Streatham Vale, SW16

Place Name

Named after the local village, Streatham means the hamlet on the street from the Old English words strœt and hām. In this case the Roman road that ran from London to Brighton, where it is believed an old Roman port was based. Streatham High Road – the A23 – closely follows its antiquarian predecessor’s route. The hamlet was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Estreham but by 1175 had become Stratham, followed by Streteham in 1247, and Streetham in 1422. Streatham Vale itself was first referred to in 1244 as Suthstretham meaning south Streatham and later as Lower Streatham in a map of 1876. David Mills in a Dictionary of London Place Names writes: “Streatham is pronounced ‘Strettem’ (with a short vowel); in spite of the current spelling (first found in 1510) this has probably been the local pronunciation since medieval times.”

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