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A railside locality situated on the Streatham/Mitcham border, south-west of Streatham Vale Park. The name formerly applied to a much larger area, but the rise of Streatham Vale has consigned it to obscurity. It is said to be named after Lonesome House, which once stood here, though others suggest that the district itself was called Lonesome by virtue of its isolation. In the late eighteenth century Lonesome stood on the edge of the extensive lavender fields of Mitcham. Established hereabouts because of the sparse population, the Lonesome Chemical Works operated in the second half of the nineteenth century. The coming of the railway and early industrial development in Streatham brought the first houses around the turn of the last century, with residents fording the River Graveney on their walk to work. In the 1920s, before the building of Streatham Vale’s church of the Holy Redeemer, Lonesome’s Mission of the Good Shepherd was based in a large wooden shed off Marian Road and conducted open air evangelical work here. Lonesome is no longer an isolated spot, having been tightly built up in the second half of the twentieth century, especially with recent cul-de-sacs. The recreation ground on Oakleigh Way has a children’s play area and a nature reserve beside the railway. Lonesome first school is on Grove Road. The school takes pupils aged from three to eight years and has higher than average numbers who speak a first language other than English, who are eligible for free meals and who have special educational needs.

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This cul-de-sac is of the few reminders of the lost locality of Lonesome

Tooting Graveney football club played at an enclosed ground at Lonesome from 1905 to 1907. They eventually became part of renowned non-leaguers Tooting and Mitcham FC.

Postal district and postcode area: SW16 and Mitcham, CR4

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

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