What and where is Furzedown?

Furzedown is a residential area in SW London close to Tooting Bec Common. Originally the lands of a farm called Furzeden, it became the estate for Furzedown House, built about 1730.

Hard to believe now, but back then the Streatham area was regarded as being countryside.

In the late 19th century, Furzedown House was owned by the Seely family, whose main residence was in the Isle of Wight. Later, it became a Teacher Training College and is now part of Graveney School. This lodge for Furzedown House, built in 1860, still remains.

In the more distant past, the inhabitants of the manor of Tooting Graveney had the right of cutting furze and digging gravel.

Dr Johnson, the celebrated 18th century poet, essayist and biographer, often came to stay with his friend Mrs Thrale at Streatham Park. Mrs Thrale’s husband was a wealthy brewer in Southwark. Their house, Streatham Place, faced Tooting Bec Common, but was demolished in 1863.

The Samuel Johnson pub at the end of Thrale Road was named after Furzedown’s famous visitor; these days it is called The Furzedown.

Today’s Furzedown Ward is made up from parts of the Streatham Park and Furzedown estates.

In August 2008 the FCN was awarded a  grant from the Lottery Grants for Local Communities Awards for All Fund to launch an oral history/reminiscence project in the area. Visit the Furzedown Voices website to learn more.

Other interesting links about Tooting Common and Furzedown can be found on these You Tube clips from the 1970’s:

Video 1  Video 2  Video 3  Video 4  Video 5