Place:Battersea, London, England

Alt namesBattersea Parksource: area of parish
Lavender Hillsource: hamlet in parish
Battersea St. Marysource: original ecclesiastical parish
Battersea All Saintssource: ecclesiastical parish
Battersea Christ Churchsource: ecclesiastical parish
Battersea Church of the Ascensionsource: ecclesiastical parish
Battersea St. Andrewsource: ecclesiastical parish
Battersea St. Bartholomewsource: ecclesiastical parish
Battersea St. Georgesource: ecclesiastical parish
Battersea St. Johnsource: ecclesiastical parish
Battersea St. Lukesource: ecclesiastical parish
Battersea St. Marksource: ecclesiastical parish
Battersea St. Petersource: ecclesiastical parish
Battersea St. Philipsource: ecclesiastical parish
Battersea St. Savioursource: ecclesiastical parish
Battersea St. Stephensource: ecclesiastical parish
Clapham St. Barnabassource: ecclesiastical parish
TypeCity district, Parish (ancient)
Coordinates51.472°N 0.165°W
Located inLondon, England     (1889 - 1965)
Also located inSurrey, England     ( - 1889)
See alsoBrixton Hundred, Surrey, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Battersea (metropolitan borough), London, Englandmetropolitan borough in which it was located 1900-1965
Wandsworth (London Borough), Greater London, EnglandLondon borough covering the area since 1965
Penge, Kent, Englandformer exclave of Battersea parish until circa 1850
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Battersea was a civil parish and metropolitan borough in the County of London, England. In 1965, the borough was abolished and its area combined with parts of the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth to form Wandsworth Borough Council. The borough was administered from Battersea Town Hall on Lavender Hill. As an ancient parish, Battersea was part of the Hundred of Brixton and County of Surrey. It included the hamlet of Lavender Hill (redirected here) and the exclave of Penge on the Surrey-Kent border.

History of the Administration

In 1855, under the Metropolis Management Act 1855, the civil responsibilities of the parish were passed to the Metropolitan Board of Works. The two parts of the parish were assigned to different districts by the act establishing the MBW: Battersea was included in the area of the Wandsworth District Board of Works and the hamlet of Penge in that of Lewisham District Board of Works. Penge became a civil parish in its own right in 1866.

On 25 March 1888, a separate vestry (or management board) was formed as a local authority for the parish of Saint Mary Battersea (Battersea St. Mary) excluding Penge. In 1889, the Local Government Act 1888 reconstituted the area of the Metropolitan Board of Works as the County of London, and Battersea was transferred from Surrey to the new county.

In 1900, the London Government Act 1899 divided the County of London into twenty-eight metropolitan boroughs, and the vestries and district boards were dissolved. The parish became the Metropolitan Borough of Battersea, with the elected borough council replacing the appointed civil vestry.

The Metropolitan Borough included within its bounds Battersea, Battersea Park, Clapham Junction, Clapham Common and parts of Wandsworth Common (each redirected to the parish in the name).

Wikipedia also has a long article on the history of Battersea.

Ecclesiastical parishes

The ancient parish, dedicated to St Mary (i.e. Battersea St. Mary), was in the Diocese of Winchester until 1877, then the Diocese of Rochester until 1905, and then finally in the Diocese of Southwark. From 1851, as the population of Battersea increased, a number of new parishes were formed:

  • Battersea St. George at Nine Elms in 1853
  • Battersea Christ Church at Battersea Park in 1861
  • Battersea St. John at York Road Battersea in 1863
  • Battersea St. Philip at Queen's Road, Battersea in 1870
  • Battersea Church of the Ascension at Lavender Hill in 1871
  • Battersea St. Saviour at Battersea Park Road in 1872
  • Battersea St. Peter at Plough Road, Battersea in 1876
  • Battersea St. Mark at Battersea Rise in 1883
  • Battersea All Saints at Queen's Road, Battersea Park in 1884
  • Wandsworth St. Michael at Wandsworth Common in 1884
  • Battersea St. Andrew at Stockdale Road, Battersea in 1886
  • Battersea St. Stephen at Battersea Bridge Road in 1887
  • Clapham St. Barnabas at Clapham Common in 1895
  • Battersea St. Luke at Ramsden Road, Battersea in 1901
  • Battersea St. Bartholomew at Wickersley Road, Battersea in 1906

These parishes have all been redirected here.

