Our researchers at Wimbledon Flats have trawled through the public records to identify some of the most famous Wimbledon residents from then and now. Perhaps the most notable permanent resident was Horatio Nelson who owned a substantial estate in the Merton area that now encompasses the area between South Wimbledon and Wimbledon Chase. Landmark references abound including the Nelson Hospital and the Emma Hamilton pub. Sadly nothing remains architecturally from this period. Although he never lived as such in Wimbledon, Winston Churchill was a frequent visitor to Wimbledon during World War 2 and often spent the week-end on Warren Farm as the guest of Lord Russell of Liverpool.
Another very notable visitor to Wimbledon was Queen Elizabeth 1 who made at least four trips to visit Thomas Cecil in his manor house during the 1590s. Sadly that house no longer exists but was a magnificent construct.
Wimbledon has long been associated with the stage and screen. Just some of the many celebrities who have lived here include Martin Clunes (Men Behaving Badly), Roy Orbison singer (1960s singer and Travelling Willburys) , Windsor Davis (It Ain’t Half Hot Mum ), Jamie T (singer), Dirty Den (East Enders), Reg Varney (On the Buses), Richard Briers (The Good Life), June Whitfield and Margaret Rutherford (Agatha Christie movies). The biggest star to live in Wimbledon is Oliver Reed who lived here for many years. His filmography included Gladiator (his last movie), Castaway, Tommy, The Four Musketeers and Ken Russell’s The Devils. The biggest star of the moment to have lived in Wimbledon is Ben Barnes who was educated at Kings College School Wimbledon and has since featured in several movies including The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and Stardust. He has also appeared in the television series Doctors and is currently shooting a film with Matt Damon. In 2010 he is due to film the next Narnia movie entitled The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Wimbledon hasn’t so far attracted the A list of sporting heroes but ones we can lay claim to include Vinnie Jones, the totem of Wimbledon football during the 90s who lived here before he relocated to Essex. James Hunt, F1 world champion was a frequent sight in the village before his untimely death. Other names include Roger Taylor, GB’s best male tennis player in the 70s who made it to the Wimbledon semi finals in ’73 and Danny Cipriani, the rugby union star currently of England and Wasps, who lived until recently in Raynes Park.