Wandsworth

To the south west of London lies the town of Wandsworth, on the bank of the river Thames. Wandsworth is actually named after the River Wandle, which flows into the River Thames on the Tideway at Wandsworth.

The town of Wandsworth has an extremely long history; it appears, for example, in the Domesday Book as Wandesorde and Wendelsorde. The Domesday Book was a compiled record of England, completed in 1086 for the conquering King William I of England. It’s purpose was to discover how and what each landholder in the country and what stock was owned, as well as what it was worth. Wandsworth had 12 hides – a unit for assessing land tax in William’s time – which included five and a half ploughs and 22 acres of meadow, making an annual tax of L9.

Nowadays, Wandsworth is considered a popular area for the working affluent of society to live. The Evening Standard – a London-based newspaper – classified this, saying Wandsworth is an area ideal for those earning over L100,000 per annum. Many notable names currently, or have at some point, lived in Wandsworth, perhaps for this very reason. These include former Primeminister Tony Blair, actress Keira Knightley, comedian Jack Dee and model Sophie Dahl.

WandsworthWandsworth town is actually part of a larger area called Wandsworth borough, with the town of the same name as it’s focal point. The borough itself forms part of Inner London, and like the town lies to the south west of London itself.

The borough of Wandsworth was formed in 1965, using the majority of the former borough Metropolitan Borough of Battersea and combining it with the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth. Two areas – Clapham and Streatham – were transferred to the new Borough of Lambeth, while the rest formed the new Borough of Wandsworth.

Wandsworth borough is sandwiched between many others. To the south sit the London Borough of Merton and the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is to the west, to the north are three boroughs – Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster – and to the east sits the London Borough of Lambeth.

Wandsworth – both borough and town – do not feature many of London’s primary landmarks. It is largely considered more of a residential area, with a lively nightclub and bar scene for the local residents. The borough has a large population; on the 2001 census, 260,380 residents were recorded, one of the largest populations in Inner London. 78% of the popular are Caucasian, and the town itself has long been an immigration hub for Dutch settlers.

The borough is a predominantly Conservative area. The Wandsworth representative for the London Assembly, Richard Tracey, is Conservative, as are the Executive and Mayor of the council. The borough produces three MPs, one of which is currently Conservative and two are Labour.

Wandsworth borough has the nickname The Brighter Borough, and is twinned with Schiedam in the Netherlands. And there is no doubt the future of this ever-cool borough is indeed bright.