|Chapter XIX||London – South of the Thames
by Sir Walter Besantt
This is a digitised copy of the book London – South of the Thames by Sir Walter Besant
Published in London by Adam & Charles Black (1912)
This is in its raw form. Sections will be improved manually on this blog as time goes on.
CLAPHAM AND BATTERSEA
That portion of Clapham lying to the north of the Common, and especially near the Church of the Holy Trinity, is quite old-fashioned, and to-day is in pleasing contrast to the adjacent newly-built streets and depressing creations of the suburban architect.
Holy Trinity Church, standing in an angle of the Common at the Old Town, was built in 1775 and opened for public worship the next year. This church was built to take the place of the original Parish Church of St. Mary, most of which was pulled down in 1774, the remaining north aisle having been removed in 1814, a chapel-of-ease being built on the site in 1815. This is now St. Paul’s. The names of the former rectors of Clapham begin with that of Richard de Morton in 1285, the history of the rectory extending over 600 years. Facing the church is the ” Pavement,” composed mainly of old-fashioned houses with shops built out in front in the unsightly manner which has long been condemned by the Fire authorities. Adjoining is a part of the Old Town, known as the Polygon, with a fire station and shops built on what was formerly the northern point of the Common. The Cock Tavern, a remarkable old house dating
from the sixteenth century, was originally in the cottages behind, which with their sloping roofs, weather-boarded sides, small windows, and high steps give evidence of their age. The “Old Town,” with its quaint old houses behind the trees, has preserved most of its original characteristics, but the shops are slowly encroaching, and gradually the fine old buildings are disappearing.
At the corner of Grafton Square, in front of the Congregational Church, is a good specimen of the solidly-built square cottage of last century, with a little wooden shop added in front. Close at hand is the Old Manor House with “The Cedars” on the opposite corner, named from the trees in the garden, of which there are several fine specimens round Clapham Common. St. Anne’s House on the other side of the road, and the Manor House, a picturesque Georgian building now used as a boys’ school, add further interest and charm to this corner of the Common.
The original Manor House, which stood where Cromwell Cottage and Turret Grove meet, was, unfortunately, pulled down a few years ago. Its date is unknown, but from the external ppearance and the panels and chimney-pieces of the rooms it probably dated back to Elizabethan times. An octagonal tower, the base of which formed a long window in a large room, rose somewhat higher than the rest of the house, and terminating in a dome gave the whole a very singular appearance. This tower gave the name to Turret Grove.
The house was probably built by Bartholomew Gierke, Dean of the Arches and Lord of the Manor, who died in 1589. The circumstances of Queen Elizabeth’s dining at Clapham, most probably with the Dean of the Arches, in 1583, is mentioned in the churchwardens’ accounts for the parish of Lambeth.
Cromwell Cottages are named from Oliver Cromwell, who, according to Whitehead, the author of Old Clapham, is said to have lived here. At the junction of North Street and Rectory Grove is St. Anne’s Hall, used for lectures and meetings, and immediately behind is a row of very picturesque houses lying back from the road in gardens, but gradually becoming dilapidated, and now inhabited by small tradesmen. With their steeply pitched roofs, double dormers, bay windows, and pedimented doorways, they form one of the last links between Old and New Clapham. To the east the site of the old Rectory is marked by a Grove of small cottages, very clean and tidy.
The east side of North Street opposite is a long range of straight old houses built together and of striking uniformity. There is a goodly sprinkling of small shops in this street, and houses fill the lower end to Wandsworth Road.
To the north in Rectory Grove new houses have sprung up on both sides, and beyond Turret Grove the Iveley Road, a new street of small cottages, has been built to the west at the foot of Rectory Grove.
