Raynes Park

Raynes Park is a residential suburb within the London Borough of Merton south-west London, situated between Wimbledon and New Malden. It is 8.2 miles (13.2 km) south-west of Charing Cross. Towards the north and west, either side of the borough boundary with the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames are the more expensive areas of Copse Hill and Coombe with their large detached houses, golf courses and gated lands.

Historically, the area of Raynes Park south of Coombe Lane and Kingston Road was part of the parish of Merton and the area north of that line was part of the Parish of Wimbledon. The area remained rural until late into the 19th century. The first development in the area was the opening of the London & South Western Railway in May 1838 which crossed the area on a high embankment, although the station did not open until later.

Cottenham Park to the north of the station was the first part of the area to be laid out for development in the 1870s. It takes its named from Charles Pepys, 1st Earl of Cottenham who lived in Wimbledon until his death in 1851. The name Raynes Park was originally used in the 1870s and only applied to the area south of the railway line where the local landowner, Richard Garth, Lord of the Manor of the adjacent parish of Morden, planned to develop a new garden suburb similar to that being developed by John Innes at Merton Park to the east. The name refers to the Rayne family, the previous landowners of the farmland on which Garth intended to build.

Garth laid out the northern section of Grand Drive, about as far south as Heath Drive, and Blenheim Road and persuaded the railway company to build the station. A number of detached houses were constructed, but Garth's absence as Chief Justice of Bengal slowed the development and much of the rest of the area became a golf course and cricket grounds.