Monday, 31 May 2010

About Ravensbury Park

Ravensbury Park is located in the London Borough of Merton. There is free public access to the park.

Ravensbury Park History

In the 17th and 18th centuries the park was part of an important industrial area with Ravensbury Mill located on the river at the western end of the current park and a calico factory to the north, just outside the current park boundary. At this time the current park formed part of the Ravensbury Park Estate of Ravensbury Manor. The Manor House stood on the northern bank of the river, immediately to the south of the present park maintenance depot. The foundations of the house can sill be seen amongst dense young woodland and ivy.

Old Morden Road used to pass through the current park, following the route of the existing Ravensbury Lane in front of the Manor House and across the river. In the mid 18th century the owner of the estate, john Arbuthnott, applied for the road to be diverted further west, along its present route and laid out the gardens of the Manor House and developed walks along the banks of the river. A circular walk ran around Ravensbury Meadow, the open grassland area in the centre of the park, which may have been used for calico bleaching and drying or as a hay meadow (CRC 1996). Diversions to the river, which still exist, to supply water to the calico factory, were also made around this time.

The Ravensbury Estate

After the sale of the Ravensbury Estate in 1855 the Manor House fell into ruin and was demolished within 10 years after which a substantial mixed conifer and broadleaf woodland developed around the remains of the house and along the riverbanks. In the early 20th century the former Ravensbury Park Estate was partitioned and sold for residential development. Faced with increasing development pressure and recognising the recreational potential of the area, in 1929 the Urban District Councils of Mitcham, Morden and Merton jointly purchased the remaining grounds of the Manor House to set aside as a public park. The park was formally opened on 10th May 1930.

The surrounding area became increasingly urbanised in the years following the establishment of the park but changes in the park itself have been limited and most of it remains substantially as it was when it first opened. The lake was added in the 1970’s, when the adjacent housing, Watermeads Estate, was constructed and the opportunity taken to extend the riverside walk eastwards to Bishopsford Road.

Local transport

Underground: Morden
Tramlink: Mitcham, Belgrave Walk
Buses: 80, 157, 164, 118, 201, 280, 470

Further information about this park can be found at the following websites:

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