Light industrial enclave located beside the
River Wandle, where Tooting meets Wimbledon. The street named Summerstown links Plough Lane with Garratt Lane. From the late
Middle Ages there were mills beside the river, which frequently flooded the area. ‘Dutchmen’ are recorded as manufacturing
brass plates for kettles and frying pans around 1631 and there is also evidence of Huguenot silk weaving and wig-making here.
In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the hamlet provided labour for the Wandle’s mills. The writer and poet
Edward Thomas cycled through Summerstown just before the outbreak of the First World War and described the scene in his evocative travelogue
In Pursuit of Spring. “The main part visible was twenty acres of damp meadow. On the left it was bounded by the
irregular low buildings of a laundry, a file and tool factory, and a chamois-leather mill; on the right by the dirty backs
of Summerstown. On the far side a neat, white, oldish house was retiring amid blossoming fuit trees under the guardianship
of several elms, and the shadow of those two tall red chimneys of the electricity works... A mixture of the sordid and the
delicate in the whole was unmistakable.” Summerstown’s Romanesque parish church of St Mary was completed in 1920
and is now grade II listed. Wimbledon, Lambeth and Streatham cemeteries are to the west, south and east respectively. There’s
greyhound racing at Wimbledon stadium. Summerstown has absorbed the former hamlet of Garratt, and is now itself being lost
within Earlsfield. Contemporary housebuilders in the Garratt Green area claim that this is Earlsfield, despite the SW17 address.