Clapham Common in South West London is a 220 acre park. Part of Clapham Common is situated in the London Borough of Wandsworth with the rest being a part of the London Borough of Lambeth.
Clapham Common was formed by the residents in 1836 when the locals decided to take over the care of the common from the Lords of the Manor of Clapham and Battersea! The residents done this with the intention of cleaning up the overgrown area and keeping it a place of public interest! In 1871
In 1836 some local residents formed a committee to obtain leases from the Lords of the Manor of Clapham and Battersea in order to preserve and improve the Common which was overgrown and unkempt. When the leases expired in 1871, locals decided that the park should become publicly owned. In 1877, Clapham Common was bought by the Metropolitan Board of Works. The Common, underwent a small transformation where they drained swamps, filled in the ditches and made the Common into a much greener environment.
Clapham Common played a large part in both world wars where the Common was primarily used as allotments for growing food and in World War I it was also used for training soldiers in the use of hand grenades. In World War II public air raid shelters were built on it and anti-aircraft guns sited on it. In 1948, the Common was re-opened to the public and was now in the hands of London City Council.
By 1975 there had been a large increase in facilities for the general public which included a huge range of sporting courts for sports such as tennis and netball and pitches for Gaelic football, rugby,, hockey and cricket! There are also additional facilities for golf, horse riding, fishing and model boating. The facilities for children had also grown and included playgrounds, sandpits, paddling pools along with a selection of refreshment areas such as cafes.
Clapham Common has four ponds in the park; Cock Pond, Long Pond, Eagle Pond and Mount Pond. The latter three are usually used for fishing with the Cock Pond which is a more modern addition is primarily used as a paddling pool.
To represent the history of Clapham Common there are various historical features on the common. One of which is the selection of fine houses surrounding the area, the remnants of World War II bunkers that were built on the Battersea Rise side and a large memorial tree planted in 2007 in memory of local-born actor Jeremy Brett.
At the centre of the Common is a band-stand, the most famous landmark in Clapham. After having been neglected for some years, it has since been restored to a much better condition. Unfortunately it is still rarely used when first thought that it might serve as a place where members of the community could gather and as of summer 2011, it is having yet more work done to restore it further.
There are other historical buildings on the common, one of which is the Holy Trinity Church. It was built in 1776 and was badly damaged during the Second World War. It was also the home of the Clapham sect who had a large voice in the abolition of the slave trade.