Beating the Bounds:
Perambulation of Boundary of Mitcham, 1833
Local History Notes 26: ed. E N Montague
On Thursday 16 May 1833, led by the village band, a party of Mitcham parish officials, accompanied by old men who claimed to remember the boundary marks from their childhood, and boys upon whom reliance would be placed in years to come, walked the boundaries of the parish.
By good fortune a detailed account by Edwin Chart of this perambulation, conducted with all due ceremony, has survived (in transcription), and we can still attempt to follow the route taken.
Chart’s manuscript was last seen soon after the London Borough of Merton came into existence in 1965. It was kept at the former Town Hall of Wimbledon, where it was in the custody of the Town Clerk’s department. Its present location is unknown. Fortunately a transcript was made, and it is this, reproduced verbatim, that is offered here to a wider readership.
There are a number of places in Chart’s narrative where sentences begin with a lower-case letter, and other occasions where a sentence runs on for a whole paragraph. No attempt has been made to ‘correct’ the punctuation, though some paragraphs have been split into more manageable chunks.
Footnotes have been kept to a minimum, and explanatory text has mostly been confined to the captions of photographs and maps. Wherever possible, early 19th-century maps have been used to illustrate the route taken, but an extract from a 6-inch OS map of 1865 has been used where earlier maps do not survive.
Extract from the Introduction
SKETCH MAP ILLUSTRATING
PRINCIPAL FEATURES MENTIONED
IN EDWIN CHART’S DESCRIPTION
OF THE PERAMBULATION OF THE
BOUNDARY OF THE PARISH OF
MITCHAM ON 16TH MAY 1833
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY
LOCAL HISTORY NOTES – 26
Beating the Bounds
Perambulation of the Boundary Line of the Parish of Mitcham,
County of Surrey, on Thursday 16th May 1833
by Edwin Chart
Transcribed and introduced by E N Montague
Tooting Turnpike Road
Perry’s Mill MP
Roe 0 ¼ ½
CROYDON Phipps PARISH
Sir J W
Glover’s Watney’s Farm Flour Mill (Mr J Arthur)
CARSHALTON Logwood Goat
PARISH Mill Inn
As early as AD967 the Wandle, then known as the Hidebourne, was referred to in a Merton
KEY TO SYMBOLS USED
charter1 as the Michamingemerke – the boundary with the land of the people of Mitcham. It was
Surrey Iron Railway Mill MP
Head quite natural that the river should have continued to be used when first the ecclesiastical, and later
Approximate position of PARISH
the civil, parishes were defined. Today, hidden deep in the long grass in Morden Hall Park and
Mitcham parish boundary posts MP
Note: River courses have altered Bunce’s meadow, old boundary stones can still be found, marking points where, to sharpen their
Parish boundary in Tithe Map (1847)
since 1833. They are shown in this memories for better recall in future years, small boys were customarily ‘bumped’, or encouraged
map approximately as shown on
to ‘beat the mark’ with willow staves, during the triennial Ascension Day/Rogation-tide ceremony
modern Ordnance Survey maps.
of beating the bounds.
Early in May, led by the village band, a party of Mitcham parish officials, accompanied by old men
ISBN 1 903899 48 6 who claimed to remember the boundary marks from their childhood, and boys upon whom reliance
would be placed in years to come, walked the boundaries of the parish.
Published by Merton Historical Society – May 2005
By good fortune a detailed account by Edwin Chart of one such perambulation, conducted with
Further information on Merton Historical Society can be obtained from the Society’s website at all due ceremony on Thursday 16 May 1833, has survived (in
transcription), and we can still
www.mertonhistoricalsociety.org.uk , or from attempt to follow the route taken.2
Merton Library & Heritage Service, Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, Surrey. SM4 5DX
Observing time-honoured custom, the parish officers and others representing Mitcham vestry (Edwin
Chart, a surveyor by profession, attended on behalf of William Simpson, lord of the manor of Mitcham)
assembled at 8 am outside The Goat in Carshalton Road and, accompanied by nearly 60 men and boys
from the village, proceeded in a clockwise direction, heading down-river towards Merton. With pauses
for refreshment at inns and private houses en route, the day must have passed very pleasantly, although
one suspects that the reliability of some memories may have declined as thirsts were quenched.
This perambulation went smoothly, but such had not always been the case. Several manors in and around
Mitcham enjoyed rights in Mitcham Common, and disputes had often arisen over boundaries. In June
1535 an enclosure of land, known as the Sundridge Ground, comprising 75 acres (c.30 ha) of ‘Mitcham
Heath’, belonging of old to Beddington manor, was exchanged for an equivalent area of land to the south,
formerly attached to the manor of Vauxhall. This, known as the ‘New Inclosures’ or ‘New Grounds’,
was fenced and added to Beddington Park. The boundary of the ancient parish was of course unaltered
by the private exchange of land in 1535, and Mitcham officers stoutly maintained their right to continue
perambulation of the bounds across the 75 acres enclosed within Beddington Park.
During the early 1730s this brought them into conflict with the owner of the Beddington estate, Lady
(Elizabeth) Carew, much under the influence of her second husband, William Chetwynd, her former
steward. In 1732 the vicar of Mitcham, William Hatsell, and several of his parishioners, having conducted
their customary perambulation, found themselves indicted for trespass. Obviously outraged, Mitcham
vestry agreed to indemnify the defendants against all costs and charges incurred in pleading their case
at the general quarter sessions at Guildford.