The churchyard of St. Paul’s blocks the way with a narrow path downhill to the main road below, and from the gate a fair view of the church can be gained. The building itself is a modern square brick structure to which has recently been added a transept and chancel. It stands on the slope of the hill overlooking the Wandsworth Road in the midst of a crowded graveyard with the vicarage standing in the close near by. Among other monuments in the church is one to William Hewer, the friend and clerk of Pepys, and the magnificent sculptured figures of the Atkins family—Lords of the Manor of Clapham in the days of the Commonwealth which were recently recovered from a vault in the churchyard where they had been
long stored away and forgotten. These figures are remarkably well executed and in good preservation, and are said to be the handiwork of Grinling Gibbons. The first register of the parish of Clapham dates from the year 1551, and deserves mention as being fairly complete with the exception of ten years —1691 to 1701.
They contain the usual entries, stating whether the body was buried in woollen in the period of the seventeenth century, in which the law to encourage the woollen industry was operative. There was a fine for using linen, and on April 8, 1679, we find the account of the burial of Mrs. Mary Wallis in Hnen, and the entry adds,
” Information given and /a : los. distributed to ye poor.”
At the end of the second register is a very remarkable entry, being a list of “children touched by his Majesty for ye evil.” His Majesty in this case would be James 11. Going along
the passage through the churchyard, where the crowded condition of the gravestones and monuments is very noticeable, past a few small cottages and down some steps we reach the Wandsworth Road, a busy main thoroughfare lined here with small shops and houses, and crowded with vehicles, and the trams which run to the City. This road winds up hill and down till Lavender Hill is reached, and then, with a better class of houses and larger shops over the brow of the hill, the road descends quickly towards Clapham Junction.
Returning to the Common by North Street, the Public Library, built in 1889, is passed, and then the interesting old Church Buildings are reached. This row of houses was built on a two hundred years’ lease in 1713, and are to-day sound and good, and are locally mentioned as the work of Sir Christopher Wren. Numbers 3 and 4 of this row, over the archway, were formerly united, and here was Mr. Greaves school where Macaulay was educated between 1807 and 1812. Under the archway is seen the heavy gate through which the scholars entered the
school, which was built in the grarden. Thomas Hood also received his education in this same row of buildings at the Clapham Academy, which consisted of the two red-brick Queen Anne structures now forming Clarence House and Mr. Stroud’s School. The gates of “Hollyhurst” and two or three others near by have the remains of armorial bearings on them, but they are almost rusted away or thickly encrusted with paint. At the corner of the Macaulay Road is a fine old double cottage, overgrown with ivy, with tiled roof and heavy dormers, standing beyond the house line amongst well-built residences, and therefore very prominent. This road is lined with good houses, and in it is the Rectory, built a few years ago when the old one in the Grove was taken down. Clarence House, with a passage under the next house to a row of cottages behind, now a school for girls, has also the remains of a fine gate. At the corner ” The Lodge,” although hidden behind a modern front, is old, but beyond it the houses are modern. At “The Elms” in the Chase, Sir Charles Barry, the architect of the Houses of Parliament, died in 1860.
It was here on the west side of the Chase that the Hewer estate was situated,
stretching through to the Cedars estate and the Wandsworth Road, and consisting
in 1666 of some four hundred and thirty-two acres. The house, which belonged to
Sir Dennis Gauden, brother of Dr. Gauden, Bishop of Exeter, and which is described as being magnificent, was pulled down in 1762. After the death of
Sir Dennis in 1688 the property was purchased by William Hewer, one of the
Commissioners of the Navy to King James H., the clerk and friend of Pepys.
Here Pepys frequently visited, and here, after withdrawing from public affairs, he
lived, and, as mentioned in Evelyn’s diary, died on May 26, 1703. The Cedars
Road is named from the “Cedars,” a celebrated house pulled down in 1864. The
Church of St. Saviour’s stands in this road. Wix’s Lane comes next, and was
originally the only thoroughfare running from the Common to the old Kingston
Road between the numerous estates that covered this neighbourhood. Now roads
are cut through at short intervals and the lane is rather forsaken. It runs along
the backs of the gardens, and, the fences being close, is not a tempting walk, but in
the centre it widens out at Garfield Road. To the west of the lane, and as far as the Sisters Avenue, the entire district is cut up with new roads and others in the
making. The Taybridge, Forthbridge, Stormont, Marney, Sugden, Thirsk, and
Longbeach Roads have all been recently built after the same regulation style
that obtains everywhere in the suburbs of London.
