ordered Short No. 1. designed and built at Battersea however it was under-powered, too heavy and refused to fly. the Shorts also received a contract from the Wright brothers to build six Model 'A' Wright Flyers. this was the first contract for batch production of aircraft to be placed in the United Kingdom. They also built Short No. 2, for J. T. C Moore-Brabazon and he flew this on a circular flight of one mile to win the 'Daily Mail' prize They were thus the UK's first sellers of a functional aeroplane and the foundation of the UK's aircraft industry may be dated from this point.  Shorts moved to Rochester and then to Belfast and are now part of the Canadian firm Bombardier
Wright Brothers. This British firm was in the arches adjacent to Shorts. Howard and Warwick Wright came from a background in Black Country engineering. They came to London with a motordealership and became involved in motor racing before the Great War. They also became involved with Short Brothers and took premises adjacent to them. Warwick Wright went with Brabazon to France in 1908 to learn to fly  a Voisin biplane. Howard Wright then embarked on the construction of a Voisin type biplane of his own design. In 1908 they began to build aeroplanes under licence from the American Wright Brothers. At the time Howard Wright was probably the leading British aeroplane constructor. Some aircraft used the Metallurgique engine supplied by Warwick Wright.and  Tom Sopwith was an important customer who  won the Baron de Forrest prize with a Howard Wright 1910 biplane.  Claude Grahame-White flew to his own wedding reception in his Howard Wright plane. The brothers' partnership broke up in 1911 but both went on to distinguished careers in aeronautics, motor manufacture and design, and speed boats.

Queenstown Road
The road dates from the mid-19th as part of the development of the area which included Chelsea Bridge and Battersea Park. It was originally Victoria or Queens Road but plans for development were stunted through the building of the railway lines parallel to it and semi-concealed behind a high brick wall,
West London Docks and Warehouses. Because of the difficulty in building posh houses The Commissioners in 1864 sold the land east of Queenstown Road to the West London Docks & Warehouses Company, for a proposed riverside canal basin, docks, wharfage and bonded warehousing connected to the railways. This did not survive the banking collapse of 1866 and was wound up.
Marco Polo House. This post modern office block was built in 1987 to designs by Pollard. It was faced with Neopariés a crystallized glass-ceramic material from Japan with a similar appearance to marble. It was used as offices by the Observer newspaper, and British Satellite Broadcasting television. Later the QVC television shopping channel. In 2006 the site was bought by a Russian consortium, Anastasia Ltd, and it has since been demolished

In 1852 the West End of London & Crystal Palace Railway was set up. It was to run under Battersea Park Road and go to a terminus next to the Thames near Chelsea Bridge, east of Queenstown Road. The land alongside Queenstown Road was bought from the Battersea Park Commissioners’. It was not planned to take this line across the river but there would be an ambitious south bank terminus. It was finally built under Bidder in 1857–8 and under the London Brighton and South Coast Railway. In 1857the LBSCR promoted the Victoria Station and Pimlico Company to take the railway over the river and into what would become Victoria. Other railways began to want to use the crossing, the West London Extension Railway plus the GWR, which needed ‘mixed-gauge’ track. Then the London, Chatham & Dover Railway in 1860, when they started running into Victoria Station. They also built a line from Beckenham Junction to Victoria via Herne Hill, Brixton and added – south of this square – the Longhenge Works. In 1862 the LCDR engaged Sir Charles Fox to propose a solution to ‘the Battersea tangle’.  This entailed replanning the whole approach to Victoria south of the river with high-level tracks on viaducts which passed over the LSWR and Battersea Park Road west of the previous lines, before running on to the river bridge. Future improvements consisted of widening lines
LBSCR Battersea Loco Base was set up in 1868–70 and consisted of two of what was eventually three circular running sheds beneath the new high-level viaducts in the final run-up to the river. This base never undertook manufacture or major repairs, but its goods and engine depots here gradually extended along most of the east side of Queenstown Road facing Battersea Park. By the 1890s the carriage shed had gone leaving open sidings while later the goods shed were replaced on an enlarged scale. The goods shed was occasionally used for small post-war railway exhibitions,
Battersea Park Depot. IN 1858 The WELCPR had built a small timber engine shed south north of the later Gasholder Station. For lack of space new locomotive accommodation were in old fashioned roundhouses. A third roundhouse was added in 1889–90 south of and linked to the western shed. The depot was sealed off by an impressive brick wall, probably of about 1900, which ran along Queenstown Road’s east side. The depot lost business and status after the Southern Railway was created in 1923 and It closed in 1934, The western roundhouses became a road vehicle maintenance depot, while by the 1980s the eastern one had become a builders’ merchant’s store. They were demolished in 1986.

River Bank
Dorman Long & Co. This site was between Farmiloes (on the square to the east) and the current site of Battersea Power Station. From 1893 these were stockyards and engineering factories and also included Dawnay & Company and Homan & Rogers. Dorman Long’s works, was extended in the early 1900s, and then during the Great War when the firm was taken under government control. There were two enormous open-ended steel-framed workshops, each about 150ft long.  Steel beams and sections were brought by sea from Middlesbrough and unloaded at the quayside for assembly. They remained here until the early 1960s
Battersea Power Station site (see above)
The Red House. This was a pleasure garden on the banks of the Thames slightly to the west of what is now Battersea Power Station. It opened before the 1720s, when it was the end point of a rowing match, and lasted until 1854. At times it had a bad reputation – with a lot of drinking, rough sports and little regard for the Sabbath.  It included a pigeon shooting ground.
Battersea Wharf. This was the name for the open expanse at the river end of the railway yards and was used for goods transhipment. It continued in use up until 1970.
Battersea Pier. This was between Chelsea Bridge and the rail bridge. It was used for steamer services, but also became the name for railway installations at that pint – signal box, junction and so on.  A new pier has recently been built for the clipper service
Battersea Park and Steamboat Pier Station. This station opened in 1860 and replaced the original ‘Pimlico terminus’ built before the rail services crossed the river .It was opened by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway as ‘Battersea. The Chatham Company trains picked up passengers from riverboats here but Victoria passengers were not allowed to get off because it was a Brighton Company station.   Two years later it was renamed ‘Battersea Park’ and closed in 1870. It was at the southern end of Grosvenor Railway Bridge,
Battersea Park Pier. This lay about half way along the parks riverside. It was been used by steamers.

Bartlett School. Survey of London. Web site
Battersea Dogs Home. Web site
Battersea Gas Holders. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London
Copper Concept. Web site
English Heritage. Web site
GLIAS Newsletter
Greater London Council. Thames Guidelines, 
Hillman. Underground London
Jackson. London’s Termini
London Borough of Wandsworth. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
O’Connor. Forgotten Stations
Parks and Gardens. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Port of London Magazine
Simmons. All about Battersea
Stewart. Gas Works of the North Thames Area
Thames Basin Archaeology of Industry Group. Report
Wikipedia web site – Battersea Power Station, Battersea Park, Chelsea Bridge, Grosvenor Bridge


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