Riverside, south bank west of the Tower. Battersea west of the park
Post to the east Battersea - power/dogs/park
Post to the west - Morgan's Walk
Albert Bridge was built by a private company so it was tolled as a way of making money. It was opened in 1873 and named after Prince Albert. .it may be the most unusual bridge on the Thames. It was designed by Rowland Mason Ordish who had patented the Oedish-Lefeuvre system using a combination of stays and cables for rigidity. The system here has a main 'parabolic' cable supporting the weight of the stays. A series of inclined stays takes the remainder of the load. It has cylinder foundations supporting the decorated iron towers. The contractors for this ironwork were Andrew Handyside & Co. following its takeover by the Metropolitan Board of Works under Joseph Bazalgette the original wire cables were found to be rusting, and were replaced by steel link chains. It proved to be structurally unsound, and remedial work incorporated some of the design elements of a suspension bridge. Until the late 1960s the bridge Ws subjected to a 5 ton load limit, and thereafter it has been 2 tons. In 1972-73 the bridge deck was replaced and two concrete piers were added turning the central span into a simple beam bridge. A notice at either end requests troops to break step when marching across in case it starts to sway. The toll booths remained in place although the toils were abolished, and are the only surviving examples of bridge tollbooths in London. Since 1992 it has been lit up at night
Albert Bridge Road
85 The Prince Albert. 19th pub, now a 'gastro pub with stripped wood floors’. It was the first building in Albert Bridge Road, (built 1866-6). Its architect was Joseph Tanner.
Muribloc (Partition Slabs), In 1916
2 Princes Wharf.
Williams In the 1870s this wharf was used by Samuel Williams, barge builder and contractor who in 1887 built a deep-water dock at Dagenham used to fit out the largest battleships. He further developed he area and eventually formed a shipping company.
Albert Bridge Flour Mills. This was built in 1883 for Marriage, Neave & Company Ltd. It was designed by Fred Bath with a large tower. They later became the Hovis Mills and were closed and demolished in the 1970s.
Style and Winch. In the 1950s the wharf was used by Barclay, Perkins and Co., Ltd., as Anchor Vaults — Wine and Spirit Dept. 1955. This had previously been Style and Winch and served by sailing and motor barges which brought beer from the Medway to Battersea for bottling,
Battersea Bridge. This replaced a wooden bridge toll bridge which had been designed by Henry Holland 1766-71. It was the last surviving wooden bridge on the Thames. It had been built by John Earl Spencer and other subscribers for less than £18,000, including the approaches. Poorly designed it was dangerous both to its users and to shipping, and there were often collisions. Two piers were therefore removed and the bridge strengthened with iron girders. Eventually it was declared unsafe and had to be closed to traffic. It was then purchased by the Metropolitan Board of Works a temporary footbridge was erected and the old structure was then demolished in 1885. It was replaced in 1890 with a 19th functional style five span arch bridge designed by Joseph Bazalgette. It was opened by Lord Rosebery in 1890. However it is situated on a sharp bend in the river and so dangerous and subject to collisions with shipping.
Battersea Bridge Road
The stretch of Battersea Bridge Road was added around 1855 and had been built through Upper Rowditch field by the Battersea Park Commissioners. It was slanted westwards in order to allow traffic to meet the turnpike road more easily
Fire Boat Station. Built by the London County Council 1898-1947 and since demolished
37 Brunel. This was the Earl Spencer Pub which has had a variety of other names.
74-76 The Draft House. A 1929–30 rebuilding of this pub by G. G. MacFarlane, architect to the Stag Brewery in Pimlico. This was originally called the Prodigal’s Return but it has also been called Matilda, Blue Mango, Pig on the Bridge, a restaurant and Bridge.
Royal College of Art. The Dyson building opened in 2012. Named for Sir James Dyson who graduated from the school in 1970. It has incubator units, a lecture theatre and gallery as well as the departments of Printmaking and Photography. There is also a large gallery fronting Battersea Bridge Road. Another building is for the Applied Art departments of Ceramics & Glass and Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork & Jewellery.
This square covers only a portion of the park. The rest is in the square to the east
Sculpture. Single Form by Barbara Hepworth.
