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Putney, Surrey

Historical Description

Putney, a large village and a parish in Surrey. The village stands on the river Thames, opposite Fulham, with a station on the L. & S.W.R., 6½ miles SW of St Paul's, London On the Middlesex side of the river there is a station, called Putney Bridge, on. The Metropolitan District railway, and-from this station is a line across the river to Wimbledon. Putney was known at Domesday as Putelei, and afterwards as Puttenheth; had importance in early times from a ferry at it over the Thames, and communicates with Fulham by a bridge. The old bridge connecting these two places was an ugly and very inconvenient wooden structure; it was purchased by the Corporation of London, and transferred by them to the Metropolitan Board of Works, who erected in its place during 1884-86 a noble and substantial stone bridge, which spans the river by five grand arches, and is 700 feet long, with a roadway of 25 feet and two footpaths of 9 feet each. Putney used to consist chiefly of one street, but it has undergone much extension and improvement of late years, and now includes many well-built streets and handsome residences. It is much resorted to for the boating afforded by the river, and is the headquarters of several rowing clubs, all of which have large boathouses. It has also been associated with the Oxford and Cambridge boat-race since 1836, the course being from Westminster to Pntney till 1851, when it was altered from Putney to Mortlake. Putney Park was once the seat of Christian, Countess of Devonshire, and is now the seat of the Hutton family. The surface rises from the village southward, and commands from its higher points very fine views. Pntney Heath was an important military station in the Civil Wars of Charles I., and the scene of a review in 1684 by Charles II. It was the place of notable duels in 1652, 1798, and 1809. Bowling-Green House was once the seat of Archbishop Cornwallis, and was the death-place of Pitt. A telegraph stood on Putney Heath, and a firehouse was there, in which Hartley in 1776 tried his fire-resisting plates before George III. Thomas Cromwell,. Bishop West, and the historian Gibbon were natives. The parish church dates from the end of the 15th century; was partly restored, partly rebuilt, in 1836 at a cost of £8000; retains piers and arches of the original structure in Later English; retains also the old tower, substantially repaired; includes a chantry in Tudor architecture with elaborate groined roof, built by Bishop West, restored in 1836, and removed from the SW corner to the NE; and contains many brasses and monuments. The churchyard contains the graves of John Toland, the author of " Pantheisticon," and Robert Wood, the author of " Ruins of Palmyra " and " Baalbec." St John's Church stands at Putney Hill; was built in 1859 at a cost of £4500; a tower and spire were added at a cost of £1600 in 1865; and is a handsome edifice in the Pointed style. All Saints' Church is a brick building in the Early English style, and was consecrated in 1874. St Stephen's is a handsome red brick building, erected in 1882. The value of the livings and all statistics will be found under LONDON. There are Congregational, Baptist, Wesleyan, and Presbyterian chapels, almshouses, and some large charities. An obelisk to commemorate Mr Hartley's experiments for the extinction of fires is on Putney Heath.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountySurrey 
Ecclesiastical parishPutney St. Mary 
Poor Law unionWandsworth and Clapham 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records, in association with Surrey History Centre, have images of the Parish Registers for Surrey online.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Putney from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Surrey is available to browse.


Online maps of Putney are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Surrey papers online:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Surrey, 1662-1668 is available on the Heraldry page.

CountyGreater London
Postal districtSW15
Post TownLondon