SW postcode area

The SW (South Western) postcode area, also known as the London SW postcode area,[2] is a group of postcode districts covering a broad radial swathe of southwest London, England as far as Mortlake, Streatham and Raynes Park. The area straightforwardly succeeds a shorter-lived South Western (SW1–SW10) and Battersea (SW11–SW20) split between its components[3] of the London post town.

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London SW postcode area
Postcode areaSW
Postcode area nameLondon SW
Post towns1
Postcode districts29
Postcode sectors139
Postcodes (live)21,046
Postcodes (total)34,726
Statistics as at February 2012[1]

Postal administration

The postcode area originated in 1857 as the SW district. In 1868 it gained some of the area of the very short-lived S district, with the rest going to SE. It was divided into numbered districts in 1917.[4] The South Western district[3] consists of the postcode districts SW1–SW10[3] and the once Battersea-headquartered component[3] consists of the postcode districts SW11–SW20.[5]

The South Western head district was designated as SW1 and the rest of the numbering followed, alphabetically, by their most important parish, chapelry, topological or built environment feature names, up to 10. Similarly as to the Battersea SW11 once "head district".

List of postcode districts

The approximate coverage of the postcode districts, with the historic postal district names shown in italics:[5]

Postcode district Post town Coverage Local authority area
SW1A LONDON Whitehall, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and west of St James's Westminster
SW1E LONDON Northern 'Victoria' around Buckingham Gate (a street) to include both sides of part of Victoria Street Westminster
SW1H LONDON Surrounds of St James's Park tube station centred on Broadway, Queen Anne's Gate and Old Queen Street to include both sides of part of Victoria Street - derivation: Horse Guards Parade Westminster
SW1P LONDON A projection around Parliament Square. Nearby Westminster School to Westminster Cathedral to CCAL, University of the Arts, London (omitting all backstreets nearest to Vauxhall Bridge Road) - derivation: Parliament Square Westminster
SW1V LONDON between Vauxhall Bridge, Grosvenor (or Victoria Railway) Bridge and Victoria Station, taking in both sides of Vauxhall Bridge Road; includes Pimlico Westminster
SW1W LONDON South or lower Belgravia and Chelsea (a corner), from Sloane Square to Victoria Station to Grosvenor Waterside basin Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea
SW1X LONDON Rest of Belgravia (north of Eaton Square), Knightsbridge (eastern half) and Chelsea (a corner) Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea
SW1Y LONDON All but the west of St James's Westminster
SW2 LONDON Brixton district: Brixton Hill, Tulse Hill (part), Brixton (part), Streatham Hill, Clapham (part), Eastern parts of Balham, Lambeth Lambeth
SW3 LONDON Chelsea district: Chelsea, Brompton, Knightsbridge (part) Kensington and Chelsea
SW4 LONDON Clapham district: Clapham, Stockwell (part) Lambeth, Wandsworth
SW5 LONDON Earls Court district: Earls Court Kensington and Chelsea
SW6 LONDON Fulham district: Fulham, Parsons Green Hammersmith and Fulham
SW7 LONDON South Kensington district: South Kensington, Knightsbridge (part) Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster
SW8 LONDON South Lambeth district: South Lambeth, Wandsworth Road, Vauxhall, Battersea:Nine Elms (part), Clapham (part), NW area of Stockwell, Oval (part) Lambeth, Wandsworth
SW9 LONDON Stockwell district: Brixton, Stockwell, Clapham (part), Oval (part) Lambeth
SW10 LONDON West Brompton district: West Brompton, Chelsea (part) Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham
SW11 LONDON Battersea head district: Battersea, Clapham South Wandsworth, Lambeth
SW12 LONDON Balham district: Balham, Clapham South, Wandsworth Common (part) Wandsworth, Lambeth
SW13 LONDON Barnes district: Barnes Richmond upon Thames
SW14 LONDON Mortlake district: Mortlake, East Sheen Richmond upon Thames
SW15 LONDON Putney district: Putney, Roehampton, Kingston Vale, Putney Heath, Putney Vale, Richmond Park, Roehampton Vale Wandsworth, Kingston upon Thames, Richmond upon Thames
SW16 LONDON Streatham district: Streatham, Streatham Common, Norbury, Streatham Park, Furzedown, Streatham Vale, Mitcham Common, Pollards Hill, Eastfields Lambeth, Croydon, Wandsworth, Merton
SW17 LONDON Tooting district: Tooting, Balham (part), Mitcham (part) Wandsworth, Merton
SW18 LONDON Wandsworth district: Wandsworth Town, Southfields, Earlsfield Wandsworth
SW19 LONDON Wimbledon district: Wimbledon, Colliers Wood, Merton Park, Merton Abbey, Southfields, Morden (part) Merton, Wandsworth
SW20 LONDON West Wimbledon district: Raynes Park, Lower Morden, Merton Park, Wimbledon Chase Merton


SW1 is the South Western head district. Since about the 1890s it has had a surplus of addresses and buildings for practical division into one set of inwards codes so is divided into smaller postcode districts since 1917 used for mail purposes. SW1 is used in geographic reference, street signs and colloquial use across most communities. Its eight subdivisions continue to be classed as one 'district'. Within SW1A are keynote inward codes including:


The SW postcode area covers parts of nine London Boroughs. North of the River Thames, it covers the southern parts of the City of Westminster, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. South of the river, it covers all of the London Borough of Wandsworth, the western part of the London Borough of Lambeth, the northern parts of the London Boroughs of Merton and Croydon, the northeastern part of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, and a very small part of Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.[6][7]


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SW postcode area map, showing postcode districts in red and post towns in grey text, with links to nearby CR, EC, KT, SE, SM, TW, W and WC postcode areas.

See also


  1. "ONS Postcode Directory Version Notes" (ZIP). National Statistics Postcode Products. Office for National Statistics. February 2012. Table 2. Retrieved 21 April 2012. Coordinates from mean of unit postcode points, "Code-Point Open". OS OpenData. Ordnance Survey. February 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  2. Royal Mail (2004). Address Management Guide (4 ed.). Royal Mail Group.
  3. Monopolies and Mergers Commission (1980). The Inner London Letter Post. HMSO. Archived from the original on 19 January 2012.
  4. "Postcodes" (PDF). Archive Information Sheet. The British Postal Museum and Archive. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 March 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
  5. "Names of Streets and Places in the London Postal area". HMSO. 1930.
  6. File:Londonpostal iln 1857.jpg
  7. Postcodes in the United Kingdom#History
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