The church of St. Mary was first documented in 1291 and was rebuilt in 1836 to the designs of Edward Lapidge, who retained the tower of 1440. Although Putney had been a fashionable suburb since Elizabethan times, these watercolours capture the village before its radical transformation at the end of the 19th century. In 1880 the District Railway arrived across the river in Fulham, and Putney Bridge, rebuilt in stone between 1884-6, was freed from toll. The following decade saw a relentless march of small brick houses across fields and market gardens as commuters flocked to the city.
W.A. Nicholls was the brother of John England Nicholls.