A number of new parishes were also formed within the detached part of Battersea parish, the hamlet of Penge:

  • Penge St John the Evangelist at Penge in 1851
  • Penge St Paul at Penge in 1869
  • Penge Holy Trinity at Anerley Road, Penge in 1873
  • Penge Christ Church at Penge in 1886

These parishes have all been redirected to Penge.

Surrey Research Tips


Administrative boundaries of the county of Surrey (Surrey History Centre. The centre has a website with a number of useful indexes--titheholders in various parishes, deaths at the county gaol, etc.)

Registration Districts

  • Registration Districts in Surrey from their introduction in 1837 to the present. By drilling down through the links you can follow any parish through the registration districts to which it was attached.

GENUKI provisions

The website GENUKI provides a very comprehensive list of reference sources for the County of Surrey. It includes:

  • Archives and Libraries
  • Church record availability for both Surrey and the former Surrey part of Greater London
  • 19th century descriptions of the ecclesiastical parishes
  • Lists of cemeteries
  • Local family history societies
  • A list of historic maps online


  • The Victoria History of the County of Surrey is a series of three volumes available online through British History Online. The volumes were written over the past hundred or so years by a number of authors and cover various sections of Surrey. A list of the volumes and what each contains can be found under the source Victoria History of the County of Surrey. Both volumes 3 and 4 contain areas which are part of Greater London and parts of modern Surrey.


  • The National Library of Scotland has a website which provides maps taken from the Ordnance Survey England & Wales One-Inch to the Mile series of 1892-1908 as well as equivalent maps for Scotland itself. The immediate presentation is a "help" screen and a place selection screen prompting the entry of a location down to town, village or parish level. These screens can be removed by a click of the "X". The map is very clear and shows parish and county boundaries and many large buildings and estates that existed at the turn of the 20th century. Magnification can be adjusted and an "overlay feature" allows inspection of the area today along with that of 1900. The specific map from the series can be viewed as a whole ("View this map") and this allows the inspection of the map legend (found in the left hand bottom corner. Becoming familiar with the various facilities of these maps is well worth the trouble.
  • A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4 on Battersea with Penge (from the Victoria Series of County Histories provided by British History Online)

Greater London Research Tips

A reminder that Greater London was not formed until 1965 and covers a much greater territory than its predecessor, the County of London formed in 1900. The City of London was only a part of the County of London. A map of the boroughs of Greater London is reproduced on all Greater London borough pages. A map of the boroughs of the smaller County of London is reproduced on all County of London borough pages.

Researching ancestors in London will probably be more successful than researching ancestors in the rest of England, particularly for the period before 1837 and the advent of civil registration. Baptisms, marriages and burials are available online for County of London parishes, and possibly for parishes throughout Greater London as well.

  • Anglican Parishes in London is a wiki here on WeRelate listing the places of worship of the established church throughout London. The churches are grouped within the post-1965 boroughs and for each is the street address, a link to the Booth Map (inner boroughs only), the time span for which the database AIM25 holds records, the FamilySearch Wiki link (see below), the Wikipedia link, and further notes. This is a work-in-progress and not all churches are listed as yet, but it is a guide to a great deal more information on those for which information has been gathered.
  • The London Metropolitan Archives (40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0HB) holds records relating to the whole of Greater London. Ancestry (subscription necessary) has produced transcriptions and provides images of lists of baptisms, marriages, and burials in churches across Greater London. Many of these lists start in 1813 and stretch into the 20th century; some start even earlier.


