Northcote Road, SW11

Road in/near Earlsfield, existing between 1868 and now

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Road · Earlsfield · SW11 ·
October
25
2021

Northcote Road is a shopping street between Clapham and Battersea, which stretches over half a mile.

The area south of Battersea Rise centred on Northcote Road lies at the core of modern, upwardly mobile, child-rearing south Battersea. This is ‘Nappy Valley’, where the plentiful boutiques, restaurants and cafés cater as much for the booming infant population as for their affluent parents. Once part of an estate attached to Bolingbroke Grove House, on the site of the former Bolingbroke Hospital, it comprises about thirty-five acres bordering Wandsworth Common and is almost a suburb in itself. It was developed in phases, mostly in the 1870s–90s, under one of the freehold land societies with nigh on 600 houses, as well as shops, churches and schools.

It was the Conservative Land Society (CLS) which in 1868 acquired the undeveloped remnant of the Bolingbroke Grove House estate from Henry Wheeler, its last private owner. The CLS had been active in north Battersea since the 1850s, buying estates to increase Tory support among the working classes by selling small freehold plots for house-building that gave owners the right to vote. However, by the time the society offered the first 113 plots for sale on its Bolingbroke Park estate, as it became known, this political incentive had receded. Thenceforth the CLS and its subsidiary the United Land Company were fundamentally speculative land agents and developers, and it was in that spirit that they went about their business here.

The street layout for the first phase was the work of the society’s Glaswegian surveyor James Wylson.

He devised a simple rectilinear grid of mostly east–west streets (Abyssinia Road, Cairns Road, Shelgate Road, Mallinson Road, Bennerley Road and Salcott Road), many of them running uphill either side of a central north–south spine road (Northcote Road) built over the Falcon Brook. (This put Northcote Road in a similar line to the two side-streets, Sydney Place and Swaby Road, then being built on the Chatham Road estate to the south, which enabled them to be joined together later as a single main road.) Mallinson, Bennerley and Salcott were the longest, running all the way from Wandsworth Common to the estate’s eastern boundary at Mud or Pope’s Lane, now Webb’s Road. (These three roads, as well as Shelgate Road and the later Wakehurst Road, were to be extended beyond Webb’s Road as part of the development of the adjoining West Side estate in the 1880s.)

Construction began in 1868 and continued piecemeal throughout the 1870s and into the 1880s. Most of the houses west of Northcote Road went up c.1869–75, any gaps being filled during the late 1870s—though a few plots, such as 2–4 Shelgate Road, remained undeveloped till the 1890s. A second batch of freeholds came on sale in 1872, a third in 1875, this last group relating to houses east of Northcote Road, which by and large were built in the later 1870s and early 80s.26 By then the population here was making good use of the rail link at Clapham Junction (opened 1863), as well as two new churches—St Mark’s, Battersea Rise, and St Michael’s, Chatham Road.

With the exception of the Northcote Hotel (c.1870) and a few shops, much of the earlier fabric built in Northcote Road in the late 1860s and 70s was, as in the side-streets, residential (e.g. the runs on the west side at Nos 32–40 and 70–86). But as building picked up here and on neighbouring estates, so this road, with its central position in the declivity of the Falcon brook, evolved into the district’s main shopping street. Many houses were converted to shops in the late 1870s and 1880s, and new commercial terraces erected (e.g. Nos 23–31 and 87–99).27 Most shops were small, catering for local domestic needs, especially food and clothing.

Costermongers’ stalls also appeared and eventually blossomed into a full-blown street market. The arrival of banks in the late 1920s added to the high street character: the Midland at No. 10, and the Westminster at Nos 35 & 37, the latter with a classical stone façade.

