Battersea Park was landscaped in 1853 on a site that was originally marshland and was planted with exotic plants and shrubs, many coming from Kew Gardens. The park transformed a very depressed area into something of a destination. Charles Dickens was moved to call it one of the prettiest parks in London.
The discovery of remains of a wooden platform on the Thames at Vauxhall dating to about 1550 BC marks the point of the earliest settlements in what was to become the London area.
But the city's identity was really established when the Romans under the Emperor Claudius began their occupation in 43AD. More than likely they crossed the Thames from the south bank to the north at present day Westminster to challenge the native Briton settlement.
In the 18th century, London Bridge was still the only crossing in central London and as the city's population increased in the Westminster area, there was growing demand for a second bridge over the Thames.
Westminster Bridge was built and opened in 1750 and the Watermen were paid £25,000 (the equivalent today of about £3.5 million) in compensation for loss of business.
Discover great places to visit between Battersea Park to Westminster Bridge