Adventure Playground. For children 5-16.This has now been privatised ad run commercially so there is a charge. The Little Train which runs from there to the Tropical Garden and Fountains then to the Zoo and Boating Lake
Anti-aircraft station. In the Great War this was set up on the croquet field. There was also a clothing depot on one of the cricket fields.
Buddhist Peace Pagoda built in 1985 by Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhists. It is in Canadian fir and Portland stone and is one of a chain of many such pagodas built across the world dedicated to the search for international harmony and peace
Herb garden. This was created in 2000 using a plot left vacant after greenhouses were demolished, and has won London
Cricket pavilion. There were 14 cricket pitches at the time of the Great War
Football pitches. Not provided until after the Great War
Grand Vista and fountains. This was part of the Festival Gardens designed by John Piper and Osbert Lancaster, and with Upper and Lower Terraces linked by wide flights of steps to the Fountain Lake flanked by willows. There are regular fountain displays and much of the area has been restored.
Winter garden. This was opened in 2011 and is a living memorial to Elaine Hodges, Founder Member and Secretary of the Friends of the Park.
The Sub-Tropical Garden. This opened in 1864 a rare and exotic hot-house plants flourishing outdoors. Using plants native to the sub-tropics out of doors in an English garden was completely new, as was the use of contrasting foliage for effect rather than colourful flowers and copied from a garden in Paris.
Old English Garden. This was laid out in 1911–12. It was restored in 1989, with a pergola at the west end, wooden arbours with climbing roses to the north, and a pond in the centre with a small fountain.
Brown Dog Memorial, commissioned by the National Anti-Vivisection Society and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection as a replacement for the original Brown Dog memorial of 1906. It is a sculpture of a dog by Nicola Hicks, modelled on her pet Jack Russell, standing on a 5ft-high Portland stone plinth. The wording from the 1906 memorial is repeated, together with a history
West Lodge. Rebuilt by the London County Council in 1891.
Rotunda Tea Room, designed for the London County Council by H. A. Rowbotham, in 1938–9. It was designed to make the most of the view over the lake, centred on the cascade. It had windows from floor to ceiling on the south-west side and a covered terrace supported on steel columns and has brick walls ornamented in Dorking hand-made multi-coloured tiles. Inside was decorated in Art Deco colours.
Gymnasium. Opened in 1859 for the use of schoolchildren. Two further children’s gymnasia were provided
The crossing between Battersea and Chelsea is mentioned n 1292-3 and named as the Chelsea ferry in 1564, when it was a horse ferry. It was later owned by the crown and then passed through a number of hands, probably with the Manor of Chelsea but was later in the hands of the Bolingbroke and then the Spencer families. It ceased in use when bridges were built.
Small group of houses built on the site of an old school playground. Named after a local medieval priest
9-15 Vivienne Westwood Ltd. Fashion House. They moved here in 1995. This is their pattern cutting and sampling studio and is said to be in a rebuilt former film studio. The conversion by Anarchitect Ltd of a 1980s light industrial building, as a five-storey studio.
40 Never Never Land Gallery. This is also part of Test bed and Doodle Bar, Edge of Arabia was founded by a British artist with two Saudi artists in the mountains of South Western Saudi Arabia, in 2003. This consists of exhibitions, publications and events. The building is also used by the Crossways Foundation.
40 In the 1950s this building was used by Knitmaster. Established 1955 they produced knitting machines and patterns for users of home knitting machines
This was once called Wellington Road, and before that it was Soap House Lane. It became Hester Road in 1937. It is now closed to traffic
Salvation Army Wharf. In 1891, a salvage wharf was set up with a river-front sign saying "Darkest England Salvage Convertor" the paper was sent to Holland for pulping. As well as waste paper, they converted old tin-cans into toys, and repaired and cleaned old clothes. It became the headquarters of the Salvage Brigade.
