Survey of London: Battersea

Volume 49: Public, Commercial and Cultural

Edited by Andrew Saint

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The south London parish of Battersea has roots as a working village, growing produce for London markets, and as a high-class suburb, with merchants’ villas on the elevated ground around Clapham and Wadsworth Commons.  Battersea enjoyed spectacular growth during Queen Victoria’s reign, and railroads brought industry and a robust building boom, transforming the parish into another of London’s dense, smoky neighborhoods, though not without its unique and distinguishing features.  Among these are Battersea Park, which was created by the Crown in the 1850s; the monumental Battersea Power Station, completed in 1939; and Clapham Junction railway station, which is, by measure of passenger interchanges, the busiest station in the United Kingdom.

 

The two latest volumes of the Survey of London, 49 and 50, trace Battersea’s development from medieval times to the present day.  Offering detailed analysis of its streets and buildings both thematically and topographically, and including copious original in-depth research and investigation, the books are a trove of architectural history and British history.  Profusely illustrated with new and archival images, architectural drawings and maps, these volumes are welcome additions to the acclaimed Survey of London series.

Andrew Saint is the general editor of The Survey of London and the author of Richard Norman Shaw


 “St Mary’s rightly figures on the cover of a marvellous new book. Or rather, two books, for these are volumes 49 and 50 of the monumental Survey of London, which began 113 years ago with the Parish of Bromley by Bow. To have reached Volume 50 is astonishing. The editors, Andrew Saint and Colin Thom, should be made dukes, at the least.”—Christopher Howse, Daily Telegraph,

“It is, perhaps, no coincidence that this magnificent achievement is not the work of an inchoate, overpaid bureaucracy (it would have expired years ago if it were), but of a clever, small, scholarly team of never more than six researcher-writers and a couple of draughtsmen, now under the inspired editorship of Andrew Saint. Long may they flourish!”—John Martin Robinson, Country Life

“It is, perhaps, no coincidence that this magnificent achievement is not the work of sclerotic, overpaid bureaucracy (it would have expired years ago if it were”) but a clever, nimble, scholarly team of never more than six researcher-writers and a couple of draughtsmen, now under the inspired editorship of Andrew Saint. Long may they flourish!”—John Martin Robinson, The Georgian

‘The survey is an institution unique in the urban world. Nothing like it has ever been attempted elsewhere and perhaps could never be. It is both testimony to and commemoration of London’s patchwork complexity where the distinctive character of small neighbourhoods has defined in large part the living history of the city. . .These are beautiful books, a fit setting for the scholarship that has gone into them.’—Jerry White, Times Literary Supplement

‘These two tomes on Battersea are models of meticulous scholarship, marvellous presentation, and lucidly written history, superbly illustrated with photographs (many in colour), beautiful drawings, historical material, plans, and maps. . .All-in-all, these admirable volumes deserve the highest praise, not only as things of beauty packed with information, but as records what has been lost and what remains. It is a privilege to have them on one’s shelves.’—James Stevens Curl, Perspective

‘These beautifully produced volumes are monuments to the transience of life, landscape and buildings in an inner-London district characterised by activity as much as by built form.’   —John Bold, Burlington Magazine
ISBN: 9780300196160
Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Co-publisher: Published for English Heritage by Yale University Press on behalf of the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
520 pages, 8 3/4 x 11 1/4
150 color + 250 b/w illus.
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