Balham New Road, SW12

Place Name

This was certainly new when it was laid out in the mid-19thCentury, running between Balham Road (today’s Balham High Road) and Side of Foot Road, as this part of Cavendish Road was marked on the Ordnance Survey map. The road itself is named after the local area. John Field in his study Place Names of Greater London speculates that the name could come from one of two sources, either meaning a riverside pasture belonging to a Saxon called Bealga, who built his settlement alongside Stane Street (today’s Balham High Road), the great Roman superhighway which ran from Chichester to London, or a “rounded riverside pasture”. The Anglo-Saxon word Hamm often meant land within the bend of a river. It was first mentioned as Bœlgenham in AD957 in the Anglo Saxon charters, by the time of the Domesday Book of 1086 it was recorded as Belgeham, and by 1472 it was recorded as Balam.



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