Clapham (/ˈklæp.əm/) is a district of south-west London lying mostly within the London Borough of Lambeth, but with some areas (most notably Clapham Common) extending into the neighbouring London Borough of Wandsworth.
Clapham Common Station and clock
|OS grid reference|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||SW4, SW8, SW9, SW11, and SW12|
The present day Clapham High Street is an ancient "diversion" of the Roman military road Stane Street, which ran from London to Chichester. This followed the line of Clapham Road and then onward along the line of Abbeville Road. The ancient status of that military road is recorded on a Roman stone now placed by the entrance of the former Clapham Library in the Old Town, which was discovered during building operations at Clapham Common South Side in 1912. Erected by Vitus Ticinius Ascanius according to its inscription, it is estimated to date from the 1st century.
According to the history of the Clapham family, maintained by the College of Heralds, in 965 King Edgar of England gave a grant of land at Clapham to Jonas, son of the Duke of Lorraine, and Jonas was thenceforth known as Jonas "de [of] Clapham". The family remained in possession of the land until Jonas's great-great grandson Arthur sided against William the Conqueror during the Norman invasion of 1066 and, losing the land, fled to the north (where the Clapham family remained thereafter, primarily in Yorkshire).
Clapham appears in Domesday Book as Clopeham. It was held by Goisfrid (Geoffrey) de Mandeville, and its domesday assets were 3 hides; 6 ploughs; and 5 acres (20,000 m2) of meadow. It rendered £7 10s 0d, and was located in Brixton hundred.
The parish comprised 4.99 square kilometres (1.93 sq mi). The benefice remains to this day a rectory, and in the 19th century was in the patronage of the Atkins family: the tithes were commuted for £488 14s. in the early 19th century, and so the remaining glebe comprised only 11 acres in 1848. The church, which belonged to Merton Priory was, with the exception of the north aisle, which was left standing for the performance of the burial service, taken down under an act of parliament in 1774, and a new church erected in the following year at an expense of £11,000 (equivalent to £1,359,499 in 2018), on the north side of the common.
In the late 17th century, large country houses began to be built there, and throughout the 18th and early 19th century it was favoured by the wealthier merchant classes of the City of London, who built many large and gracious houses and villas around Clapham Common and in the Old Town. Samuel Pepys spent the last two years of his life in Clapham, living with his friend, protégé at the Admiralty and former servant William Hewer, until his death in 1703.
Clapham Common was also home to Elizabeth Cook, the widow of Captain James Cook the explorer. She lived in a house on the common for many years following the death of her husband. Other notable residents of Clapham Common include Palace of Westminster architect Sir Charles Barry, Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg  and 20th century novelist Graham Greene. John Francis Bentley, architect of Westminster Cathedral, lived in the adjacent Old Town.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the Clapham Sect were a group of wealthy City merchants (mostly evangelical Anglican) social reformers who lived around the Common. They included William Wilberforce, Henry Thornton and Zachary Macaulay, father of the historian Thomas Macaulay, as well as William Smith MP, the Dissenter and Unitarian. They were very prominent in campaigns for the abolition of slavery and child labour, and for prison reform. They also promoted missionary activities in Britain's colonies. The Society for Missions to Africa and the East (as the Church Mission Society was first called) was founded on 12 April 1799 at a meeting of the Eclectic Society, supported by members of the Clapham Sect, who met under the guidance of John Venn (priest), the Rector of Clapham. By contrast, an opponent of Wilberforce, merchant and slave-trader George Hibbert also lived at Clapham Common, worshipping in the same church, Holy Trinity.
After the coming of the railways, Clapham developed as a suburb for commuters into central London, and by 1900 it had fallen from favour with the upper classes. Many of their grand houses had been demolished by the middle of the 20th century, though a number remain around the Common and in the Old Town, as do a substantial number of fine late 18th- and early 19th-century houses. Today's Clapham is an area of varied housing, from the large Queen Anne-, Regency- and Georgian-era homes of the Old Town and Clapham Common, to the grids of Victorian housing in the Abbeville area. As in much of London, the area also has its fair share of council-owned social housing on estates dating from the 1930s and 1960s.
In the early 20th century, Clapham was seen as an ordinary commuter suburb, often cited as representing ordinary people: hence the familiar "man on the Clapham omnibus". By the 1980s, the area had undergone a further transformation, becoming the centre for the gentrification of most of the surrounding area. Clapham's relative proximity to traditionally expensive areas of central London led to an increase in the number of middle-class people living in Clapham. Today the area is generally an affluent place, although many of its professional residents live relatively close to significant pockets of social housing.
