Tuesday 07 November 2017
Wandsworth has long been a popular choice for families and affluent young professionals, and it’s easy to see why. From the pretty Victorian cottages of the cluster of roads known as the Tonsleys to the large red brick and stucco-fronted detached and semi-detached homes of the “Toast Rack” streets off Trinity Road, there’s no shortage of quality housing stock. There’s also Wandsworth Common and good schools, and while it may not have its own Tube station, direct trains run from Wandsworth Town to Waterloo and from Wandsworth Common to Victoria. Even its less sought-after Southside area has seen regeneration in the past few years; it now has a Waitrose. But Wandsworth as we know it is soon to be transformed, thanks to a £600 million mixed-use development by the Greenland Group called the Ram Quarter. The planned scheme consists of 663 private and affordable new homes, ranging from studios to four-bedroom duplex apartments. It could even fix one of the neighbourhood’s least appealing features: the traffic-heavy A3 ring road that runs through the high street will be diverted, providing better access by foot to Wandsworth Town. Beer has been brewed continuously on this site since the Ram’s Inn was opened in 1533, during the reign of Henry VIII, making it the oldest brewery in Britain still operating. It became the first Young’s brewery when Anthony Bainbridge and Charles Young bought the site in 1831. Now overseen by John Hatch, a former Young’s employee, the brewing hasn’t even paused during the site’s construction; Hatch has been working out of a nano-brewery constructed from scrap metal in the old stable block, where he makes “about half a barrel a week” and holds comedy nights. Once construction is finished, the old Ram Brewery will be restored and housed in the Porter Tun Room, where Porter (the dark, hoppy, stout-like beer made from brown malt) was brewed in the years following the Gin Act of 1751, which was enacted to limit the consumption of spirits in an attempt to reduce crime. Beer aficionados will be able to live in this Grade II listed brewery building.
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