There is much variety to be found among the first houses built in these streets between 1869 and the mid-1870s. Wylson died in January 1870, when only a few had been begun, and neither he nor his successor, John Ashdown, exercised much control in terms of house size or elevational uniformity. Some of the first houses were tall and urban-looking, usually in an old-fashioned late-Georgian style; others were smaller, in two-storey terraces. Most were built in short runs, few builders taking on more than a handful of  houses at a time, and on the whole decoration was limited. Alfred Heaver’s first Battersea houses, built in 1869–70 at 2–12 Bennerley Road, in partnership with Edward Coates, were of this type, and it is instructive to compare them with those he built seven years later at Nos 58–72, by which time he was acting also as a developer. For by then a distinctive ‘villa’ style had evolved under Ashdown’s surveyorship that was to become the hallmark of the estate and of much of Heaver’s later work from the mid 1870s. This consisted of terraced or semi-detached houses tricked out in a livery of gault brick with banding and arches in a contrasting stock (or sometimes red) brick, interleaved with generous string-course ornaments—studs, nailheads and rosettes. Liberal over-painting has since exaggerated this gingerbread-house effect. (Heaver himself lived for a time at No. 72, which he dubbed ‘The Homeland’, the biggest and most finely detailed house in the row.)

The Bolingbroke Grove frontage, overlooking the common, attracted bigger, more valuable properties, generally similar in style, though there were some individualistic exceptions, of which the double-fronted, detached houses at Nos 92 & 93 stand out. The latter was erected in 1874 as Holly Lodge, extended in 1883 and 1894, and again in 1901 when it became the vicarage to St Michael’s Church. Its more heavily decorated neighbour dates from 1882–3. Both were built for Harry Nelson Bowman Spink, a chemist based in Westminster, who lived at No. 9.

Land at the southern end of the estate had remained vacant. In September 1875 Ashdown drew up plans for a continuation of Northcote Road and two further east–west streets leading off it (Wakehurst and Belleville Roads). Just over an acre facing Webbs Road was taken by the London School Board as the site for a school, and work then began on houses in the adjoining parts of the new streets, between Northcote Road and Webbs Road. These were semi-detached villas, on more generous plots than usual, of about 20–24ft frontage.

The final phase of house-building—the laying out of the western ends of Belleville Road and Wakehurst Road — took place in 1878–80 under Heaver, who cut his teeth as a developer here, buying all four acres from the CLS and leasing plots to investors or builders. Plans were provided by the architect William Clinch Poole (a resident of one of his ‘own’ houses in Belleville Road, the present No. 62), who following John Ashdown’s death in August 1878 became surveyor to the CLS and United Land Company, and thereafter was a regular associate of Heaver’s.31 The new roads just missed Bolingbroke Grove House, which was bought by the Rev. Erskine Clarke before it could be demolished and converted to a pay hospital and dispensary (later the Bolingbroke Hospital). Unlike the roomier plots east of Northcote Road, overlooking Belleville Road School, the two-storey houses here were smaller, and built as long terraces, though designed with recesses (where the servants’ doors were located) to give the impression of semi-detached pairs.

In 1889 Henry Nicholas Corsellis, the Wandsworth solicitor and developer, bought Grove House, the last of the Five Houses in private use. Confronted with a rectangular plot sandwiched between the gridded streets of the Conservative Land Society’s estate and the Liberals’ Chatham Road development, Corsellis’s surveyor and builder William Stanbury followed suit, laying out two more east–west streets, with return frontages to Webb’s Road and Bolingbroke Grove, both of which were widened at this point. At the same time Stanbury took the opportunity to extend Northcote Road further south.

Northcote Road has an historic food market which dates back to the 1860s, and now has the indoor Northcote Road Antiques Market. As with the vast majority of street markets, Northcote Road is a mere shadow of itself, being much smaller size, and more specialised in what its stalls offer.



Citation information: A Survey of London – Between the Commons – The Under
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CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY


Born here
Joyce Taylor   
Added: 5 Apr 2021 21:05 GMT   

Lavender Road, SW11
MyFather and Grand father lived at 100 Lavender Road many years .I was born here.

Reply
LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Comment
Bob Land   
Added: 29 Jun 2022 13:20 GMT   

Map legends
Question, I have been looking at quite a few maps dated 1950 and 1900, and there are many abbreviations on the maps, where can I find the lists to unravel these ?

Regards

Bob Land

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Comment
Alison   
Added: 26 Jun 2022 18:20 GMT   

On the dole in north London
When I worked at the dole office in Medina Road in the 1980s, "Archway" meant the social security offices which were in Archway Tower at the top of the Holloway Road. By all accounts it was a nightmare location for staff and claimants alike. This was when Margaret Thatcher’s government forced unemployment to rise to over 3 million (to keep wages down) and computerised records where still a thing of the future. Our job went from ensuring that unemployed people got the right sort and amount of benefits at the right time, to stopping as many people as possible from getting any sort of benefit at all. Britain changed irrevocably during this period and has never really recovered. We lost the "all in it together" frame of mind that had been born during the second world war and became the dog-eat-dog society where 1% have 95% of the wealth and many people can’t afford to feed their children. For me, the word Archway symbolises the land of lost content.

