December 1999 – Bulletin 132
Morden, Novia Scotia – E N Montague
Taunton Priory, daughter house of Merton – L E Green
Stane Street in Greater London – C E Sole
William De Morgan at Colliers Wood – J A Goodman
Wyevale Garden Centre, Lower Morden – P J Hopkins
and much more
PRESIDENT: J Scott McCracken BA FSA MIFA
VICE PRESIDENTS: Viscountess Hanworth, Arthur Turner, Lionel Green and William Rudd
BULLETIN NO. 132 DECEMBER 1999
Saturday 4 December 2.30 pm Snuff Mill Environmental Centre
Lionel Green .Daughter Houses of Merton Priory.
Merton Priory in all its aspects has long been a particular interest for Lionel Green, as his
scholarly series of articles in the Bulletin makes clear. In this illustrated talk he will
varied, and far-flung, daughter houses of this important Augustinian establishment.
Saturday 22 January 2.30 pm Snuff Mill Environmental Centre
Ray and Pat Kilsby .From Downe to Galapagos.
An illustrated talk on Charles Darwin by two members of the Society who have been on the trail
of the great naturalist – in Kent and much further afield.
Saturday 12 February 2.30 pm The Canons
Eric Montague .Around the Cricket Green.
Another chapter of the Mitcham story by the acknowledged expert. Formerly part of the common
waste, this open space became one of the most famous of all village cricket greens, and it is
amongst attractive and interesting buildings. The full story will be told in this illustrated
Please note the venue.
Saturday 18 March 2.30 pm Snuff Mill Environmental Centre
Barbara Webb .Millais and the Hogsmill River.
It was known that Pre-Raphaelite artist John Millais painted his .Ophelia. (now in the Tate)
the Hogsmill as its setting, but where exactly on the river? In 1995 Barbara Webb determined to
find out. In an illustrated talk she will describe her detective work and the solution of the
(For the Snuff Mill Centre drivers should park in the Morden Hall Garden Centre car-park and
take the path across the bridge; go through the archway and turn right towards Morden Cottage.
(The Canons is in Madeira Road, Mitcham, close to bus routes 118,152,200.
Drivers use the leisure centre car-park.)
The Society’s events are open to the general public, unless otherwise stated.
A SECOND MITCHAM PUB WALK – September 1999
Fourteen members and friends braved the threatened rain to join Dr Tony Scott on the 25th
were amazed to reach the end of the journey totally dry, though several of the party set about
remedying that at
one or two of the hostelries we had passed earlier!
Tony outlined the route that we would take, from our meeting place by the Clocktower as far as
the Swan, or
what remained of it. He also explained that as well as the pubs, past and present, he would
tell us about other
historic buildings, or their sites, as we passed them.
So Tony began with the Clocktower itself, set up in 1899 in celebration of Queen Victoria’s
two years earlier. To save having to wind the clock more than once a week, a shaft was dug
beneath the tower
to enable the weights to drop below ground level, but the weights dropped into water, making
them lighter, and
consequently the clock never kept good time. Only since its removal to the present site in 1994
has the clock
been reliable, though Tony suspects that it probably had a new mechanism installed at that
The corner, occupied successively since 1980 by Sainsbury’s and KwikSave, was the site of an
farmhouse, demolished in 1853, known as Old Bedlam. It is thought to have been one of the
by Bess Throckmorton, who married Sir Walter Raleigh. From 1934-61 the site housed Mitcham’s
Two pubs which used to stand nearby were demolished in the pedestrianisation of the area. The
Head, which replaced the original Nag’s Head in 1903, was demolished in 1991. Its predecessor
dubious distinction of being one of the last pubs in the London area to have a cock pit.
The Lord Napier was an alehouse, also known as the Roaring Donkey. Beer houses were set up
passing of the Beer House Act of 1830, which allowed the licensing of premises for the sale of
beers and ales,
but not for the sale of spirits, which were a social problem at the time.
Across the green, the Iceland store now stands on the
site of the 18th-century Durham House.
The King’s Arms was rebuilt at the beginning of this
century, replacing a mid-18th century building. From
1879 it was leased to Young and Bainbridge, until
Youngs bought the freehold.
The White Lion of Mortimer was formerly named the
Buck’s Head, built in 1895 to replace an 18th-century
building. The inn can be traced back to at least the
early 17th century, when it was owned by George
Smyth, who had a mansion at Mitcham Grove.
