The Memorial Stones
Remembering those from yesterday who helped give us today.
Richardson Evans Playing Fields - First World War Memorial
In the 1920’s, the Conservators were able to acquire an additional 42 acres of land. The site, which formed part of Newlands Farm, is now called the Richardson Evans Memorial Playing Fields.
Five acres of this land was dedicated and landscaped as a War Memorial Grove. At the heart of the site is a granite monument, inscribed with the names of local men who gave their lives for their country in the Great War of 1914-1918. The memorial was officially dedicated on 15 July 1925, and the site later named after Mr Richardson Evans, who was instrumental in securing the land for the public.
The monument, situated in the far corner of the playing fields close to the southern end of Stag Lane, remains one of The Commons' lesser-known features. Despite its relative obscurity, the monument remains an impressive creation and one that the Conservators have pledged to maintain, to continue to honour the sacrifice of those it was built to remember.
Eight years ago, the Conservators had some restoration works carried out and had the names of those listed on the memorial enhanced.
Wimbledon Village War Memorial
The Memorial was built in 1919 to commemorate local men who lost their lives in the First World War and further inscriptions were added later to commemorate those lost in the Second World War.
Roehampton War Memorial
The original war memorial that stood on this site was badly damaged by enemy action during the Second World War. The present memorial was erected in 1952. It is sited 200 metres east of Roehampton Church. Grid Ref. TQ 226 739
Tangier Stone, Queen's Royal Rifles
The Tangier Stone was erected in 1961 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the first parade of the Tangier Regiment of Foot (now the Queen’s Regiment). It is situated north of the Roehampton Hills. Grid Ref TQ 228 729
Kings Royal Rifles Memorial, KRR Stone
The KRR Stone was erected to commemorate men of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps who passed through the Wimbledon Common transit camp during the First World War. Grid Ref. TQ 227 718
Hartley's Obelisk - The Fire House
By the A3, near Tibbet's Corner, stands an Obelisk commemorating the "Fire House" built in 1776 by Mr David Hartley. Mr Hartley was the inventor of a system for fire-proofing houses by means of what he called "fire-plates". His invention consisted of iron plates fixed over the joists of the upper floors, below the normal floor boarding. Explaining the system he said that "the efficiency of the fire plates depends partly upon their preventing the immediate access of the fire itself to the timbers of the house and partly on their preventing that exterior draught of air without which no house can be set on fire" (he also drew attention to other "subordinate conveniences" such as cleanliness, the prevention of dust falling from floor to floor and the interruption of the free passage of vermin).
His "Fire House" was built, using this construction and on 2nd September 1776 he began a series of demonstrations in which the lower floor of the house was set on fire. The first of these demonstrations was witnessed by the Lord Mayor and Corporation of the City of London who were said to be greatly impressed. No doubt with the Great Fire of London in mind, the Corporation resolved that for new buildings in the City, (wherever thought proper) "the said Fire Plates shall be ordered as part of the plan" and they presented Mr Hartley with the Freedom of the City. At a further demonstration, King George III and Queen Charlotte are said to have taken breakfast on the upper floor of the house while a fierce fire raged below. Hartley went on to produce an even more fire resistant system using iron plates above and below the floor joists with dry sand packed between and experimented with combinations of iron and copper plates. Ultimately, a Parliamentary grant was awarded to him to meet his expenses, which must have been considerable, and the obelisk was set up near the site of the house to record the experiments and the grant.
There are two cattle pounds on the Commons, one at the junction of Cannizaro Road and Parkside and the other on Putney Heath near the Green Man. Although the timbers have been renewed over the years, they originally date from the time when sheep and cattle grazed on the Common lands. They were not only used to house cattle which had strayed but to impound those seized in payment of debt.