Ham Common – Its History

In 1922 the east side of Ham Common was very different from now as it had very few trees mostly covered with gorse and furze.  There were many fires there during hot weather.  There was also a large gun and tank from the First World War, the tank disintegrated and was removed but the gun remained until the Second World War when it was removed for scrap.

B & H Press Tools was built on the site of a garage run by Mr Adams with a petrol pump on the kerb.  In his spare time he built an organ at the back of the garage which was completed about 1939.  The garage received a direct hit from a bomb during the Second World War. Mrs Adams was killed and the organ blown to pieces.

Lawrence Hall was a select girls school run by the Misses Lawrence.  When one died the Memorial Hall was built in her memory however her sister died not long afterwards and the school moved. Thereafter the house was turned into Lawrence Hall Hotel but did not prosper and was sold to the Cassell Hospital.

St Andrews Place was built on the site of two agricultural cottages.  One of these was run as a sweet shop by two old ladies.

The Greenwoods had a house, dairy and cowsheds by the Tool gate House in the Upper Ham Road.  The cows used to graze on the Common.

The Walkers had a large fruit orchard which stretched from behind St Andrews Church to the Ham boundary.

After the war several changes took place on the Common.  It was levelled by the council and grass was sown.   Many more trees were planted.  As the population grew and the pond became more popular with children, the Ham and Petersham Ratepayers and Residents Association (now HPA) asked for the road just south of the pond to be closed to vehicular traffic which was done and it is now a footpath.



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