A buck’s head was the Smyth family crest.
Eagle House is a Grade I listed building, dating from 1705. It remained a private house until
1825, when James
Dempster opened his Academy there. In 1855 it became part of a huge school for paupers and
London. Tony gave a full and fascinating account of the St George’s Industrial Schools and
their successor, the
Holborn Union, which deserves an article of its own in a future Bulletin. Suffice it to say
that Merton Care and
Education Centre now occupies the only purpose-built building to survive from this complex.
Mitcham Baptist Church, hidden behind the shops, had originated as a mission started by the
Charts, a leading
Chart & Son were the architects of Mitcham Library, built and paid for by Joseph Owen of
‘Pentlands’ in 1933.
It was built on Pound Field, part of Pound Farm, dating back to at least the 14th century, when
it was held by
Thomas Figge, a member of the family after whom, presumably, Figges Marsh is named.
Two weatherboarded cottages are the last remnant of two blocks of six, called Dixon’s Cottages,
built at the end
of the 18th century by Samuel Oxtoby. The Gardeners’ Arms originally occupied two of these
in 1851 as a beerhouse called the Jolly Gardeners, it was replaced by the present building in
1881, and renamed
the Gardeners’ Arms. It remained a beerhouse until the 1960s, when it was granted a full
Our final port of call was the Swan, which was in process of being demolished. Only the front,
1897, was still standing. The Swan was built around 1807 by James Moore, the physic gardener,
the manor of Biggin and Tamworth with some 250 acres in Mitcham. He saw the potential of a pub
catch the passing coach trade from Streatham and Tooting before reaching the other pubs in
Thank you Tony for an enjoyable and interesting afternoon. Where do we go next?
The King’s Arms and The Buck’s Head in 1865
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 132 – DECEMBER 1999 – PAGE 2
THE ST HELIER ESTATE AND MONASTIC BRITAIN
The Evelyn Jowett Memorial Lecture for 1999, given by BILL RUDD on Friday 8 October
The Society’s president, Scott McCracken, introduced the speaker – who indeed scarcely needed
– to an enthusiastic audience at St Peter’s Social Club hall, in the heart of the St Helier
As we all know, most of the estate’s roads are named after old religious houses in all parts of
Britain. But why?
Apparently, at the planning stage, the London County Council decided that, as Morden had for
belonged to Westminster Abbey, a monastic theme for road-names would be appropriate. It was in
the 1950s that
Bill, who has lived on the estate for most of his life, first conceived the romantic ambition
to visit the complete list
of sites represented. After a few somewhat haphazard forays he began seriously to plan his
expeditions – which all
had to be fitted into his holidays from his job as a postman. In 1962 he wrote to Miss Jowett,
outlining his project,
and she encouraged him to continue. He took photographs and slides, progressing, over the
years, from a Box
Brownie to more sophisticated equipment, with wide-angle lenses. And he made notes.
He stayed at Youth Hostels, and mostly travelled by bicycle,
typically averaging 80 miles a day (in latter years the train
or bus has taken some of the strain). As his slides showed,
some of the monasteries have remained remote; some have
dwindled into ruins; some have become private houses; some
are represented only by their surviving churches; some have
seen these churches become cathedrals; and some have
become money-spinning tourist attractions. Bill’s list of 108
sites took him to Scotland, Wales, all over England – and
even across the water to Quarr in the Isle of Wight. Having
spent his youth in Easby Crescent, and moved to Glastonbury
Road later, he made sure to visit both North Yorkshire and
Ruins of Bayham Abbey, Kent – June 1951 – W J Rudd
Somerset to see those two abbeys.
The orders represented by Morden’s abbeys, priories, convents and so on are mainly Benedictine,
and Cistercian, but include Cluniac, Premonstratensian (as difficult to spell as to
pronounce!), Trinitarian (founded
in 1198 to redeem Christian captives held by Muslims) and more.
Bill met with friendliness everywhere on his travels, whether from the young lad who pointed
him to the overgrown
ruins in a wood, the Dowager Lady Aberconway at the abbey of the same name in North Wales, or
the Duke of
Bedford at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire. He has also seen some stunning sights – he mentioned
the huge frater
building at Easby; the great Jesse window at Selby; the awe-inspiring size of Benedictine
Peterborough; and the
wonderful views still enjoyed by some of the sites. (He also mentioned the finely-built stone
tank at Shap, where
the monks are thought to have been embalmed!)
