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Rutlish School Grounds including Blenkinsop Memorial Garden Merton


Rutlish School was established in 1895 at the instigation of John Innes, funded through the Rutlish Charity of which he was then Chairman. William Rutlish had left £400 in his will of 1687 for apprenticing poor children and by 1894 the charity's funds had grown to around £6,000. Rutlish Science School opened in 1895 on a site off Kingston Road to the north-east. In 1957 the school relocated to the current site, which had been that of the John Innes Horticultural Institution from 1910-1953. The Manor House, where Innes lived until his death in 1904, remains in the school grounds. The gates from the old Rutlish Science School were re-installed in the quad surrounded by trees. Also in the school grounds is Blenkinsop Memorial Garden, laid out to commemorate an ex-teacher of the 1970s.

Basic Details

Site location:
Watery Lane

SW20 9AD ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Institutional Grounds

1910; 1957


Listed structures:


Site ownership:
Rutlish School

Site management:
Rutlish School

Open to public?

Opening times:

Special conditions:



Public transport:
Rail: Wimbledon Chase, South Merton. Tramlink: Merton Park.

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2012
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Further Information

Grid ref:

Size in hectares:

Green Flag:

On EH National Register :

EH grade:

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:

In Conservation Area:

Conservation Area name:
Merton Park

Tree Preservation Order:
Not known

Nature Conservation Area:

Green Belt:

Metropolitan Open Land:

Special Policy Area:
Yes - Archaeological Priority Zone

Other LA designation:

Fuller information

William Rutlish became the official embroiderer to Charles II in 1661, a lucrative position that enabled him to purchase property and land in Merton. When he died in 1687 he was buried in Merton Park parish churchyard of Mary's (q.v.), and under his will he left money for poor and deserving children in Merton who were 'the worthiest and most suitable objects of charity'. The trustees of his charity decided that the provision of education would be a suitable way of carrying out the terms of his will. William Rutlish is remembered each year by pupils of Rutlish School at the annual Commemoration Day Service in St Mary's Church when a wreath is laid on his tomb.

On his death in 1904, John Innes bequeathed the Manor House, its grounds and funds to create a park and a school of horticulture. The John Innes Horticultural Institution was established in 1910 and remained here until 1953 when it moved to Norwich. John Innes Park (q.v.) adjacent to the school was laid out as a public park on the former grounds of the Manor House and opened in 1909.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South (Penguin) 1999 p438; 'Merton Park Conservation Area', Merton Town Trails 3 (Merton Town Trails Association, 1991); L J Price, 'Notes on Rutlish School', 1968; History on Rutlish School website

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