Random Facts: Wimbledon
This year is the 1,050th anniversary of a charter by King Edgar the Peaceful which referred to the area as Wimbedounyng.
The Anglo-Saxons had called it Wynnman’s Hill after a local landowner. The “don” at the end of Wimbledon comes from “dun” meaning a hill.
Before lawn tennis had even been invented, the first international rifle-shooting competition was held on Wimbledon Common. The Wimbledon Cup, a silver tankard made in the 1860s, is still competed for internationally.
There are small towns called Wimbledon in North Dakota and New Zealand. The New Zealand Wimbledon took its name from the rifle-shooting in the 1880s when a local farmer shot a bullock at a great distance.
In the 18th century, Wimbledon’s oldest pub, the Dog and Fox, was a stop for stagecoaches from London to Portsmouth.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, Wimbledon Common was a popular location for duels.
Wimbledon was effectively cut off from London until the first Putney Bridge was built in 1729.