Balham has been in existence since Saxon times, but it was not until the middle of the 19th century that it was settled, with the opening of Balham station itself. In actual fact Bal stands for rounded enclosure and ham is homestead or land on the river bed.
On 14 October 1940, the underground station became involved in a bombing raid, with a bomb falling directly on top of the station, and the plaque commemorating the event still lies there today.
Most of the area lies within the London borough of Wandsworth, although a part of it known as the Hyde Farm lies within Lambeth. It is situated between 4 commons, Clapham Common in the north, Wandsworth Common in the west and Tooting Bec Common in the east.
Needless to say, the area has been gentrified and has become very trendy. Balham High Street is full of trendy bars, cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars as well as large shopping outlets such as Waitrose and Sainsburys. One simply has it all in Balham and is spoilt for choice. As far as entertainment is concerned there is live music and comedy at Bedford Hill and performers at the famous Banana club included Eddie Izzard and Al Murray. As far as entertainment is concerned Balham now rivals the West End. Balham also boasts a library and a leisure centre.
As far as transport is concerned Balham is well served by buses serving many South London neighbourhoods, the Northern Line provides commuters with excellent links to the West End, the City and beyond, and the British Rail links London with Croydon as well as Kensington Olympia and stations to Milton Keynes.Share