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Manor Park

The name Manor Park suggests that this was originally the grounds of Sutton's Manor House.

Between Throwley Road, Carshalton Road and Manor Park Road, Sutton.   

Manor Park Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser windowThis however is not the case: Manor Park was formed from the grounds of three large suburban houses which stood along Carshalton Road, and a fourth in Manor Park Road. The latter, and largest, was called Manor Park House and gave its name to the park.

In 1914 the Sutton Urban District Council acquired Manor Park House and its grounds, which appear to have been neglected as, according to the Council minutes, the grass was very high, the paths weedy, and the shrubs overgrown. Conversion into a park, which seems to have involved a good deal of tidying and a minimal amount of modification, was carried out and the park was opened by Chairman of the Urban District Council, on 25th May, 1914.

In 1921 the War Memorial Committee was looking for a site for Sutton's memorial and suggested that it was placed in the park, close to the Carshalton Road. However, the Council rejected this as they felt that there was not enough space and that it would be necessary to cut down the trees along the road front. The War Memorial Committee then bought the two houses to the east of the park, demolished the buildings and erected the war memorial on the site. The Council agreed to accept the memorial on behalf of the town and 'maintain the ground for the benefit of the inhabitants in perpetuity'. In December 1921 the site of a third house, to the east of the War Memorial, was presented to the UDC by Sir Ralph Forster, Messrs. Charles Wright and Thomas Wall. The final additions were the sites of 6 and 8 Throwley Road, added in 1924, and 10 Throwley Road in 1931.

Local residents were evidently proud of the park and it benefited from a series of donations, The most conspicuous was the fountain which was given by Councillor Chas. Yates who was Chairman of Sutton U.D.C in 1924-5.

The war memorial is of Portland stone and was designed by the architect JSW Burmester who lived in Grange Road, Sutton. It was unveiled by Sir Ralph Forster at a service in June 1921. Foster was a wealthy local resident who lived in the Grange which formerly stood in Grange Road. He lost his son in the First World War and was a donor to the park and other local causes.

Manor Park House stood on the east side of the site close to Manor Park Road. It was used as a school in the 1920s and housed Sutton Public Library from 1937. The building was demolished in the mid 1970s soon after the Central Library was moved to the present building.

A bandstand was acquired when the park first opened in 1914, but this seems to have disappeared by the early 1920s. A new bandstand was installed in 1923. This stood on the grass at the north end of the park where there are now sports pitches. The early band performances seem to have been very popular and there was enough drunkenness and minor disorder for the council to request the presence of a police constable during performances.