Clapham History


The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

CLAPHAM, a suburban parish in the eastern division of the hundred of Brixton, in the county of Surrey, 4 miles from St. Paul's. It has a railway station on the Metropolitan Extension branch of the London, Chatham, and Dover line, and another station on Clapham Common, known as Clapham Junction, on the London and South-Western line. The village has long been considered one of the handsomest and most respectable in the suburbs of London, comprising many elegant mansions and villas surrounded by gardens and pleasure-grounds.

The whole line of road from London to the common is now built upon. On the E. side is a handsome crescent, opposite which is a range of buildings called the Grove, with shrubberies in front, and on the side adjoining Brixton is Clapham New Park. It is well lighted with gas, and there is an ample supply of water, partly from the South Lambeth Waterworks, and partly from a spring on the side of the common leading to Wandsworth. The trade of the place consists merely in supplying requisites to the families resident in the vicinity.

The living is a rectory in the diocese of Winchester, value £1,275, in the patronage of H. A. Bowyer, Esq; The parish church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was built in 1775. There are five other churches in this parish, viz., Christ Church, St. Paul's, St. James's, St. John's, in the patronage of the rector, and All Saints, in the patronage of trustees. The livings are all perpetual curacies, varying in value from £300 to £500.

Here the Congregationalists, Baptists, United Presbyterians of Scotland, and Roman Catholics have places of worship, and there are several schools, in connection with the foregoing. The parish is comprised within the bounds of the 'V' district of the metropolitan police.

The Common, consisting of above 200 acres, is well planted and kept, and surrounded by handsome villa residences. In June, 1862, a drinking fountain was erected on the Common. On Clapham Rise stands St. John's church, a fine edifice, with a handsome Ionic portico at the E. end, surmounted by a pediment. It is a district church, being separated, for ecclesiastical purposes, from the mother church of the parish.

There is an acting coroner for the district of Clapham, chosen at the court for the duchy of Lancaster, part of the parish being within the jurisdiction of that court. A vestry manages the local affairs, and petty sessions are held every Saturday by the county magistrates. Lord Macaulay's father had a house at Clapham, where the youthful historian was brought up. Granville Sharp, John and Henry Thornton, Wilberforce, and other founders of the "Clapham sect," were residents of the Common.

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003] These pages are intended for personal use only, so please respect the conditions of use.