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Wimbledon College Merton
Summary: Wimbledon School was founded as an Anglican Military Academy in 1860 by Revd John Brackenbury who purchased Tree and Boggy Fields on the crest of Edge Hill. Formal gardens were laid out in front of the main school building, exotic trees and shrubs were planted in the grounds and Boggy Field became a kitchen garden. The gardens were opened to the public once a week and much admired. The school closed in 1884 and put up for sale in 1892. Part of the site, comprising the old buildings and land below them were purchased by the Jesuits who opened Wimbledon College as a boys' school here in 1893.
Previous / Other name: Wimbledon School
Site location: Edge Hill
Postcode: SW19 4NS > Google Map
Type of site: Institutional Grounds
Date(s): 1860
Listed structures: LBII: Wimbledon College with cottage and shed to south-west
Borough: Merton
Site ownership: Wimbledon College
Site management: Wimbledon College
Open to public? No
Opening times: private
Special conditions:
Public transport: Rail/Tube: Wimbledon (district) then bus
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.

Fuller information:

Wimbledon College was founded as Wimbledon School in 1860 by Revd. John Brackenbury (1816-95) as an Anglican Preparatory Military Academy and built on the crest of the hill, at that time surrounded by fields. In 1859 Brackenbury had purchased Tree and Boggy Fields from the owner, Mr Phillips, and commissioned Samuel Teulon, architect of nearby Christ Church on the Ridgeway, to design Wimbledon School. The entrance was up a drive from the Ridgeway alongside the cricket field, now built over by Ridgeway Gardens. Near the south front of the 3-storey school were formal gardens, with exotic trees and shrubs planted in the grounds. The grounds may have been laid out by David Thompson whose nursery was at the bottom of Wimbledon Hill. Below the school was a field, with a fish pond in one corner. Boggy Field became a kitchen garden with greenhouses erected and fruit trees planted.

Revd Brackenbury retired in 1882 and under his successor and former deputy, Charles Wynne, the school declined and was forced to close in 1884. Brackenbury sold the school and all its land for redevelopment in 1892 but the Jesuits, who were starting a school in Wimbledon, raised the necessary money to purchase part of the site, comprising the old buildings and land below them and opened a boys' school in 1893. The area to the north had already been sold. From 1944 it became a grammar school; and in 1969 a comprehensive. All these phases led to new buildings and facilities on the site but the original buildings of 1860 by Samuel Teulon included the school house, gothic brick mansion to the right of the hall and a 3-storeyed gabled range with wings housing dormitories. These latter were extended to the north west by Teulon in 1865/7 and to the north east in 1896/8. A chapel by F A Walters was built in 1910, the courtyard behind had classrooms and laboratories added in 1951 and 1965. A technical and arts facility was built to the south in 1968-72. The old gymnasium of 1883 in the north-east corner of the courtyard became a library in 1980.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South (Penguin) 1999; Richard Milward, 'Two Wimbledon Roads: the story of Edge Hill and Darlaston Road'. (LEHDRA, 1991).
Grid ref: TQ237703
Size in hectares:
On EH National Register : No
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:
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: Yes
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order: Not known
Nature Conservation Area: No
Green Belt: No
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area: Yes - Archaeological Priority Zone
Other LA designation:

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