Clapham was an ancient parish in the county of Surrey. For poor law purposes the parish became part of the Wandsworth and Clapham Union in 1836. The parish was added to the Registrar General London Metropolis area in 1844 and consequently it came within the area of responsibility of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1855. The population of 16,290 in 1851 was considered too small for the Clapham vestry to be a viable sanitary authority and the parish was grouped into the Wandsworth District, electing 18 members to the Wandsworth District Board of Works. In 1889 the parish was transferred to the County of London and in 1900 it became part of the new Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth. It was abolished as a civil parish in 1904, becoming part of the single Wandsworth Borough parish for poor law. The former Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth was divided in 1965 and the area of the historic parish of Clapham was transferred to the London Borough of Lambeth.
Translated to the postal system, Clapham fills most of SW4 and as defined, at least since the Norman Conquest until 1885, includes parts of SW8, SW9 and SW12, London. Clapham Common is shared with the London Borough of Wandsworth (the border between the two boroughs runs across the common), but Lambeth has responsibility for its management. According to the 2011 census, the Clapham Area has a population of 40,850 inhabitants. For administrative and electoral purposes, Clapham is made up of three Lambeth wards: Clapham Common, Clapham Town and Thornton ward. Parts of Clapham North lie within the Brixton electoral ward of Ferndale and the Stockwell electoral ward of Larkhall. The portion of the SW4 postcode north of Union Road and Stockwell Station falls within the area of Stockwell.
Much of southern Battersea is often incorrectly referred to as Clapham, because of the misnomer of 'Clapham Junction' railway station, and to stress Battersea's proximity to Clapham Common, as well as their relative distance from Battersea's historic nucleus. The railway station now known as Clapham Junction was originally named Battersea Junction by its architect to reflect its actual geographical location.
According to the 2011 census, White British is the largest ethnic group, at 51% of the population, followed by 16% Other White.
Clapham Common comprises 220 acres of green space, criss-crossed by footpaths, with three ponds, a Victorian bandstand and a large number of mature trees, including horse chestnuts and a significant avenue of London plane trees along Long Road. It is overlooked by a variety of buildings, including a number of Georgian and Victorian mansions. It also has Holy Trinity Clapham, an 18th-century Georgian church, important in the history of the evangelical Clapham Sect. Clapham Town comprises Clapham High Street and residential streets including Clapham Manor Street, home to Clapham Leisure Centre, as well as Venn Street with a cinema, restaurants, and a food market held every weekend throughout the year.
The neighbourhood, where used, derives its name from a tube station—it has no fixed boundary from the rest of Clapham. Taking any definition in informal use, it is predominantly mid-rise and low-rise residential land, and usually takes in major parts of the Common. Where regard to historic Clapham parish and some street signs is had, this area includes a detached part: the land bounded by Nightingale Square, Oldridge Road and Balham Hill.
Clapham North lies on either side of Clapham Road and borders the relatively modern creation 'Stockwell' in the historic Lambeth parish on Union Road and Stirling Road. There is a "Stockwell Town" Partnership sign north of Union Road demarcating the boundary between Clapham and Stockwell. The northern part of Clapham in the Larkhall ward includes the Sibella conservation area. The southern part is Ferndale ward and includes Landor, Ferndale and Bedford roads leading up to Brixton.
As well as an extensive bus network, which connects the area with much of south and central London, Clapham has three tube stations and two railway stations.
London Underground's Northern line passes through Clapham, with three stations:
In 2012, the Overground East London Line was extended to Clapham High Street and Wandsworth Road stations. This links Clapham directly to stations including Shepherds Bush, Canary Wharf, Shoreditch and Highbury and Islington.
Shopping areas comprise:
The 1879 FA Cup Final was contested by Old Etonians and Clapham Rovers at the Kennington Oval, London Borough of Lambeth, South London. Old Etonians won by 1–0, the only goal scored by Charles Clerke.1880 FA Cup Final
The 1880 FA Cup Final was contested by Clapham Rovers and Oxford University at the Kennington Oval. Clapham Rovers won 1–0, the only goal being scored by Clopton Lloyd-Jones.1918 Clapham by-election
The Clapham by-election, 1918 was a by-election held on 21 June 1918 for the British House of Commons constituency of Clapham in South London.
