Our photograph shows a busy Trinity Road in the summer of 1910.By this time Wandsworth was an established London suburb with a thriving manufacturing industry. Wandsworth Common station
had opened in 1895 and improvements in road travel made the area a popular place to live seeing its population increase twentyfold in fifty years. The Surrey Tavern on the corner of
Bellevue Road was built in the 1870s – though the building has survived, the pub. ceased trading in 2006 and is now a restaurant. Opposite is Trinity Fields, laid out in the 1890s as a cricket pitch which miraculously managed to survive the clutches of 19th century speculative developers.
Until renamed in 1879 Trinity Road was known as Wandsworth Lane and was the main route linking Wandsworth and Streatham. The surrounding area was largely rural with the occasional mansion or farm
dotting the landscape. Wandsworth Lodge, Burntwood Grange and the 18th century mansion Springfield Park dominated the area. The latter became the Surrey County Pauper Lunatic Asylum in 1841, now
known as Springfield Hospital. At its peak the Asylum’s capacity reached over 2000 patients and staff, its grounds extending to Beechcroft Road. Wandsworth Lodge, together with its orchards and greenhouses, was sold in 1864 following the death of its owner Henry McKellar and over the next thirty years the land between Beechcroft and Trinity Roads underwent a period of intensive development with five roads built across it.
Apart from on Dalebury and Crockerton Roads, which were the last to be built, properties were developed singly, in pairs or short terraces by a number of different builders. One, john Buchanan, was the first to develop Beechcroft Road. He lived in the first house he built with his family of eight children and named the terrace Rusthall Villas after the village in Scotland where he was born. He was a cousin of james Buchanan [r, United States President from 1857 to 1861.
Brodrick Road takes its name from the Brodrick family – wealthy Wandsworth landowners from the early 17th century. Its most notable resident was author Thomas Hardy who lived on the corner of Brodrick and Trinity Roads between 1878 and 1880 during which time he published his most controversial novel ‘Return of the Native’. His time there is commemorated by a blue plaque.Google+