Battersea Manor House

Battersea overviewBattersea overviewBattersea Manor lies on the south bank of the River Thames, 7km south-east of the City of London. Excavations on the former Battersea Flour Mills site revealed part of the medieval manorial estate and the post-medieval manor house dating from the late 16th to early 17th century.

Project Background

Remains of the post medieval manor house fully exposedRemains of the post medieval manor house fully exposedRemains of three medieval timber buildings, dating from the 12th to 14th centuries, were found on the eastern edge of the site, furthest from the River Thames. These were most likely agricultural buildings belonging to the medieval manor house. The location of the early manor house is uncertain, but probably lay on higher ground to the east, to avoid the effects of flooding.
 
Excavations were funded by Taylor Woodrow Property Company Ltd and monitored on their behalf by CgMs Consulting Ltd.
 
A fuller account of this excavation has been published in Surrey Archaeological Collections, 88, 93 –131, 2001 – Excavations at Battersea Flour Mills, 1996-7: the medieval and post-medieval manor houses and later Thames-side industrial site.

The Archaeology

The layout of three rooms can be seen clearlyThe layout of three rooms can be seen clearlyOur excavations at this site found that in late 16th or early 17th century a manor house was built on the site of what later became Battersea Flour Mills in south London. Evidence from the excavation and documents indicate that the house was probably built by the St John family in the early 17th century.
 
By this time the site was a prestigious and prominent riverside location in what was a dynamic and expanding city.
 
The house, which was shaped like an H, was constructed largely of brick. Contemporary maps indicate extensive formal gardens to the north and east.
 
Part of the northern range was well preserved and the layout of at least three rooms can be clearly seen (photograph). Beneath the southern section was a large (5 x 6 m) brick built cellar, with a surviving flight of steps leading in to it. We also found that a riverside wall was built, to reduce the risk of flooding to the house
 
We found a section of leaded window in what was a cellar. Although the fragment was crushed, reconstruction shows that the window had a simple diamond pattern with translucent light green glass.