West Putney - A Walk on the Wild Side

Come and meet the neighbours!

West Putney - A Walk on the Wild Side

England E1 6FQ, United Kingdom

Created By: Individual

Tour Information

This 1.5 mile historical walk lifts the net curtains on the nefarious deeds that occurred behind the genteel facades of this leafy suburban district of London.

It will also help you consider how the "red lines" of morality shift over time.

The walk will take 1-2 hours to complete. You will need good walking shoes, as parts of the walk are on unmade roads.

You can stop off for food in three locations: At the start of the walk next to Putney Park Lane, in the middle of the walk next to Parkside and at the end of the walk in Putney town centre.

The walk begins at Barnes Station which can be reached by mainline rail within 15 minutes from central London and several bus routes. The walk ends at Putney Station on the same railway line.

The walk deals with adult themes (death, treachery, corruption, sexuality, religion and discrimination).

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Just 200 years ago Putney was a village in Surrey. It was not part of London as it is today. The village was a place of recreation within easy reach of London by boat. It  comprised of summer residences of the wealthy escaping the city, ... Read more
From the path you can see a re-wilded space next to the station. This used to be the railway sidings of Barnes Station. As you stand there you will see the express trains race through and the commuter trains stop at the platforms. It was on... Read more
When you get to the end of the path cross Queens Ride road and join the unmade path behind the bank of soil the runs parallel to and below the pavement. Very shortly you will come to the Marc Bolan memorial. The site looks very much like a... Read more
Putney Park Lane is an unmade road popular with dog walkers, but a few hundred years ago this would have been the hunting grounds and farmland that supported the Archbishops of Canterbury, who had a palace nearby on the river in Mortlake. T... Read more
Take the path from Putney Park Lane at The Pleasance leading to Woodborough Rd. From the path you emerge into the late 19th century villa development of the Putney Park Estate. This area was developed by builder Henry Scarth as a commuter ... Read more
Number // is the former home of Sir Henry Norris a working class boy from Kennington who became a builder, auctioneer and Conservative MP for Fulham. He built many of the streets in Fulham.  His daughter Mary was born in this house in 1902... Read more
Joyce Amina Hanafy was a well-known character in this part of West Putney. She was known for wearing only purple clothes and knocking on people’s doors alarmingly late at night collecting money for animal charities. Her house here at // L... Read more
Mohammad Abdus Salam first Pakistani and the first Muslim to receive a Nobel Prize in Science and the second from an Islamic country to receive any Nobel Prize. He was the founder of Pakistan’s space programme and contributed to the th... Read more
12 Campion Road was part of a radical experiment between the wars to help single working women find accommodation in London. WWI was a catalyst for women entering the workforce, but far from liberating them many women were expected to stop... Read more
Leonard Woolf lived at 9 Colinette Road from the age of 11 until he went to Cambridge.  Leonard and his wife author Virginia Woolf became influential in the Bloomsbury Group and established the Hogarth Press publishing house.  Despite her... Read more
The plaque on the door is a testament to one of the world’s greatest mathematical geniuses, Srinvasa Ramanjuan, who lived here just over 100 years ago. Srinvasa made substantial contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infi... Read more
Laurence Oates British Antarctic explorer is most famous for his final words during Captain Scott’s doomed expedition to the South pole: "I am just going outside and may be some time”. However, we have no proof that he said this. The ... Read more
Known by colleagues as G.K. was a Japanese martial arts master who introduced judo to the UK and came to be known as the 'Father of British Judo. He was the founder of the Budokwai, a pioneering Japanese martial arts society in England. K... Read more
When you include Hitler and Stalin as your friends maybe you can expect to be stabbed in the back a few times, even by the British government. Edvard Beneš was the President of Czechoslovakia three years before and three years after the se... Read more
The converted appartments at // Dryborough Rd used to be Putney’s Christian Science Reading Rooms.   Christian Science is a set of beliefs and practices developed in 19th-century New England that argues that sickness is an illusion ... Read more
Three hundred years ago there was a rebellious movement called Jacobinism in the UK that wanted to reintroduce a pro-French Scottish, Catholic King to the throne of England, Ireland and Scotland, who Jacobinists believed had the Divine Rig... Read more
When Stratford Canning announced he wanted to marry Dublin-born Mehetabel Patrick, his father disinherited him and threw him out of the family home in Londonderry penniless.  The father considered the marriage to be “imprudent”. The f... Read more
The last Baronet of St Aubyn in Cornwall, Sir John St Aubyn, had 15 illegitimate children by three different women. This is the grave of the 13th child, Reverend Richard John St Aubyn, who lived in Putney. Richard’s mother was called Jul... Read more
When we started the walk we mentioned that one of the property developers benefiting from the arrival of the railway was Henry Scarth. This is the headstone of his father James Scarth.  Henry was a solicitor who turned to property developm... Read more
Welcome to London’s smallest Cathedral.  This is the pro-Cathedral of the Liberal Catholic Church.   A Pro-cathedral is a parish church that is temporarily acting as a cathedral.   The Liberal Catholics were established by founded ... Read more
Mary’s suicidal mother died a month after she was born, leaving her father (a political philosopher) to provide informal but liberal home education. When Mary was four, her father married a neighbour with whom Mary had a troubled relati... Read more


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