The following May the vestry agreed that James Cranmer and Henry Fenners, the two churchwardens,
should engage an attorney to represent them in what appear to be several fresh actions brought for
trespass on the New Grounds, presumably following a further perambulation carried out in defiance of
the previous indictment. The bounds were beaten again in 1734, after which the vestry expressed thanks
to James Cranmer for the stand he and his fellow churchwarden Robert Constable were taking on the
parish’s behalf. The matter was finally resolved in 1735, when the assize court found for the plaintiffs
and awarded damages and costs amounting to £93 6s 8d. These being paid by James Cranmer, who
appeared for Mitcham, they were duly met by the vestry and a rate of sixpence in the pound was fixed
the following April to recoup the costs. This judgement did not establish a new parish boundary, and
failed to deter the parishioners of Mitcham, who had certainly recommenced beating the bounds by the
latter part of the century. No further prosecutions are recorded, however, so presumably they either
avoided overt trespass on the enclosures, or else reached an amicable arrangement with Nicholas
Hacket Carew, who succeeded to the Beddington estate on his coming of age in 1741.
The picture of the vicar and the squire of Mitcham – the latter a gentleman well versed in the ways of
the law – being arraigned before the courts is somewhat bizarre, but this little episode illustrates the
strength of feelings aroused when ancient boundaries appeared to be in jeopardy.
It was the inability of the various lords of the manors to agree their mutual boundaries which led to the
foundering of the Beddington Inclosure Act of 1812, and it was not until 1819, after a series of court
hearings, culminating at the Kingston Assizes in 1817, that an Act was passed “for inclosing lands in the
Manor of Beddington … to determine the boundary of the Parish of Beddington and the adjoining Parish,
upon a certain common called Mitcham Common, Part of whereof is intended to be inclosed under the
above Act”. Two hundred acres in all were to be added to Beddington Park, including just over 100
acres (40.4 ha.) immediately to the south of Mitcham Common which were to remain within Mitcham
This probably explains the first dispute over the correctness of the route which took place soon after the
1833 perambulation began – was the boundary between Beddington and Mitcham marked by
Then turn right and follow the extreme boundary of Mr.
Watney’s Farm occupied by Mr. J. Arthur, in which we cut X’s
in several trees, to corner of Waddon Marsh where cut a X in
small elm Tree. Turn to Right under hedge to Boundary Post
M P on corner of Common. Follow hedge of Waddon Marsh on
left to Boundary Post MP. Turn to left through hedge of Garden
under Elm Trees to Railing of Gate across Croydon Road, cross
the Road to Boundary Post MP.
Watney’s Farm, also known as New Barn Farm, and later as South Lodge, photographed in the early 1900s.
The ‘extreme boundary of Mr. Watney’s Farm’ can still be followed along the line of the rear garden fences and houses
in Galpins Road.
Then follow the Boundary line of Beddington and
Bandon as set out by the Commissioners under an Act of
Parliament granted in the Year 1820, to corner of Park Paling
from whence we started.
(Signed) Edwin Chart.
Detail from Map of Surrey by Charles and John Greenwood 1823 (enlarged 400%).
The parish boundary is marked by a heavy broken line.
‘Chasemores Fence’ or the Sewer or ‘Shoar'(more usually ‘shore’)? The old men were adamant that
the ‘Shoar’ was the original boundary line, and this was the line that they followed. This confusion
illustrates the wisdom of regular bounds-beating until accurate large-scale maps became available in the
1860s. With the publication of large-scale Ordnance Survey maps, however, this quaint custom became
obsolete, and the last recorded beating of the bounds of Mitcham was on 22 May 1879.3
Various landmarks served to mark the boundaries. Boundary posts had been erected at some key points
by 1833, some marked ‘M.P.’ for Mitcham Parish. Limestone boundary markers, bearing the date
1817, can still be found on the river bank at Bunce’s Meadow. The Abbey wall – the remains of the wall
enclosing the precinct of Merton Priory – still remained largely intact at that time, and this and other walls
and fences, and even house walls, were marked with a cross. Hedges and ditches often followed the
parish boundary. Bridges were also used – a late 19th-century boundary plate can still be seen fixed to
the parapet of Mitcham Bridge. Elsewhere natural features served the purpose. The River Wandle was
an ancient boundary, though its route had varied over the centuries, due to both natural and man-made
changes. There are references to the ‘old river’ and to ‘the present watercourse’. Downstream from
Phipps Bridge, the original course of the Wandle, which formed the boundary, has been renamed the
Pickle Ditch. But perhaps the most common marker was a particular tree or tree stump, now long gone,
but occasionally recognisable on maps of the period.
The practice of ‘bumping’ has continued to modern times, often in association with birthdays. With arms
held by two boys, and legs by another two, the victim was physically bumped on the ground or against
a marker, to impress the place on his memory. Normally it was the younger members of the party who
underwent this ordeal, but towards the end of the event some of the senior parish officers were bumped,
and even John Allen, one of the ‘aged men’ was bumped. Even people who were not members of the
party could be bumped, including three women.
Chart’s manuscript was last seen soon after the London Borough of Merton came into existence in 1965.
It was kept at the former Town Hall of Wimbledon, where it was in the custody of the Town Clerk’s
department. Its present location is unknown. Fortunately a transcript was made by the writer, and it is
this, reproduced verbatim, that is offered here to a wider readership.
There are a number of places in Chart’s narrative where sentences begin with a lower-case letter, and
other occasions where a sentence runs on for a whole paragraph. No attempt has been made to ‘correct’
the punctuation, though some paragraphs have been split into more manageable chunks.
Footnotes have been kept to a minimum, and explanatory text has mostly been confined to the captions
of photographs and maps. Wherever possible, early 19th-century maps have been used to illustrate the
route taken, but an extract from a 6-inch OS map of 1865 has been used where earlier maps do not
1 Charter of King Edgar, granting land in Merton to Ealdorman Aelfheah, Jowett, E M, A History of Merton
and Morden (1951) 17
2 Present whereabouts unknown. Chart E, MS Notes of the Beating of the Bounds of Mitcham in 1833
3 Merton Local Studies Centre. Contemporary news cutting in Tom Francis Scrapbook
WHO WAS WHO?
