Place:Battersea, London, England

Alt namesMetropolitan Borough of Battersea
Battersea St. Mary
TypeCity district, Borough (metropolitan), 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
Wandsworth (London Borough), Greater London, EnglandLondon borough covering the area since 1965
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 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 and parts of Wandsworth Common and Clapham Common.

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

NOTE: The hamlet of Lavender Hill has been redirected here.

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


Greater London Research Tips

  • See under "London" and also under "Middlesex", "Surrey" and "Kent" for key information about Greater London's jurisdictions and records, plus links to indexes, reference aids and Family History Library holdings.
  • 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. These lists start in 1813 and stretch into the 20th century.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • A street-by-street map of London (both sides of the Thames, and stretching from Limehouse and Stepney in the east to Hyde Park and Kensington in the west) drawn by Edward Mogg in 1806. Blows up to a very readable level.
  • Ordnance Survey map of London 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing London parishes just after the reorganization of 1899.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Middlesex 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing Middlesex parishes just 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 most urban part of Surrey had been transferred into London.
  • 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.
  • Registration Districts in London, Registration Districts in Middlesex, Registration Districts in Surrey, Registration Districts in Kent, 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.
  • 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.
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.