The by-election was triggered by the elevation to the peerage of the serving Conservative Party Member of Parliament (MP), Denison Faber.
The Unionist (Conservative) candidate was Harry Greer. With the wartime coalition still in office, there was no other candidate from the major parties. However, Henry Hamilton Beamish, a member of the extremist Vigilante Society, ran as an independent with the support of the right-wing MP Noel Pemberton Billing.
The main issue in the by-election was Beamish's demand for the denaturalization and internment of all citizens of enemy countries in the United Kingdom, the closure of all foreign banks, and the wearing of a badge by all foreign aliens. Greer expressed the view that 'stronger measures were necessary' and published a letter from the Prime Minister, who said he was 'determined to take whatever action is shown to be necessary'. The Times reported unexpected support for Beamish in areas which were normally predominantly Conservative. The result was a substantial but not huge majority for Greer.Antonín Dvořák
Antonín Leopold Dvořák ( d(ə)-vor-ZHA(h)k; Czech: [ˈantoɲiːn ˈlɛopolt ˈdvor̝aːk]; 8 September 1841 – 1 May 1904) was a Czech composer, one of the first to achieve worldwide recognition. Following the Romantic-era nationalist example of his predecessor Bedřich Smetana, Dvořák frequently employed rhythms and other aspects of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. Dvořák's own style has been described as "the fullest recreation of a national idiom with that of the symphonic tradition, absorbing folk influences and finding effective ways of using them".Dvořák displayed his musical gifts at an early age, being an apt violin student from age six. The first public performances of his works were in Prague in 1872 and, with special success, in 1873, when he was aged 31. Seeking recognition beyond the Prague area, he submitted a score of his First Symphony to a prize competition in Germany, but did not win, and the unreturned manuscript was lost until rediscovered many decades later. In 1874 he made a submission to the Austrian State Prize for Composition, including scores of two further symphonies and other works. Although Dvořák was not aware of it, Johannes Brahms was the leading member of the jury and was highly impressed. The prize was awarded to Dvořák in 1874 and again in 1876 and in 1877, when Brahms and the prominent critic Eduard Hanslick, also a member of the jury, made themselves known to him. Brahms recommended Dvořák to his publisher, Simrock, who soon afterward commissioned what became the Slavonic Dances, Op. 46. These were highly praised by the Berlin music critic Louis Ehlert in 1878, the sheet music (of the original piano 4-hands version) had excellent sales, and Dvořák's international reputation was launched at last.
Dvořák's first piece of a religious nature, his setting of Stabat Mater, was premiered in Prague in 1880. It was very successfully performed in London in 1883, leading to many other performances in the United Kingdom and United States. In his career, Dvořák made nine invited visits to England, often conducting performances of his own works. His Seventh Symphony was written for London. Visiting Russia in March 1890, he conducted concerts of his own music in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. In 1891 Dvořák was appointed as a professor at the Prague Conservatory. In 1890–91, he wrote his Dumky Trio, one of his most successful chamber music pieces. In 1892, Dvořák moved to the United States and became the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York City. While in the United States, Dvořák wrote his two most successful orchestral works: the Symphony From the New World, which spread his reputation worldwide, and his Cello Concerto, one of the most highly regarded of all cello concerti. He also wrote his most appreciated piece of chamber music, the American String Quartet, during this time. But shortfalls in payment of his salary, along with increasing recognition in Europe and an onset of homesickness, led him to leave the United States and return to Bohemia in 1895.
All of Dvořák's nine operas but his first have librettos in Czech and were intended to convey Czech national spirit, as were some of his choral works. By far the most successful of the operas is Rusalka. Among his smaller works, the seventh Humoresque and the song "Songs My Mother Taught Me" are also widely performed and recorded. He has been described as "arguably the most versatile... composer of his time".Bedřich Smetana
Bedřich Smetana (Czech pronunciation: [ˈbɛdr̝ɪx smɛˈtana] (listen); 2 March 1824 – 12 May 1884) was a Czech composer who pioneered the development of a musical style that became closely identified with his country's aspirations to independent statehood. He has been regarded in his homeland as the father of Czech music. Internationally he is best known for his opera The Bartered Bride and for the symphonic cycle Má vlast ("My Homeland"), which portrays the history, legends and landscape of the composer's native country and contains the famous symphonic poem "The Moldau".
