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Coordinates: 51°24′12″N 0°13′56″W / 51.4033°N 0.2321°W / 51.4033; -0.2321

Raynes Park
Raynes Park is located in Greater London
Raynes Park

 Raynes Park shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ235685
London borough Merton
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district SW20
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Wimbledon
London Assembly Merton and Wandsworth
List of places: UK • England • London

Raynes Park is a suburb within the London Borough of Merton south-west London, centred around Raynes Park station and situated between Wimbledon and New Malden. It is 8.2 miles (13.2 km) south-west of Charing Cross. The area is effectively divided into two by the Waterloo - Southampton mainline railway. It is a typical commuter suburb in that it is relatively prosperous and the residents are mostly middle/lower classes although there are few major retail chains. The nearest major shopping area is nearby Wimbledon. Residents can easily travel to nearby Wimbledon, West Wimbledon, Wimbledon Village, Kingston or Sutton.

In recent years house prices have increased dramatically in the area as many potential buyers have been forced to look further out from the centre of London. The recent price increases have been driven by its good train links to Waterloo station and similar (though earlier) house price increases making the nearby Wimbledon area too expensive for many first-time buyers. Towards the north and west, either side of the borough boundary with the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames are more the expensive areas of Copse Hill and Coombe with their large detached houses, golf courses and gated lands.

Contents

History

For earlier history see Merton and Wimbledon.

Historically, the area of Raynes Park south of Coombe Lane and Kingston Road was part of the parish of Merton[1] and the area north of that line was part of the Parish of Wimbledon.[2] The area remained rural until late into the 19th century. The first development in the area was the opening of the London & South Western Railway in May 1838 which crossed the area on a high embankment, although the station did not open until later.

Cottenham Park to the north of the station was the first part of the area to be laid out for development in the 1870s. It takes its named from Charles Pepys, 1st Earl of Cottenham who lived in Wimbledon until his death in 1851. The name Raynes Park was originally used in the 1870s and only applied to the area south of the railway line where the local landowner, Richard Garth, Lord of the Manor of the adjacent parish of Morden, planned to develop a new garden suburb[3] similar to that being developed by John Innes at Merton Park to the east. The name refers to the Rayne family,[3] the previous landowners of the farmland on which Garth intended to build.

Garth laid out the northern section of Grand Drive, about as far south as Heath Drive,[4] and Blenheim Drive and persuaded the railway company to build the station. A number of detached houses were constructed, but Garth's absence as Chief Justice of Bengal slowed the development and much of the rest of the area became a golf course and cricket grounds.

By the late Victorian period the residential development of Wimbledon was encroaching on the north side of the railway from the east but, apart from a few buildings including the Junction Tavern and a school, development around the station did not start until the beginning of the 20th century.

South of the railway, the twelve terraced roads known locally as "the Apostles" (although they are not named after the Apostles) were laid out over a former cricket ground during the Edwardian period. In the 1920s, the Kingston Bypass (A3) and its spur, Bushey Road (A298), were built as dual carriageways. South of the railway, the majority of residential development occurred in the 1930s with Grand Drive being extended south into Lower Morden and new roads being developed. Much of the area remains open space.

Transport and amenities

Approach Road

Raynes Park station is on the National Rail network. The station is at the junction of the branch line heading towards Epsom and Dorking and has four platforms - two served by branch services and two served by the slow lines (there are no platforms on the fast lines). A distinctive local landmark is the station footbridge which spans all four main running lines at an angle of about 45 degrees and links the up platforms (1 & 2, for London) with the down (3 & 4). Another distinctive feature of the station is that the platforms are not opposite each other. The station benefits from frequent train services to central London, with approximately 210 trains to Waterloo each day, averaging about 12 per hour during service hours.

Raynes Park also benefits from London bus services running to Streatham, Wimbledon, New Malden, Kingston upon Thames, Colliers Wood and more.

Bushey Road connects the Kingston Bypass to Wimbledon Chase and Merton Park. On the south side is Prince George's playing field, which is the home ground of Raynes Park Vale F.C and plays host to Sunday league football. The field also has other purposes and has in the past held travelling Funfairs and Hindu festival celebrations. Adjacent to the playing field is a sports and leisure centre. The area has a number of other parks and open spaces including Cottenham Park Recreation Ground and Raynes Park Sports Ground.

A new public library opened in 2006, located on Approach Road, close to the railway station. A support group was founded when the new library was opened, whose purpose is to support the London Borough of Merton in efforts to improve the education and leisure facilities at Raynes Park Library.

Nearest Tube Station: Wimbledon.

Other information

Raynes Park High School is the local mixed secondary school, and is away from the town centre, adjacent to the A3 flyover near Shannon Corner. The school badge is derived from its location, showing a stylized version of the two neighbouring main roads, the flyover and the railway line.[5] Further along the West Barnes Lane, the Carters' Housing Estate contains one of Britain's best preserved nuclear bunkers and was designed by Berthold Lubetkin, the noted Russian émigré architect who pioneered modernist design in Britain.

There is an active Residents' Association which spends much of its time dealing with traffic and planning issues. The new owners of the old London Electricity Board Sports and Social Club (LESSA) playing fields have been refused planning permission for a large housing development partly due the fact the area is marginally on a floodplain.

Notable people associated with Raynes Park

References

External links

Photo gallery

View down Grand Drive in front of the Station
Coombe Lane in front of the Station
The Corner Shop on Approach Road and Grand Drive
Approach Road
The corner of Lambton Road and Coombe Lane
Coombe Lane
Coombe Lane
Lambton Road at the junction with Worple Road
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