The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 36 Lambeth and Battersea


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Just south-west of Croydon, on the line from West Croydon to Sutton, lies Waddon (Croydon Aerodrome Hotel, Room & Breakfast 9/), with the London or Croydon Terminal Aerodrome, whence daily air services are maintained with the Continent. About 2 miles east of Coombe Lane, the rail, station at the south-east angle of Croydon, lies Addington Park, the summer-residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury from 1808 to 1897. The chancel of Addington Church retains some Norman work. Four recent archbishops are interred in the churchyard. West Wickham, 1+ miles north-east of Addington (on the branch-line from Elmer's End to Hayes), has another interesting church (15th century). Wickham Court (+ miles south) dates in part from the reign of Edward IV (1461-83). To the north-east of Croydon is Shirley. From Vauxhall Station SOUTH LAMBETH ROAD (tramway) runs south to Stockwell Tube Station, passing Vauxhall Park, in which is a Doulton ware statue (by Tinworth) of Henry Fawcett (1833-84), the blind politician. At the station it joins CLAPHAM ROAD, leading south-west from Kennington to Clapham. A little to the north-east of the station are Spurgeon's Orphan Homes, founded in 1867 by the Reverend C. H. Spurgeon (open to visitors daily, except Sunday). About 600 boys and girls are maintained in this institution and the branch seaside home at Margate; and over 4000 children have been admitted to the orphanage since its foundation. Clapham, with its fine common of 220 acres, is a pleasant residential neighbourhood. A tablet (1919) in the parish church commemorates the 'Clapham Sect,' as Sydney Smith called the evangelical Anglican group of friends who lived in the big houses around the Common at the end of the 18th century. Prominent among its members were Zachary Macaulay (father of Lord Macaulay), William Wilberforce, and Lord Teignmouth. The Macaulays' house was No. 5, the Pavement, facing the Common, and here young Macaulay lived until 1818. Wilberforce lived from 1797 to 1808 at Broomfield, later Broomwood House, and prepared there the bill for the abolition of the slave trade (tablet at 111 Broomwood Road). Both these houses have been demolished, and Lord Teignmouth's house, where the Bible Society was founded, is now the house of the Redemptorists at the corner of the Common. Henry Cavendish, the chemist (died 1810), lived facing the Common, at the corner of Cavendish Road. From Clapham Common the main thoroughfare (tramway) goes on to the south-west via Balham and Tooting to Merton. Daniel Defoe is said to have founded the first 'Independent Meeting' at Tooting. To the south of Tooting is Mitcham noted for its breezy common (480 acres). Lavender, once the staple of the local gardens, is now little grown here; but other herbs and flowers flourish. Mitcham Fair (Aug. 12-14th) is among the oldest in the country. Sir Walter Raleigh had a country house in the parish, and John Donne was an occasional visitor.