A brief history of Battersea

News at Eden Harper | 09/10/2018

Battersea is a vibrant area, with beautiful houses, green spaces and great schools. It's no wonder that so many people are looking to live and work in the area. The incredible regeneration of the area means that Battersea is one of the most sought-after parts of London, with house prices booming.

Here's a look at the history of this part of London. We can assure you that you’ll be looking for an estate agent in Battersea after reading some of these interesting facts about South London…

Early Days

The name 'Battersea', which in medieval times was known as Batricheseie, Batricesege etc, probably refers to the gravel 'island' by the Thames where the church, manor house and main arable field was found. Battersea was the Crown's property in 1066, but not long after the conquest, William the Conqueror gave it to Westminster Abbey and it was used to support the monks at the Abbey.

In 1540, when Henry VIII embarked on his mission to dissolve the monasteries, the manor was given back to the Crown and then sold to the St John family.

18th Century

At the end of the 18th century, Battersea passed into the hands of the Spencer family and remains the property of the Earl of Spencer. The area became known for market gardening, supplying vegetables, fruitand flowers to London markets and also to the colonies in America. Industry pockets sprung up along the riverside, with the parish church and village close by.

Victorian Era

During the Victorian period, the railways were constructed and the population of Battersea boomed. Open land was purchased by four railway companies and riverside windmills and wharves were replaced by new industries. Flour mills, breweries and the Nine Elms Gas Works also popped up. Battersea Park was opened in 1858, stopping the area becoming completely industrialised. After 1870, better quality surburban houses were built along Battersea Rise just a stone's throw from the commons.

The Second World War

During the Second World War, much of Battersea property by the river was destroyed or damaged. There was a large rebuilding plan, with riverside industries west of Albert Bridge starting to close down or relocate. New, high rise apartments filled the void, such as the Trade Tower on Plantation Wharf for young professionals.

Trendy Industries

The presence of the Royal College of Art in Battersea, which got university status in 1967, has meant that media and fashion-based industries flocked to the area. The regeneration of Battersea Power Station and the ongoing transformation of the Nine Elms area, will likely ensure that property prices are pushed up to similar levels to those in Kensington and Chelsea. Transport links are also set to be improved, with a new Northern Line at Battersea Power Station expected at some stage over the next few years.

It seems as if a new chapter's opening up in the history of this incredible area!