Everyone who heard Bill speak with such enthusiasm and knowledge of his subject must hope that
he will put into
print all the fruits of his research that could not be encompassed in a single lecture.
Park Place, Mitcham by Eric Montague £1.20 (members) £1.50 (non-members) (+ 50p postage)
In this new entrant to the list of Eric Montague’s absorbing Mitcham studies he traces the
history of the site once
called Almannesland, the 18th-century house called Park Place, and its varied owners and
occupiers, up to its
present incarnation as a restaurant pub. The author’s meticulous research is happily partnered
skill, and the result once again is a thoroughly good read. The booklet is well illustrated,
with photographs of
various dates, a 19th-century view, and a map.
Once Upon a Time: Recollections of an Edwardian Childhood in Colliers Wood by James B.Bass of
Mead Local History Notes – No.15 £0.40 (members) £0.50 (non-members) (+ 30p postage)
These engaging reminiscences, put on paper between 1966 and 1970, have been edited by Eric
Bass, who was born in 1897, recalled with affection the .compact community. of early 20th-
Wood, the games, treats and semi-rural pleasures of childhood in the days of horse-buses; the
of Epsom Week and Sanger’s Circus; and the coming of the electric tram and the cinema.
Available at meetings or from our Publications Secretary
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 132 – DECEMBER 1999 – PAGE 3
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – 49th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Some 40 members and visitors attended this year’s AGM, surely a record in recent times. No
doubt the attraction
was the talk given by our new President, Scott McCracken, after the business was completed,
of World War I – A 20th Century Monumental Landscape.
Outgoing Chairman Eric Montague welcomed us and introduced Scott, who presided over the
first taken the opportunity to thank the membership for inviting him to be President of the
Apologies for absence had been received from Lorna Cowell, Margaret Groves and Audrey Thomas.
Minutes of last AGM: These had been published in the Bulletin for December 1998 and copies were
at the meeting. No comments being forthcoming, they were taken as read. There were no matters
“This year, 1999, sees the conclusion of my three-year term of office as your chairman, and is
of a personal milestone. In less than two months time we will of course pass a point of far
significance, and within the term of my successor the Society will achieve its half century.
“The next A.G.M. will thus present an opportunity for reviewing our achievements since the
Society came into
being. Today, I have merely to look back over the last 12 months.
“Firstly, I am sure you will be pleased to hear shortly from the Treasurer, David Luff, that
the Society is still
solvent. You will also hear from .Bill. Sole that our membership numbers remain steady.
“During the year 1998/99 the Committee met seven times, our venue being, as in past years, the
Museum. This is a very convenient arrangement, and much appreciated. The minutes of these
meetings are ably
taken by Mrs. Lorna Cowell.
“As I commented last year, in planning the annual programme of lectures and visits the
Committee follows a
pattern which has stood the test of time. This policy seems to have achieved a balance you find
and reports of meetings have appeared in the Bulletin.
“Potential subjects and venues for future meetings have already been identified, but I am sure
the new Committee
and the officers you will be electing shortly would welcome suggestions and comments from the
“This is a suitable point for me to again voice on your behalf sincere appreciation and thanks
for the time and
effort expended by our Honorary Secretary, Sheila Harris, in contacting speakers, booking halls
and making other
“I know you will also join with me in expressing sadness at the recent passing of Peter Harris,
who served the
Society for so many years, and whose talents will be greatly missed.
“Over the years we have maintained the many contacts the Society has with other organisations,
both local and
national. However, personal attendance at meetings of these bodies by a representative from the
Society has not
always been possible due to conflicting dates. For this reason it is important that this year
we must try to fill more,
or preferably all, of the vacancies on Committee. (I will return to this matter later).
“On a number of occasions during the year the Society has been able to provide bodies such as
the Museum of London and the Borough Council with historical information not readily available
elsewhere. It is
gratifying to be able to assist in such cases, and of course we make no charge. We also
continue to receive
enquires from developers, and from individuals researching their family histories, or engaged
in courses of study.
This can be time-consuming but, here again, we are pleased to help.
“Our regular workshops, which you will also have seen reported upon in the Bulletin, continue
to flourish. The
meetings are open to anyone, and an invitation is extended to all, whether they be Society
members or not.
