Drayton Green was a small hamlet in the parish of Ealing, with commonland surrounded by a few large properties but otherwise remaining quite rural until the late C19th, when housing increasingly encroached the area's open space. As a result of the 1866 Metropolitan Commons Act, Ealing Local Board was able to purchase various areas of common land for public open space, including 4 acres of former commonland at Drayton Green. By 1932 a large oval running track had been laid out here and a children's playground existed by the 1950s.
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Drayton Green was a small hamlet in the parish of Ealing, with an area of commonland surrounded by a few large properties but otherwise remaining quite rural until the late C19th. Among substantial country houses were Manor House, Drayton House, Drayton Green House and Cleveland House, with farms such as Drayton Green Farm to the north. Among those who lived at Drayton Green were J H Barlow who in 1927 established a successful method of rearing hens and game birds by means of steam in his house. The gardener Louisa Lawrence lived at Drayton Villa after her marriage to William Lawrence in 1828 and her 2-acre garden was much praised for its variety of planting. J C Loudon wrote in his 'Gardener's Magazine' in 1838 that 'the collection of greenhouse and hot-house plants may be characterised as among the most select and valuable in the neighbourhood of London'.
From the mid-C19th development for house-building had begun to encroach on the open land in the area as the railway network expanded, although suburban development in Ealing was relatively slow. The Great Western Railway's London to Bristol line to the west had opened in 1838, with stations at Ealing and Hanwell. As a result of the 1866 Metropolitan Commons Act, Ealing Local Board was able to purchase various areas of common land in order to preserve them as public open space. In 1878 Ealing Green, Ealing Common and Haven Green were initially purchased for the sum of £500, and later 4 acres of former commonland at Drayton Green was added for a further £1,000. The Green and surrounding houses remained little changed until the early part of the C20th. To the south West Ealing Station was built in 1871 and had a goods depot and coal sidings, with the GWR's West Ealing Loop later running north to link the main line with a new line through Greenford to the north, which had a halt at Drayton Green opened in 1905. The coal sidings divided open land with a number of tennis grounds to the west from the public open space of Drayton Green to the east, which covered the area south of Bridge Road to the Manor House, although suburban streets now covered land to the west.
By 1932 a large oval running track had been laid out covering a substantial part of the Green, and on the land west of the sidings there were cricket as well as tennis grounds, later West London Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club. By 1957 the Manor House and its grounds had been built over by Douglas Gardens, by which time there was a playground provided on Drayton Green. Drayton Green today is a public open space with a children's playground and the area within the old running path used for sports.
Peter Hounsell, 'Ealing and Hanwell Past' (Historical Publications, 1991); Peter Hounsell, 'The Ealing Book' (Historical Publications, 2005)