This area of south-west London lies just to the south of Battersea and Clapham. The area has been settled since Saxon times, and is named after a farm that once covered the area.
Until the 18th century the district was predominantly rural and was sparsely populated with just a small scattering of houses. By the end of the 18th century the district had started to develop with several large houses being built in the area.
Nevertheless, it wasn't until the 19th century that development of the district began to take off. As with many areas of outer London, the impetus for the development of Balham was industrialisation.
The railway reached Balham in 1856 and housing soon covered the whole area. Today Balham is still a typically residential suburb of London.
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