“Research without publication is a sterile pursuit, and here I must acknowledge the Society’s
fortune in having in Peter Hopkins someone with the enthusiasm as well as the necessary
technical skills to
produce what, over the last few years, has amounted to an impressive array of literature. Thank
you Peter. We
must also thank our anonymous .Editorial Sub-Committee. (they know who they are), who vet
draft before it is considered fit for you, our readership.
“It is axiomatic to stress the importance of communication, but the work behind the scenes can
easily be taken for
granted. This is certainly not the case with our quarterly Bulletin, and the Society is again
fortunate, this time in
having a talented Editor in the person of Judith Goodman. I am sure you would wish to join me
in thanking Judith
for producing an extremely readable periodical which continues to receive plaudits from far
beyond the boundaries
of the London Borough of Merton.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 132 – DECEMBER 1999 – PAGE 4
“A matter of recent concern to your Committee has been a consequence of the Council’s decision
to close the
Morden Park Library, where for many years we have enjoyed excellent storage facilities for our
archaeological and heritage items. We have been happy to make these available to Sarah Gould
for display at the
Canons Heritage Centre, but the future location and accessibility of this .archive. is at
“There is another matter on which a few words from me are, I think, needed. Although we prefer
not to dwell
upon it, several of your officers and committee members are themselves becoming a little
.historic.. The rules of
the Society have for many years stipulated that no-one may serve as Chairman or Vice-Chairman
for more than
three years consecutively. The same rule applies to elected Committee members. These rules were
ensure the door is open to fresh people and new ideas.
“Under the rules, only three of the present committee (including ex-officers) are eligible to
stand for election or
re-election and, being willing, have been nominated. This leaves seven vacancies for which I
nominations have been received. The Society could just manage if these three were elected, but
the situation is
not one the retiring administration would like to see continue. It is certainly not too late
for volunteers to offer
themselves for election as additional committee members, and I do urge you to consider whether
you could spare
the Society a little time to ensure it continues to function efficiently.
“In conclusion, I would like to thank you all, members of the Society generally and Committee
particular, for your support, forbearance and encouragement during my term of office. The
future of the Society
is now in your hands, and you will shortly be making your choice of officers and committee
members to take us
into the new millennium.”
The President thanked Eric on behalf of the Society for the efficiency and enthusiasm he had
shown during his
term of office, and endorsed his comments on the Committee, and on the various publications.
the forthcoming anniversary, he expressed his hope that the Society can go forward to the next
Membership Secretary’s Report: Bill Sole reported a total of 128 members in 1998-99, paying a
of £645, both slightly up on the previous year. Bill is not recommending an increase in
subscriptions as the
increase in membership over the last 5 years had more than compensated for the general increase
Treasurer’s Report: David Luff apologised for two typographical errors on the copies of the
distributed at the meeting. (A corrected version appears below). The fact that our Bulletins
are printed on a cost
basis, and that venues for meetings are hired at a very reasonable cost, or at no charge at
all, has meant that we
have a surplus of £100 in our general budget. 1997/98 saw a small deficit on our publications,
but this year has
led to a substantial profit. Our stock of publications, as at the end of September, was valued
(at cost) at £568. A
£50 donation was made to St Helier Association for Kidney Patients in memory of Peter Harris,
who had undertaken
responsibility for the sale of publications over many years.
After a question from the floor as to the appropriateness of the headings used on the balance
sheet, the President
invited the membership to accept the audited Statement, and acceptance was proposed by Mr
by Mr Conway, and accepted unanimously.
FINANCES OCTOBER 1998 TO SEPTEMBER 1999 (INCLUSIVE)
BALANCING OF ACCOUNTS
Publications MHS £790.57
Carried from 1997/98 £737.18
Donations £77.50 Publications Others £19.01 Add Excess I o E £853.21
Publications £1485.09 Bulletin £170.00 £1590.39
Tea Money £23.03 Hall Hire £120.00 Statement 30.9.99 £1590.39
Interest – Midland Bank £6.50 Affiliation £57.00
Miscellaneous £17.80 Lectures – Donations £95.00 Nationwide
Excess of Income over
Carried from 1997/98
Elections: The Committee’s nominees for Officers were accepted nem con. Four nominations to the
already notified to the Secretary were augmented by three volunteers at the meeting, and all
seven were elected
nem con. (Details on the back cover of this Bulletin).
