Cycling’s popularity has soared recently with successful British riders such as Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome making a name for themselves on the global stage. Although, Putney has always been cycling-mad; Putney once had a velodrome in the area between Landford, Hotham, Earldom and Erpingham Roads.


Mr John Davis was a local Putney builder, in 1988 he acquired the lease on the above mentioned land in Putney and constructed the first ever concrete cycling track in England. The velodrome was also the headquarters for the Putney Athletics Club, tennis and bowls were also available for the local community. The Velodrome opened for competition in 1891 and was very successful. The club hosted races that lasted up to six days. Women were even allowed to race at the Velodrome as the International Cycling Union had sanctioned ladies races.


The District line (then known as The Metropolitan District Railway) expanded to Putney in the 1880’s. This created a building boom in the area as the commute to London became fast and convenient. Sadly, even though the velodrome was successful the last race was held in the summer of 1905 and the land was developed into Victorian terraced housing. By 1907 the entire area where the velodrome was had been turned into housing and was on the market for sale. The velodrome was relocated to Herne Hill where it is still open to this day.


With the loss of the Putney Velodrome, we lost a part of cycling history, a forward-thinking host to many major events. Hopefully with the rising success of this sport the lost velodromes of london will be uncovered.

Will Jagla