Top of Putney Town turning towards Barns Common
In the late 18th century, Putney was a small settlement of around 2,000 inhabitants. It was still separate from London, but a number of wealthy Londoners chose to build homes here, making the area into a fashionable country retreat. The common lies between Putney and Barnes and was used by both communities until a dispute in 1589 led to the common being claimed exclusively by the inhabitants of Barnes. At the time this watercolour was created the common was still mainly marshland.