Clapham Common is partly in Lambeth, partly in Wandsworth and was formerly two commons belonging to the neighbouring parishes. Its importance for recreation was early acknowledged and it was subject to landscape improvement from 1722 onwards. In 1836 a management committee secured a lease from the two lords of the manor.
Following the Metropolitan Commons Act of 1866 the MBW assumed responsibility for a number of commons including Clapham, which it purchased in 1877, and introduced a programme of improvements and facilities. In 1890 a reproduction of the bandstand in the Royal Horticultural Society’s gardens at Kensington was erected on Clapham Common, which was restored and formally reopened in October 2011.
The Common has become a venue for a number of major events each year, with an enclosure north-east of the bandstand erected for the purpose. Today it is a mainly flat landscape with grass, trees and ponds; the bandstand and its setting has been restored with an HLF grant. Other designed elements include Mount Pond, which survives from the C18th, a riding avenue of 1877, various ponds originally derived from former gravel pits and later used as cattle and cart ponds.