These notes on the members of the perambulation party are not intended as biographies but are given
as a guide to the range of both age and status. The information was gathered from materials prepared
by the late Stephen Turner – Mitcham Baptism Registers 1813-1833 (unpublished), Parishioners
of Mitcham 1837/8: The Revd Herbert Randolph’s Notebook (Local History Notes 20), and
Mitcham in 1838: A Survey by Messrs Crawter & Smith (Local History Notes 21) – and by John
W Brown – Mitcham, Merton, Morden, Wimbledon and Neighbourhoods in 1839 compiled
from Pigot’s 1839 Directory of Surrey. (The numbers refer to the plot number of the 1837/8
survey and the Mitcham Tithe Map of 1846, published as Local History Notes 22).
Of the two Churchwardens, Mr Fell is not mentioned in the sources quoted, but Richard
Glover was a member of the family who ran snuff and paper mills above Mitcham Bridge
Of the Overseers of the Poor, James Weston was one of several large-scale gardeners
in Mitcham, famous for its aromatic plants and medicinal herbs. He lived at Pound Farm in
Upper Mitcham (565).
James Bridger was an illegitimate son of James Moore, also a physic gardener and, as lord
of the manor of Biggin and Tamworth, a major landowner in Mitcham. Bridger lived in London
Road, near Upper Green (572).
William Reynolds was a linen draper and silk mercer and lived on the east side of Upper
The Assistant Overseer of the Poor, William Newman was another physic gardener. He
lived between Upper Green and Eagle House (400).
The Vestry Clerk, John Chart, a carpenter/builder by profession, was a member of a family
which had been Vestry Clerks of Mitcham since 1762. He lived in Commonside East (616).
Of the Constables, Robert May does not appear in the records consulted, though a Widow
May with three young children is mentioned in Randolph’s notebook, living on the east side
of Upper Green (596).
William West was a grocer and dealer in Upper Mitcham. Was he the same William West
who lived in Bull Yard (963)?
James Pacy, the Beadle, does not appear in our records, but Joseph Pacy lived in Bull Yard
(961), which was adjacent to The Bull public house in Church Street (now Church Road).
Edwin Chart(born 22 October 1805) was the younger son of John Chart (born 1766). His
elder brother was John Chart the Vestry Clerk (born 1804). A surveyor by profession, he was
on the perambulation as the legal representative of William Simpson, the lord of the manor of
Mitcham Canons, who was also present.
Of the three Markers, Richard Carritt does not appear in our records, though Charles, a
gardener, and James, a stonemason, frequently appear in the registers. They both lived in Bull
Robert Ball does not appear either, though a Philip Ball lived at 376.
John Ridley, labourer, lived in Bull Yard (964).
James Lockett, the Collector (of the local rates?) and Paymaster, was also an insurance
agent and ran a ‘fire and office agents (Sun)’ in Lower Mitcham, living in Church Road (1207).
continue line of Stream on right hand cut a X on Willow Tree
by Gate and follow stream to Bridge on Streatham Lane, went
under Bridge following stream, cut a X in Oak Tree on Bank,
another on a small oak corner of Biggin Field, leave Stream at
corner of 2nd. field where there is a X cut in the large Roots of
an old Elm on the Bank. Then take the ditch in straight line
under hedge in a Westerley direction go to angle of hedge then
turn to Right about 30 Yards then through hedge on left along a
hedgerow to Oak Pollard mark’d X Turn to Left down Blind
Lane which continue to end of Greyhound Lane. (Here we
adjourned to Muphams * and partook of an excellent collation
under the superintendence of Mr. Weston Overseer)
Roe Bridge and the boundary stone,
photographed in 1972
Continue Lane towards Lonesome, to Gate Post of Field cut
a X in it, and keep straight forward through Dalgleish’s Land to
an Oak Pollard standing about 5 Yards beyond Kelly’s* Field.
thence S.W to Oak Pollard with X cut in it which stands upon
the junction of the parishes of Streatham Croydon and Mitcham.
follow hedge of Kelly’s Field, cut a X in Oak Pollard, and
continue to Oak Pollard in Copse, in which Mr. Bridger cut a X
and was Bumped, continue ditch across end of Mr. Moore’s Wood
at foot of Pollards Hill to Bridle Gate. (here Mr. Weston was
bumped) thence across top of field occupied by Back, and cross top
of Byards Croft to young oak Tree in corner of which cut a X
(Lockett was here bumped against the drum head)
* Edwin Chart’s u and double e, and his e and i, are similar, and alternative spelling are Meephams and Killy.
Perambulation of the Boundary Line of the
Perambulation of the Boundary Line of the Perambulation of the Boundary Line of the Perambulation of the Boundary Line of the Perambulation of the Boundary Line of
the Perambulation of the Boundary Line of the
Parish of Mitcham, County of Surrey, on
Parish of Mitcham, County of Surrey, on Parish of Mitcham, County of Surrey, on Parish of Mitcham, County of Surrey, on Parish of Mitcham, County of Surrey, on Parish of
Mitcham, County of Surrey, on
FULLER (Biggin Farm) DALGLISH
Great Wood =
Mr Moore’s Wood
D WATNEY occ J Arthur
Extract based on the Mitcham Tithe Map of 1846/47, by permission of Surrey History Service, with field names, etc, added from the apportionment schedule.
Note Lonesome Farm, the site of which is now Rowan Crescent. ‘Mr Moore’s Wood’, now covered by Tamworth Manor school in Wide Way, extended up to Pollards Hill.
