Postcode district: SW19
The postcode district of SW19 is centred around the suburb of Wimbledon, and is located to the south west of London city centre. It is directly south of Wandsworth, Putney Heath and Southfields. It is located south of the river Thames and includes the areas of Wimbledon Park and Wimbledon Common, Merton, Colliers Wood, Raynes Park and Pollard Hill. The SW19 postcode district lies within or includes part of the following towns, counties, localities, electoral wards and stations: Abbey, Colliers Wood, Colliers Wood Station, Cricket Green, Dundonald, Haydons Road Station, Hillside, Lavender Fields, London, Merton, Merton Park, Raynes Park, South Wimbledon Station, Trinity, Village, Wandsworth, West Hill, Wimbledon Park, Wimbledon Park Station, Wimbledon Station.
Throughout the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Wimbledon’s proximity to London has meant that it has attracted wealthy families. In the seventeenth century this included merchants and nobility, such as Robert Bell, director of the British East India Company, and Thomas Osborne, Earl of Danby. In the eighteenth century it included Sir Theodore Janssen, director of The South Sea Company, and Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough. From the nineteenth century onwards, the area continued to attract wealthy families, but also experienced growth as a result of the industrial revolution and the growth of the railways, particularly with the addition of the London and South Western Railway to the bottom of Wimbledon Hill. This was then added to with lines to Croydon, Merton and the extension of the Metropolitan District Railway tracks from neighbouring Putney. During the latter half of the nineteenth century the population grew rapidly, and in 1894 it became Wimbledon Urban District. In 1905 it became the Municipal Borough of Wimbledon. This prompted the growth of the commercial centre, and Wimbledon soon had its own police station (1880), library (1887), and department store (Ely’s department store opened 1876). The beginning of the twentieth century brought with it a cinema and a theatre. However, as with most of London, the area was affected during the bombings of the Second World War, and as a result, much of the period housing was lost. The southeastern part of the postcode district was slightly slower to develop, remaining a rural farming community until the introduction of public transport after the First World War. When the London Underground reached Colliers Wood, South Wimbledon and Morden in 1926, the community was transformed, with the population growing from 1,000 in 1900 into a residential suburb of 12,618 within thirty years. Colliers Wood is named after the woods which, until they were cleared for development at the end of the nineteenth century, stood in place of present day Warren Road, Marlborough Road and Birdhurst Road.The tennis championship (named Wimbledon after their hosting town) also adds prestige to the area, and helps support local facilities such as restaurants, bistros and pubs.
Over the last four hundred years, the Wimbledon story has remained unchanged. It is an area that, due to its proximity to both the city of London and rural recreational activities, attracts wealthy upper middle class families. In the seventeenth century we have records of the directors of prominent companies based in London, being resident in Wimbledon, and the same applies today. It is the ideal boutique village location outside of London. At the centre of Wimbledon is 1.1 thousand acre common (demarcated by Wimbledon Parkside, Parkside Avenue, Kingston Road, Roehampton Vale and Kingston bypass) and is used by residents for walking, cycling, dog walking and horse-riding. Comparing the 1851 census with the 1901, we see the population growing fifteen fold in 50 years. This resulted in the building of many Victorian villas and terraced houses in the SW19 area, and particularly around Wimbledon Common (for example Southside Common). Many of these still exist today, though as is the case with large period property up and down the country, many of these have been converted into flats, and this is traditionally where the more expensive property is located. The high street runs from Wimbledon Common down to Wimbledon Station, morphing into Wimbledon Hill Road on its way. The area around Wimbledon Village retains its Georgian feel, and is home to fashionable boutiques and delicatessens, with the most popular properties being the cottages located on Church Road, Belvedere Square and Lancaster Place. This area has also seen some conversion of large period properties into flats, for example, The Keir and Stamford House. North View, Camp View and West Place are large red brick Victorian Houses. There has been some new residential development, however, with the 1980s townhouses of Haygarth Place, and the 1990s development of Leeward Gardens. Kinsella Gardens are also a relatively new addition to the area, built in approximately 1999. West Wimbledon has a high proportion of flats, both new build and converted period property. Berkeley Place and Ridgeway Gardens provide a good example of period conversions in the area, whereas newer purpose built property includes that in Ravenscar Lodge and Lantern Court. In addition to this it has a number of streets with family houses, such as the cottages located on Oldfield Road and the townhouses called Rydon Mews. Down the hill, to the eastern side of the tube and the ‘wrong side’ of the railway tracks, property is still desirable and expensive, but slightly less so than on the west side. Queens Road comprises of family semi-detached properties and period conversion flats, as does Haydons Road and Kings Road. The streets around Evelyn Road and Ashley Road, such as Faraday Road, Effra Road, Clarence Road and Florence Road are typical two of three bed terraced properties with small gardens. Further south takes us to Raynes Park. There has been substantial recent development in this area. Worple Road saw the building of a new block of flats in 1998, however, more substantial development has taken place further east towards Wandle Park, for example Orton Place. Abbotts Avenue was also developed in 2001 and Sovereign Row is a new build development of family terraced properties. Nearby Merton Park is known for its garden suburbs. The first streets, built in 1870 and still popular today, were Dorset Road, Mostyn Road and Kingswood Road. Building here continued into the Edwardian era, when streets such as Melrose Road and Mostyn Road were developed.
SW19 boasts a wealth of shopping facilities in the town centre, such as a mall (aptly named ‘The Centre Court Shopping Centre’), popular high street stores as well as a range of independent shops.Wimbledon Common is well worth a visit, as the largest expanse of heathland in Greater London. SW19 has a lot more green space in comparison to other areas around London. The common is used in a variety of ways, for example there is an 18-hole Golf Course, cricket pitches and playing fields, and a pavilion. The common is popular among the public, with approximately 10,000 visitors per weekend.The most popular attraction is Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship, which occurs every year at the end of June. SW19 also has a museum dedicated to lawn tennis, which can be found on Church Road.The choice of bars and restaurants in SW19 is also an attraction. Transport links are excellent here, with a busy railway station, underground station, bus routes and trams.