Secret London: Wimbledon
Little Known Facts about Wimbledon
Robert Baden-Powell wrote parts of his famous Scouting for Boys near the windmill on Wimbledon common, which was published in 1908.
Duels often took place on the Common - the most famous was that between a Captain Tuckett and James Brudenell, Earl of Cardigan and Colonel of the 14th Hussars – the smartest Regiment in the British Army. The duel caused an uproar in polite society and brought duelling into disrepute, thereby changing the law.
The Fox and Grapes pub was used from 1868 for the next 20 years as changing rooms by what later became Wimbledon Football Club, winners of the FA Cup at Wembley in 1988..
An Irishwoman haunts the cellars of the Crooked Billet pub, and the Hand in Hand also has a ghost who was seen by one of the staff as recently as 1985.
In 1864 the 5th Earl Spencer, as Lord of the Manor, proposed to enclose Wimbledon Common as a park and sell Putney Heath as building land. Local residents opposed the plan and a long legal battle resulted in Earl Spencer giving up his rights to the land in return for an annuity of £1,200.00 and an undertaking that the local residents would be responsible for its maintenance. It is still the local residents who pay for the maintenance for the Commons!