Putney (SW15) is a wonderful place - situated just far enough out of London
to have trees
, roads that aren't always snarled up, birds
and other small animals - but yet close enough London to enjoy everything it has to offer (and Richmond
, etc). In the '90s Putney was considered very trendy
but times have changed, however Putney is still considered a wealthy
part of London.
Putney Bridge is world-famous as the starting point of the annual Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race
For hundreds of years there was no bridge between London Bridge and Kingston Bridge
and the only way to cross the Thames was by ferry
. Although the ferry owners and City Corporation were firmly opposed, Sir Robert Walpole and his successors successfully petitioned Parliament for a bridge, and in 1726 an Act authorised the construction of a bridge, provided the ferry owners were fully compensated.
Work began in March 1729 and it was opened in November of the same year. The curving timber bridge was supported by 26 arches. Toll-houses stood at either end.
The bridge was the subject of one of J W M Turner's famous riverscapes but like all timber structure the bridge needed a considerable maintenance. When three central sections were damaged by a barge in 1870, there was an ideal opportunity to create a wider central span.
In 1871 -2 two piers were removed and replaced by a 70 ft iron girder. Putney Bridge was purchased by the Metropolitan Board of Works (MBW) in 1879 and, within a few months, the new owners proposed to construct a new bridge.
The new structure was built upstream on the site of the former aqueduct. Designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette, the present bridge is 700 ft in length and 43 ft wide and constructed from concrete and granite. Work began in 1882 and the bridge was opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1886.
Transport around Putney is great - plenty of buses and taxis. There are two rail stations - East Putney on the South end of the District Line (see London Underground
), and Putney on the overground rail line from Waterloo) which is the preferred station if you're travelling to or from the city. Putney rail station is situated at the top of Putney High Street.
Bars, Pubs & Clubs
The Fez Bar (formerly K Bar and the Reflex before that) just off Putney High Street (by the rail station). Plays dance music til 2am. No dress code, generally 18-30s crowd. Drinks are a bit pricey, but hey, this is London. 8/10
Bar M is down on the river front and it's pretty decent - although it's quiet in the week. The crowd isn't under 18 either. 7/10
Jim Thompsons is a short walk from Putney high street and is perhaps part of the oddest pub chain I've ever seen. Inside you can buy paraphernalia and feast on fantastic Thai food. 6.5/10
The Half Moon Pub on the Lower Richmond Road is a great venue for local bands. 6.5/10
The Pied Piper (was Rat and Parrot) has a nice atmosphere (some say romantic, I don't see it). 6/10
The Fox diagonally opposite the rail station. Ok atmosphere, big screen for sport, and a beer "garden" (not much of a garden). 5.5/10
The Slug and Lettuce (was the White Lion) diagonally across from Putney rail station is ok if you don't mind bar chains with uninspired food and overpriced wine. 5/10
The Spotted Horse half way down Putney high street isn't the nicest pub in Putney but it's ok for a quick pint. 5/10
The Railway is a Wetherspoons pub opposite Putney rail station is probably the worst pub in Putney. To be avoided at all costs (unless you can tuck yourself away in the corner upstairs downing the cheap drinks). 3/10
Things Not To Miss
St Mary's Church Tower
Putney Bridge Restaurant
The ICL building at 1 High Street
Putney Common (and "the pond")
Putney Bridge and greenery towards Hammersmith
Royal China Restaurant (Chelverton Road)
La Mancha Restaurant (Spanish)
Dan Dan Restaurant (Japanese)
Putney is home to the oldest and worst Odeon cinema in the world. A short bus ride away is the Wimbledon or Kingston-Upon-Thames Odeon but why go there when you can head up into Central London and choose from hundreds of great cinemas (big and small).
Detached n/a (UK average £251,017)
Semi-detached £738,000 (UK average £144,546)
Terraced £255,642 (UK average £119,664)
Flat £181,951 (UK average £153,837)
All property types £285,862 (UK average £160,625)
(October-December 2003 averages)
http://www.francisfrith.com/ - Old photos of Putney
http://www.upmystreet.com/overview/?l1=sw15 - Information for Putney residents
http://www.knowhere.co.uk/ - Comments about Putney
http://www.myputney.co.uk/ - Information about the Putney area