Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth

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Bas relief, Wandsworth Town Hall - - 532786.jpg
Wandsworth Town Hall
Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth.svg
Wandsworth within the County of London
 • Origin Wandsworth District Board of Works
 • Created 1900
 • Abolished 1965
 • Succeeded by London Borough of Wandsworth
London Borough of Lambeth
Status Metropolitan borough
Government Wandsworth Borough Council
 • HQ Town Hall, Wandsworth High Street
 • Motto We Serve
The Arms of The Metropolitan Borough
Coat of arms of the borough council

The Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth was a Metropolitan borough under the London County Council, from 1900 to 1965.


The borough was formed from five civil parishes: Clapham, Putney, Streatham, Tooting Graveney and Wandsworth. In 1904 these five were combined into a single civil parish called Wandsworth Borough, which was conterminous with the metropolitan borough.[1] Before 1900 these parishes, and Battersea until 1888, had been administered by the Wandsworth District Board of Works.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms were granted on 6 July 1901. The blue wavy division represents the Rivers Wandle and Thames. French Huguenot refugees arrived in the area in 1685, and the blue drops represent the tears of their struggle. The five stars represent the constituent former parishes. At the top is a long boat, with a dragon's head, commemorating 9th century Danish incursions along the river. The borough council's motto was We Serve.[2]

Population and area

The borough covered 9,130 acres (36.9 km2), which made it the largest in the County of London. The population recorded in the Census was:

Constituent parishes 1801–1899

Year[3] 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
Population 14,283 17,963 22,726 27,779 33,238 40,204 50,803 71,044 103,172 156,942

Metropolitan Borough 1900–1961

Year[4] 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961
Population 232,024 311,360 328,307 353,110 [5] 330,493 347,442


A map showing the wards of Wandsworth Metropolitan Borough as they appeared in 1916.

The borough was divided into nine wards for elections: Balham, Clapham North, Clapham South, Fairfield, Putney, Southfield, Springfield, Streatham and Tooting.[6][7]

Borough council

Parliament constituency

For elections to Parliament, the borough was divided into one and a half constituencies:

In 1918 the borough's representation was increased to five seats:

In 1950 the borough's representation was reduced to four seats:


When the metropolitan boroughs were replaced with larger London boroughs in 1965, this borough was split. The core area of Wandsworth (about 11 km²) became part of the London Borough of Wandsworth, along with the former Metropolitan Borough of Battersea, but the areas of Streatham and Clapham (totalling 4 km²) became part of the London Borough of Lambeth.


  1. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, Wandsworth Borough CP through time | Census tables with data for the Parish-level Unit, A Vision of Britain through Time. Date accessed: 19th February 2015
  2. London County Council (Civic Heraldry) accessed 15 Jan 2008
  3. Statistical Abstract for London, 1901 (Vol. IV); Census tables for Metropolitan Borough of Battersea
  4. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, Wandsworth MetB through time | Population Statistics | Total Population, A Vision of Britain through Time. Date accessed: 19th February 2015
  5. The census was suspended for World War II
  6. Post Office London County Suburbs Directory, 1919. 1919. Retrieved 18 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Ordnance Survey 'County Series 3rd Edition' Map of London (1912-14) at 1:2500 scale. Accessed at

Further reading

  • Robert Donald, ed. (1907). "London: Wandsworth". Municipal Year Book of the United Kingdom for 1907. London: Edward Lloyd.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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