A Putney Walk

Route & what to see


A 5 mile circular walk from Putney Station. The route can also be accessed from Putney East tube station (District line). There is the option of following the Beverley Brook walk at one point but this (shorter) route can be muddy.

In Tudor times Putney had a number of houses belonging to City merchants and members of the court. In 1617 there were 12 great houses but this number had doubled by 1664. Villas and artisan's cottages were added from the 1820s but many of Putney's buildings are Victorian and Edwardian. The major High Street houses were demolished in 1868-87 for the construction of shops. When surveys were carried out for Charles Booth's 'Poverty Maps' in the 1890s neither of the two lowest categories were present in Putney.

Exit Putney Station
This stands on the site of Sir Abraham Dawes house (built 1634-6). The railway was opened in 1846 and widened in 1886. The present station entrance was built in 1902.

Go right then first right at Disraeli Road
This road was laid out in 1866-9. The library of 1899 was financed by Sir George Newnes who established 'Tit-Bits' magazine. There is a new library entrance alongside. Putney School of Art was founded in 1895.

Left into Oxford Road then left at Montserrat Road. Right at Burstock Road then right along Putney Bridge Road
Abraham Dawes, a collector of customs, lived in Putney from 1620 until his death in 1640. He provided almshouses for '12 poor indigent decayed and decreped almsmen and almswomen'. They were replaced by the present buildings in 1861. Park Lodge is a Grade II listed building of various periods.

Opposite the almshouses take Deodar Road through to the riverfront and walk to the left.
The Boathouse was formerly Douglas Wharf, premises of William Douglas & Sons (refridgeration machinery). St Mary's Church was rebuilt in 1836 by Edward Lapidge. The tower, arcading and Bishop West's chapel were retained from the previous building. In 1973 the church was largely destroyed by fire. The impressive interior (accessed through the new cafe) is now orientated to the north. A number of memorials were saved and have been incorporated.

Cross the main road (High Street/Putney Bridge)
The White Lion was rebuilt in 1887. The first bridge was constructed of wood in 1729 and cost 23,973. There were toll houses on both sides to finance the venture until 1880. A new bridge of Cornish granite was designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette in 1886. This was built on the alignment of an aquaduct (Chelsea Waterworks 1854) which had spanned the river.

Continue following the riverwalk westwards
Kenilworth Court replaced the Terrace of 1800 in 1901-3. The Star & Garter Hotel was rebuilt in 1900.

Left at Thames Place then right into Lower Richmond Road
The oldest part of Winchester House is c1730 with a west wing of 1760. Numbers 37-41 opposite are early 19th century.

Return to and continue along the riverwalk
The towpath was constructed in 1776-7 and the Embankment built in 1888. There are premises of several rowing clubs along here and associated boat-building. The University Boat Race and Head of the River Race are both rowed between Putney and Mortlake. On the opposite bank is Bishop's Park. Beyond Festing Road are Leaders Gardens, named after John Temple Leader, a major landowner.They were opened in 1903 and enlarged in the late 1970s with the acquisition of a former borough depot.

Cross the Beverley Brook at the footbridge

Option 1: Follow the Beverley Brook walk to the left. Do not cross the first bridge but continue ahead with the river to the left. Cross the second bridge and follow the waymarks (yellow discs with a deer symbol).

Option 2: Continue along the river path past playing fields. When you come to a signpost take the path (Queen Elizabeth walk) to the left (signposted to Red Lion).
This passes the London Wetland Centre on the right. The toilets but not the cafe are open to non-visitors.

At the end go left along the footpath/cycleway alongside Rocks Lane.

Both routes: There is a car park at the tennis centre. From here take the asphalt path that cuts across the corner of the common with the old cemetery and trees to the left and open ground to the right. This emerges into Mill Hill Road near Putney Cemetery.
The cemetery was opened in 1855 following the closure of the parish churchyard.

Go past the cemetery along Lower Richmond Road.
Putney Hospital (now closed) was opened in 1912 on a site provided by Sir William Lancaster with funds from Sir Henry Chester.

There is the option of going across the common to All Saints Church
This was built in 1874 on land given by Earl Spencer. It was designed by GE Street and has stained glass by William Morris and Edward Burne Jones. Telephone the parish office on 020 8788 4414 to arrange access. The school was rebuilt in 1893-6 and replaced the Penny School of 1857.

By the hospital go along Commondale.
The Pest Houses of 1665 were demolished in 1860 and the present labourers cottages built (see plaque).

At the end bear left then go right along the path. Right at Barn Elms Park.
This was the entarnce to Barn Elms.

Left along Lower Richmond Road.
Opposite the the Half Moon pub (rebuilt 1904) was a cricket field stretching to the river.

Beyond the pub take Weiss Road to the right. Cross Felsham Road and continue along Charlwood Road (formerly Worple Street).
St Mary's Parochial School was established in 1819 but the present building dates to 1867. The houses were built between 1830 and 1860 on land that was previously market gardens. The gutters have blue glazed bricks made from Middlesbrough slag. Hotham Road School was built in 1909.

At the junction with Chelverton Road go along the pedestrianised Quill Lane
This follows the line of a path from the river ferry. Quill Lane and Modder Place to the left have late 19th century houses.

Continue along Cardinal Place.
This street and Lifford Street have cottages of 1850 & 1880. Stratford Place has semi-detached houses of 1850 and an avenue of lime trees. These streets preserve strip boundaries from the old common fields.

Cross Lacy Road into Mascotte Road
According to Booth's 'Poverty maps' this and neighbouring Olivette Street were classed as 'moderate poverty' typically occupied by labourers, watermen, laundresses and charwomen.

Right at Felsham Road then right along Putney High Street.
WH Smith has occupied the former Assembly Rooms (late 1870s) since 1922. The Spotted Horse pub has a 20th century exterior on an older cottage.

Right at Chelverton Road.
The bus garage site originally provided stabling for London General Omnibus horses. Numbers 60-96 & 37-95 are Edwardian houses.

Left at Charlwood Road then left along Richmond Road.
The old burial ground adjacent to the police station was donated by Rev Roger Pettiward in 1763. It closed in 1854 and was made into a public garden in the 1960s. Putney Arts Theatre has occupied a former Union church since 1968. The Railway (Hotel) is now a Wetherspoons pub.

At the crossroads turn left to reach the station.

Putney and Roehampton Past by Dorian Gerhold
Wandsworth Council
website includes listed buildings and conservation area information
Booth's survey
A history and photos of St Mary's Church available on their
Putney Library has local history displays and publications for sale (closed Tuesdays)

london-footprints.co.uk 2010