16 Bridge Wharf. This was used by Phillips Mills who were waste paper merchants with a large international business and who took over the Salvation Army site. The site is now another landmark block of flats
Battersea Foundry. This belonged to Robinson & Cottam and was built in 1863–4 to designs by John Whichcord. By the mid-1870s the site had been taken over by one of the Ransomes, the Ipswich-based engineering dynasty. Here they were able to cast machine parts. They also converted and built up the area now known as Ransome’s Dock. They left around 1890
Ozokerit Works. This dated from 1871 and was owned J. C. & J. Field & Company, the Lambeth based soap company. ‘Ozokerit’ was part of their refining process, and used as a trademark for a brand of candle, designed for the tropics. This closed in 1894 and was taken over by neighbouring Bowley’s works
Wellington Works. This was used by Joseph Bowley, soap- and candle-maker and oil-refiner- who also made white lead. They were based here from about 1868, and closed in the early 1960s
Battersea Steelworks. The Ransome site was taken over by Drew-Bear Perks & Co. They made structure steel components here for the construction industry.
White lead works adjacent to Battersea Bridge. This may have been Joseph Freeman & Sons who were in this area 1841-1881. It later became the bus depot
Riverside fodder wharf. On the site of the white-lead works the London Road Car Co. established stables with red-brick riverside silos and fodder warehouses, designed by Peter Dollar. Grain for the horses was brought here by lighter.
Battersea Bus Garage. This was on the area also known as Albion Wharf. This was originally owned by the London Car Company and passed to London General Omnibus Company when they amalgamated in 1908. There was an annexe on the other side of the street from 1914. It closed in 1986 but then reopened as a private hire coach garage and for the Round London Sightseeing Tour until 1988. The site is now flats.
22 Foster offices, Riverside Three built in 1990. This is an eight-storey building off a public terrace giving studio space, flats and studios. There are model-making, audio visual and presentation spaces
14 Royal College of Art. In 2010 the Sackler building was opened. This won a RIBA award. It was a conversion of a single-storey factory into studios with a specially profiled roof which allows north light to be achieved throughout
This had previously been called Park Road
12 Meadbank Nursing Centre. Private hospital. As part of the plans for the Ethelburga Estate in the 1960s a site between Searles Close and Battersea Bridge Road had been reserved for old people. This was to be linked to a larger old people’s home with a courtyard plan facing Parkgate Road. Ronald Ward & Partners were the architects and the home was built in 1968. It has since been altered.
Ransome’s Dock. The Ransome site was on the riverfront but they also began to rebuild the small creek on the mouth of which their works was based. The creek is said to be one of the distributaries of the Falcon brook. This creek was excavated and a dock built in 1884 by B. Cooke & Co. and designed by Edward Woods to take lighters, barges and coastal steamers. Craft could turn and pass on the lowest tides. This opened up a large area of land either side of the dock at what is now Parkgate Road and works were built here in the 1880s,
39-40 Stevenson’s Steam Bakery. The facade here has been kept but behind it are more flats. Stevenson’s were a Glasgow firm who set up a works here to serve the London market in 1885
Natural Ice Company Ltd. Underground ice wells were built for this firm which shipped ice direct from Norway. It was later taken over by Slaters Ltd, and by 1902 belonged to The United Carlo Gatti Stevenson Slater Company an amalgamation of block ice trade merchants. During the 1920s, with advances in refrigeration technology, the store was replaced by an ice-making plant above ground and an ice making factory was built in Parkgate Road and parts of this are now a restaurant
St Mary-Le-Parc. This was built in 1883 by William White but only the eastern part of the church, was built. It was later demolished and is now the site of Mary le Parc Court. This was built in 1970 by David Cole. To the west of the church is the former vicarage.
Inglesia ne Cristo.This is the former St.Mary le Parc church. It is placed above a hall with ancillary rooms, and approached by a flight of steps. It closed for Anglican worship in 1989 and was declared redundant in 1991. The building was sold in 1994, with most of the contents, to the Philippino Pentecostal Church of Christ.
This is part of Morgan’s Walk estate which is mainly on the square to the west.
Blue Plaque Guide
CAMRA. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London
Field. Place names of London
Glazier. London Transport Garages.
Grace’s Guide. Web site
J.B.Stevenson. Web site
London Borough of Wandsworth. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry, South London
Phillips Mills Memories. Web site
Port of London Magazine
Pudney. Crossing London’s River
RCA, Web site
Simmonds. All about Battersea
Smythe. City Wilds space
Thames Basin Archaeology of Industry Group. Report
Workhouses. Web site