Thursday 16th. May 1833.
Thursday 16th. May 1833.Thursday 16th. May 1833.Thursday 16th. May 1833.Thursday 16th. May 1833.Thursday 16th. May 1833.
M. E. Fell Esq.
Mr. Rd. Glover
Wm. Newman Asst. Overseer
John Chart Vestry Clerk
Robt. May }
Wm. West } Constables.
Assembled at the Goat Public House at 8 o’clock
Morning of Thursday 16th. May, One Thousand Eight Hundred
and Thirty Three:
M. E. Fell Esq.
Clerk pro Simpson.
James Lockett Collector – Paymaster,
WHO WAS WHO? (continued)
William Simpson, as mentioned above, was lord of the manor of Mitcham Canons and patron
of the parish church, virtually squire of Mitcham. He lived in Church Street (974), as the part
of Church Road between Lower Green West and the church was then called.
Charles Asprey appears in the parish registers between 1816 and 1828 as a printer (ie silk
printer) but in the 1839Directoryas an ironmonger and smith, and as a furnishing agent in
Upper Mitcham, living on the east side of Upper Green (598).
John Harwood was a baker and flour dealer in Upper Mitcham on the east side of Upper
Of the Aged Men it is more difficult to be certain, as the sources consulted date from five years
after the perambulation. A Mrs Parker lived in Bull Yard in 1838, and Randolph visited a
Hinkley at Figges Marsh, whom he described as ‘deformed’. John Bowyer Senior was
probably the father of John Bowyer the cricketer, who himself lived to 90 in 1880.John Allen,
even though ‘aged’, was bumped during the perambulation. His was a common surname in
Mitcham, with one entry each in the 1838 survey for James, Mary, and Maria, and four entries
for William Allen. A John Parr lived in what Randolph described as the ‘Rookery’, a squalid
development in Church Road (977-9). A John Lewis and a John Lewis Junior lived in
separate cottages in what is now Bond Road (90-96). A William Sprules had a ‘house and
shed'(840) in Commonside West, one of three small properties owned by Charles Sprules.
William may have been the constable of that name mentioned in Mitcham Settlement
Examinations in 1797. A Richard Marchant lived in one of the ‘cottages with gardens’ in
Commonside East (637-640).
No information is available for George Williams and the six others composing the band. Of
those who walked the line of water, Frederick Evans and Thomas Bentley alias Jogham
do not appear in our records. Frederick Upham may have been a son of William Upham.
Randolph’s notebook, referring to properties in The Causeway (1349-1350) informs us:
Next door. Wm. UPHAM widower, has worked for Mr. WALMSLEY, 1 son at home
nearly 20 years old a blacksmith, the other, son has married and is living on the Common nr.
Mr GLYN’s, he works at Mr. WALMSLEY’s receives 10s/ or 12s/ per week …
James Carritt, a stone mason, was in Bull Yard (961). (See Richard Carritt on previous
Robert Shepperd, was a jobbing gardener, married with two children. They lived in Baron
Row. Robert was one of the labourers employed to assist the surveyors in 1837/8.
Joseph Parr, labourer, lived in the Rookery in Church Road.
Isaac Sargeant, labourer, had been described as a ‘loftsman’ in 1826.
Charles le Barr – could this be Charles le Bass, labourer?
John Cresswell may have been a relative of Griffin Cresswell of Wades Yard (1235). Joseph,
Edward and William Cresswell all appear in the parish registers as labourers.
William Mossis not found in the records but a Widow Moss and her two youngest daughters
were living with the Harwoods in The Causeway (1355) in 1837/8.
Richard Weston, perhaps the Weston noted in Randolph’s notebook as having ‘a large
family, labourer’, living in what is now Locks Lane (437).
Dodd, probably Archelaus Dodd, a carpenter, of London Road, opposite junction with Bond
The others mentioned in this section have not been found in the records consulted.
Thence up Cut Throat Lane & across the Merton Turnpike Road
to Iron Boundary Post standing by Mr. Field’s Fence, over
Fence and follow water course to an Oak Tree on Lawn cut a X
in it – to Willow tree corner of’ Fish pond – to angle of Quick
hedge – across the Fence and cut a X on Elm Tree on Right
continue line to angle at hedges, when cut a X in elm Tree then
take the other side of Hedge, here Bump’d R. Simpson junr.
Follow ditch to angle of Thomas’s Meadow when cut a X in
another elm Tree and also in another Elm tree on oppt. corner of
Hedge, thence to old Oak Pollard corner of Meadow by Water
course. here Bump’d Jn. Allen.
Tooting Workhouse, later
known as Tooting Hall, an
engraving from Walford’s
The house was on the west
side of London Road, near
its present junction with
take ditch straight forward, (mark’d elm corner of Noake’s Land)
to an Elm Tree standing in Tooting Workhouse Yard, turn to
left, close to front of Workhouse, taking in the garden to Oak Post
in angle of Fence, when cut a X keep line of fence to Gate.
Thence to Lime tree and follow ditch under hedge to Tooting
Turnpike Road. Thence along left hand side of road to Tooting
Bridge, then take centre of water under middle arch and follow
stream, northerly up Proctors Field under Bridge leading from
Turnpike Road where cut a X in coping
Detail from Map of Surrey by Charles and John Greenwood 1823 (enlarged 500%). The boundary is marked by a
heavy broken line. ‘Tooting Turnpike Road’ was the London Road alongside Figges Marsh.
‘Tooting Bridge’ crosses the River Graveney.
and the following Persons; viz
William Simpson Esq.,
Mr. Chas. Asprey.
Mr. John Harwood.
