The history of Barclay Road is linked with that of Fulham, and later Walham Green. Originally part of Fulham Fields, and from Norman times the Manor of Fulham, it remained sparsely populated and predominantly involved in agriculture.
By 1706 this part of Fulham was being described as “a village in which lives a considerable number of people, mostly gardeners, whose kitchen greens, plants, herbs, roots and flowers dayly supply Westminster and Covent Gardens. Here are no houses of considerable note.”
In 1813, Thomas Faulkner describes this part of Fulham as the “great kitchen garden, north of the Thames for supplying London”. There were orchards of apples, pears, cherries, plums and walnuts, with soft fruit such as raspberries and gooseberries grown in between the trees. Once vegetable growing became more profitable, many orchards were replaced and land given over to vegetables. The market gardeners often cultivated a succession of crops throughout the year. Market gardeners, Faulkner tells us, were very prosperous.
Barclay Road, almost exactly, follows a long narrow field which ran north to south from Fulham Road. Both Rocque’s 1745 map of Middlesex, and Maclure’s map of 1853 show building plots or ’tenements’ along what is now Fulham Road. Behind the road are fields, market gardens and pasture. By the 1860s, the land that was to become Barclay Road was a large brickfield, confirming the gathering building boom.
The majority of the properties in Barclay Road were built in the Victorian Domestic style, dating from the 1860s. Rebuilding after Second World War bombing replaced some of them.