South of the Marmion Road there is still a piece of open ground. At Stormont Road close to Lavender Hill is a fine Congregational Church and Institute, and farther west at the corner of the Grayshott Road the massive red-brick church of the Ascension towers over the neighbourhood. Here the main road is open and contains a better type of shops
and houses. Beyond the Sisters Avenue—recently extended straight through to Battersea Rise and built up—are the Mysore and Elspeth Roads with Lavender
Gardens, also lately opened. Opposite the Mysore Road are the Battersea
Municipal Buildings and Town Hall, and just west of these, Cedar House, with fine
trees in the garden, and Elsinore Lodge are being demolished to make room for
the Shakespeare Theatre. The view from the gardens of these houses away to the
north over Battersea Park is extensive when the atmosphere is clear. Opposite
Lavender Gardens is the newly-erected police court and station for Lavender Hill.
Attenburg Gardens are lined with good houses on the east side, the west being still open. At the corner of Lavender Lane is the Battersea Public Library, containing
the usual reading-room and reference and lending libraries, facing the site for the
new post office, which has been taken from the grounds of the large house now used
as an educational institute. Lavender Sweep, a wide semicircular thoroughfare,
has been added to by building Parma Crescent and Eccles Road inside the curve. Down the hill from the library there are large stores and shops, and the corner by
St. John’s Road is always very busy. On the western side of St. John’s Road new
little streets have been made, but on the east, although there are many business
places, one large house in fine grounds does not allow much more expansion,
owning as it does so much land.
The old Board of Works offices at the Battersea Rise end of the road are now
occupied by the Y.M.C.A. Up Battersea Rise the Limburg and Hafer Roads have
lately been extended towards the Sweep and are built up. West up St. John’s Hill
the houses and shops are mixed, and past the theatre on the south side all the
available ground has been covered with streets, closely massed together. On this
side farther up the 4th East Surrey Volunteers have head-quarters and quite a spacious drill ground, and at the crest of the Rise by the railway is the Junior Branch
of the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls, begun in 1880. Passing over the railway
bridge, from which to the north Clapham Junction Station shows its numerous
platforms, and again crossing the bridge on Plough Road to the south, the main
buildings of the Freemasons’ School are on the left. These fine buildings, erected
in 1852, were enlarged in 1891, when the Alexandra Centenary Hall was added.
This hall is 96 feet long by 45 in width, and contains some fine stained-glass
windows presented by masonic lodges, the three larger windows at the lower end
including portraits of Royal and other eminent masons. To the south, at an angle
of Wandsworth Common near the Bolingbroke Road, is the Church of St. Mark,
Battersea, a fine structure with square tower surmounted by a shingled spire.
Westward new houses are springing up rapidly, and between Varden’s Road and
the railway the ground has been entirely covered with houses. Park Road and the
adjoining roads also contain good houses. On St. John’s Hill shops and houses are mixed on both sides of the way to the Wandsworth Infirmary, adjoining which are the Fishmongers’ Almshouses, otherwise known as St. Peter’s Hospital. Erected
in 1 85 1, they form three sides of a quadrangle, and comprise forty-two houses with
a chapel—open to the public^—in the centre, standing in large grounds beautifully
laid out and well kept. Opposite is a Wesleyan church at the corner of Spanish
Road, and towards East Hill is the quaint old Jessamine House with its equally
picturesque neighbour the French Horn and Half Moon Inn. Through the
Huguenot graveyard on the north side of Wandsworth Common are three very fine
old dwellings—the house of Mr. Lawrence (92), “The Cottage” (94), and Mr.
Pulman’s residence (96). Standing as they do by the old cemetery, weather-beaten,
and overgrown with ivy and creepers, they are strangely contrasted with the straight
alleys of red-brick houses which overpower every view with their aggressive sterility.
Past the quiet graveyard with its old gravestones at the angle of the road stand the
new buildings of the Wandsworth Board of Works and the busy High Street of
Wandsworth a little lower down.