Thos. Parker Senr. }
Thos. Hinkley }
John Bowyer Senr. }
Jno. Allen }
Joh. Parr }
John Lewis Senr. }
Wm. Sprules Senr. }
Rich. Marchant }
George Williams & }
6 others composing }
Fredk. Upham }
Fredk. Evans }
Thos.Bentley alias }
Henry Fowler alias Ducky
Jsh. Parr Junr.
Walked the line
WHO WAS WHO? (continued)
Henry Dill has not been found in the records, but a William Chamberlain, labourer, had 12
children baptised at Mitcham between 1816 and 1832. I n 1837/8 a William Chamberlain lived
near where Colliers Wood Underground Station is today (274).
William Dodd, perhaps a relative of Archelaus, and Thomas Ede have not been found.
A Thomas Bailey lived in Manor Road (733), aJohn Belcher at Kenwards Yard opposite
the former Swan public house, Figges Marsh (425), and a James Cornish in Locks Lane
(466). Cornish was described in Randolph’s notebook as a labourer with one child. John
Lewis Junior lived in one of John Haynes cottages, near John Lewis Senior in what is now
John West, son of Benjamin, publican, was baptised 3 July 1814, so was aged about 18.
Robert Simpson, aged 13, was the son of ‘squire’ William Simpson.
William John Newman, son of William, farmer, was baptised 21 September 1817, and his
brotherFrancis9 April 1820, so were aged about 15 and 13 respectively.
Charles Asprey, son of Charles, printer, was baptised with his twin sister 15 April 1816, so
would have been aged about 17.
Edwin Haydon, son of Peter, glazier, was baptised 25 July 1813, so was about 19.
William Chart Junior was presumably a relative of John and Edwin Chart.
William Arthur, son of John, gardener, was baptised 1 February 1818, so was about 15.
Charles Monk may have been a relative of Richard Monk, who lived in The Causeway
(1365). Randolph’s notebook tells us:
Richard & Elizabeth MONK, he works for KILLICK the bricklayer. 4 children, 2 go to
the Infant School, 1 boy they wish to get into the National S. Elizbth. Is very anscious [sic]
to get into the Friendly Society. John MONK brother to Richd. lives with them, 19 years
of age, wants work, had none since the beginning of Octbr.
James Hinkley, son of Samuel, gardener, was baptised 12 April 1818, so was about 15.
William May was possibly a son of the Constable, Robert May, mentioned on the first page
of this transcript.
Three sons of Robert Everett, labourer, were baptised between 1826 and 1832, and were too
young to join the perambulation in 1833. The 12-year-oldEverett, and the 17-year-oldE
Everett, mentioned later in the narrative, may have been their brothers. Robert Everett lived
in one of the four cottages in Phipps Bridge Road built in 1824 by Henry Everett and known
thereafter as Everett’s Place. Neither Robert nor Henry was living there in 1838, though Henry
still owned the properties.
John Seymour may have been a relative of Samuel in Bond Road (91), or a labourer visited
by Randolph in Locks Lane.
George ‘Googe’, son of John, labourer, was baptised 1 August 1819, so aged about 13.
— Pacy Junior was probably son of the Beadle, mentioned on the first page of this transcript.
Others mentioned as being bumped included S Baker, aged 16, (perhaps a son of George,
bricklayer/carpenter, or of John, labourer, or another John, carrier), F Stevens, 17 (a
common surname in Mitcham at this time) and Mrs Simms, perhaps wife of George Simms,
who lived in a house owned by the Parish in London Road opposite Figges Marsh (60-61).
Follow Water Course by side of River to a Stump of a Tree. Take
the course of old ditch on Right to Hedge of iron railway, follow
iron railway on Left about 20 Yards to X cut in old Willow Tree.
thence on Left in ditch (bearing to Right) to Landmark M.P.
Thence due South up the Lane crossing iron railway to Post in
centre of Bank end of Field occupied by Jas. Burchett in
The Red Lion
in 1996) is
still in Colliers
Street, but it has
Follow ditch left hand side of iron rail way to stump of Elm Tree
angle of Rasch’s Meadow Thence under hedge Row due East to
corner of hedge then turn NNE across headland to old Oak Tree at
at angle, cut a X in it. thence to Oak Pollard at angle of Meadow
follow Hedge to S.E Through gate about 11 Yards. Then turn to
Right up a furrow to the old oak Tree at angle of Meadow before
mentioned. Take hedge row on Left hand of it to Tree in angle
cut a X in it. Thence on left hand up a furrow to Large Elm Tree
standing on Headland end of Lane cut a X in it (& bumped E.
Chart John Harwood Ducky Fowler E. Haydon W. Arthur
F. Stevens, Mrs. Simms and 2 other women and had some Beer
&c from Red Lion)
J. Lewis Junr.
Robt. Simpson aged 13 years
Wm. Newman Junr.
Chas. Asprey Junr.
Wm. Chart Junr.
Wm. Arthur Junr.
Chas. Monk aged 12 years
James Hinkley Junr.
Wm. May aged 9 years
– Everett aged 12 years
– Pacy Junr.
Detail from 1st edition 6-inch OS map of 1865. From Merton Bridge the parish boundary, marked on this map by a broken line, and with boundary posts (BP) shown,
followed an earlier course of the Wandle to include part of the riverside meadows of Byegrove Mead and Holmes Mead. The walkers were tracing the boundary north towards
Summerstown and then south to Colliers Wood. On the west was Wimbledon parish, to the east Tooting Graveney.
It was at a predecessor
of today’s Goat public
house that the parish
officers met in May
1833 to beat the bounds
(ENM March 1997)
The Six Bells, Colliers Wood
High Street, in 1960. Briefly
renamed The Riverside, it is
now called Baobab.
