Effra Parade, SW2

Place Name

The now hidden River Effra, which rises in Upper Norwood and flows out into the River Thames, close to the MI6 building at Vauxhall Bridge, runs near here. First appearing in 1840, the name is believed to be modernisation of the Old English word efre which means bank or ridge. But as David Mills in A Dictionary of London Place Names explains “the origin of the name Effra is obscure, unless it is an unusual 19th-century antiquarian revival”. He adds: “Appearing in the 7th-century bounds of Battersea and Wandsworth in the phrase hēah yore ‘high bank or ridge’ at a point where the stream meets the Thames.” He suggests that the name of Brockwell Park, which the river skirts, may have been an earlier name for the stream.

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