Between the South-W^estern Railway yards and the great gas-works of the
Gaslight Company the south side of Nine Elms Lane consists of a mass of small
streets, at all angles, for the most part of two stories and inclined to squalor ; they
are the houses of the labourers of the vicinity, and are overrun with children who
attend the Board School in the Ponton Road. The enormous gasholders to the west
overshadow these streets, and the works, which cover many acres and employ an army of helpers, extend as far as Haines Street. Beyond is St. George’s Church,
Battersea, recently repaired, and standing in an old disused graveyard surrounded on all sides by a poor neighbourhood that relies on the adjoining railroads for its
living. The streets to the south are all short, as the South-Western Railway runs
parallel with the main road. Sleaford Street contains a Board School—of which
there are over sixteen in Battersea alone, which gives a good idea of the birth-rate and west as far as Stewart’s Road is another colony of small streets and houses, for
the most part cleanly kept. The principal street is New Road, which starts with
small houses and shops of all descriptions and contains a public vaccination and
outdoor relief station for Battersea.
Passing under the railway arches—the older of which are very small and narrow —St. George’s National Schools appear at the corner of the Wadhurst Road. They
are built of brick with stone dressings, and standing in a far better neighbourhood,
educate a better class of children. The roads to the west of this are the best in the
neighbourhood, for the houses are well kept, and though of the commonplace twostory
type, are better built. This is particularly noticeable in the Corunna and Wadhurst Roads. The cross streets farther south as far as the Wandsworth Road
are smaller and not so cleanly kept, nor have they such a good type of tenant.
In the Stockdale Road is St. Andrew’s Church, near Patmore Street, and beyond in
Stewart’s Lane is Trinity Hall, used as a place for all sorts of meetings ; and farther on there is a Primitive Methodist Chapel in Sterndale Road. Between New and
Stewart’s Roads, close to a densely-populated neighbourhood, are the large works of
the Projectile Company, making shell of every description and giving work to a great many hands. Here the streets are all small and mean, and in places filthy ; the
shops are of the worst type, ministering to poorly-paid wage-earners, and among
them are evil-smelling fish-bars and the inevitable small, squalid public-houses
with their attendant second-hand dealers. Passing the large new Board School — a centre of hope and inspiration in an area of intolerable gloom—a sharp rise leads to
the Wandsworth Road. On the opposite side of this thoroughfare is Clifton Street, a small street of dreary houses, with shops and a brewery mixed in, running through
to Larkhall Lane.
Beyond Courland Grove, past the Baptist Chapel, is Union Grove, and here the
whole character of the neighbourhood changes. Good, clean houses of three and
four stories, with gardens and trees, in well-kept streets, take the place of the poor
tenements farther north. Christ Church, Clapham, faces up Union Grove, with the
Rectory adjoining. At the corner of Smedley Street are the church schools with
day and evening classes, and adjoining the Bowyer St. John’s schools. A very small
police station located in a cottage at the corner gives evidence of a quiet neighbourhood.
Smedley Street, lined with small houses with sad little garden-patches in
front, leads to Larkhall Lane, with a large brewery opposite. To the west the road
climbs Larkhall Rise—named from a former residence on the hill —past good houses
of a large and roomy type, built in terraces with good gardens in front and looking on a well-kept open road. Eastward Larkhall Lane is a busy street, lined with
small shops interspersed with private houses. On the north side a few of the old
detached houses are still left standing in fair-sized gardens. Gaskell Street contains a large Board School, also an Infants’ School of St. John’s Church, and leads into
Bromfield Road, which, with the Union, Chelsham, and Gauden Roads are well
kept, lined with good houses ranging from two-story to four-story houses, all of a dreary respectability. There are still very faint suggestions of a former
rural life in the locality.
