There was a IX Elmes Farm here in 1646 and agriculture continued to dominate the riverside landscape into the 19th century, with market gardens growing asparagus and other vegetables for the London markets. In 1838 the London and Southampton Railway Company opened its terminus at Nine Elms Railway Station. The line was extended to Waterloo in 1848 and Nine Elms became the site of a goods yard and locomotive works. A gasworks was built and in 1865 this was the scene of the largest explosion in 19th-century London – a million cubic feet of gas ignited and eleven men were killed in the blast. In 1914 the Women’s Freedom League established the pioneering Nine Elms Settlement in Everett Street, serving children with dinners of vegetarian soup and large slices of pudding, which they could either eat there or take home.
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