|Type||Public park (previously common land)|
|Area||220 acres (0.89 km2)|
|Operated by||Lambeth London Borough Council|
|Public transit access||Clapham Common and Clapham South|
Clapham Common is a large triangular urban park in Clapham, south London. Originally common land for the parishes of Battersea and Clapham, it was converted to parkland under the terms of the Metropolitan Commons Act 1878. It is 220 acres (89 hectares) of green space, with three ponds and a Victorian bandstand. It is overlooked by large Georgian and Victorian mansions and nearby Clapham Old Town.
Holy Trinity Clapham, an 18th-century Georgian church overlooking the park, is important in the history of the evangelical Clapham Sect. Half of the park is within the London Borough of Wandsworth, and the other half is within the London Borough of Lambeth.
Originally common land for the parishes of Battersea and Clapham, William Hewer was among the early Londoners to build adjacent to it. Samuel Pepys, the diarist, died at Hewer's house in 1703. The land had been used for cricket in 1700and was drained in the 1760s, and from the 1790s onwards fine houses were built around the common as fashionable dwellings for wealthy business people in what was then a village detached from metropolitan London. Some later residents were members of the Clapham Sect of evangelical reformers, including Lord Teignmouth and Henry Thornton, the banker and abolitionist. In 1911, Scottish evangelist and teacher Oswald Chambers (1874–1917) founded and was principal of the Bible Training College in Clapham Common, an "embarrassingly elegant" property situated at 45 North Side that had been purchased by the Pentecostal League of Prayer. Excerpts of Chambers weekly addresses to the student body at the college were published in 1934 by his wife Gertrude (Biddy) Hobbs in the book My Utmost For His Highest, perhaps one of the most widely read Christian devotional books (39 languages, 13 million copies).
J. M. W. Turner painted "View on Clapham Common" between 1800 and 1805, showing that even though the common had been drained, it still remained "quite a wild place".
The common was converted to parkland under the terms of the Metropolitan Commons Act in 1878. As London expanded in the 19th century, Clapham was absorbed into the capital, with most of the remaining palatial or agricultural estates replaced with terraced housing by the early 1900s. During World War II, storage bunkers were built on the Battersea Rise side of the common; two mounds remain.[ citation needed ]
Half of the common is within the London Borough of Wandsworth and half within the London Borough of Lambeth. It is wholly managed and maintained by the London Borough of Lambeth, while the policing of the open space is divided between the Wandsworth and Lambeth borough "commands" of the Metropolitan Police, which follow the local government boundaries. The roads surrounding the common fall within the SW4, SW11 and SW12 postcodes.
Clapham Common is in the Clapham Common electoral ward.
In 2010, residents of the Clapham Common ward elected two Conservative Councillors & one Lib Dem Councillor.
In 2014, residents of the Clapham Common ward elected 3 Conservative Councillors. This was the first time the Conservatives had taken control of the Clapham Common ward since the 1960s.
In 2018, residents elected 2 Labour & 1 Conservative councillor.
Clapham Common has a range of sporting facilities, including a running track, bowling green, cricket, football, rugby and Australian rules football pitches, and a skateboard venue. lb, roach, tench and bream. Eagle Pond was extensively refurbished in 2002 when it was completely drained, landscaped and replanted to provide a better habitat for the fish it contained. Long Pond has a century-old tradition of use for model boating.The park contains three ponds, two of which are historical features, and a more modern paddling pool known as Cock Pond. Eagle Pond and Mount Pond are used for angling and contain a variety of species including carp to 20
Holy Trinity Church (1776) is close to the north side of the park. An Anglican church, it hosts its fete in the park every summer.
Clapham Common and Clapham South Underground stations are on the edge of the common at its easternmost and southernmost points respectively. Both stations are served by the Northern line.
A memorial tree to actor Jeremy Brett – who had lived locally for many years prior to his death in 1995 – was planted on 30 March 2007.
In the centre of the park is a bandstand constructed in 1890. It is the largest bandstand in London and a Grade II Listed Building. For many years it was also erroneously thought to be one of the bandstands first erected in 1861 in the Royal Horticultural Society's gardens in South Kensington, which would have made it the oldest surviving cast iron bandstand in Europe. However, recent research has shown that these bandstands went to Southwark Park and Peckham Rye, and it appears that the Clapham bandstand was fabricated to a very similar design almost thirty years later.
The bandstand's maintenance had been neglected by Lambeth Council for thirty years, and by 2001 it was thought to be in danger of collapse and had to be shored up with scaffolding for five years. In 2005–2006, a full restoration of the bandstand and surrounding landscape took place, partly funded by an £895,000 lottery grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund matched by £300,000 from Lambeth Council and a further £100,000 from local fundraising efforts and the proceeds of the Ben and Jerry's Summer Sundae event held on the Common. The drainage bund around the bandstand was restored with granite setts during the summer of 2011 at a cost of £12,000to resolve design faults in the earlier works.
Clapham Common has a reputation as a place for men seeking anonymous sex with other men in public places.When Welsh politician Ron Davies was robbed at knife point in 1998 after he gave a lift to strangers he had met in the park, there was speculation that the incident involved "cruising"; Davies resigned his position in the UK government, denying the incident had anything to do with drugs or sex. There have been several attacks on men in the vicinity of the park, including one in 2005 on a young man, Jody Dobrowski, thought by his attackers to be gay, during which he was badly beaten and later died. The incident was the impetus for the making of the 2007 Channel 4 film Clapham Junction .
