Norbiton Common

Norbiton Common, Kingston upon Thames

A rarely-used name for the south-eastern part of Norbiton and part of the western side of New Malden

geograph-5046900-by-James-Emmans - Houses on Kingston Road

The 320-acre com­mon was enclosed in 1808 and soon filled with farms, small­hold­ings – and William Smith’s nurs­ery, which was high­ly regard­ed in the 1830s for its nov­el vari­eties of ros­es and rhodo­den­drons. Present-day Nor­biton Com­mon Road is locat­ed at the far north-west cor­ner of what was the com­mon, which stretched east-south-east­ward beyond the track that was then called Trap’s Lane and is now New Malden High Street. The two main farms were Nor­biton Com­mon Farm in the west and Nor­biton Park Farm (lat­er called Wait­e­lands Farm for a while) in the east.

The Lon­don and Southamp­ton Rail­way cut across the south-east cor­ner of the com­mon in 1838, when Kingston-​​on-​​Rail­way sta­tion opened – as the fore­run­ner of Sur­biton sta­tion.

Nor­biton Park Farm was the focus of a scan­dal in 1862. The Lib­er­al MP William Roupell plead­ed guilty at the Old Bai­ley to a charge of hav­ing forged doc­u­men­tary evi­dence of his own­er­ship of the farm and was sen­tenced to penal servi­tude for life. Inci­den­tal­ly, it’s an indi­ca­tion of the broad extent of Nor­biton Com­mon that Nor­biton Park farm­house was locat­ed on what is now Park Court, which is near the bot­tom right cor­ner of the map below and very much part of present-day New Malden.

After the Lon­don and South West­ern Rail­way’s Kingston loop reached Nor­biton in 1869 much of the agri­cul­tur­al land here was sold off for devel­op­ment. The first hous­es were built along Kingston Road (then called Cam­bridge Road here, as it still is fur­ther to the north-west), of which the two grand­est were Cam­bridge Vil­la (lat­er Lodge) and Nor­biton Lodge. Cal­i­for­nia Road, St John’s Road and Welling­ton Road (now Cres­cent) were among the ear­li­est res­i­den­tial side­streets.

Mean­while, New Malden expand­ed west­wards and had joined up with the lit­tle set­tle­ment at Nor­biton Com­mon by the 1890s. Offi­cial doc­u­ments that had ear­li­er referred to address­es in “Nor­biton Com­mon, Kingston-upon-Thames” began refer­ring to “Nor­biton Com­mon, New Malden”.

Around Kingston Road the orig­i­nal dwellings were most­ly replaced with coun­cil hous­es after the Sec­ond World War, which are now in a vari­ety of states – some cared for, some not.

The area bound­ed by Kingston Road, Dick­er­age Lane and the rail­way lines became a com­mer­cial and light indus­tri­al zone, which nowa­days also has some retail super­stores. The flats of Crown House were built on the for­mer site of Nor­biton Lodge.

Three of the Mount school’s dilap­i­dat­ed old build­ings were demol­ished in 1993 and were replaced by the exec­u­tive homes of Arch­dale Place. Fol­low­ing a decline in its rep­u­ta­tion, from which it has now almost ful­ly recov­ered, the Mount school was renamed King’s Oak pri­ma­ry school in Sep­tem­ber 2010. Nor­biton children’s cen­tre is sit­u­at­ed in the grounds of the school.

South of Kingston Road are the Kingsmead­ow sports com­plex and the Search­light youth and com­mu­ni­ty cen­tre. Kingsmead­ow is present­ly home to Kingston­ian foot­ball club and AFC Wim­ble­don – the sup­port­ers’ rein­car­na­tion of Wim­ble­don FC, formed in 2002 after the orig­i­nal club moved to Mil­ton Keynes. In June 2016 Kingsmead­ow was sold to Chelsea foot­ball club for use by its youth and wom­en’s teams, sub­ject to the approval of AFC Wim­ble­don’s plan to move to a new sta­di­um, to be built on the site of Wim­ble­don grey­hound sta­di­um. Kingston­ian will then be paid “a sub­stan­tial sum of mon­ey” to help them secure their future at anoth­er ground in or around Kingston.

Postcode areas: Kingston upon Thames, KT1 and New Malden, KT3

 

* The picture of houses on Kingston Road on this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright James Emmans, at Geograph Britain and Ireland, made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse is freely permitted under the terms of that licence.