South West London

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Abbeville Road: a local history


The popularity of the area fondly known as Abbeville Village is largely due to its close-knit, nostalgic feel coupled with excellent transport links and amenities. The beauty of the area surrounding Clapham Common lies in its delightful pairing of old and new, and when it comes to finding estate agents in Abbeville Village it is well worth asking not just about Clapham Common tube station proximity and schooling options but also about the rich seam of history which lies in the brickwork of every building.

As the obvious icon of the local area, it may surprise you to learn that Clapham Common originated as a reject! From its origins in the ninth century, the village of Clapham gradually grew and wilderness was slowly converted to farmland-with the exception of a large unkempt area which was left untouched due to poor quality soil. This scrubland is now far more fertile but more importantly has survived in all its greenery to become the present day Common around which Clapham as we know it has grown.

Abbeville Road itself first appeared as part of the Roman Road known as Stane Street, which had to take a detour from its route from London to Chichester due to a boggy stream. Until the mid 18th Century the area served as part of the grounds of the fine mansions lining Clapham Common, by then a hub for wealthy Victorians looking for clean air close to the city. Cheapening transport links gradually brought the middle classes to the area, paving the way for the Abbeville Road we know today.

What sets this street apart now as it did a century ago is its community feel and in the early 1900s Abbeville Village really came into its own with a splendid array of local businesses producing everything from bread to boots on site. Nowadays the stores here do a little more outsourcing and a few high street brands make their presence felt but by and large Abbeville Road is still a bastion of independent trade with many and varied small businesses preserving the legacy of Clapham’s busy history.

As the established local property experts in Wandsworth and Lambeth, the James Pendleton team are well known for their unparalleled knowledge of the local area. Drop in to their Clapham Common or Clapham South offices to learn more about the local area and if you have a viewing in SW4 don’t forget to ask your estate agents about Abbeville Road past and present.


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