Radical Mural Tucked Away in Battersea

Posted by Dr Stephen King, Westminster Tour Guide on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 Under: Art

Radical Mural Tucked Away in Battersea

Hidden away in Battersea is an amazing piece of street art, showcasing not only the delights

of the local Thames river front, but also the area’s radical political history. On a former pub

on Dagnell Street is the wonderful “Battersea in Perspective” mural, done by local artist

Brian Barnes. Centre stage is Battersea Park and the Peace Pagoda, with the Thames and

the Albert and Chelsea Bridges either side.

The golden circles in the sky represent the Battersea Shield. This Celtic shield dates back to

350BC and was dug out of the Thames mud during the construction of Battersea Bridge. Its

location suggests it was placed in the river as a gift to the gods and it can now be found in

the British Museum. The triplane and balloon show Battersea’s industrial heritages, all

developed under the local railway arches.

Beneath the colourful cityscape are a series of portraits. These include John Archer, a

local politican, who became the UK’s first black council leader in 1913.

Shapurji Saklatvala was the communist MP for Battersea and first MP from an Indian background in the UK. During the general strike in 1926 he was jailed for two months for sedition, speaking up for the striking coal miners. His son Kaikhoshro flew Spitfires during the Second World War.

Also painted is Charlotte Despard, jailed four times for Suffragette campaigning, and a good

friend of Karl Marx’s daughter. In the 1930s she toured the Soviet Union and ended up the

secretary of the Friends of Soviet Russia. After she left Battersea she moved to Dublin, where her house was burnt down by an anti-communist mob! This amazing woman also has

a plaque marking her former home, opposite Battersea Arts Centre, and a local road named

after her.

As well as local landmarks such as Battersea Power Station if you look really really closely in

the mural you can see a painting of the pub with the mural painted on the side! Still as

colourful as when it was painted in 1988 this gem is well worth hunting out in this back street

behind Battersea Park.

I talk about political campaigners who worked to abolish slavery in my Clapham Common

virtual tour and the local slave owners who fought against them, which you can find


In : Art 

Tags: street art  battersea  edwardians  suffragettes 
comments powered by Disqus


"online bookings' cpd #earthrise 17th 1830s 18thcentury 1930s 20th 50th a abbey adele afternoon afternoon tea age ages alastair ancient and animals annie anniversary apps architecture arsenal art arts attack autumn awards baker bank bankside barbican barrier bathhouses battersea bazalgette bear beasts becket bells bexley bishopsgate black blackfriars blackout blitz bloomsbury bombers book books borough bowie breakfast brewery brick bridge britain british bronze bronze age brunch buckingham burger burlesque buses cab cabaret cake canal canary captain care carl carol caroline carols cathedral cemetery cenotaph century chapman charles charlton cheap cheapside cheese childhood chips chiswick chocolate christmas church city city of london clapham clerkenwell cocktails coffee coffeehouses common company concert corporate covent covent garden covid-19 cream crime cross crown cruise crystal danson david davy day december dental deptford dick dickens dinner dinosaurs do dock dockland museum dragons dreamtime druitt earth east eat eating eats ecommerce edward edwardians edwin egypt elizabethan end engineering era ernst event events exhibition exhibitions facebook fair fairytale fall family fantastic farringdon fashion february festival film finance fire first fiscus florence folklore food for francis free friars frost gallery galliard garden george georgian georgians german germany gibb gift girls globe grade great greenhithe greenwich group guided guides gun half hall halsk handel harle harry potter hats havering havering hoard hawksmoor hazel heroes hidden highbury hill hilton history holloway homes hooke hot hotel house housing how humphry i ian ianmcd ice ice cream icelandic ii iii in india inigo isaac islington italian iv jack jack the ripper jack's james jenny jewels john johns jones joseph katharines kelly kenneth kew gardens kids kidstours killer kim king kings kingston lambeth lane lewis lights limestone literature liverpool locations londinium london london bridge london's londoners londonhistory lunch lutyens macaulay magnus management maritime market markets martyr mary match matilda maufe mayfair mcdiarmid measure medical medieval memorial middle military millennium mock-tudor modern modernist montague month monument moorgate mosaic murder murderers museum museum of london docklands music musicals mystery n7 national gallery national history museum ned new newcomen news newton nhs nichols night nightingale nurse of old street oliver open opera paddington palace palaces pancakes pandemic panoramic park parties path pauls people philip photo photograhy photography photos pizza places plague plantation plays plumstead podcast poetry pokemon polly poor pop poplar port poverty prince priory private tours pub public pubs purbeck qe2 queen queenhithe quirky railways recording regency reid religion rembrandt renaissance restoration ripper river road rob robert roman romans roundhouse royal saga saints salute saxon school. science sculpture scupture seacole second serial servants sewers shakespeare shoreditch siemens sir slave slavery small smartphone smith smithfield smithfields soap soho somme south southbank southwark spitalfields spy squirrels ss st statue stories stow street strike stuart stuarts studios subscription suffragettes sugar summer susan sydenham tate taxi tea ten term terror thames thamesmeade the theatre thiepval things things to do thrifty thriftytheatre to toothbrush tour tours tower trade travel truman tudor tudors tumblety twelfth twentieth twist und underground update v&a ve victims victoria victorian victorian london victorians viking virtual vouchers wales walk walking walks wall war water werner west westend westminster wharf wheeler whitechapel wilde wildlife willelm william windrush wine winter women wood woodland woolwich world wyatt york zachary 1666 1888 2019 2020





Site by Hazel  |  Photographs by Hazel or Ian