  • A street-by-street map of London (both sides of the Thames, and stretching from Limehouse, Stepney and Greenwich in the east to Hyde Park and Kensington in the west) drawn by Edward Mogg in 1806. Blows up to a very readable level. Highly recommended viewing. Shows named areas on the edge of the County of London (1900-1965) as the small villages they were in 1800. Streets in the City are named, but churches are missing.
  • The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers edited by Cecil Humphery-Smith and published by Phillimore & Co Ltd (edition of 1995) provides a map of the City of London indicating all the parishes and includes dates of commencement of registers for parishes formed before 1832.
  • Wikipedia has an expandable map of the area of devastation of the 1666 fire. The map includes the location of Pudding Lane where the fire started.
  • A map of London in the 1890s provided by the National Library of Scotland. There are a few steps between the home page index and the individual maps which may be difficult to follow for those who don't know London, but the maps themselves are produced at the scale of 5 feet to the mile on the original and are very clear. Houses on streets are marked, but not numbered.
  • Ordnance Survey map of London 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing London parishes just after the reorganization of 1899. The map was originally drawn over a street map at a scale of 1 inch to the mile and can be blown up to inspect a single borough. Only the major streets are marked and are only visible at maximum magnification. The City of London is an inset in the top right hand corner.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Middlesex 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing the parishes remaining in Middlesex after the reorganization of 1899 when much of the former area of Middlesex had been transferred into London.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Surrey 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing Surrey parishes (chiefly Southwark) just after the reorganization of 1899 when the most urban parts of Surrey were transferred into London.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Kent 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing Kent parishes just after the reorganization of 1899 when the western part of Kent had been transferred into London.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Essex 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing Essex parishes (West Ham, East Ham, Ilford) which were absorbed into Greater London in 1965.

Registration Districts

  • Registration Districts in London, Registration Districts in Middlesex, Registration Districts in Surrey, Registration Districts in Kent, and Registration Districts in Essex are lists of the registration districts used for civil registration (births, marriages and deaths, as well as the censuses). There are linked supporting lists of the parishes which made up each registration district, the dates of formation and abolition of the districts, the General Register Office numbers, and the local archive-holding place. This work has been carried out by Brett Langston under the agency of GENUKI (Genealogy United Kingdom and Ireland) and UKBMD - Births, Marriages, Deaths & Censuses on the Internet, and has been updated into the 21st century. If the only information about an individual has been obtained from UKBMD, the name of the registration district is considered a "placename" within WeRelate and can be used to provide a broad estimate of the location.


  • Deceased Online includes four of the "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries (Brompton, Highgate, Kensal Green, and Nunhead) in its inventory of 65 London cemeteries. Transcripts for Abney Park are free with registration online at Ancestry (international subscription necessary) has "London, England, City of London and Tower Hamlets Cemetery Registers, 1841-1966". That leaves West Norwood without comprehensive online access to burial records. (Deceased Online and Ancestry may have increased their provision since this was written in 2016.)
  • As of October 2019 Ancestry has a file titled "England & Scotland, Select Cemetery Registers 1800-2016" which includes Abney Park Cemetery, Greenford Park Cemetery, Acton Cemetery, Ealing & Old Brentford Cemetery, Havelock Norwood Cemetery, Hortus Cemetery, South Ealing Cemetery, Queens Road Cemetery, and Chingford Mount Cemetery.
  • The City of London Cemetery, at Manor Park, near Wanstead in the London Borough of Redbridge also contains remains transferred from former parishes in the City of London whose graveyards have been replaced by streets and commercial buildings.
  • Brookwood Cemetery, beyond the Greater London borders in Surrey, was opened in 1854 for burials for Londoners. See the Wikpedia article.

Other online sources

  • See the FamilySearch Wiki under "London" and also under "Middlesex", "Surrey", "Essex" and "Kent" for key information about Greater London's jurisdictions and records, plus links to indexes, reference aids and Family History Library holdings.
  • GENUKI has a long list of websites and archive holders in addition to London Metropolitan Archives above. (The list from GENUKI is not maintained so well that there is never a dead link in it. However, it is often worth googling the title given on the page just in case the contributor has reorganized their website and GENUKI has not picked it up.)
  • GENUKI also has a list of the Archives and Local Studies Libraries for each of the boroughs of Greater London.
  • The London Encyclopaedia by Ben Weinreb and Christopher Hibbert. An e-book available online through Google, originally published by Pan Macmillan. There is a search box in the left-hand pane.
  • London Lives. A very useful free website for anyone researching their London ancestors between the years 1690-1800. This is a fully searchable edition of 240,000 manuscripts from eight archives and fifteen datasets, giving access to 3.35 million names.
  • London Ancestor, a website belonging to one of the London family history societies, has a list of transcriptions of directories from the 18th century, listing in one case "all the squares, streets, lanes, courts, yards, alleys, &C. in and about Five Miles of the Metropolis..." In other parts of the same website are maps of various parts of 19th century London and Middlesex.
  • The proceedings of the Old Bailey, London's central criminal court, 1674-1913. A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court. This website is free to use.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Metropolitan Borough of Battersea. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.