Union Road leads into the busy Clapham Road, with shops creeping in among
private houses and vacant spaces here and there to let. Towards the station there
are still several fairly pretentious houses with large gardens in front, but at Gauden Road shops are thick, and even the arches under the railway are all rented
for trade. At the corner of Bedford Road is Bedford Hall, the head-quarters of
the Y.M.C.A. in Clapham. Clapham Station on the London, Chatham and Dover Railway, just off the High Street, at this point serves a very busy district, although
the tramways and electric railway carry many thousands daily to the City and back.
Bedford Road for the short distance to the railway bridge is lined with small shops,
but beyond the houses rapidly improve. Opposite the Ferndale Road is quite a
large open space, but this is now in the builders’ hands and will rapidly be
” improved.” All the district to the west, including the Kendoa, Kenwyn, Tremadoc,
and other adjacent roads, is quite new, and consists of three-story villas, built
with the usual clumsy stone dressings, showy tile-work, small gardens, and wonderful names. Several of the houses at the Bedford Road end of these streets are in two
parishes, Claphani and Lambeth, the boundary line being almost in the centre of the
In the Hazelrigge Road are large and well-designed Board Schools attended by a superior class of children, and farther on is Clapham Park Road, here for the most part taken up by small tradesmen with some old-fashioned cottages left, which still maintain a slight feeling of the country, though this is being rapidly lost as the building wave advances. To the east is Acre Lane leading to Brixton, and to the west the road runs into Clapham High Street. The western end has better shops and houses, and contains a large Roman Catholic Church—St. Alphonsus—with extensive ground and schools, behind which is a new road, named after the church, lined with clean little houses rented by a good grade of people.
Park Crescent, Park Road, and Nelson’s Row are built up with two-story houses of a decently-kept type usually tenanted by small jobbing tradesmen. A small chapel built in 1847 stands
in Crescent Road, and is well attended by local residents. The houses at the foot of
Clapham Park Hill are not very large, but as the hill is ascended they improve. On
this hill is the Church of St. James standing on a good piece of ground. The church
schools are detached in Park Road. West Road and North Road to the east are very quiet residential streets, full of a good type of house, well kept and with large
gardens. Loats Road, a continuation of Bedford Road, runs south, and is a fine
broad thorouq-hfare with large detached houses on both sides standingf in good gardens well shaded with trees. This road ends at Crescent Lane, a narrow,
winding lane leading on to Clapham Common, for the greater part running along the
backs of houses, but built up on the south side between Elms and Abbeville Roads.
The continuation of Loats Road is King’s Road, and from this runs Clarence Road.
All the houses in these roads are of the highest class of the Victorian house of the
suburbs standing in large grounds, an idea of which can be gained from
“Woodlands” at the corner of Park Hill, which is to let and stands in eleven
acres. The roads are wide, with broad, natural side-walks, p-rass-frinsed, and shaded
by tall trees ; in fact all the Clapham Park estate is exceptionally well-wooded for a suburb so near London. Eastward of King’s Road is Lyham Road, which to the
north of Cornwall Road is lined with rows of new small cottages, and then as it winds uphill towards the Military Prison suddenly changes to an old neighbourhood
with small shops, little cottages with tiny gardens in front, and a couple of small
mission halls. All Saints’ Church Institute, a new brick building, is at the top of the
Rise, where there are more small shops which supply the household needs of those who
live in the short streets lying towards the King’s Road. These streets are all lined
with small cottages, those in Thornbury Road being quite new and very well kept.
The road again ascends until opposite each other stand a row of old red-brick tiled
cottages, built in 1828, with gardens in front, and a terrace of new gaudy two-story
houses just finished. Lower and Upper Orchard Streets are poor and in a dirty
neighbourhood which supports a cluster of small shops and public-houses. The
Church of All Saints rises conspicuously at the angle of New Park Road, with the
vicarage and schools adjoining. It stands on a good piece of ground, but alongside,
opposite Mill Lane, the old houses have been pulled down, and on their site workmen
are busy preparing new roads, and building operations have begun.
The ground in this neighbourhood is composed of a large flinty gravel many
feet deep, giving an excellent surface drainage. The view over to King’s Road is very charming, and though well timbered now will soon be changed by the builders.