Smetana was naturally gifted as a composer, and gave his first public performance at the age of 6. After conventional schooling, he studied music under Josef Proksch in Prague. His first nationalistic music was written during the 1848 Prague uprising, in which he briefly participated. After failing to establish his career in Prague, he left for Sweden, where he set up as a teacher and choirmaster in Gothenburg, and began to write large-scale orchestral works. During this period of his life Smetana was twice married; of six daughters, three died in infancy.
In the early 1860s, a more liberal political climate in Bohemia encouraged Smetana to return permanently to Prague. He threw himself into the musical life of the city, primarily as a champion of the new genre of Czech opera. In 1866 his first two operas, The Brandenburgers in Bohemia and The Bartered Bride, were premiered at Prague's new Provisional Theatre, the latter achieving great popularity. In that same year, Smetana became the theatre's principal conductor, but the years of his conductorship were marked by controversy. Factions within the city's musical establishment considered his identification with the progressive ideas of Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner inimical to the development of a distinctively Czech opera style. This opposition interfered with his creative work, and might have hastened a decline in health that precipitated his resignation from the theatre in 1874.
By the end of 1874, Smetana had become completely deaf but, freed from his theatre duties and the related controversies, he began a period of sustained composition that continued for almost the rest of his life. His contributions to Czech music were increasingly recognised and honoured, but a mental collapse early in 1884 led to his incarceration in an asylum and subsequent death. Smetana's reputation as the founding father of Czech music has endured in his native country, where advocates have raised his status above that of his contemporaries and successors. However, relatively few of Smetana's works are in the international repertory, and most foreign commentators tend to regard Antonín Dvořák as a more significant Czech composer.Clapham (UK Parliament constituency)
Clapham was a borough constituency in South London which returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the UK Parliament. It was created in time for the 1885 general election then altered in periodic national boundary reviews, principally in 1918, and abolished before the February 1974 general election. In its early years (until 1918) the seat was officially named Battersea and Clapham Parliamentary Borough: No. 2—The Clapham Division.Clapham Common
Clapham Common is a large triangular urban park in Clapham, south London. Originally common land for the parishes of Battersea and Clapham, it was converted to parkland under the terms of the Metropolitan Commons Act 1878. It is 220 acres (89 hectares) of green space, with three ponds and a Victorian bandstand. It is overlooked by large Georgian and Victorian mansions and nearby Clapham Old Town.
Holy Trinity Clapham, an 18th-century Georgian church overlooking the park, is important in the history of the evangelical Clapham Sect. Half of the park is within the London Borough of Wandsworth, and the other half is within the London Borough of Lambeth.Clapham Common tube station
Clapham Common is a London Underground station in Clapham within the London Borough of Lambeth. It is on the Northern line, between Clapham North and Clapham South stations, and is in Travelcard Zone 2.Clapham Junction
Clapham Junction is an urban locality around Clapham Junction railway station in London, England. Despite its name, it is not located in the Clapham district, but in Battersea.
Clapham Junction was a scene of disturbances during the 2011 London riots.Clapham Junction rail crash
On the morning of 12 December 1988, a crowded passenger train crashed into the rear of another train that had stopped at a signal just south of Clapham Junction railway station in London, and subsequently sideswiped an empty train travelling in the opposite direction. A total of 35 people were killed in the collision, while 484 were injured.The collision was the result of a signal failure caused by a wiring fault. New wiring had been installed, but the old wiring had been left in place and not adequately secured. An independent inquiry chaired by Anthony Hidden, QC found that the signalling technician responsible had not been told that his working practices were wrong, and his work had not been inspected by an independent person. He had also performed the work during his 13th consecutive seven-day workweek. Hidden was critical of the health and safety culture within British Rail at the time, and his recommendations included ensuring that work was independently inspected and that a senior project manager be made responsible for all aspects of any major, safety-critical project such as re-signalling work.
British Rail was fined £250,000 for violations of health and safety law in connection with the accident.Clapham Junction railway station
Clapham Junction railway station () is a major railway station and transport hub near St John's Hill in south-west Battersea in the London Borough of Wandsworth. It is 2 miles 57 chains (2.71 mi; 4.37 km) from London Victoria and 3 miles 74 chains (3.93 mi; 6.32 km) measured from London Waterloo; it is on the South Western main line as well as numerous other routes and branch lines passing through or diverging from the main line at this station. Despite its name, Clapham Junction is not located in Clapham, a district situated approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) to the south-east.
