During the period 2001 - 2005, the issue of security in Wimbledon Park became more and more important. Following a security review of the park with the Metropolitan Police and staff from Merton Council it was decided to improve the defences of the parameter to the park through defensive planting and the replacement of all four sets of gates that lead into the park. The total project cost was in excess of £50,000 but with the help of London Borough of Merton, Entrust, the Norlands Foundation and The All England Lawn Tennis Club, the money was found and the gate replacement was carried out. When we started to think about new gates and what they should look like, the answer was not hard to find. The best gates in the area belong to The All England and it took little time for them to put the Heritage Group in touch with their gate man, John Erwood of Erwood Fencing.
The design was not an easy task, particularly for the complex set of gates located at the Wimbledon Park Road entrance to Wimbledon Park. The Golf Club, the All England (because this set of gates plays an important role in managing the queue for the Championships), both London Boroughs - Merton and Wandsworth; all had to be happy with the final design. What was really remarkable was that with all of these issues, John Erwood was able to please everybody and create one of the best views in the whole of the borough. Looking from these gates, you have a full view of Capability Brown's park all the way to St. Mary's Church.
The following images give you an idea of the before and after for the main set of gates. The adding of the canon bollards and the turnstile gate at the Revelstoke Road entrance just completes a very fine project which ended in time for the 2006 Wimbledon Championships. Although entry into Wimbledon Park after the park is closed may be achieved by the very determined, the improvement to general security of the park is very noticeable.