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Comment
Jack Wilson   
Added: 21 Jun 2022 21:40 GMT   

Penfold Printers
I am seeking the location of Penfold Printers Offices in Dt Albans place - probably about 1870 or so

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Lived here
   
Added: 19 Jun 2022 16:58 GMT   

Runcorn Place, W11
Runcorn place

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Comment
   
Added: 30 May 2022 19:03 GMT   

The Three Magpies
Row of houses (centre) was on Heathrow Rd....Ben’s Cafe shack ( foreground ) and the Three Magpies pub (far right) were on the Bath Rd

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Comment
Watts   
Added: 17 May 2022 20:29 GMT   

Baeethoven St School, also an Annex for Paddington College of FE.
In the early 70’s I took a two year science course at Paddington CFE. The science classes were held on weekday evenings at Beethoven Street school, overseen by chemistry teacher, Mr Tattershall.

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Added: 25 Apr 2022 22:11 GMT   

Southover, N12
Everyone knows Central Woodside is the place to be. Ever since kdog moved from finchtown, Woodside has been thriving.

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Born here
Bernard Miller   
Added: 12 Apr 2022 17:36 GMT   

My mother and her sister were born at 9 Windsor Terrace
My mother, Millie Haring (later Miller) and her sister Yetta Haring (later Freedman) were born here in 1922 and 1923. With their parents and older brother and sister, they lived in two rooms until they moved to Stoke Newington in 1929. She always said there were six rooms, six families, a shared sink on the first floor landing and a toilet in the backyard.

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NEARBY STREETS
Abyssinia Close, SW11 Abyssinia Close is a road in the SW11 postcode area
Abyssinia Road, SW11 Abyssinia Road was named after a British expedition to Ethiopia.
Alberta Cottages, SW11 Alberta Cottages were probably designed by John Tarring in 1862.
Alfriston Road, SW11 Alfriston Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Aliwal Mews, SW11 Aliwal Mews was built on the long back gardens of 70–74 Battersea Rise.
Aliwal Road, SW11 Aliwal Road is part of an 1880s scheme originally named St John’s Park.
Almeric Road, SW11 Almeric Road is a road in the SW11 postcode area
Arundel Close, SW11 Arundel Close is a road in the SW11 postcode area
Ashness Road, SW11 Ashness Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Auckland Road, SW11 This is a street in the SW11 postcode area
Avonview Apartments, SW11 A street within the SW11 postcode
Barnard Mews, SW11 Barnard Mews is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Battersea Rise, SW11 Battersea Rise is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Battersea Rise, SW18 Battersea Rise is a road in the SW18 postcode area
Belleville Road, SW11 Belleville Road runs from Bollingbroke Grove, across Northcote Road, to Webb’s Road.
Bennerley Road, SW11 Bennerley Road crosses Northcote Road.
Berber Road, SW11 Berber Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Bolingbroke Grove, SW11 Bolingbroke Grove is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Bolingbrooke Grove, SW11 Bolingbrooke Grove is named after a newspaper family.
Boutflower Road, SW11 Henry Boutflower Verdon was the first vicar-designate of St Mark’s Church, past which the road runs.
Bramfield Road, SW11 Bramfield Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Buckmaster Road, SW11 Buckmaster Road is a road in the SW11 postcode area
Burland Road, SW11 Burland Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Cairns Road, SW11 Cairns Road is a road in the SW11 postcode area
Canford Road, SW4 Canford Road is a road in the SW11 postcode area
Cazenove Villas, SW11 A street within the SW11 postcode
Chatham Road, SW11 Chatham Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Chatto Road, SW11 Chatto Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Chivalry Road, SW11 Chivalry Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Clapham Common West Side, SW11 Clapham Common West Side is a road in the SW11 postcode area
Coates Avenue, SW18 Coates Avenue is a road in the SW18 postcode area
Cobham Close, SW11 Cobham Close is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Comyn Road, SW11 Comyn Road, built on former meadows, was designed for Alfred Heaver by architect C. J. Bentley.
Danvers Avenue, SW11 A street within the SW11 postcode
Darley Road, SW11 Darley Road is a road in the SW11 postcode area
Dulka Road, SW11 Dulka Road is a road in the SW11 postcode area
Eccles Road, SW11 Eccles Road is a street south of Clapham Junction station.
Grandison Road, SW11 Grandison Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Grove Mansions, SW4 Grove Mansions stands on Clapham Common North Side.
Hafer Road, SW11 Hafer Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Halston Close, SW11 Halston Close is a road in the SW11 postcode area
Hepburn Mews, SW11 A street within the SW11 postcode
Honeywell Road, SW11 Honeywell Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Keildon Road, SW11 A street within the SW11 postcode
Kelmscott Road, SW11 Kelmscott Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Lansdowne House 3-7, SW11 A street within the SW11 postcode
Leathwaite Road, SW11 Leathwaite Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Limburg Road, SW11 Limburg Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Lindore Road, SW11 Lindore Road is a road in the SW11 postcode area
Mallinson Road, SW11 Mallinson Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Monarch Square, SW11 A street within the SW11 postcode
Muncaster Road, SW11 Muncaster Road is a road in the SW11 postcode area
Rainham Close, SW11 Rainham Close is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Salcott Road, SW11 Salcott Road runs between Bolingbroke Grove and Leathwaite Road.
Shelgate Road, SW11 Shelgate Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Stonells Road, SW11 A street within the SW11 postcode
Strath Terrace, SW11 Strath Terrace is a road in the SW11 postcode area
Strathblaine Road, SW11 Strathblaine Road is a road in the SW11 postcode area
Sturgess Cottages, SW11 Sturgess Cottages were accessed via a back alley behind the Railway Tavern (later called Hawkin’s Forge).
The School, SW11 The School is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Turner Place, SW11 A street within the SW11 postcode
Tyneham Close, SW11 A street within the SW11 postcode
Wakehurst Road, SW11 Wakehurst Road is a long Wandsworth street stretching from Bolingbroke Grove to Clapham Common.
Webbs Road, SW11 Webbs Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Wellington Court, SW11 Wellington Court is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Wisley Road, SW11 Wisley Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.
Worcester Gardens, SW11 A street within the SW11 postcode
Wroughton Road, SW11 Wroughton Road is one of the streets of London in the SW11 postal area.

