Monday, 31 May 2010

About Ravensbury Park

Ravensbury Park is located in the London Borough of Merton. There is free public access to the park.

Ravensbury Park History

In the 17th and 18th centuries the park was part of an important industrial area with Ravensbury Mill located on the river at the western end of the current park and a calico factory to the north, just outside the current park boundary. At this time the current park formed part of the Ravensbury Park Estate of Ravensbury Manor. The Manor House stood on the northern bank of the river, immediately to the south of the present park maintenance depot. The foundations of the house can sill be seen amongst dense young woodland and ivy.

Old Morden Road used to pass through the current park, following the route of the existing Ravensbury Lane in front of the Manor House and across the river. In the mid 18th century the owner of the estate, john Arbuthnott, applied for the road to be diverted further west, along its present route and laid out the gardens of the Manor House and developed walks along the banks of the river. A circular walk ran around Ravensbury Meadow, the open grassland area in the centre of the park, which may have been used for calico bleaching and drying or as a hay meadow (CRC 1996). Diversions to the river, which still exist, to supply water to the calico factory, were also made around this time.

The Ravensbury Estate

After the sale of the Ravensbury Estate in 1855 the Manor House fell into ruin and was demolished within 10 years after which a substantial mixed conifer and broadleaf woodland developed around the remains of the house and along the riverbanks. In the early 20th century the former Ravensbury Park Estate was partitioned and sold for residential development. Faced with increasing development pressure and recognising the recreational potential of the area, in 1929 the Urban District Councils of Mitcham, Morden and Merton jointly purchased the remaining grounds of the Manor House to set aside as a public park. The park was formally opened on 10th May 1930.

The surrounding area became increasingly urbanised in the years following the establishment of the park but changes in the park itself have been limited and most of it remains substantially as it was when it first opened. The lake was added in the 1970’s, when the adjacent housing, Watermeads Estate, was constructed and the opportunity taken to extend the riverside walk eastwards to Bishopsford Road.

Local transport

Underground: Morden
Tramlink: Mitcham, Belgrave Walk
Buses: 80, 157, 164, 118, 201, 280, 470

Further information about this park can be found at the following websites:

Friends of Ravensbury Park

The Friends of Ravensbury Park was set up in 2004 to take an interest in the upkeep and development of Ravensbury Park.  The Friends group works closely with the London Borough of Merton, the Environemnt Agency and other organisations associated with the park.  The Environement Agency are responsible for the River Wandle and waterways that flow around the park.

Ravensbury Park is a unique, well-loved local park and valuable green space for people and wildlife.  To ensure that Ravensbury Park is maintained, local residents, visitors and groups associated with the park are invited to join the Friends of Ravensbury Park (FORP) and take an active part in a group dedicated to preserving the park for future generations and biodiversity.

The River Wandle flows through the southern edge of the park; the lake and backwaters, mature trees and shurbs contribute to the rich biodiversity of the flora and fauna of the park, particularly the old London Plane trees which are over 200 years old.

The Friends of Ravensbury Park hold regular meetings and practical conservation workdays in the park most first Sundays of the month.  Topics covered at the FORP meetings include:
  • conservation management of the park
  • practical working parties
  • monitoring wildlife
  • the lake
  • fishing
  • dogs
  • litter
  • vandalism
  • policing of the park
  • bridge access over waterways
anything and everything to do with Ravensbury Park.

The Friends, in partnership with Merton Council, have been successful in obtaining a number of grants to improve the park and its facilities.

For example: playground, planting, trees, bridges

Wandle Valley Festival 2010

Ravensbury Park Community Day,
Saturday 5th June 2010

Venue: Ravensbury Park, Morden SM4 (London Borough of Merton), gazebo next to the River Wandle by the footbridge across the central part of the River Wandle.

Time: 10.30 – 18.00

General drop in, free activities for all ages, information about Ravensbury Park and the Friends of Ravensbury Park, the River Wandle and Wandle Valley Regional Park. Leaflets, information from other organisations associated with the Wandle Trail will also be available.


• Scavenger hunt
• Identifying creepy, crawlies from the River Wandle
• Drawing and painting for all ages
• Tree/flower trail identification sheets
• Birdwatching – bring binoculars
• Fly a kite in Ravensbury Meadow – bring a kite

Launch of art installation in the park.

A new project led by artist Jenny Rolfe-Herbert. Ravensbury Park includes a small Germanic-style hut, previously public toilets but now due for demolition. Jenny Rolfe-Hertbert is initiating a group effort to re-imagine and reinvent the building, creating both temporary and semi permanent installations on and around the building.

POST artists network bring contemporary art installations and performances in three South London parks:

Timed events:

14.30 – 16.30 guided walk around the park.
Discover the history of the park, the trees and flowers, focusing on the folklore and medicinal qualities of plants in the park.

17.00 – 18.00
Community picnic - bring food & drink, rug, and teddy bear if you are aged under 101 years.

Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Location information:

Public transport information:

Tram stop: nearest stop Belgrave Walk, or Phipps Bridge then follow the Wandle Trail.

Underground: Morden (Northern Line – check TFL travel updates), then 10 minute walk directly to the park or walk through Morden Hall Park into Ravensbury Park following the Wandle Trail.

Buses: 201 Herne Hill to Morden stops northern edge of Park (Morden Road); 118 from Brixton to Morden stops outside the southern end of the Park (Wandle Road). Other buses: 157, 164, 80 bus stop ‘Connaught Gardens’ then a 3 minute walk to the Wandle Road entrance to the park.

National Rail: Wimbledon, Mitcham Junction and East Croydon – then tram to Belgrave Walk. From Sutton Station – bus number 164 to Connaught Gardens.

Ravensbury Park Community Day Co-ordinator contact: Mobile: 07942 754929