London's Parks and Green Spaces
Wimbledon Park is the name of an urban park in Wimbledon and also of the suburb south and east of the park and the Wimbledon Park tube station. The park itself is 27 hectares (67 acres) in area. The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club is immediately to the west of the park. Wimbledon Park should not be confused with the much larger and better known Wimbledon Common, further to the west up the hill. The original park comprised part of the grounds of Wimbledon manor house, the seat of the manor of Wimbledon, situated on the hill to the south, near St Mary's Church, Wimbledon the old parish church of Wimbledon. A series of owners enlarged the park northwards and eastwards. By the 19th century it was at its largest extent, and one of the homes of the Earls Spencer, lords of the manor. The park had been landscaped in the 18th century by Capability Brown when the lake was formed by constructing a dam across a brook that flows from the springline near Wimbledon Common down to the River Wandle in Earlsfield. In 1846, the 4th Earl Spencer sold the estate and house to John Augustus Beaumont a property developer who laid out new roads and sold plots of land for house building. Two roads still bear his name today - Augustus Road and Beaumont Road. Development of the area was slow at first, but continued throughout the second half of the 19th century, gradually nibbling away at the parkland. The modern park was purchased by the Borough of Wimbledon just before the First World War and is, with its ornamental lake, the grounds of the Wimbledon Club and Wimbledon Golf Course, the only remnant of the former, larger park. Late in the 20th century the London Borough of Merton sold on the Golf Course to the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, leaving just the public park and the lake in its ownership. Along the park's northern edge lies Horse Close wood, a small patch of old planted woodland, largely consisting of Ash and Oak. The London Underground District line runs to the east of the Park between Southfields tube station and Wimbledon Park station.
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