NEARBY PUBS
All Bar One This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Babel This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Battersea Club This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Hawkin’s Forge Hawkin’s Forge was, in its time, the Railway Tavern and also became the Dog and Duck.
Rise 46 This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Bank This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Eagle This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Northcote This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Plough This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.


Earlsfield

Earlsfield gets its name from a long-demolished 1860s mansion called 'Earlsfield' just south of Allfarthing Lane.

In the 1860s, the whole area was an uninhabited stretch of open country, apart from the hamlet of Garratt to the south, famous in the eighteenth century for the bizarre political burlesque of the Election of the Mayor of Garratt which took place near the Leather Bottle.

Earlsfield finally started growing in the 1880s. The railway came in 1884, and in 1885 a vast workhouse was established on Swaffield Road. By 1900 developers had covered practically the whole area north of the station with terraced housing. In the years just after the First World War, Wandsworth Borough Council created the Magdalen Park Estate between Swaby Road and Openview.

Nowadays, Earlsfield is a commuter suburb with little industry.


LOCAL PHOTOS
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St Johns Road, SW11
TUM image id: 1466529945
Licence: CC BY 2.0

In the neighbourhood...

Click an image below for a better view...
Eccles Road, Battersea (1906) - a perfect line of Victorian terraces.This view has not changed much - apart from the cars - in the intervening years.
Credit: Young & Co, Teddington
Licence: CC BY 2.0


Mid Victoria-era cottages, Battersea
Credit: GoArt/The Underground Map
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St Johns Road, SW11
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Wakehurst Road, SW11 (1907) The street is photographed from the roof of Bolingbroke Hospital. Northcote Road Baptist Church still had a spire at the time.
Old London postcard
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Severus Road is very near to Clapham Junction station. In a tweet during May 2020 JK Rowling confirmed that just round the corner, in a flat on Northcote Road, the idea for the Harry Potter series of novels was concieved.
Credit: Wiki Commons
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