Wormwood Scrubs

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Coordinates: 51°31′17″N 00°14′20″W / 51.52139°N 0.23889°W / 51.52139; -0.23889

Wormwood Scrubs, known locally as The Scrubs, is an open space located in the north-eastern corner of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in west London. It is the largest open space in the Borough, at 80 ha (200 acres), and one of the largest areas of common land in London. The eastern part, known as Little Wormwood Scrubs, is cut off by Scrubs Lane and the West London Line railway. It has been an open public space since the Wormwood Scrubs Act of 21 July 1879, and is recognised by English Nature as an important site of natural significance.

The southern edge of the Scrubs is the site of two locally important buildings. At the western end is HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs, built between 1875 and 1891 by convict labour. To the east of the prison is the Hammersmith Hospital campus, which includes the relocated Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital.

Within the area are several sports facilities, including the Linford Christie stadium, tens of football pitches and a pony centre. Queens Park Rangers Football Club played on The Scrubs between 1888 and 1889.

A suspect package linked to the 21 July 2005 London bombings was found in some bushes in Little Wormwood Scrubs[1].

Contents

History

In the early 19th century the whole district was open fields, and included several areas of common land. In 1812 an area of 190 acres (0.77 km2) known as Wormholt Scrubs was leased by the War Office from the Manor of Fulham. This was in order to exercise cavalry horses which until that point had been hacked out in Hyde Park, Belgrave Square and Regent's Park - then known as St. Marylebone's Park. This common land became known as Wormwood Scrubs, 135 acres (0.55 km2) of which was bought by the War Office in 1878.

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