Routes from London's south and south-west termini, Victoria and Waterloo, funnel through the station, making it the busiest in Europe by number of trains using it: between 100 and 180 per hour except for the five hours after midnight. The station is also the busiest UK station for interchanges between services.Clapham North tube station
Clapham North is an Underground station in Clapham, London. It is on the Northern line between Clapham Common and Stockwell. The station is located in Travelcard Zone 2, at the northern end of Clapham High Street, and a short walk away from Clapham High Street railway station. Although there is no direct interchange between the two, it is counted as an Out of Station Interchange using Oyster, so journeys involving a change between the two are charged as through journeys and not two separate journeys.Clapham Rovers F.C.
Clapham Rovers was from its foundation in 1869 a leading English sports organisation in the two dominant codes of football, association football and rugby union. It was a prominent club in the late 19th century but is now defunct. The club played variously on Clapham Common, Tooting Bec Common and Wandsworth Common and wore a cerise and French-grey kit.Clapham South tube station
Clapham South is a station on London Underground's Northern line between Clapham Common and Balham. The station is located at the corner of Balham Hill (A24) and Nightingale Lane. It is in both Travelcard Zone 2 and Travelcard Zone 3.Murder of Jody Dobrowski
Jody Dobrowski (27 July 1981 – 15 October 2005) was a 24-year-old assistant bar manager who was murdered on Clapham Common in south London. On 14 October, at around midnight, he was beaten to death with punches and kicks by two men who believed him to be gay, and pronounced dead in the early hours of 15 October. Tests carried out at St. George's Hospital in Tooting, South London revealed Dobrowski had a swollen brain, broken nose and extensive bruising to his neck, spine and groin. His family was unable to identify him due to his face being so badly disfigured and he had to be identified by fingerprints.
His two assailants, Thomas Pickford and Scott Walker, pleaded guilty to the murder of Dobrowski at the Old Bailey criminal court on 12 May 2006 and sentenced to life imprisonment on 16 June 2006 with a minimum of 28 years to be served. Both men had been involved in an attack against a gay man two weeks prior to the murder of Dobrowski. Walker had been out on licence due to threats against his mother but the licence had expired the day before the murder; however, it had not expired at the time of the previous homophobic assault.
This was a landmark case in Britain, where Section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 was utilised in sentencing the killers. This Act empowers courts to impose tougher sentences for offences motivated or aggravated by the victim's sexual orientation in England and Wales. The trial judge was His Honour Judge Brian Barker QC.South Western Railway (train operating company)
South Western Railway (SWR) is an English train operating company owned by FirstGroup (70%) and MTR Corporation (30%) that operates the South Western franchise. It operates commuter services from its Central London terminus at London Waterloo to South West London. SWR provides suburban and regional services in the counties of Surrey, Hampshire and Dorset, as well as regional services in Devon, Somerset, Berkshire and Wiltshire. Its subsidiary Island Line operates services on the Isle of Wight.
SWR was awarded the South Western franchise in March 2017, and took over from South West Trains on 20 August 2017.The Bobbin, Clapham
The Bobbin is a pub at 1–3 Lillieshall Road, Clapham, London SW4.
It is a Grade II listed building, originally The Tim Bobbin, dating back to the late 19th century.The man on the Clapham omnibus
The man on the Clapham omnibus is a hypothetical ordinary and reasonable person, used by the courts in English law where it is necessary to decide whether a party has acted as a reasonable person would – for example, in a civil action for negligence. The man on the Clapham omnibus is a reasonably educated, intelligent but nondescript person, against whom the defendant's conduct can be measured.
The term was introduced into English law during the Victorian era, and is still an important concept in British law. It is also used in other Commonwealth common law jurisdictions, sometimes with suitable modifications to the phrase as an aid to local comprehension. The route of the original "Clapham omnibus" is unknown but London Buses route 88 was briefly branded as "the Clapham Omnibus" in the 1990s and is sometimes associated with the term.Tom London
Tom London (born Leonard Clapham; August 24, 1889 – December 5, 1963) was an American veteran actor who played frequently in B-Westerns. According to The Guinness Book of Movie Records, London is credited with appearing in the most films in the history of Hollywood, this according to the 2001 book Film Facts, where it states that the performer who played in the most films was "Tom London, who made his first of over 2,000 appearances in The Great Train Robbery, 1903.
|Tube, rail, and|
|Central activities zone|
|Lists of areas|
Places adjacent to Clapham