Category Archives: clapham common

clapham common bandstand

Clapham Common Bandstand

Oh for just a bit of the civic pride that built bandstands, and a wee bit of the sense of community that put on regular band concerts within them.

The Clapham Common bandstand for example, built in 1889 after the locals petitioned the London County Council. It cost £600 to erect and, twice a week – Wednesday afternoons and Sundays – one could stroll over to the common and hear a concert, presumably for free.  Continue reading

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The Orangery, Clapham

BlVrCzsCUAA8iTsThis was a surprise. You really don’t expect to come across a huge Georgian relic in a post-war south London housing estate.

But in the middle of the Notre Dame estate in Clapham is this – the portico to an Orangery (or greenhouse) “formerly part of a miniature landscape estate with a lake belonging to the Thornton family” built in 1793. (More about other members of the Thornton family in my earlier post about Battersea Rise.)

London Gardens Online describes it thus: “The façade is a simple classical design with columns of Portland stone and Ionic capitals in Coade stone. The pediment is decorated with swags of roses, fir cones and leaves and in the entablature is carved a quotation from Virgil [HIC VER ASSIDUUM ATQUE ALIENIS MENSIBUS AESTAS], which translates roughly as ‘Here is perpetual spring and summer even in other months’. There were glazed sashes between the columns, and the inside was plainly plastered.

 

Edwin Evans and Battersea Rise

IMG_0290-150x150The closing of a small estate agent’s office in South West London is hardly big news (some might even raise a cheer), but the closure of the Edwin Evans office on Lavender Hill marks a break with a significant piece of Battersea history. 
Because it was the original (Sir) Edwin Evans who bought, demolished and developed Battersea Rise House and its 22 acres of land on the north west corner of Clapham Common. His consortium paid £51,000 for the whole plot and parcelled off lots for development, with 475 houses being built on the land between 1908 and 1915.
 
Battersea Rise House from the Common, about 1900

Battersea Rise House dated from the early 18th century, but it came to prominence from 1792 when Henry Thornton, a wealthy banker, bought it and moved in with his cousin William Wilberforce. 

Two of Thornton’s brothers owned villas on Clapham Common Southside and Thornton’s aim in buying Battersea Rise House and the land surrounding it was to create a community of like-minded (and high-minded) friends. Two substantial houses, Glenelg and Broomfield were built in the grounds, with Wilberforce moving into Broomfield House when he married in 1797.

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