Wimbledon, a town, a parish, and the head of a parliamentary division in Surrey. The town stands on high ground, on the margin of an extensive common, on the main line of the L. & S.W.R., 7½ miles SW of London. It has communication by branches of the L. & S.W.R. with Kingston, Leatherhead, Ludgate Hill via Tulse Hill, and Hampton Court; the L.B. & S.C.R. have lines to London Bridge, and to Mitcham Junction and West Croydon; and the Metropolitan District railway has a line via Putney Bridge to Earls Court. It has a head post office and several sub-post offices. It is a very ancient place, was known to the Saxons as Wibbandun, and gave the title of Viscount in the time of Charles I. to the Cecils. The manor was once a grange to Mortlake, passed to Thomas Cromwell, Queen Catherine Parr, Cardinal Pole, the Cecils, Queen Henrietta Maria, General Lambert, the Digbys, and the Spencers, and belongs now to Earl Spencer. The town is governed by an urban district council of fifteen members. Wimbledon was formerly only a village. Its great increase since about 1860 is owing to the influx of families attracted by the salubrity of its climate and its proximity to London. There are many handsome villas near the Common, and good houses in other parts. The parish church of St Mary, first erected in 1788, rebuilt in 1833, and enlarged in 1860, is in the Perpendicular style. The chancel is from the designs of Sir Gilbert Scott. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Rochester; net value, £250, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Worcester. Holy Trinity, South Wimbledon, forms a separate ecclesiastical parish, constituted in 1872. The church, was built in 1862 and enlarged in 1894, and is in the Early Decorated style. The living is a vicarage; net value, £358. Patron, the Vicar of Wimbledon. All Saints, South Wimbledon, forms an ecclesiastical parish constituted in 1892. The living is a vicarage; net value, £220. Patron, the Bishop of Rochester. The church was built in 1893. Emmanuel Church, on the Ridgway, is a proprietary chapel, rebuilt in 1888. The living is a perpetual curacy in the gift of trustees. There are four chapels of ease to the parish and one to Holy Trinity, and Roman Catholic, Baptist, Congregational, Primitive Methodist, Presbyterian, and Wesleyan chapels, and a cemetery. The charitable institutions include cottage and convalescent hospitals at Copse Hill. There is a free library in Wimbledon Hill Road. Wimbledon is well drained, and there is a sewage farm of nearly 80 acres. Acreage of parish, 3220; population, 25,761. Wimbledon Common consists of about 1000 acres, is said to have been a camping-ground of Julius Ca—sar in the year 54 B.C., was the scene in 568 of a battle between Ethelbert of Kent and Ceaulin of Wessex, and from 1860 to 1889 was the annual place of meeting of the National Rifle Association, now removed to Bisley. Wimbledon is the headquarters of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion West Surrey Regiment. A brick house on the W side of the Common was long the residence, and eventually the deathplace, of Home Tooke. Another house was a seat of Wilberforce, and was often visited in his time by Pitt.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Wimbledon St. Mary|
|Poor Law union||Kingston|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
Ancestry.co.uk, in association with Surrey History Centre, have images of the Parish Registers for Surrey online.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Wimbledon from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848 (Wimbledon (St. Mary))
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Surrey is available to browse.
Online maps of Wimbledon are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Surrey papers online:
The Visitation of Surrey, 1662-1668 is available on the Heraldry page.