Nine Elms

Nine Elms

Nine Elms in 2012, looking west, showing New Covent Garden Market and Battersea Power Station
Nine Elms
 Nine Elms shown within Greater London
London borough Wandsworth
Ceremonial county Greater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district SW8
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK ParliamentBattersea
London Assembly Merton and Wandsworth
List of places

Coordinates: 51°29′N 0°08′W / 51.48°N 0.14°W / 51.48; -0.14

Nine Elms is a district of London, situated in the far north-eastern corner of the London Borough of Wandsworth between Battersea and Vauxhall in the neighbouring borough of Lambeth.

The area was formerly mainly industrial but is now becoming more residential and commercial in character. It is dominated by Battersea Power Station, various railway lines and New Covent Garden Market. Also in the area is the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

Nine Elms has residential developments along the riverside, like Chelsea Bridge Wharf or Embassy Gardens, and also three large council estates—Carey Gardens, the Patmore and the Savona.


A map showing the Nine Elms ward of Battersea Metropolitan Borough as it appeared in 1916.

Nine Elms Lane was named around 1645, from a row of elm trees bordering the road. In 1838, at the time of construction of the London and Southampton Railway, the area was described as "a low swampy district occasionally overflowed by the Thames [whose] osier beds, pollards and windmille and the river give it a Dutch effect".[1]

Nine Elms railway station opened on 21 May 1838 as the first London terminus of the London and South Western Railway, which that day changed its name from the London and Southampton Railway. The neo-classical building was designed by Sir William Tite. The station was connected to points between Vauxhall and London Bridge by Thames steam boats. It closed in 1848 when the railway was extended to a new terminus at Waterloo station (then called Waterloo Bridge Station). The redundant station and the adjacent area, to the north of the new mainline, became the London and South Western Railway's carriage and wagon works and main locomotive works until their relocation to Eastleigh in 1909.[2] The company's largest locomotive depot was located on the south side of the main line. The buildings were damaged by bombs in World War II, and closed in 1967. They were demolished in 1968 and replaced by the flower section of the New Covent Garden Market.[3]

Gasworks were established in 1853, close to the existing waterworks of the Southwark and Vauxhall Waterworks Company. Later Battersea Power Station was built on the site.

Vauxhall Motors was formed in 1857 by Scottish engineer Alexander Wilson at Nine Elms, originally as Alex Wilson and Company, before moving to Luton in 1907. There is a plaque commemorating the site of the original factory at the Sainsbury's Nine Elms petrol station on Wandsworth Road.


Real Estate Opportunities were granted permission to redevelop the power station in November 2010.

In October 2008 the U.S. Embassy in London announced that it would relocate to the area, moving from its current location in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair;[4][5] the new embassy is slated for completion in 2017.[6] The Embassy of the Netherlands in London also announced in April 2013 that it was relocating to the area from its current location in Hyde Park Gate, Kensington.[7] The Chinese Embassy is also rumoured to be relocating to the area.[8]

On 16 February 2012, Wandsworth Council approved Ballymore Group's plans for the 15 acre development. Embassy Gardens is set to provide "up to 1,982 new homes alongside shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, business space, a 100 bed hotel, a health centre, children's playgrounds and sports pitches".[9] In 2014, it was reported that Ballymore had engaged Lazard and CBRE Group to raise about €2.5bn to fund the Embassy Gardens development.[10]

Houseboat in Nine Elms

Work commenced in 2013 on regeneration of the area around Battersea Power Station, including shops, cafes, restaurants, art and leisure facilities, office space and residential buildings. An essential part of the work is an extension of the London Underground to service the area. The proposed extension would branch from the Northern line at Kennington and travel west to Nine Elms and Battersea - creating two new stations.[11] The station structure itself is expected to be repaired and secure by 2016, with completion of the whole project by 2020.[12][13][14]

Part of these plans is the creation of the linear park – a car-free area extending from Battersea Power Station to Vauxhall Cross. The park will open out onto other public areas such as shops, hotels and other parks and public squares alongside homes and residential areas.The linear park will open up onto the Thames River Path at numerous points along the path, allowing access to the river’s edge and the beautiful views so rare in urban areas.[15]

In 2015, Wandsworth council chose a design by Bystrup for a £40m pedestrian bridge between Nine Elms and Pimlico.[16][17][18]

See also


  1. Nock, O. S. (1965). The London & South Western Railway. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0711002678.
  2. Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (1988). Waterloo to Windsor. Middleton Press. p. 18. ISBN 0-906520-54-1.
  3. Nine Elms Station, image and information at Science and Society accessed 7 March 2007
  4. "U.S. Takes First Steps Toward Embassy Relocation". Embassy of the U.S. London. 2 October 2008.
  5. Lawless, Jill (2 October 2008). "US to build new embassy in suburban London". USA Today.
  6. "New Embassy: Introduction". Embassy of the U.S. London. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  7. "Dutch Embassy Coming To Nine Elms", Nine Elms website, accessed 23 August 2013
  8. Prynn, Jonathan (21 August 2013). "London's £3 BILLION embassy sell-off bonanza". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  9. Wandsworth Council: Embassy Gardens plans approved | Wandsworth Council, accessdate: 9 September 2014
  10. Nick Webb: Mulryan is close to wiping slate clean -, accessdate: 1 September 2014
  11. "TfL applies for Northern line extension legal powers". Railway Gazette International. 30 April 2013.
  12. Booth, Robert (20 June 2008). "Latest plans for Battersea power station revealed". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
  13. Whitten, Nick (24 March 2009). "Battersea Power Station regeneration to go to planning". Retrieved 24 March 2009.
  15. Oliver Wainwright. "Public fury as new bridge across the Thames announced at Nine Elms". the Guardian.
  17. "Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area Planning Framework Consultation Draft November 2009" (PDF). Greater London Authority. November 2009. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
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