There being no motions of which due notice had been given, and no other business except a
the President of a Symposium organised by SCOLA & SWLALC (see back page), the meeting adjourned
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 132 – DECEMBER 1999 – PAGE 5
After the break, our President gave an illustrated talk entitled The Archaeology of World War
I, but which he
explained was neither about battles nor excavations, but rather a 20th-century memorial
landscape. As a
professional archaeologist for 30 years, Scott compared the World War I cemeteries and
Stonehenge. Just as Stonehenge should not be considered in isolation, but as part of a broader
earlier wooden henges and later burial mounds, adapted and reinterpreted over the centuries, so
sites in France and Flanders, reflecting various national characteristics, form an overall,
Some cemeteries date from 1916/17, whereas
others were created after the cessation of hostilities.
This was the first war which commemorated all
its dead individually by name, irrespective of rank.
The cemeteries and memorials became the focus
of pilgrimage in the immediate post-war years,
whereas now they seem to have become tourist
attractions. Even as the personal memories of
survivors give way to legends fostered by cinema
and television, the War Graves Commission is
making use of the Internet as it continues to update
Our new Chairman, Lionel Green, invited
questions and comments, and a vote of thanks was
given by one of our visitors. An excellent talk,
raising some profound issues, to which this brief
report cannot do justice.
ERIC MONTAGUE with a further note on THAT OTHER MORDEN
Readers may recall seeing in the report on the Local History Workshop of 25 June last that a
visit to another
Morden, in Nova Scotia, had set me wondering what connection (if any) there might be with our
short (and disappointing) answer is .Nothing at all.!
Bria Stokesbury, the curator of the Kings Historical Society’s Old Kings Courthouse Museum at
N.S., writing in answer to my enquiry, says
.Unlike many locations in Kings County Nova Scotia which gain their names from sources in
appears to have been named after an early settler – one James Morden … [who] received a grant
of land in 1783,
so he would be considered a Loyalist immigrating after the American Revolution.“
Morden (coincidentally only a few miles from Kingston N.S.) is a peaceful village of white
houses and bungalows delightfully set amongst pine trees on the low cliffs overlooking the Bay
Approaching the settlement from the Annapolis Valley, one is greeted by a roadside sign
(largely obscured by
long grass) saying .Welcome to Morden. and .New Horizons Ahead.. It is dated 1978, which
modest burst of civic awareness occurred some 20 years ago before the little community relaxed
once more into
quiet obscurity. At the village centre, if one can call it that, is St Michael’s Anglican
church (consecrated 1910)
and the Morden Country Store. Down on the shore a small jetty and a few small boats indicate
that some of the
residents engage in a little fishing, probably for recreation; but the general air is of a
weekend retreat, with
perhaps a few commuter residents.
A wharf or breakwater had been constructed in about 1842, and in 1847 a town site was laid out
Col.E.K.S. Butler, after which the settlement grew somewhat larger. The Anglican Christ Church
1854 was consecrated the following year, but was destroyed by fire in 1905. Morden by this time
a busy little port, where many of the men were fishermen. By the early 1900s ships were making
at the wharf bringing supplies for the stores in the neighbourhood, and were then loaded with
farm produce and
timber destined for the pulp mills, or to be used a fuel. The era of coastal shipping had ended
by 1946, and
thereafter the settlement declined to become, in Bria’s words .primarily … a summer vacation
spot popular with
the cottage crowd..
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
Menin Gate at Ypres, rebuilt and unveiled in 1927 as a memorial to British soldiers who fell
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 132 – DECEMBER 1999 – PAGE 6
Morden’s main interest for the tourist today lies in its connection with the mass deportation
of the French-
speaking Acadian settlers from the Maritime Provinces, during the reign of George II. A stone
cross erected on
the cliff-top commemorates a number of Acadian deportees who died here in the winter of 1756.
during the Seven Years War, when the authorities, feeling unable to depend on the Acadians.
loyalty to the
Crown, embarked on the wholesale removal of complete communities, often separating the men
families, and exiling them to other parts of British North America. This tragic episode (on
which our history
books are largely silent, but which has never been forgotten in Atlantic Canada) is
immortalised in Longfellow’s
narrative poem .Evangeline..