Surrey Iron Railway
to Hackbridge –>
Extract from Bryant’s map of 1823, enlarged 300%. The boundary is marked by a heavy broken line. The boundary between Mitcham and Beddington is shown further south than
on the1st edition Ordnance Survey maps of the 1860s. This area was emparked after disputes over parish boundaries were settled in the early 19th century. The section
of Surrey Iron Railway mentioned in the text was the branch to Hackbridge. The present Queen’s Head replaces the building noted in 1833. The Leather Mill was in the
hands of the Savignac family.
Follow line of ditch in front of cottages, cut a X in Bridge
leading to Cottage occupied by Moody and another X in Bridge
to Bennetts cottage. here the ditch runs underneath the houses,
following this ditch cut a X on Willow Tree standing on
Wimbledon bank. keep centre of stream by Perry’s Tumbling
Bay to iron railway, – to Bridge leading from iron railway to
Perry’s Mill, sent an arrow down stream under Bridge to angle
of Bygrove Mead, then take line of Blind ditch across Bygrove
Mead to Boundary Post M.P. on Right hand. thence to
Boundary Post in Right hand again (not straight forward)
follow circuitous route of Blind ditch to Boundary Post M.P. on
Left hand, then follow line of old River in a circuitous direction
to Bank of present River. we here cut a X in the ground close to
one cut by the Wimbledon Officers this day
Perry’s Mill, also known as Merton
Mill, photographed in 1970, when
occupied by Messrs Connolly’s
leather works. In the 19th century
this mill ground flour.
The Goat Inn
Queen’s Head P H
Proceeded to Corner of Beddington Park Paling and
commenced by cutting a X on Post at Angle. Follow line of
fence to Coblers Hill, cut X in post in Fence, thence across
Carshalton Road to Boundary Post M.P., thence back towards
Queens Head Signpost to Boundary Post side of Road with a X
on it. Thence on left across iron railway into Water Course which
follow to Boundary Post marked M.P. standing close to
Chasemores Fence (described in Perambulation of 1802 as
Hattons Pales). Getting over Pales keeping line of old Shoar,
now filled up, across the Road leading to Flour Mill.
Detail from Map of Surrey by Charles and John Greenwood 1823 (enlarged 500%). The parish boundary is marked by a
heavy broken line. The cottages ‘occupied by Moody and another’, were Miller’s Mead. The present cottages on the site are
modern replicas. Today’s Boundary Road derives its name from its location. Note the line of the Croydon branch of the horse-
drawn Surrey Iron Railway, opened 1803, but redundant by around 1850.
The mills above Goat
Bridge, looking downstream, c.1900.
The building on the left was a leather
mill; the large weatherboarded
structure, a flour-mill; while the
wheel on the far right powered a
drug and dye mill.
Photograph by Dr A V Peatling
Reproduced courtesy of Sutton Local
(It was here stated by Mr. Dixon R. Chick and others, that we were in
error, having at the last Perambulation taken the Boundary line from the
Boundary Post last mentioned – outside the fence – keeping the external
line of the Factory premises to the N.W. corner – leaving out the whole of
the Factory – thence across river to Walnut or Chestnut Tree on the Waste
ground in a line with the Right hand Gate Post of Mr. Savignac’s Farm
yard. But this line was objected to by the old Men now present as being
incorrect, they having always previously taken the whole of the Factory
Premises in going through the Pantry, Washhouse etc. of Hatton’s dwelling
house – and Thos. Parker, J. Parr and J. Bowyer stated the original
Boundary line to be the Sewer or Shoar which formerly run about 9 feet
inside of the Oak Fence which is now filled up or covered in).
Yorke’s Logwood Mill (in Mitcham)The new course of the Wandle Yorke’s Logwood Mill (in Mitcham)The new course of the Wandle
The old course of the Searle’s Mitcham Wandle, followed by the Flour Mill parish boundary(in Carshalton)
Mr GOLDSMITH’S FIELDS
AA Two Trunks which supply The faint blue lines shew ditches
Mr Makepeace’s Mill each 12 inches by 6 inches which formerly existed for bleaching B Junction of the two Streams and are now filled up.
C Mill House D Dam – the Subject of the Present Action
Reduced and enhanced copy of part of an 1845 map of the Wandle, reproduced courtesy of Merton Library & Heritage Service. Note the ‘old river’ which served as the
parish boundary, and the ‘present water course’. Yorke’s and Searle’s mills were not relevant to the matter in hand and were therefore omitted, but their sites have
been indicated for the purpose of this publication.
‘Phipards Bridge’ is at the centre of the southern edge of the map. ‘Johnston late Haite’ is at the southernmost end of the area labelled ‘K’.
The cottages occupied by ‘Tanner late Leach’ , ‘Legg’ and ‘Mr Snelling’ are halfway along the eastern arm of the river, fronting what until
recently was known as Phipps Bridge Road. The ‘House occupied by Enefer late Oatley is the one by the letter ‘L’ where the river turns sharply
NNW. The building nearby was the ‘House, late Meadows’s Barn’. ‘Deacon’s House’ and ‘Anderson’s House’ presumably fronted Jacobs
Green, here labelled ‘in Mitcham Parish’. The sections of the ‘Abbey Wall’ are marked by a dashed line. The ‘Lands belonging to Lord Viscount
Nelson’ had been in the tenancy of Robert Linton, hence ‘Linton’s Meadow’ mentioned earlier.
Tanner late Leach
Johnston late Haite
Enefer late Oatley
1866 copy of an 1805 map of Merton Abbey, copyright of Surrey History Service (3875/1), and reproduced by permission.
