Balham

Balham is a neighbourhood of South West London, England, and is part of the London Borough of Wandsworth.

The settlement appears in the Domesday Book as Belgeham. Bal refers to 'rounded enclosure' and ham to a homestead, village or river enclosure. It was held by Geoffrey Orlateile. Its Domesday Assets were: 1½ ploughs, 8 acres (32,000 m2) of meadow. It rendered (in total): £2. The Balham area has been settled since Saxon times. Balham Hill and Balham High Road follow the line of the Roman road Stane Street to Chichester – (now the A24 road). Balham is recorded in several maps in the 1600s as Ballam or Balham Hill or Balham Manor. The village was largely within the parish of Streatham, although land to the north was part of Battersea. Large country retreats for the affluent classes were built there in the 18th century; however, most development occurred after the opening of Balham railway station on the line to Crystal Palace in 1856.

On 14 October 1940 Balham tube station was involved in bombing raids which took place in London during World War II. People took cover in the tube station. A bomb landed directly on top of the station, bursting water and gas mains and killing 64 people. This particular bomb was featured in Atonement, a 2001 novel by Ian McEwan.