New Park Road on the south side to the corner of Streatham Place is about evenly
divided between shops and cottages. Here the Atkins Road comes in and runs
west, with large detached residences standing in good gardens to the Queen’s Road,
which is a repetition of the former road with the same style of house. At the corner of Clarence Road large notice boards announce that this portion of Clapham
Park estate, ” a valuable freehold property of 44 acres with three mansions and
two residences thereon and fronting on Queen’s, Poynder’s, Clarence, and Park Hill
Roads,” is for sale. Most of this ground is heavily timbered, with remarkably fine
trees, and is a very healthy and opulent neighbourhood just within the four-mile
radius from Charing Cross. At the north-eastern corner of Queen’s Road is a considerable strip of open land, also for sale. From here Poynder’s Road debouches
into Cavendish Road, which is lined on the north side with houses built in terraces,
each approached by a flight of steps, and on the north is Abbeville Road, from which
Trouville Road immediately leads off This road at the commencement faces a large
open plot—also for sale for building—now used as a tennis-ground, with a few houses
built facing the space ; but to the north the buildings are again of the three-story
suburban type built as closely together as possible. The Abbeville Road commences
with a fair class of house, but almost at once shops appear and continue for two
blocks on both sides of the road. They are well kept and superior to the average
suburban shop, but the buildings in which they are ranged in straight lines are generally quite unpleasing. All the building in the district—and it is going on
everywhere—is of the same straight terrace style, which affords a wider margin of
profit for the speculative builder and inflicts a deadly monotony on the unfortunate inhabitants. To the west the many new roads from Klea Avenue to Clapham
Common are neatly laid out, clean, and lined with good houses. On the east side
building is going on briskly in the Bourneville and Hambalt Roads, and crossing the
Elms Road the whole neighbourhood is built over. At Crescent Lane the way to the Common is up a gently sloping country lane
under beautiful trees, with the gardens of the houses of the grove and the crescent on one side, and the wall of the Convent of Notre-Dame with its day schools to the
south. Passing along the broad paved roadway by the Common with its busy shops
towards the High Street, Bromells Road is on the north side. This road, and
round it, is part of old Clapham, and the old-fashioned, low-built, tiled houses
situated on glebe land are now rapidly being demolished and the quaint little shops
are quickly disappearing. Great gaps have been made in the line of houses and
many more are marked to be torn down.
All the ground facing Wirtemberg Street at Chip and Cross Streets is being levelled for building and the old houses are disappearing fast. The small streets leading through into little Manor Street are very clean and tenanted by poor though respectable people, but little Manor Street is dirty, small, and narrow. Manor Street to Larkhall Rise is a wide fairly clean thoroughfare of mixed shops and houses which improves towards the north. The same may be said of Wirtemberg Street, which commences poorly, but from the Board School north is far better than at the Clapham end.
Belmont Road runs into Grafton Square, a very quiet and respectable
square flanked on the south side with good four-story houses built in terraces, and
otherwise well built up with good residences. Clapham Congregational Church is a stone structure with a fine spire, and farther north in the square is the brick
chapel of the Clapham Common Baptist Congregation. From here to Larkhall
Rise all the streets are very respectable and contain little houses, which from the
frequent cards displayed rely largely on renting rooms. The west end of Larkhall
Rise contains some fine old houses on the south side, but the north is mainly lined
with rows of recent red-brick erections, with new streets of the same style of house as those in Netherford Road and Brayburne Avenue running north from the main road.
Northwards to Albion Road a quiet closely-built thoroughfare, Wandsworth Road, is reached at Stewart’s Road, or Lane, as it was till recently named.
