London Gardens Online
London Gardens Online


Royal Victoria Patriotic Building Grounds Wandsworth


The Royal Victoria Patriotic Building was a school for the orphaned children of servicemen in the Crimean War, designed by architect Major Rhode Hawkins and built in 1857-59. It was on land enclosed from Wandsworth Common purchased through patriotic funds in 1854; Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone in 1857. It was later was put to various uses, including a hospital, school but closed in 1974. It was restored in the 1980s. To the north of the main front of the RVPB is an area of public open space with lawns and some planting of shrubs, with paths and seating. A footpath leads from here through an area of woodland to Trinity Road.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
Wandsworth Common; Spencer Park School

Site location:
off Trinity Road/Windmill Road

SW18 ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Public Open Land



Listed structures:
LBII*: Royal Victoria Patriotic Building. LBII: RVPB Chapel


Site ownership:
LB Wandsworth

Site management:
Parks Service

Open to public?

Opening times:
part in front of RVPB has unrestricted access

Special conditions:



Public transport:
Rail: Wandsworth Common. Bus: 77, 210

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/05/2005
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Further Information

Grid ref:

Size in hectares:
(incl. in Wandsworth Common)

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:
Wandsworth Common

Tree Preservation Order:

Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Borough Importance I

Green Belt:

Metropolitan Open Land:
Yes (part)

Special Policy Area:

Other LA designation:

Fuller information

The Royal Victoria Patriotic Building is Victorian Gothic in style and the original buildings consisted of 3-storey ranges in a symmetrical plan with enclosed walks and two open courts. The main front has a tower over the central entrance with a statue of St George and the Dragon in a niche, with lower corner towers. The Chapel was added in 1864-66. Part of the grounds were used for a boys' school in 1871, later sold to Emanuel Hospital in 1880, and part were used for farm purposes. The London County Council purchased this latter area in 1912 in order to return it to the common. During WWI the RVPB was used as a hospital but later became vacant until 1951 when the LCC purchased the buildings and surrounding land for educational and housing purposes. Spencer Park Secondary School was opened in 1957 using the old RVPB as well as additional buildings, but closed in 1974 after which the RVPB was disused until the 1980s when it was restored.

Sources consulted:

LB Wandsworth, Wandsworth Common Conservation Area Character Statement; Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England: London 2: South' (Penguin) 1999

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