Putney Heath - then and now -

in the footsteps of the highwaymen

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This article looks at the old route used by the London to Portsmouth stagecoaches, around Putney Heath. It includes references to highwaymen, especially my local villain, Jerry Abershaw. It is not my purpose to glorify these men or their actions - they were appalling people, who robbed the poor and defenceless to pay for their lavish and wanton lifestyles.

modern map based on satellite vew

In earlier times, a coach route from London seems to have come up from Putney, where a wooden toll bridge had been built in 1726. The stage coaches were served by two Inns - the Green Man, near the top of Putney Hill, and the Bald-Faced Stag, which was down in Putney Vale. A road eventualy joined these two locations, though may not have in stagecoach times. The name Portsmouth Road may be modern. William Pitt the younger lived near the Green Man, at Bowling Green House, when he was prime-minister of England. He died there in 1806.


An area south of the underpass has come to be known as Tibbet's Corner. The underpass swamped it's earlier location. It is named after a man named Tibbut who was gatekeeper to Home Park. The gatehouse site is buried under Princes Way, where it now curves in.