Everywhere in this district, as well as in Clapham, street names are being
extensively changed. This end of Stewart’s Road is well built with three-story
houses, but towards the Battersea Park end the houses are much smaller with
shops between ; and after passing under another very low railway bridge, where the
roadway narrows to some ten feet, Battersea Park Road is reached by a flight of
steps, with the railway tracks close up to the railings. The main road was raised to cross the many lines of railway converging to this point, and this has left the houses on the south side of the road many feet below the level. This is notably so on the west side of the railway, where a long row of one-story cottages is situated. The
streets from this point as far west as Culvert Road are all short, being stopped by the
embankment of the London & South-Western Railway, and though small and mean
in appearance and eminently squalid, some soulless being has named them after
romantic kings and English premiers ! South on the winding Queen’s Road, which is
lined with neat little houses, the numerous arches of the railway viaducts have
all been rented to different trades. A mineral water firm has a large establishment
located on them on the east side, and farther on in one of the angles made by the
railways quite a number of trades are established and the South London Tramways also have a yard.
From Queen’s Road Station to the Brighton Railway the road makes another quick curve, and on the south side some new buildings have just been erected, but there is yet considerable open ground. Opposite is a row of large shops which do not seem to have prospered, since many of them are to let. At the commencement of the Silverthorn Road is the old Longhedge House. The parish of Battersea is crossed and recrossed everywhere by railway embankments and viaducts of the different companies, which give work to thousands of its population. East of Silverthorn Road all the district is the home of the working man, with many small streets of small houses.
Queen’s Road from here to Lavender Hill is a broad straight avenue with a steady stream of traffic and a system of railways centering at Battersea Park. This road is almost all newly built, but there are still some vacant spaces on both sides. The houses are generally flats of three stories, one flat having a house door to itself numbered with a letter of the alphabet to distinguish the separate household dwelling in the upper floors. The road is very wide and presents a good appearance, with the houses built uniformly and well. Queen’s Square, situated about midway, contains the Church of St. Philip, of stone with a square tower, in a pleasantly-kept churchyard. To the east and parallel with Queen’s Road is Philip Street, and in Tennyson Road a large Board School. These roads with Robertson and Heath Road are of good appearance, and in this neighbourhood are many new houses of the usual type.
From Queen’s Road west the entire district is new as far as the Tyneham Road. Broughton and Stanley Streets are like all the rest, houses of two or three stories, closely packed, no yard to speak of, shadeless streets swarming with children, and each house exactly like its neighbour. Here building is still going on, and in Emu and Ingelow Roads the houses are hardly out of the builders’ hands before they are occupied.
A large angle of open ground still remains at the junction of Stanley and Prairie Streets, but cannot continue long unbuilt upon. The southern end of Queen’s Road is busy and lined with shops of all descriptions with a sharp rise up to Lavender Hill. Before this is reached a passage to the west—an old right-of-way, narrow and for pedestrians only—gives access to the many new streets recently built which run north almost to Arliss Road.
Thr Tyneham Road, with shops at the south end, is a broad thoroughfare with clean little houses as far as Eversleigh Road, and divides the newly-built district from the older houses on the west. Board Schools are not wanting here, for there is one in Basnett Road and another in Gideon Road.
The Grayshott Road runs through the centre of the Shaftesbury estate, which is laid out carefully with good cottages and most of the streets are lined with trees. At the corners of this property turreted buildings define the limits. In Asbury Road is another Board School and a good block of workmen’s dwellings.
From the Eversleigh Road a foot-bridge leads across the railway lines into Culvert Road, and at once the change in the houses and people is apparent.
Sheepcote Lane, a narrow winding turning alongside of the railway, contains many old houses, and in it is a large “Destructor” for burning rubbish. To the west are the Latchmere allotments, a large tract carefully planted with all kinds of vegetables, which the parish is now levelling by shooting rubbish off the roads into the low parts. The shops in the Culvert Road are mainly small, and of a general description, with a liberal sprinkling of public-houses and second-hand stores. Blondel and Carpenter Streets are very clean, but the average street is small and dirty and the people are far from Cleanly, while troops of children are obliged to play in the gutters. In the busy Battersea Park Road, Ordney Street is noticed as being better than the average, and at the corner of Chesney Street stands St. Saviour’s Church, a small stone building with a hall attached and a large open space adjacent for future extensions. Still passing eastward by numberless small streets, each with a knot of idlers at the corner, the road leads back to Nine Elms.