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New Wimbledon

For 25 years after the opening of the railway in 1838, Wimbledon was hardly affected. The only new houses were along Pelham Road and off "Heydon Lane", near a new piped water supply laid along Kingston Road in 1850. The big change occurred when Wimbledon Station became a junction. With better communication and more work available, people began to pour in. In the ten years after 1870 street after street of terraced houses were built south of the Broadway on land once farmed by the Watneys. Other roads were laid out east of Heydon Lane to provide homes for workmen at the mills along the Wandle. The families who filled these houses came from London, the home counties and all over southern England. The husbands were often over 40, manual labourers whose jobs were local - on the railways, construction, in shops, as gardeners or servants. Their wives too often went out to work, for example as laundresses.