A History of Tooting Common

Tooting Bec common is very near Magdalen EstateWith two lovely commons so close by to the Magdalen Estate, one could say that people who live around the area are spoilt for choice as to where to enjoy beautiful, green open spaces. In this week’s Magdalen Estate blog, we thought we’d enlighten you, dear reader, as to some of the history surrounding Tooting Common, to help us appreciate the journey our free public space has been on.
Both Tooting Bec Common and Tooting Graveney Common, together with Streatham Green, are what remain of common land that once stretched as far as Mitcham.
As London’s population grew throughout the 1860s and 70s, much of the common land was developed for housing, and the remaining area put under threat. Following a number of petitions and protests from the local community regarding the developments, the Metropolitan Commons Act was passed in 1866, by which time Tooting Common had been divided by the building of roads and railways.
Soon after the Act was passed, the Metropolitan Board of Works (MBW) took action to preserve Tooting Bec, later also acquiring Tooting Graveney. The two areas are now essentially seen as one common, with a line of trees marking the former boundary between the two areas.
We always love to hear about the history surrounding Wandsworth and the Magdalen Estate; if you’ve got any great stories, perhaps passed down through the family, please do get in touch and share them with us.
Bert Naughton

Bert Naughton

A local resident of Wandsworth with an interested in the local community and a mission to explain to all and sundry the correct pronunciation of Magdalen (as in the college).

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