Battersea, a parish and parliamentary borough in Surrey, situated on the river Thames, opposite Chelsea. The manor, known to the Saxons as Petersey, signifying Peter's Island, belonged to the abbey of St Peter at Westminster; was granted, in 1627, to the family of St John; and passed in 1763 to the Spencers. The old mansion on it was the residence of the famous Viscount Bolingbrokc, but has been entirely demolished. It is, however, commemorated in the neighbouring localities of Bolingbroke Terrace and Boling-broke Garden. Battersea Fields, within the manor, along the Thames, were long notable as a marshy tract, producing a great variety of indigenous plants, and were the scene, in 1829, of the duel between the Duke of Wellington and Lord Winchelsea, but are now converted into a fine public park, and partly covered with streets and buildings. The park comprises 185 acres; lies almost all below the level of high water; was purchased at a cost of £246,517, and laid out, in 1852-58, at a further cost of £66,373; and is disposed in walks, drives, ornamental plantations, and a fine sheet of water. It contains the Albert Palace, which was taken over by the London County Council in 1893. A special feature of Battersea Park is the sub-tropical garden, which is superior to that of any other park or garden in London. A suspension bridge, across the Thames, at the upper end of the park, measures 347 feet between the towers and 705 between the abutments; is remarkably light and elegant; and was erected, in 1857, after designs by Mr T. Page, at a cost of £85,319. The railway to Victoria station is carried across in the vicinity on a substantial, tasteful, segment-arched bridge, constructed by Mr Fowler, and opened in 1860. A fine town-hall was erected in 1893. There are numerous handsome places of worship for all denominations. Population of the parliamentary borough, 98,235, and of the civil parish, 150,558.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Battersea St. Mary|
|Poor Law union||Wandsworth and Clapham|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
Ancestry.co.uk, in association with Surrey History Centre, have images of the Parish Registers for Surrey online.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Battersea from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848 (Battersea (St. Mary))
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Surrey is available to browse.
Online maps of Battersea are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Surrey papers online:
The Visitation of Surrey, 1662-1668 is available on the Heraldry page.