Wandsworth is a borough in the city of London, England. It lies west of Lambeth and stretches for 8 km along the south bank of the Thames. This Borough was formed in 1965 by merging the former city of Battersea with about two-thirds of the area.
There is evidence of the Iron Age and Roman settlement along the Thames at Putney, which was also a crossing point for ferries in the Middle Ages. Roman Stane Street runs through the southeastern part of the Borough. In Saxon times, Wandsworth belonged to the manors of Allfarthing, Downe, Dunsford and Wandsworth ("Wandelesorte" in the Domesday Book of 1086.)
The series of mock elections that took place every year from 1747 to 1796 in the Garratt Lane district of Wandsworth inspired 18th-century satirist Samuel Foote to write The Mayor of Garratt.
Wandsworth Prison held Oscar Wilde in 1895 and was the scene of the sensational 1965 prison break of train robber Ronnie Biggs. Former residents of Wandsworth include novelist William Makepeace Thackeray and exiled French author Voltaire.
Putney and Roehampton came into fashion in the 17th and 18th centuries, and several mansions were built there. Much of the area was urbanized in the late 19th century with the arrival of railways. A century later, the terraced streets of Wandsworth, with their compact but comfortable homes, became popular with white-collar families, and this influx has led to restaurants and antique shops.
Wandsworth is home to several schools and academies, and exhibits on local history are on display at the Wandsworth Museum. The public open space is enormous, covering one-seventh of the land area. Facing the Thames in the northeastern corner of the Borough is the district of Battersea, which includes the famous Battersea Park, which opened in 1853. Other green spaces include Wandsworth Common, Tooting Common and Putney Heath.
The River Wandle flows through the Borough and has a strong historical connection with London's industry development. Since the 13th century, it has been used by fabric cleaners and hatters. The 18th-century Huguenot refugees introduced their felting technique along its shores and the water wheels of dozens of Wandsworth's mills. Some manufacturing industries (beer, paint, candles and computers) still exist along the river, and services are essential.
Wandsworth is linked by five major road bridges over the River Thames (Chelsea, Albert, Battersea, Wandsworth and Putney), and rail links from London to Southern England converge at Clapham Junction station. Westland Heliport opened near Battersea Creek in 1959.
What is foster care?