The History of Wandsworth in London

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Wandsworth History

Historic Wandsworth

History of Wandsworth
Image Credit: wandsworthhistory.org.uk

Young and Co’s Ram Brewery is a famous brewery, and has been making beer in Wandsworth since 1581, it is the oldest site in the UK where beer has been continuously made, and it was not until 2006 that brewing ceased here. Wandsworth gas works is another notable historic site, built in 1834; later it became a gaslight and coke company. Wandsworth Prison was built in 1851 and come 1878 it served as the Capital’s prison where executions took place; before they were hanged prisoners were held in the cells here.

History of Wandsworth

The first settlers in Wandsworth were here in the region of half a million years ago. Roman remains have been found in Wandsworth but it is not known whether there was a permanent settlement here. By Tudor and Stuart times there was a village well established in Wandsworth, with substantial houses having been built here.

From the late 16th C onwards Protestants who had been persecuted in Europe began fleeing to Wandsworth, the French followed suit in the late 17th C. By the late 1700’s Wandsworth was still very rural, but the local communities began to grow. The railway from London to Southampton that opened in 1838 attracted more and more people further afield from the centre of London. By the 19th C industries were booming along the Thames.

Modern Day Wandsworth

A multicultural area these days, with an East African, Indian and Pakistani contingency throughout the borough, the Wandsworth that relied heavily on industry is long gone, with only a woodyard, waste plant and cement works situated here. There has been huge re-development in the area, namely along the River Thames. Also undergoing in the region of £40 million investment is Southside Shopping Centre, as is the 7-acre brewery site that is set to be renovated, with a museum and new microbrewery featured in its development.