Above: A view at low tide of the point where Beverley Brook meets the Thames. The footbridge is in Putney and is part of the Thames footpath.
By the end of the 1800s, most of the villages surrounding the City of London were beginning to join up and all the land – within a five- or six-mile radius of the City was starting to look like a large urban sprawl. The Victorians were well aware of the nightmare of having a vast metropolis (yes, the word was coined about that time) without any real overall planning. It was then decided to combine a part of the County of Middlesex (on the north bank of the Thames) and parts of Surrey and Kent (bordering the south bank of the Thames) and create a ‘new county’ which became known as Metropolitan London.
Several blogs over the years have mentioned these facts. Today’s blog relates to Beverley Brook which is a tiny stream that once formed the western boundary of Wandsworth. The brook was chosen as the boundary of Metropolitan London (south of the Thames) on the western side. It is quite easy to see the brook on any street map of London. It is still in existence and water still flows in what looks rather like a large ditch.
Above: View from the same footbridge as in the picture above, showing the Beverley Brook when the Thames has reached high tide.
Beverley Brook meets the Thames opposite Bishop’s Park (on the north bank of the Thames). A good view of the mouth, where it meets the Thames, can be gained from the riverside footpath in Bishop’s Park. As can be seen, by looking at any good street map, the brook winds its way around the land in Wandsworth. Until 1965, when Inner London expanded to form Greater London, Beverley Brook was the boundary between the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth and the rest of the County of Surrey.
The name of the brook appears in a document of AD 693 as ‘Beferipi’ and as ‘Beverley Creeke’ in 1668. The name is taken to mean ‘beaver stream’.