Streatham Vale

Streatham Vale, Lambeth

The south-westernmost part of Streatham, previously known as Lower or South Streatham, but once a corner of Mitcham

Hidden London: The River Graveney looking miserable in a culvert

For sev­er­al cen­turies there was lit­tle here but fields, the Riv­er Graveney and a track con­nect­ing Mitcham with Nor­wood. The route was often used by gyp­sies, who had camps in both vil­lages. The Grey­hound Inn, estab­lished around 1730, became a pop­u­lar rest­ing place for these trav­ellers.

The open­ing of Grey­hound Lane sta­tion in 1862 bare­ly stirred this remote spot and the lane remained a mud­dy track for sev­er­al decades more.

In 1875 the sta­tion was renamed Streatham Com­mon and half of Grey­hound Lane became Streatham Vale. The first hous­es appeared on Eard­ley Road and a hand­ful of indus­tries set up shop, bring­ing local employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties.

Sub­ur­ban devel­op­ment abrupt­ly got under­way from 1922 as the Streatham Vale estate took shape. Two pri­vate build­ing firms shared most of the work, RH Miller lay­ing out Aber­cairn Road and its off­shoots, while Wates of Nor­bury built east­wards from Streatham Vale to the rail­way line.

In the three years from 1929 a pro­fu­sion of ameni­ties were pro­vid­ed and improve­ments made. Schools opened on either side of Streatham Vale; the Grey­hound Inn was rebuilt; the Graveney was unat­trac­tive­ly cul­vert­ed to pre­vent flood­ing (as shown in the pho­to above); Streatham Vale Park was laid out on the site of an aban­doned brick­works and the new parish church of the Holy Redeemer was con­se­crat­ed.

Streatham Park ceme­tery opened in 1920 on Rowan Road, some way from Streatham Park. The com­ic actor Will Hay was buried here in 1949. The ceme­tery has a vari­ety artists’ sec­tion ded­i­cat­ed to less­er-known per­form­ers from the music hall era. An adjoin­ing Jew­ish bur­ial ground opened in 1932.

Postal district: SW16
Further reading: ICA Isaac, Vale Vistas: The Story of Streatham Vale and its Parish Church, Victoria, 1982
Website: Streatham Vale Property Occupiers’ Association