Inventory Site Record

John Innes Park and Recreation Ground

John Innes Park and Recreation Ground (Merton)

Brief Description

This park was originally the grounds of the Manor House, home of John Innes. On his death in 1904 he left the house, grounds and most of his money to found a school of horticulture, if possible, or a museum and other charitable schemes. The park was laid out in 1909 and designed for active and passive forms of recreation including tennis courts and bowling green. Screened by evergreen hedges and shrubs and secluded evergreen walks the park has an intimate character. The layout of 1909 is little altered today although the bowling green has been relocated in the south-east corner. Buildings predating the park layout include the entrance lodge on the junction of Church Path and Mostyn Road, a two-storey lodge and an archway, both inside the park. The bandstand, cricket pavilion and toilet block all date from the 1909 layout although an ornate drinking fountain has since gone.

Practical Information
Site location:
Mostyn Road, Merton
Postcode:
SW19 3LL
Type of site:
Public Park
Borough:
Merton
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
8am - dusk (weekdays); 9am - dusk (weekends/bank holidays)
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Tennis courts, bowling green, croquet green, cricket pitch, car park, toilets
Events:
Public transport:
Rail: Wimbledon Chase, South Merton. Tramlink: Merton Park. Bus: K5, 201, 413

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2011
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.merton.gov.uk/environment/openspaces/parks/parks_in_the_morden_area

Full Site Description

This park was originally the grounds of the Manor House, home of John Innes (d.1904), and the layout of 1909 is little altered. John Innes had moved to Merton in 1867 but had already begun to buy land for development here with his brother in 1860, employing H G Quartermain and later J S Brocklesby to design the estate on garden suburb principles. He became a well known and respected local figure and on his death in 1904 he left the Manor House, grounds and most of his money to found a school of horticulture, if possible, or a museum and other charitable schemes. The John Innes Horticultural Institution opened in the grounds of Manor House in 1910. The park was designed to the east of the Manor House in 1909. To the west of the house was a ruin and to the south a grotto and the Institution, later the Rutlish School for Boys (q.v.).

John Innes Park was designed for active and passive forms of recreation with the varying activities accommodated within a small area and planting used to screen the different areas, including tennis courts and bowling green screened by evergreen hedges and shrubs and secluded evergreen walks give the park an intimate character. The tennis courts are shown in the same site on the OS of 1913 but the bowling green may originally have been west of the tennis courts and bandstand, and was later relocated in the south-east corner of the park. A number of the buildings predate the park layout such as the single storey English Domestic Revival building, now the entrance lodge to the park on the junction of Church Path and Mostyn Road and inside the park the two-storey English Domestic Revival lodge and archway designed by H G Quartermain c.1880. The wooden rustic bandstand, designed by Brocklesby, stands on a brick and stone plinth is shown on the OS of 1913; a clapboard cricket pavilion and an interesting English Domestic Revival toilet block, with herringbone brickwork and elaborate cast iron bars to the windows all date from the 1909 layout. The pond was once surrounded by subtropical planting, now railed. The ornate drinking fountain in the park is no longer in place.

Sources consulted:

Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); N Pevsner and B Cherry 'The Buildings of England: London 2: South', 1983; LB Merton Local History Archive; John Innes Park and Recreation Ground Management Plan 2005-2010

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ247691 (524795,169351)
Size in hectares:
3.54
Site ownership:
LB Merton
Site management:
Leisure and Culture Services; Friends of John Innes Park
Date(s):
1909
Designer(s):
John Sydney Brocklesby
Listed structures:
Local list: bandstand, gardener's cottage, public conveniences
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

No
Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

No
Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

No

Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
No
In Conservation Area:
Yes
Conservation Area name:
John Innes Merton Park
Tree Preservation Order:
No
Nature Conservation Area:
No
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
Yes - Archaeological Priority Zone
Other LA designation:
Public Open Space
Photos

John Innes Park and Recreation Ground

John Innes Park - bandstand - Photo: Colin Wing
Date taken: 26/05/20 15:03

Click a photo to enlarge.

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