Altogether, close to 12,000 Acadians were deported between 1755 and 1761. In 1758 Governor
issued a proclamation to the people of New England, inviting them to settle the fertile Nova
forcibly vacated by the Acadians. By 1768 approximately 8,000 New Englanders, known as the
made the move, and Nova Scotia was permanently transformed. From 1764 onwards the Acadians were
to return to their homeland, but they found themselves barred from their former farmsteads, and
were obliged to
settle in isolated groups on the barren lands along Nova Scotia’s rocky shore. Here many turned
to fishing as a
livelihood, emulating their Breton ancestors.
SCOTT McCRACKEN, the Society’s President, offers a helpful note on
As a guide for anyone researching Canadian place-names and with access to the internet, the
has a website dedicated to Canadian Geographical Names: http://geonames.nrcan.gc.ca
This database will provide the grid reference of any place-name, along with maps at various
scales, all of which
can be printed out. A quick use of the system showed two Mordens – one given as an
unincorporated area in
Nova Scotia, and the other as a town in Manitoba. The one Merton is an unincorporated area in
Columbia (Cariboo seems to be the Canadian place-name spelling!). The website has a facility to
and I was very quickly given details of the origins of the two Mordens, both being named after
There are no known details regarding the origin of .Merton..
From my military research I have records of HMCS Morden, an early Flower Class corvette built
in Canada and
commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy in September 1941. HMCS Morden served in various
groups throughout the war and was responsible for sinking U-756 in September 1942. The ship was
in 1946. I am not aware of any Mertons.
JOHN PILE reviews:
Discovering the Past: Lower Morden and Morden Park by Peter Hopkins St Martin’s Church, Morden
£2.95 (+ 50p postage). Available at meetings or from our Publications Secretary (see back page)
In producing this booklet of 25 double-spread pages, Peter offers us a rich source of material,
most of which
appears in print for the first time and is the result of a great deal of original research into
a wide range of
documentary sources. A general survey of Morden parish from AD 1 to the year 2000 leads the
reader into a
detailed account of 20 locations into which Peter has divided Lower Morden. The whole is
illustrated with 47
maps and 39 photographs old and new, all reproduced to a remarkably high standard for a desk-
The introductory section of the booklet explores the development of Morden from a small
settlement on Roman
Stane Street to the population explosion of the 1920s and .30s. With the departure of the Roman
legions in AD
410 Morden disappears from view for more than five centuries, emerging from the .Dark Ages. in
century as an estate owned and managed by Westminster Abbey. The manor remained with
the Dissolution, when it came into the hands of the Garth family. The Garths were the ‘squires.
of Morden until
the latter part of the 19th century, overseeing and directing the changes from open-field
agriculture to a landscape
of enclosed and individually tenanted farms. Two maps showing Morden in the 14th and 16th
centuries are an
achievement that would surely have astonished and delighted Evelyn Jowett, whose pioneer study
in the Festival of Britain year, 1951. It is entirely appropriate therefore that the present
account, based on an
exhibition held at St Martin’s church in September 1999, should appear at the close of the
millennium and form
another important landmark in the study of Morden’s past.
Originally written with visitors to the exhibition in mind, this booklet will undoubtedly serve
as an important
source for anyone with an interest in the area, from the experienced local historian to the
general reader curious
about the history of this locality.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 132 – DECEMBER 1999 – PAGE 7
LOCAL HISTORY WORKSHOP REPORTS
Friday 20 August 1999
Peter Hopkins had been putting the final touches to the booklet (see review on p 7) and display
history of Lower Morden, which he had been preparing for .Open House. at St Martin’s, Camborne
Road, on Saturday 18 September. There was some discussion about the ancient outlines of Morden,
Merton; and members theorised about the contrasting irregularity (Merton) and regularity
Ian Aldridge reported that St Mary’s Merton registers, including the Elizabethan one, and the
book that dates from the early 18th century, would be available for inspection at St Mary’s
church on 18
September. Bell-ringing, organ music and guided tours would also be featured during this
! Stane Street, and the dedication, to St Lawrence, of Morden’s parish church, was once again
Bill Sole. Though there is more than one saint of this name, Bill takes the view that .our.
a military man of some standing, based near Dijon, who, in about 250 AD, refused to take orders
emperor. Perhaps, when the Roman army was building Stane Street, the soldiers set up a shrine
at the local high point, which later became the site of the church. (There may even have been
shrine there – the mound in Morden Park is suggestive.) The military associations of the site
somehow have influenced the dedication.
Discussion then moved to the development of the parish system in general, and thence to parish
and the likelihood that they may represent those of much earlier, even Roman, estates.
