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Wandle Park Merton

Summary

Wandle Park lies along the river Wandle and was once the site of Wandlebank House and grounds. The land was purchased by Wimbledon Corporation for a public park and vested in the National Trust, and the park opened in 1907. In 1910 the Mill Pond Garden was added, purchased by public subscription. Recent re-design of the park was undertaken through Merton Groundwork Trust, completed by 2003.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
Wandlebank House

Site location:
Wandle Bank/Byegrove Road/Merton High Street, Colliers Wood

Postcode:
SW19

Type of site:
Public Park

Date(s):
1907

Designer(s):

Listed structures:
LBII: Drinking fountain. Local list:

Borough:
Merton

Site ownership:
LB Merton

Site management:
Leisure and Culture Services; Friends of Wandle Park

Open to public?
Yes

Opening times:
8am - dusk (weekdays); 9am - dusk (weekends, bank holidays)

Special conditions:

Facilities:
Play area, car park

Events:

Public transport:
Tube: Colliers Wood (Northern). Bus: 157, 52, 200, 219, 493, N155

Citymapper
Citymapper

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2011
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.merton.gov.uk/environment/openspaces/parks/parks_in_the_wimbledon_area

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ266705

Size in hectares:
3.82

Green Flag:
No

On EH National Register :
No

EH grade:
None

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
No

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
No

Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
No

In Conservation Area:
Yes

Conservation Area name:
Wandle Valley

Tree Preservation Order:
No

Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Borough Importance I (Wandle River)

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
Yes

Special Policy Area:
Yes - Archaeological Priority Zone

Other LA designation:
Public Open Space. Green Corridor

Fuller information

The park lies alongside the river Wandle (which marks the boundary of the parish), an area rich in early industrial history, and is of informal design consisting of grass, a linear path, with trees generally beside the river and newer wetland features. It was once the site of Wandlebank House owned from 1791-1821 by James Perry who owned the Merton Corn Mill and was also editor of the Morning Chronicle, founded in 1770. A memorial to Parry is in Merton parish church of St Mary's (q.v.). Corn milling had been an important industry on the Wandle from medieval times. Wandlebank House and grounds were purchased by Wimbledon Corporation for a public park and vested in the National Trust, and in December 1905 Mrs Richardson Evans of Wimbledon presented Wandle Park Mill to the National Trust in memory of her brother John Feeney.

Wandle Park opened on 11 July 1907. A 3-sided stone drinking fountain at the southern end of the park commemorates the opening and has a plaque with inscriptions on three sides, one of which is as follows: 'This garden is given for the enjoyment of the people of Wimbledon and Merton in memory of John Feeney of Birmingham and Berkswell, one who loved nature and his fellow men'. It is now surrounded by a broken circle of planting, part of re-landscaping works within the park by Merton Groundwork Trust in recent years. In 1910 the Mill Pond Garden was added to the park, purchased by public subscription and presented to the National Trust. The pond dates from the late C18th, created as a reservoir for the Merton Corn Mill but had since silted up and was infilled between the wars. Also in the park is a C19th stone drinking fountain erected through private subscription in memory of Robert Bloomfield Fenwick (1835-1897), who had lived at Wandle Park from 1867-1895 and was instrumental in the founding and building of All Saints Parish Church. It also commemorates Harry Polland Fenwick, his father in-law, and formerly had medallions of heads, now missing, as is a feature at the top.

The re-design of Wandle Park through Merton Groundwork Trust has been undertaken, with funds from the Environment Agency, LB Merton, local business Connolly's Leatherworks and the European LIFE Budget. The aim was to transform the park's wetland features along the river, with design input from schools and local residents. The improvement works have included re-design of the gates and railings at the south entrance, new paths as well as works connected with the river.

Sources consulted:

Ian Yarham, Dave Dawson, Martin Boyle, Rebecca Holliday 'Nature Conservation in Merton, Ecology Handbook 29', London Ecology Unit, 1998; Patrick Loobey, 'Merton, Morden & Mitcham, Britain in Old Photographs', Sutton, 1996, p.14

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