Wallington is a town in the London Borough of Sutton situated south south-west of Charing Cross. Prior to the merger of the Municipal Borough of Beddington and Wallington into the London Borough of Sutton, it was part of the county of Surrey. Wallington is a post town in the SM postcode area, and although now part of Greater London, the former postal county was Surrey.
The town is a grammar school stronghold, being home to three of the borough's five grammar schools. The London Borough of Sutton is a top performing borough for education in the country, and Wallington's schools make a significant contribution to this.
The name "Wallington" derives from the Anglo Saxon "Waletone", meaning "village of the Britons". Wallington appears in Domesday Book of 1086 and was held by William the Conqueror. Its domesday assets were: 11 hides. It had 2 mills worth £1 10s 0d, 11 ploughs, of meadow. It rendered £10. The historic village was situated somewhat to the north of the current town centre around what is now Wallington Bridge over the River Wandle.
At the time of the Domesday book there were two mill ponds. The mill buildings have long been demolished, but the mill pond survives as The Grange boating lake. In the 1860s one Alfred Smee, surgeon to the Bank of England, constructed an elaborate garden on the north side of the Mill Pond, and wrote an illustrated book called "My Garden" in 1872.
What was then called "Carshalton" railway station was opened in 1847 in the open fields to the south of Wallington because the owner of Carshalton Park objected to it being built near to Carshalton village. This acted as a spur to the development of the area and in the 1860s Nathaniel Bridges created a prestigious housing estate of gothic revival villas (architect E. L. Brock). To provide a church for the estate, Bridges sponsored the construction of Holy Trinity, and Wallington became a separate parish in 1867. The area around Holy Trinity Church is known as Wallington Old Town. In particular Clifton Road, Belmont Road and Park Road exhibit some imposing Victorian and Edwardian villas. This southward development continued towards Woodcote and by the time of the First World War the section of Woodcote Road to the south of the station had become the new High Street.
Wallington High School for Girls was established in 1888 by a collective of nuns.
Since 1902 the town has maintained the tradition of an annual crowning of the Wallington May Queen. The event begins with a procession through the town. Girls join the group at the age of three as "fairies", before graduating to "attendants to the May Queen" a year later. They then go on to become crown bearers before taking on the role of banner bearer. The girls then act as "princes", and become eligible to be a May Queen at the age of nine.
The Municipal Borough of Beddington and Wallington was incorporated in 1936 from the former Beddington and Wallington Urban District. A town hall (architect Robert Atkinson) and public library were built in Wallington town centre in the 1930s, as was the fire station in Belmont Road.
Wallington County Grammar School (for boys) was opened on London Road, close to Beddington Park in 1927.
Many of Wallington's young men served and lost their lives in the First World War, and in 1922 a memorial was unveiled on Wallington Green by General Edmund Elles to commemorate the fallen. The memorial was altered in 1949 to include the names of the locals who died in the Second World War.
The memorial is in the form of a Portland stone obelisk on a plinth, with a cross and a sunburst motif. On the sides are bronze plaques bearing the names of the fallen. It stands on blue Staffordshire engineering bricks and York stone. In 2005 it was discovered that the memorial was being attacked by moss, and English Heritage paid for its restoration.
The inscription reads: