Best known nowadays for the annual University boat race, Putney is a riverside town with a venerable heritage. Its existence arises from its position on a major route to the South West, and by the time of the Domesday survey a ferry was providing a yearly income of twenty shillings to the lord of the manor. Prosperous sixteenth-century merchants from London built their countryside houses here and urban inroads were made into what had been a rural environment. The railway arrived before the camera and written records are all the evidence there is of a local economy based on agriculture. But photography is able to show us how rapid development swallowed up the market gardens in the years between 1860 and 1890 and eventually the large houses in the High Street. It also records in a way that history cannot the lives and times of our forebears, offering us a remarkable and immediate insight into the diverse aspects of everyday reality for ordinary people. The photographs in this fascinating selection bring some of the last one hundred years of Putney and Roehampton history to life.
Informative captions provide useful background on the views and a wealth of local knowledge that will intrigue all those who wish to know more about this town on the Thames.