We received a lovely email from Wandsworth libraries this week as they are currently researching some historical landmarks around the Earlsfield area for a project that will hopefully be part of this year’s Wandsworth Heritage Festival.
The librarian was following up on our article in early 2013 looking to get more information on a house called “The Beeches” on Trinity Road. You can read the initial article here. Her full email is given below.
“I came across the Magdalen Estate website in the course of this and found your appeal to identify and locate ‘The Beeches’ built by Joseph William Wilson in the 1870s. I think I have identified the property and it is still standing I believe, although google streetview doesn’t cover that particular stretch of houses so I can’t be 100% sure.
I found the 1881 census entry for Joseph William Wilson and family which lists them at The Beeches, Trinity Road, Wandsworth. I then looked up Trinity Road in the Wandsworth street directories and found a listing for a house named The Beeches in 1886 between Patten and Routh Roads. In 1890 it is numbered 180 Trinity Road and seems to be situated on the corner of Trinity Road and Routh Road. In 1894 it is listed as a boys’ school and by 1909 the road has been renumbered and the house is now 244 Trinity Road. In the 1909-10 directory it still retains its name of The Beeches too, so we can be sure of the renumbering. Looking at postwar OS maps and comparing the shape of the house which is in this location with the house on the 1890s OS map they are pretty much the same, so we can assume that the 1870s house originally named The Beeches (probably with some alterations) is still standing at 244 Trinity Road.
The Wilson family are not listed as living at The Beeches in any of the Wandsworth street directories that I consulted (which we hold from 1884), but there is a private residents’ listing in the 1884 directory for Joseph William Wilson living at Wolfston House, Brodrick Road, so presumably the family moved there sometime between the 1881 census being taken and the 1884 Wandsworth directory being compiled. We also have a newspaper article in our collection of scrapbooks called ‘Wandsworth Notes’ in which Joseph William Wilson describes his time living in and around Earlsfield which is quite interesting as he was quite a famous engineer. There is a reference to this in our card catalogue if any of your subscribers should ever want to come and read it.
In the extract from the diary that you have featured in the article on your website, the lady (presumably Harriet Ann Moore, Joseph’s wife) mentions that the family were previously living at ‘The Elms’. In the 1867 Wandsworth street directory which we hold there is a Court listing as follows: ‘Wilson, Jos. Wm., Esq., 4, The Elms, St. Ann’s Hill, Wandsworth.’ ‘The Elms’ was a group of four houses situated on St. Ann’s Hill right next to St. Ann’s Parish Church.”
So we went onto a popular mapping software and found what we think is the house shown in the photo on this page. We were slightly worried that the same map currently shows that the “Hairforce Lice Assassins” are now based close to the property. It will worry future generations to read about these developments.
The property underwent a huge renovation a few years ago and is now one of the prime properties on the Toast Rack (albeit fronting onto the slightly congested Trinity Road).
Anyone with any more detailed information would be welcome to help us continue our chronicling of the Magdalen Estate.