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River Graveney – A Tributary of the River Wandle

The River Graveney is a tributary of the River Wandle. It starts as Norbury Brook but turns into the River Graveney as it runs through Streatham and Tooting. In total, the River Graveney runs for 5.9 miles, mostly underground.

This post is about the history of the River Graveney and includes a map showing the river’s path.

The viewing platform where the River Wandle meets the Graveney.  Photograph by Olivia Herlihy.
The viewing platform where the River Wandle meets the Graveney. Photograph by Olivia Herlihy.

River Graveney Map

The map below shows the path of the River Graveney. The dark dotted line on the map is where the river runs underground. You can see once the river enters Tooting it meets with the River Wandle.

River Graveney Map

You can see from the map below that the River Graveney meets with the River Wandle just north of the Wandle Meadow Nature Park. This part of the river is entirely artificial, as old Ordnance maps show the river meandering close to the Wandle, but not actually joining it for another mile in Summerstown.

Map showing where the River Graveney meets the River Wandle
Map showing where the River Graveney meets the River Wandle

The place where the Wandle and Graveney meet is marked by a viewing platform along the Wandle Trail. The metal viewing platform (shown in the photograph below) is close to the railway bridge that you can see on the map.

The viewing platform where the River Wandle meets the Graveney.  Photograph by Olivia Herlihy.
The viewing platform where the River Wandle meets the Graveney. Photograph by Olivia Herlihy.

History of the River Graveney

In the Domesday Book, Tooting was divided into two manors. The southerly of the two was Tooting Graveney.

The name “Graveney” comes from the De Gravenel family who owned large pieces of land in the area in the 12-13th century. The River Graveney was named after the parish that it flowed through.

The Graveney is a small stream, which unlike the Wandle, was not powerful enough to support any water mills. Instead it was used in history as irrigation for crops, and to wash away waste.

River Wandle at the point where it meets the Graveney
River Wandle at the point where it meets the Graveney in Tooting. Photograph by Olivia Herlihy

River Graveney Flooding

The River Graveney is monitored regularly for risk of flooding, since the Environment Agency identified around seven hundred properties, including private houses, which were at risk.

The area that is coloured blue in the map below shows the region that is covered by flood alerts for the River Graveney.

Map of River Graveney flooding
Map of River Graveney flooding

Gareth

Thursday 30th of June 2022

Interesting. I think the photo titled, 'River Graveney in Tooting,' is in fact the Wandle (photographed from the platform at the confluence).

Olivia Herlihy

Saturday 2nd of July 2022

Yes I took that photograph at the point where the rivers meet... but you're right, I think the bit that goes under the railway bridge is the Wandle and the Graveney flows the other way.

Matute

Wednesday 29th of June 2022

The Graveney hasn't flooded for almost 80 years according to several local accounts. It was concreted in between the world wars I understand and cattle used to graze on the area of Mitcham where Streatham Road begins (housing now).

Olivia Herlihy

Wednesday 29th of June 2022

Ah.. thanks so much for the info. :-)