Mortlake Station Passage, SW14

Place Name

This alleyway runs alongside Mortlake train station to its main entrance. The station was opened on Monday July 27, 1846, the day that the line was officially opened. The first service, hauled by the Raven, from Richmond to Nine Elms – the Waterloo line extension was not completed until two years later – left at 7.45am carrying just five passengers. In 1895 the main entrance was rebuilt with the addition of a royal waiting room, for royals heading to and from White Lodge. The room is now used as an office. There are several theories behind the origin of the name Mortlake, although one thing most scholars agree is that it does not, as the name might imply, mean dead lake. John Field in Place-Names of Greater London suggests it could be a personal name as in Morta’s stream, alluding to an arm of the Beverley Brook which enters the River Thames here. It was first recorded by the Norman’s in the Domesday Survey of 1086 as Mortelage by 1227 it was Morteslake and in the 15thCentury as Mourslake. David Mills in A Dictionary of London Place Names says the name Mortlake comes from two Old English words mort and lace means a small stream in which young salmon are found.



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