View of Lambeth Palace, 1833
Watercolour, H.W Burgess. ID no. 60.169/3
We saw a very pretty house which my Uncle lived in about twenty years ago. A little further brought us to Mrs Willson’s on Clapham common an old and valued friend of my Uncles who we felt great pleasure in being introduced to. We spent half an hour very pleasantly with her then proceeded on the common to take a view of a noble mansion which my Uncle resided in. It commands a beautiful prospect of the common which is very extensive. It is surrounded with handsome houses, and interspersed with wood and water, and roads which are like gravel walks cross it in different directions. In Summer it must be extremely beautiful. A more charming situation I think cannot be found in the Kingdom, within a delightful ride or walk to town, yet as much the country as if twenty miles from it.
[Great Uncle, William Chivers, had been murdered in his garden at Battersea Rise, by his gardener William Duncan, on 24 January 1807. William Duncan hit Chivers with a spade and on being found guilty of murder was transported to Australia.]
Our late Uncle’s residence and the house next to it now appeared to our view, which has a beautiful effect. The two houses in front being exactly alike, before each is a fine sloping lawn, at the end of both are situated (at a little distance from the house) the offices which are quite complete, behind are the pleasure grounds and gardens which are delightful and are kept in the most exact order, adjoining are two or three very fine fields.
We called on Mrs Hardwick who lives in one of these charming houses which are situated at Battersea Rise. Revisiting this sweet place brought strongly to my memory the pleasant visit I once paid here. We next proceeded homewards thro Lark Hill lane, pass’d Vauxhall Gardens to South Lambeth, went thro the High Street, which is very antient and extremely narrow and gloomy greatly resembling some of the old streets in York, so much so we almost fancied ourselves transported there.
We passed through several little dirty alleys which brought us to the venerable Palace of Lambeth which is inhabited by the Archbishop of Canterbury, it is a very large and antient structure, the entrance to it is very grand. There is a fine walk along a high wall for a considerable distance, from which there is a most beautiful view of the Thames and of Westminster Bridge. We passed White hall, Horse guards, Northumberland House, Chairing Cross, St Martins Church and arrived at our Hotel at five o’clock and relished not a little a bit of good roast beef, after having walked about thirteen miles, we were much pleased with the variety we had seen in this days march which we were fortunate in having a very fine day for it being a hard frost. In the evening we had a hit at Backgammon and at eleven retired to rest.