Coordinates: 51°27′48″N 0°08′02″W / 51.46323°N 0.13394°W / 51.46323; -0.13394

Clapham is located in Greater London

 Clapham shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ2966375422
London borough Lambeth
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district SW4, SW12, SW9,
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
London Assembly Lambeth and Southwark
List of places: UK • England • London

Clapham is a district in south London, England, within the London Borough of Lambeth.

Clapham covers the postcodes of SW4 and parts of SW9, SW8 and SW12. Clapham Common is shared with the London Borough of Wandsworth, although Lambeth has responsibility for running the common as a whole. According to the 2001 census Clapham (and Stockwell) had a joint population of 65,513[1] inhabitants. Clapham contains three whole wards Clapham Common, Clapham Town and Thornton, but parts of Ferndale (Brixton) and Larkhall (Stockwell) wards also lie within Clapham proper.

Clapham is best known for its vast green space Clapham Common, its high street and the village-like atmosphere of its historic Old Town. Clapham is famous[citation needed] as the home of Holy Trinity Clapham the Georgian Church on Clapham Common, from where The Clapham Sect led by William Wilberforce and a group of upper class evangelical Christians campaigned for the abolition of the slave trade in the 19th century.



Clapham dates back to Anglo-Saxon times: the name is thought to derive from the Old English clopp(a) + hām or hamm, meaning Homestead/enclosure near a hill.

According to the history of the Clapham family maintained by the College of Heralds, in 965 AD King Edgar of England gave a grant of land at Clapham to Jonas, son of the Duke of Lorraine, and Jonas was thenceforth known as Jonas "de [of] Clapham". The family remained in possession of the land until Jonas's great-great grandson Arthur sided against William the Conqueror during the Norman invasion of 1066 and, losing the land, fled to the north (where the Clapham family remained thereafter, primarily in Yorkshire).

Clapham appears in Domesday Book as Clopeham. It was held by Goisfrid (Geoffrey) de Mandeville and its domesday assets were 3 hides; 6 ploughs, 5 acres (20,000 m2) of meadow. It rendered £7 10s 0d, and was located in Brixton hundred.[2]

In the late seventeenth century large country houses began to be built there, and throughout the 18th and early nineteenth century it was favoured by the wealthier merchant classes of the City of London, who built many large and gracious houses and villas around Clapham Common and in the Old Town. Samuel Pepys spent the last two years of his life in Clapham, living with his friend, protégé at the Admiralty and former servant William Hewer, until his death in 1703.[3]

Clapham Common was also home to Elizabeth Cook, the widow of Captain James Cook the explorer. She lived in a house on the common for many years following the death of her husband.

In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the Clapham Sect were a group of upper class (mostly evangelical Anglican) social reformers who lived around the Common. They included William Wilberforce, Henry Thornton and Zachary Macaulay, father of the historian Thomas Macaulay, as well as William Smith, M.P., the Dissenter and Unitarian. They were very prominent in campaigns for the abolition of slavery and child labour, and for prison reform. They also promoted missionary activities in Britain's colonies.

After the coming of the railways, Clapham developed as a suburb for commuters into central London, and by 1900 it had fallen from favour with the upper classes. Many of their grand houses had been demolished by the middle of the twentieth century, though a number remain around the Common and in the Old Town, as do a substantial number of fine late eighteenth and early nineteenth century houses.

20th and 21st centuries

In the early twentieth century, Clapham was seen as an ordinary commuter suburb, often cited as representing ordinary people: hence the so-called "man on the Clapham omnibus". Clapham was located in the county of Surrey until the creation of the County of London in 1889. It became part of the new Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth in 1900. In 1965, the old Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth was divided and almost all of the historic parish of Clapham was transferred to the London Borough of Lambeth.

By the 1980s Clapham had undergone considerable transformation becoming the centre for the gentrification of most of the surrounding area. Clapham's proximity to the traditionally upper-class areas of Sloane Square and Belgravia, which became increasingly unaffordable to all but the very wealthy in the boom years of the 1980s and 1990s, led to a colonisation of the area by the middle classes, but in recent years the demography has widened considerably. Today Clapham is a multi-cultural neighbourhood with many foreign (African, Caribbean, South-American, European, Australian and North-American) residents, middle-class people of BME origin and a vibrant Gay community choosing to live there. Many young university graduates and students also choose to live in the Clapham area, a tradition carried over from the days when some University of London halls of residence were located there.

Clapham is home to a large number of restaurants, bars, cafes and leisure facilities. As a result it is now regarded as a fashionable and desirable place to live for the British middle classes and is within easy commuting distance of the city centre and the main railway termini for transport to airports at Heathrow and Gatwick and the south of England.[citation needed]

Famous former and current residents

Cathrine Hart* Angela Carter


There are two railway stations in the area:

Clapham Junction, in neighbouring Battersea is Clapham's nearest major rail station.

London Underground's Northern Line runs through the neighbourhood, with three stations. From north to south these are:


There are a number of shopping areas in or near Clapham, including:

  • Clapham High Street
  • Clapham Old Town, home to the 30 year old North Street Potters, The Sun, a welcoming Free House and Trinity, a critically acclaimed restaurant.
  • Abbeville Road (and Clapham South)
  • Northcote Road (Between Clapham and Wandsworth Commons)
  • Nightingale Lane (near Clapham South)
  • Clapham Junction (Battersea)
  • Brixton/Brixton Market (Brixton)
  • Queenstown Road/Lavender Hill(Battersea)
  • Balham High Road/Bedford Hill (Balham)
  • Kings Road (Chelsea)

Nearest places


See also

References and notes

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Clapham — Maisons dans Sibella Road. Géographie Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Clapham — ist ein Stadtbezirk von London Borough of Lambeth. Davon abgeleitet steht Clapham für folgende Bahnhöfe Bahnhof Clapham Junction Clapham Common (London Underground) Clapham North (London Underground) Clapham South (London Underground) weiteres… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Clapham — (spr. kläppäm), Stadtteil im SW. Londons, zum Verwaltungsbezirk Wandsworth gehörig, 5 km von der Westminsterbrücke, hoch gelegen (s. Karte der Umgebung von London), mit Gemeindewiese (common) von 89 Hektar und (1901) 51,353 Einw …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Clapham — This name is of English locational origin from any of the various places so called, for example Clapham in Bedfordshire, Surrey, Sussex and the West Riding of Yorkshire. The name, in all cases, derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century clop …   Surnames reference

  • Clapham — 1 Original name in latin Clapham Name in other language Clapham State code AU Continent/City Australia/Adelaide longitude 34.99139 latitude 138.6 altitude 71 Population 1563 Date 2012 01 19 2 Original name in latin Clapham Name in other language… …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • CLAPHAM —    a SW. suburb of London, in the county of Surrey, 4 m. from St. Paul s, and inhabited by a well to do middle class community, originally of evangelical principles, and characterised as the Clapham Set …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Clapham —    an allusion to gonorrhoea    In the 19th century to come home by Qapham was to have been infected with clap, or gonorrhoea, Clapham Common being a haunt of prostitutes. Today male homosexuals use the Common for the same purpose, which may… …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

  • Clapham — noun /ˈklæp.əm/ a) An area of London, mostly in Lambeth. b) Any of several other places in England …   Wiktionary

  • Clapham — n. family name; suburb of London (England) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • CLAPHAM — …   Useful english dictionary

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