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Brief History of Earlsfield


The development of Earlsfield as a district began back in 1877 through to the 1930’s. Garratt Lane itself is an ancient road with unknown origins, which had always been an access route through the fields and common land that it once was. Garratt Lane, interestingly, follows the route of the river Wandle that provided communication between the many mills and farmland along its way. The large mills at Duntshill were used for a variety of purposes including the manufacture of Parchments, Quill pens, the printing of Paisley Shawls, making dyes and fireworks. At the time, the only houses around were the small worker’s cottages.

The railway passed by the area in 1838, but it wasn’t until 1884 that Earlsfield Station opened when new shops began to open and houses began to be built and spread across the fields towards Wandsworth Common and Burntwood Lane. The name of the district came from the Lord of the Manor’s wife’s family who were called Earl, as most of the area was still open fields, the two together became Earlsfield. . The Lord of the Manor himself was called Davis and he was the founder of the first housing development that began the growth of the area.

Earlsfield, however, remained almost a sleepy, forgotten ‘village’ in contrast to its lively up and coming neighbours; Wandsworth, Battersea, Clapham and even Tooting; all landmarks when trying to describe where Earlsfield was! Like all areas that become ‘discovered’, it was a slow process with a handful of buyers ‘braving’ the unknown and consequently others followed, enjoying the quaintness of the area, in fact up until just a few years ago, the original riding shop still traded on the corner of Garratt Lane & Trewint Street, but sadly had to close due to the lack of horses & riders in the area! Also gone are the local traders such as Butchers, Bakers, Greengrocers etc, replaced by Estate Agents, hairdressers, beauticians, off licences, bars, delicatessens and restaurants; a testimony to the area’s affluence over the past 15 – 20 years.

Earlsfield today is a very different place with young professionals buying and selling property, recognising the continual development of the area, excellent train service and its family orientated atmosphere. It was a slow developer but has seen huge growth, particularly in the last 10 years, and can now hold its head up high to the likes of Balham, Clapham & Wandsworth, to name but a few.

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