We then crossed Fence of Road about 9 feet from first angle of
Factory Buildings to small window in end of Brick Building
through which they formerly passed but being now stopped up,
Upham put his hand on the window, and then took the external
line of Brick Building to River got over Wall and crossed River
to Walnut Tree on Waste (which stands on the situation occupied
by an old Ash Tree the original mark which was felled by
Upham), thence to Gate Post of Holden’s (late Savignac’s)
Field. Continue this line to Bank of old River, which we then
follow, on Right, marking 2 oak Trees with X, cross the Fence at
end of Field to Gate Post by Stile leading into Holden’s Field.
The mill house, Willow Lane. Drawing by Peter D Harris from a photograph of 1945.
In 1833 this was the home of William Yorke, a colour miller. His mill was served by a
New River made by James Cranmer in the 18th century. It was within Mitcham parish.
Continuing line of old river on Right hand of Ash Trees, taking
the centre of present Water Course, which takes in cottage, lately
occupied by Hartley, pass between two old Willow Trees, across
end of Yorke’s Meadow, across River to Boundary Post of
Carshalton Parish standing on opposite bank. Thence to old
Willow Tree in which cut X. (Bumped S. Baker aged 16 Years,
Chas. Monk 12 Years E. Everett 17 Years).
Mills and Houses
Detail from a ‘Plan of Estates of the late Henry Hoare, decd’ from the sales particulars of 1828, reproduced by courtesy of Croydon Local Studies Library (Sale
particulars HW 904).
This extract shows the Wandle as it divided Mitcham and Morden above Mitcham Bridge. The Glover family had mills on both banks. Plot 102, described in the sales
particulars as ‘Paddock by Mill Head’, on the Morden side, is now the first part of the National Trust’s Watermeads property, entered from Bishopsford Road. The
straight channel of ‘Glover’s Mill Head’, also known as Papermill Cut, so obvious on the map, can still be seen, as can the ‘Tumbling bay’.
turn to left round front of House occupied by Enefer late Oatley to
Bridge on Right Hand. cut a X in centre of coping passed an
arrow under large arch which runs under House, late Meadows’s
Barn keep the line of Buildings on left to Stone Boundary
Mark M.P. cut a X in top of it (This Stone was put down by
Jonathan Meadows more than 50 Years ago, see old Vestry Book)
continue line of Buildings on left to X cut in angle of Deacon’s
The house on the left, occupied in 1833 by ‘Enefer late Oatley’, survived until around 1961. The lower part incorporated the
old priory precinct wall, and the upper was weatherboarded.
‘Rat’s Castle’, on the right, originally ‘Meadows’s Barn’, extended over the river – hence the archway. An arrow or stick was
floated through the culvert as it was too small to walk through. The watercourse is what we know as the Pickle Ditch.
Photographed around 1950 and reproduced by courtesy of Merton Library & Heritage Service
Turn on Right to angle of Fence, Thence to left in front of
Andersons House in a direct line crossing the River to Abbey
Wall. Take line of wall on Right hand in front of Cottage, and
continue the same all round to angle of Island, thence across
River under centre of Merton Bridge, thence on Right under
back wall of 6 Bells Taking in the House (Here we had a
The house occupied by ‘Johnstone
Formerly ‘The Nook’, and later ‘Mr
Littler’s Cottage’. Part of the old
priory wall still adjoined the
building when photographed in the
early 1900s. A fragment of the wall
Reproduced by courtesy of Merton
Library and Heritage Service.
Follow ditch on Right, cut a X on elm Tree on left hand, to
Phipps Bridge where cut a X over pipe through Bank on left of
Bridge, then take course of River on left to Penstock and to
angle of Merton Abbey Wall, here cut a X in Buttress (Willm.
Newman Junr., Wm. May, Fran. Newman, W. Chart and E.
Chart went ) in at window and through house occupied by
Johnston late Haite to line of old Abbey Wall now forming back
of Shed, to Buttress at end of do. in Garden cut a X in it keep
line of old Abbey Wall taking in House occupied by Tanner late
Leach. cut a X in Wall oppte. Tulip Tree. Cut X in Buttress by
cottage occupied by Legg. Keep line in front of cottages to old
Abbey Wall again, cut X in 2nd. Buttress from Mr. Snelling
pass in front of Skinners cottage. cut a X in Firestone pier.
The line of the priory wall,
still largely intact in 1833, ran
parallel to Phipps Bridge Road,
now Liberty Avenue.
An 1802 survey describes these
cottages, later occupied by
Tanner, Legg and Snelling,
as weatherboarded cottages
each ‘consisting of kitchen,
parlour, pantry, wash house
and two bedrooms’.
Reproduced by courtesy of
Merton Library & Heritage
John Searle’s flour mill, seen from the
Carshalton bank of the Wandle in about
1946. This mill stood on an island and was
reached via a ford at the end of Willow Lane.
(Reproduced courtesy of Merton Library &
Follow line of Boundary Posts by River side in Mr. Searles
Yard – enter River where Road crosses it, continue centre line of
it, till come to 3 Ash Trees on Right Hand Bank, Mr. Glovers
Mill Head leave River across Bank W direction to Stump of
Willow Tree in Hedge. then follow Water course under Willow
hedge N.N.W. to angle of Quick hedge in line with row of Willow
Trees, cut a X in Willow tree corner of Morden Paddock, under a
foot Bridge and through Stream in front of Paper Mill under
Bridge by Tumbling Bay. when cut a X follow centre of River
at back of Mr. Glovers dwelling House, from the window of which
the men in the Water received some spirits, cut a X on Foot
Bridge leading to Morden Mill Meadow across Island between
Mill Wheel and Sluice Gate. to centre arch of Bridge in Sutton
Road, cut a X in coping and X on Wall other side of Bridge
The Glover family ran several mills on
the Wandle immediately above Mitcham
Bridge. They had snuff mills on both the
Mitcham and the Morden banks of the
Wandle, as well as a paper mill on the
Morden bank which was still in existence
in 1833, though production finished
The millers’ houses survive as Nos 477–
479 London Road, Mitcham,
photographed here in 1967 by ENM.
