Postcode district: SW11
SW11 is bordered by the Thames to the north, Queenstown Road to the east, Nightingale Lane to the south and Trinity Road to the west. It includes Battersea and Battersea Park, Clapham Junction, and parts of Wandsworth including Wandsworth Common. The SW11 postcode district lies within or includes part of the following towns, counties, localities, electoral wards and stations: Balham, Clapham Junction Station, Fairfield, Latchmere, London, Northcote, Queenstown, Queenstown Rd (Battersea) Station, Shaftesbury, St Mary's Park, Wandsworth, Wandsworth Common.
Located south of the River Thames, Battersea was one of the later areas of London to develop. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, Battersea was a farming area, relied upon by the City of London for providing food. There was also a limited amount of industry towards present day Wandsworth, which was established by the Huguenots. These industries included mills and breweries, and industries involved in the dying and bleaching of fabric. The Industrial Revolution brought with it a massive increase in industry along the river, because of its invaluable transport link and because power could be harnessed from both water and steam. In 1771 the Battersea Bridge was built, and in 1929 Battersea Power Station was opened. The population during this period grew dramatically from a mere 6,000 in 1840, to 168,000 in 1910. However, this meant that it was highly polluted, and experienced problems with poor housing. Workers lived in slums, and all the green spaces (except for the parks we have today) were lost. There was more attractive, sanitary terraced housing for the middle class further south. The arrival of the railway at Clapham Junction led to the establishment of many public buildings such as the town hall, library, police station and courthouse around the station.Until the 1970s, Battersea was a truly industrial area with problems such as pollution, poor sanitation and slums, which had worsened as a result of the Second World War. However, this problem was addressed by Local Government with mass clearances and planned housing and with its attractive proximity to the centre of London, Battersea experienced an identity change. It has become a fashionable area and is a popular substitute to Kensington and Chelsea.
Battersea, as an area that has, over the last 40 years, undergone massive regeneration and development (initially government funded in the 1970s, which then attracted investors and developers wishing to take advantage of the more recent housing boom of the last decade) cannot be pigeon-holed. It has a variety of different types of accommodation, ranging from Victorian terraces, to fashionable conversions of Victorian schools and factories, council estates (whether council owned or sold via the right-to-buy scheme) and of course the modern apartment blocks with their gyms and concierge.The river is the prime area for these modern, young executive apartments with one of the most famous of these being Albion Riverside Building on Hester Road. Designed by Foster and Partners (Norman Fosters Architectural Consultancy), it offers slightly more than the typical riverside apartment, providing not only the gym, concierge and swimming pool, but also shops, a restaurant and an art gallery. These luxuries are reflected in the prices, with apartments selling for millions of pounds. Nearby Oyster Wharf and Falcon Wharf, also overlooking the Thames but located on Lombard Road, are also popular modern developments, with slightly more affordable prices. Other riverside developments include Plantation Wharf, which was built in the late 1980s, Riverside Plaza (Chatfield Road) and Mendip Court (Mendip Road). However, it is not all luxury modern apartments along the waterfront, with Battersea Square (at the northern end of the High Street) providing a high concentration of council properties. Continuing south down the high street leads to the old centre of Battersea, at the junction of York Road and Battersea Park Road. South of this, demarcated by Battersea Park Road and Falcon Road is an area known as Little India. Most of the property on these streets consist of Victorian terraces (such as Cabul Road and Khyber Road), though there are also a number of apartments situated in a converted school on Takhar Mews. Victorian terraces are typical of this area but vary in size. Abercrombie Street has smaller Victorian terraces, whereas those around Edna Street and Henning Street are larger and semi-detached. Westbridge Road even has some Victorian Villas. Further towards Battersea Park there are more large Victorian properties such as those on Alexandra Avenue (many of which have been converted into flats) and Kassala Road. However, the area is dominated by Mansion flats, such as those on Lurline Gardens and Warriner Gardens. On the eastern side of the park is Battersea Power Station (SW8). This stands unoccupied and in need of renovation, however, was purchased in November 2006 by developers. Its renovation is likely to have a significant affect on the desirability of the surrounding area. South of Battersea Park is Clapham Common. The two commons are linked by the Northcote Road, a typical street of Victorian terraces. However, in between Lavender Hill and Clapham Common Northside, the streets are typical Victorian terraces, though there are some modern properties on Stormont Road. To the west of the Common, the housing stock is, like the areas of Battersea/Wandsworth already discussed, a mix of period properties and newer developments. The area around Lavender Sweep and Ilminster gardens offers period property, as does the area around Louvaine Road and Cologne Road. As a result of high demand from many younger professionals and first time buyers, many of these Victorian and Edwardian properties have been converted into flats. Cairns Road experienced some development in 1999, but these additional properties were not modern in style, but traditional mews type properties. Again, there has been the change in use from Victorian schools and churches into residential property, for instance with the conversion of a church on St Johns Hill. Clapham has always been a desirable area and is particularly popular amongst university leavers, who are just starting life in the city and have managed to recreate their own multi-unive