The park has hosted various musical festivals, including Colourscape Music Festival since 1989,;Get Loaded in the Park, from 2004 to 2011 when Razorlight were the headline act; South West Four Eurodance music festival annually in August since 2004; and other music events, such as Subway Picnic Rocks in 2008, organised by Action Against Hunger In 2014 the Calling Festival, which had previously been held in Hyde Park under the name Hard Rock Calling Festival, moved to Clapham Common; headline acts are Aerosmith and Stevie Wonder.
Sporting events held in Clapham Common and sports teams based in the park include the Latin American football League, which has played organised football on the red car pitches located on the south side of the park since the 1980s;the British Australian Rules Football League Grand Final, for which the park is the traditional venue; South West London Chargers rugby club formed in 2013 have their home in the park; London Titans football club play in the park; various sport teams are active on the park, including softball, korfball, and Australian Rules Football. Clapham Alexandra football club play some games on the park. In 2010 Sunday League footballers using the facilities in the park felt they were "awful".
A Lesbian & Gay Pride event, to be termed Pride House, was planned to take place on the park during the 2012 Summer Olympics, but ran into opposition from the Friends of Clapham Commonand was eventually cancelled for lack of funding. Every Easter and February half-term George Irvin's Funfair visits the park.
Benjamin Franklin used the ponds for science experiments, and developing a "magic" trick. While traveling on a ship, Franklin had observed that the wake of a ship was diminished when the cooks scuttled their greasy water. He studied the effects at Clapham common on a large pond there. "I fetched out a cruet of oil and dropt a little of it on the water ... though not more than a teaspoon full, produced an instant calm over a space of several yards square." He later used the trick to "calm the waters" by carrying "a little oil in the hollow joint of my cane."
Balham is a neighbourhood in South West London, England, in the London Borough of Wandsworth. The area has been settled since Saxon times and appears in the Domesday Book as Belgeham.
Battersea is a district of South West London, England, within the London Borough of Wandsworth. It is located on the south bank of the River Thames, 2.9 miles (4.7 km) south west of Charing Cross.
Clapham is a district of south-west London lying mostly within the London Borough of Lambeth, but with some areas extending into the neighbouring London Borough of Wandsworth.
Stockwell is a district in South West London, England, located in the London Borough of Lambeth. It is situated 2.4 miles (3.9 km) south of Charing Cross. Battersea, Brixton, Clapham, South Lambeth, Oval and Kennington all border Stockwell.
Wandsworth is a London borough in southwest London; it forms part of Inner London. The borough borders the London Borough of Lambeth to the east, the London Borough of Merton and the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames to the south, the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames to the west and to the north three boroughs, namely the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster. The local authority is Wandsworth London Borough Council.
Lambeth is a London borough in south London, England, which forms part of Inner London. Its name was recorded in 1062 as Lambehitha and in 1255 as Lambeth. The geographical centre of London is at Frazier Street near Lambeth North tube station, though nearby Charing Cross on the other side of the Thames in the City of Westminster is traditionally considered the centre of London.
The Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth was a Metropolitan borough under the London County Council, from 1900 to 1965.
Battersea was a civil parish and metropolitan borough in the County of London, England. In 1965, the borough was abolished and its area combined with parts of the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth to form the London Borough of Wandsworth. The borough was administered from Battersea Town Hall on Lavender Hill and the building is now Battersea Arts Centre.
Battersea is a constituency in the London Borough of Wandsworth.
Streatham is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2019 by Bell Ribeiro-Addy, who was elected as a Labour MP.
Wandsworth Common is a public common in Wandsworth, in the London Borough of Wandsworth, south London. It is 69.43 hectares and is maintained and regulated by Wandsworth Council. It is also a Ward of the London Borough of Wandsworth. The population of the ward at the 2011 Census was 15,247.
The inner London borough of Wandsworth contains some 670 hectares of green space in the form of parks, commons, allotments and cemeteries, which is the largest amount for an Inner London borough. Central London borders some of the borough's boundary with the Thames the closest park to which is Battersea Park.
Clapham was a borough constituency in South London which returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the UK Parliament. It was created in time for the 1885 general election then altered in periodic national boundary reviews, principally in 1918, and abolished before the February 1974 general election. In its early years the seat was officially named Battersea and Clapham Parliamentary Borough: No. 2—The Clapham Division.
Battersea South was a parliamentary constituency, originally in the County of London and later in Greater London. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the UK Parliament.
Wandsworth was the name of a borough constituency created in 1885, abolished in 1918, covering the vast bulk of today's London Borough of Wandsworth in South London but excluding Battersea. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the UK Parliament.
The Falconbrook is a stream that once rose in Balham and Tooting, draining most of that parish as well as the south of Battersea including Clapham Junction, and a narrow strip in the rest of Battersea where it entered the River Thames.
Lambeth London Borough Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Lambeth in Greater London, England. It is a London borough council, and one of the 32 in the United Kingdom capital of London. The council meets at Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton. Lambeth is divided into 21 wards, each electing three councillors. The council was first elected in 1964.
Clapham Common is an administrative division of the London Borough of Lambeth, United Kingdom.
Thornton ward is an administrative division of the London Borough of Lambeth, United Kingdom.
Wandsworth was a local government district within the metropolitan area of London, England from 1855 to 1900. It was formed by the Metropolis Management Act 1855 and was governed by the Wandsworth District Board of Works, which consisted of elected vestrymen.