Streatham is a district in south London, England, mostly in the London Borough of Lambeth. It is centred 5 miles south of Charing Cross, the area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London. Streatham means the hamlet on the street, the street in question, the London to Brighton Way, was the Roman road from the capital Londinium to the south coast near Portslade, today within Brighton and Hove. It is likely that the destination was a Roman port now lost to coastal erosion, the road is confusingly referred to as Stane Street in some sources and diverges from the main London-Chichester road at Kennington. After the departure of the Romans, the road through Streatham remained an important trackway. From the 17th century it was adopted as the coach road to Croydon and East Grinstead. In 1780 it then became the route of the road from London to Brighton. This road have shaped Streathams development, Streathams first parish church, St Leonards, was founded in Saxon times but an early Tudor tower remains is the only structure pre-1831 which the church has as it was rebuilt. The mediaeval parish covered an area by including Balham and Tooting Bec. Streatham Cemetery on Garratt Lane on the borders of Wimbledon is one of the few remaining indications of how far west Streatham once extended, Streatham appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Estreham. It was held by Bec-Hellouin Abbey from Richard de Tonbrige and its domesday assets were,2 hides,1 virgate and 6½ ploughlands of cultivated land and 4 acres of meadow and herbage. Annually it was assessed to render £4 5s 0d to its overlords, the village remained largely unchanged until the 18th century, when the villages natural springs, known as Streatham Wells, were first celebrated for their health-giving properties. The reputation of the spa, and improved roads, attracted wealthy City of London merchants. These roads are considered an important part of what remains of the historic Streatham Village as they found little or no influence from the growth of metropolitan London. Wellfield Road, which had previously known as Leigham Lane, was renamed to reflect its role as the main route from the village centre to one of the well locations. Another mineral well was located on the side of Streatham Common. In the 1730s, Streatham Park, a Georgian country mansion, was built by the brewer Ralph Thrale on land he bought from the Lord of the Manor - the fourth Duke of Bedford, the dining room contained 12 portraits of Henrys guests painted by his friend Joshua Reynolds. These pictures were wittily labelled by Fanny Burney as the Streatham Worthies, Streatham Park was later leased to Prime Minister Lord Shelburne, and was the venue for early negotiations with France that lead to the Peace Treaty of 1783
Image: Streatham High Road, SW16 geograph.org.uk 285403
Streatham Green with the spire of the Catholic English Martyrs Church beyond.
Streatham Common. Avenue of autumn trees looking down Streatham Common towards Streatham High Road