Detail from a ‘Plan of Estates of the late Henry Hoare, decd’ from the sales particulars of 1828, reproduced by courtesy of Croydon Local Studies Library (Sale
particulars HW 904). This extract shows the Wandle from Mitcham Bridge to ‘Morden Snuff Mills’ (known today as Ravensbury Mills). The Rutter family were proprietors of
the snuff mills from 1805 to 1925. Sir John Lubbock bought Hoare’s Mitcham Grove estate, centred on plot 22. He also leased a large section of the Ravensbury Manor
estate on both banks of the Wandle, which formed the boundary between Mitcham and Morden.
Mitcham Grove from the south,
with the Wandle in the
foreground (from a watercolour,
c.1820, reproduced courtesy of
Merton Library & Heritage
“line of old
“line of old
At the time this watercolour was
made, Mitcham Grove was the
home of Henry Hoare. Following
his death in 1828 it was sold to
Sir John Lubbock, who also held
the lease of the adjoining
Ravensbury Manor House and a
considerable portion of the
Ravensbury land on each bank
of the Wandle, in Mitcham and
keeping centre of main Stream through Sir J. W. Lubbocks
Grounds, cut a X in Bridge at end of lawn. through centre arch
and wheel of Rutters Snuff Mill cut a X in boarding and in
paling on Road. keep centre of River to Island by Foot Bridge,
take edge of left hand bank to Ash Tree, cut a X in it, cross to
another Ash Tree about 12 yards on Right hand, cut a X in it.
Thence in line to a large Willow Tree on angle of Island take
centre of River to point of Bloxham’s Lawn, cross the centre of
Island in line with 3 Willow- trees, cross the stream to Chestnut
Tree about 4 Yards on Right of Bank, cut a X in it.
from Morden Hall
Road – Spring 1968.
The Rutter family ran
the snuff mills here
from 1805 to 1925.
‘Plan of Some Property on The River Wandle from Mr Polhill’s Snuff Mill to Merton Bridge’ (c.1825)
reproduced courtesy of Merton Library & Heritage Service
‘Mr Ancells Pipe’ is shown near Phipps Bridge, and the ‘Penstock’ at the point where the river divides into two streams.
The Oak Tree marked A is on Mr Rutter’s side of his Meadow, and consequently the Ditch or Water Course belongs thereto Mr Silk Factory runs in a parallel line with Mr
Rutter’s Meadow, consequently the Ditch belongs to Mr Moore’s Arable Field.
The part of the Old Back Water Course marked thus X Y shows where the Back or Boundary Ditch merged in the The strong Black Line from the Washing Factory to the entrance
of the Water at Grove Field New Cut, thereby leaving the Old Course empty and now covered shows the course of the Old Current across the Road from the old Boundary Ditch
to Grove with Flags or Rushes, the Bed of it remaining as formerly. Field previous to the diversion of it by Mr Rucker.
Moore’s Arable Field marked B adjoining the
Section of a ‘Copy, Plan in the possession of Hy Crawter of 5 Bedford Row May 1870’, reduced and enhanced. Copyright Surrey History Service (K85/4/171). Reproduced by
The original map must have dated from the 1830s when Bloxham was in possession of the meadow and other land each side of the Mitcham/Morden boundary. ‘Bloxham’s Lawn’
may have been the site now occupied by the National Trust’s rose garden at the rear of Morden Cottage. Note the ‘Tumbling Bay’ at the left hand side of the map,
upstream from ‘Polhill’s Snuff Mills’ at Morden Hall.
got into River on Right of Tumbling Bay, and follow down
Stream to a Lime Tree on angle of Bank by Footbridge in
Bloxham’s Meadow. follow Stream on left hand, cut a X in
Alder Tree when bumped Ridley, and a X on May tree when
Bumped R. Ball. to Crab Tree corner, cut a X in old Crab Tree
laying in Water point of Bloxham’s Meadow, take centre of left
hand stream to Footbridge by Cottage occupied by Waite.
‘Bunce’s Meadow’ from the south,
with Deen City farm in the distance.
Photograph taken by ENM in 1994.
The ‘oblique direction’ taken in
1833 was across Bunce’s Meadow
from the present Tramlink crossing
towards the factory estate. Modern
building makes it impossible now
to follow the old boundary.
Waite’s Cottage was off the avenue
of trees leading away from Morden
Hall towards the Tramlink and
the edge of the park. The stream
still follows its old course.
‘Linton’s Rushy Meadow’ is now
occupied by Deen City Farm’s
riding area. Robert Linton had
been tenant of the farm which was
added to Nelson’s estate in 1802.
leave the present river and take course of old river by side of
cottage into stream on left hand, cross to left in oblique direction
to Elm Tree, when cut a X. Follow hedge to Willow Tree on left
hand, cut a X in it, to ash Tree on left hand, cut a X in it and
also in a Willow Stump, follow ditch from angle of Meadow
under Quick Hedge, the course of old river to Elm Tree * angle of
Linton’s Meadow (R. Carritt said he was Bump’d here 20 Years
ago) take ditch on left hand to Boundary Post. thence take line
of Blind Ditch on Right in Linton’s Rushey Meadow to
Boundary of Merton Abbey. Take ditch on right hand about 10
Yards. then follow ditch to angle, then follow water course on
Right, cut a X on elm Tree at angle (here once stood an old ash
tree which was felled about the year 1826).
* This tree blown down High Wind 1836