Bill Rudd had been preparing his talk on the monastic associations of Morden (see report on
page 3). He
now had a great deal of material acquired on his visits to 108 sites, which he hoped to collate
for the use
of future historians.
The Wimbledon Society, reported Sheila Harris, had passed to Wandle Industrial Museum a
murky) watercolour (no title, date or artist’s name) thought by them to show Mitcham bridge and
Wandle. Sheila had brought it to the meeting, and all agreed that, with six arches, it was not
bridge, nor indeed any local bridge. The location is likely to prove difficult to identify.
William De Morgan was again
Judith Goodman’s topic (see
¨ Tony Scott spoke briefly about
the old News of the World
sportsground at Park Place,
which, he said, had been more
than a facility for employees.
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
The newspaper had tried to raise
the standard of British athletics,
and some future Olympic
athletes had trained there.
He had recently been given
some biographical information
about runner Brian Hewson.
(Mitcham has so many sporting
connections – it would be good
to see a booklet on the subject.
What about it, Tony?) Mitcham’s Brian Hewson (at right) leading in a half-mile race at White
c.1954. Photo: H.W.Neale, from Franz Stampfl on Running 1955
There was some despondent discussion about the likely future of the Morden Park Library
building – a
purpose-built World War II civil defence depot, unique in the Borough, and unusual anywhere.
The vicar of Mitcham had observed strange marks on the vicarage lawn, which Eric Montague had
identified. (Item planned for March Bulletin) Monty also reported on information received from
Scotia (see page 6).
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 132 – DECEMBER 1999 – PAGE 8
Friday 23 October 1999
Bill Sole in the chair -Eight members present.
Bill Sole opened the meeting by recalling the discovery in the back garden of Morden Rectory
years ago of an area of chalk ‘slabs. covering roughly 100 m2. It was inspected by a
the Museum of London, who formed the opinion that the chalk might have been the floor of a
building – possibly the tithe barn commonly found in the vicinity of a medieval rectory. It is
that Bill will seek to have this feature recorded on the SMR.
Rosemary Turner, who has elected to produce a paper on Merton Priory in connection with a GCSE
archaeology, sought (and was given) guidance on lines of enquiry, with particular reference to
House. Rosemary was congratulated for her enterprise, and we look forward to hearing how she
Bill Rudd next regaled us with an account of yet more family history enquiries (which one
rather likes doing). Recently he has received numerous enquiries about the Clark(e)s of Morden
connection with whom he has been supplied with a volume of family research papers), and also
Skilton family. His familiarity with the burial registers and monumental inscriptions at Morden
of course places Bill in a unique position to respond to enquiries of this sort. (See also back
Following his talk on the roads of the St Helier estate, Bill is now writing up his notes and
file of photographs, many of which themselves are of historic interest.
ENM reported he had concluded a study of the roads and bridges in Mitcham, which might be
suitable for a future MHS publication.
Judith Goodman brought the story of the .ice house. in Merton Park up to date, with the
information that after excavation the enigmatic structure in the former grounds of Church House
to have been nothing of the kind, as the presence of a chimney and a window makes clear. It
be preserved as an example of an (?) 18th-century washhouse, brewhouse, or, as the owner
Judith also outlined results so far of her quest for more information on William Morris’s
Edgar, who, after pursuing various occupations, was employed at the Merton Abbey works as a
Directories show that between 1887 and 1895 he, his .wife. (no record of a marriage has been
Robina and their four children, lived in Norman Road and then Quicks Road. Judith hopes to find
George Wardle, Morris’s works manager, lived while working at Merton*. Interestingly, Wardle’s
Madeleine (née Smith) was the defendant in a famous Scottish poisoning case which was .not
She later became active in the early Socialist movement. (Material for an item in a future
Lionel Green has now compiled a chronological list of events in the history of Merton Priory.
how Henry III’s justiciar Hubert de Burgh was obliged to seek sanctuary at Merton – a
of the hazards of political life in the 13th century, which will be the subject of a future
note in the
Bulletin. A framed watercolour of Bidder interest has been brought to his notice, and it was
should be reported to E F Clark, descendant and biographer of G P Bidder. Support was also
Lionel’s suggestion that the mayor of Merton be invited to attend the annual commemoration
be held in the Chapter House next May.
