The Wandsworth Region – 25,000 years of time
The history of the Wandsworth region can be viewed as a tapestry held together with three distinct “threads”, each interweaving with the others to create a unique story spanning 25,000 years. These threads are the Natural Landscape, the Cultural Landscape and the Human Story, and are depicted in our permanent gallery illustrated by objects from our rich collections.
The Natural Landscape tells the story of the shaping of the land, the environment and the ecology of the region. The natural history of Wandsworth, its landscape, plants and animals have transformed from a grassy permafrost-filled landscape visited by the ice-age animals to pine and birch forests and finally to a series of mixed forests, heathlands and river valleys in the past 25,000 years.
The Cultural Landscape tells the story of how the hand of humanity has modified the terrain, above and below, in the region. Human activity has modified and changed the landscape of the Wandsworth region over the past 6,000 years. Human activity has transformed our world – buildings, roads, river cuts, tunnels and bridges have changed the very nature of the landscape of the region.
The Human Story is the rich and detailed record of the people who have lived and passed through Wandsworth. Humans started to create permanent settlements as far back as 6,000 years ago. They were attracted to the area by its landscape, rivers and rich resources. Since early times people from around the world have come to Wandsworth to find a new home and have left their mark on the heart of this place.