Chelsea enjoyed good road and river connections to the seat of government at Westminster and the commercial centre of the City of London since at least the 14th century. It was the centre of the British porcelain industry, and a major producer of baked goods – at peak periods almost 250,000 chelsea buns per day were sold. By the 18th century it had large numbers of very prosperous residents.
Battersea, listed as Patricesy (St Peter's Water) in the Domesday Book and first mentioned in records of 693 AD, on the south bank of the river opposite Chelsea, was by contrast low and marshy land, prone to flooding. Conditions were ideal for farming asparagus and lavender
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