Peter Hopkins, in pursuit of the Domesday mill of Morden, and seeking resolution of the
the history of land tenure in the vicinity of the Watermeads, produced a series of maps. These
descent of the Mareys. lands through the Smythe / Myers family to Cochran, and then the Frys and
(A highly complex series of transactions over some 400 years which will take some digesting,
* The Wardles turn out to have lived in Charlotte Street, Bloomsbury, throughout the time
for Morris; he retired in 1890. The story of George and Madeleine (Lena) Wardle is told by
Knapp in In Search of Mr and Mrs Wardle 1994, a History Workshop Pamphlet from Ruskin College,
NEXT WORKSHOP DATES:
Friday 28 January and Friday 10 March 2000 at 7.30pm at Wandle Industrial Museum.
Everyone is welcome at Workshop meetings.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 132 – DECEMBER 1999 – PAGE 9
LIONEL GREEN looks at a daughter house of Merton Priory:TAUNTON
In Saxon times there was a college of secular priests at Taunton (‘secular. meaning non-
monastic). The discovery,
in the 1970s, of 9th-century Saxon burials suggests that the original foundation was in the
Castle Green area of
Taunton. In 904 several estates with chapels around Taunton passed to the bishop of Winchester.
There is reference
to the monasterium, suggesting a minster with dependent chapels. The dead of surrounding vills
sometimes miles, to the college graveyard, and fees had to be paid to the secular priests. The
priests were known
as prebendaries, as they were supported by .prebends., i.e. fixed income from church property.
The Geld Inquest
of 1084 shows that the priests held 2¼ hides (about 150 acres) of land. When William Giffard
became bishop of
Winchester in 1107 he fortified his residence at Taunton1 so that the precinct moat enclosed
the Great Hall2 and
the castle motte, as well as the college.
The bishop was familiar with the introduction of the Augustinian order into England, being
with the foundation of Merton and Southwark monasteries near London. He wished the existing
at Taunton to follow the new Rule, having observed how the canons of Merton were ‘sublimely
perfection. after only three years. He therefore requested some canons of Merton to .introduce
into his church of
Taunton those same observances which they themselves employed..3 Five brethren set off from
Merton in 1120
.amongst whom was that Master Guy who with good reason was the most famous amongst us..4
The canons followed the Augustinian Rule at Taunton, and a few .who had been there, began to
adopt the way
of life according to the rule but certain [secular priests] had no wish to change their firmly
rooted bad habits..
Guy, an Italian schoolmaster, used his best efforts to try to change them, and was deeply upset
over his failure.
These were priests who did not want to take vows; for the vow of poverty meant giving up their
the vow of chastity their wives or housekeepers.
At Merton Guy had been zealous in religious duties and sincerely devout, but at Taunton he
lived an even austere
life, for no one could restrain his fervour. As prior, he gave to the poor all that he could,
and would assign to the
sick and needy the food set on his own table, and be content with bread and water, declaring to
his taunters that
.what is taken from one’s own mouth is more pleasing to God. Let me not fatten my flesh for the
worms and see
a precious creature of God die before me with hunger.. He would buy for the poor capes, tunics
and shoes, but
always provided whatever was necessary for the canons. Guy was able to do this as he had
control over the
income from former prebends. The bishop actively supported the new foundation with grants of
Fons George, which contained the Syreford (Sherford) Brook .for grinding their corn and all
to be derived.. The fishponds or vivary were within this parish.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 132 – DECEMBER 1999 – PAGE 10
It was no doubt Guy’s influence that resulted in the foundation of St Margaret’s leper hospital
served by the priory. The people of Taunton appreciated Guy’s work, and some believed he was a
saint, for he
frequently calmed storms.5
But within the priory there was dissent. The poor were never satisfied, and the rich were
jealous over the gifts
allotted to the poor. Complaints were made to the bishop that Guy did not show respect to the
men of influence
who could benefit the Church. He was now finding the administration of the priory irksome, and
to the Prior of Merton to recall him to the place he loved. His wish was granted and instead of
grieving that he
was no longer a prior he rejoiced .as if freed from a prison or like a bird released from a
Giffard’s successor at Winchester was Henry of Blois, and, when the civil war in Stephen’s
reign began, the
bishop strengthened the defences within his diocese.6 The importance of the castle at Taunton
resulted in a
relocation of the priory by Henry of Blois in 1158. This became the monastery of St Peter and
St Paul, situated
outside the East Gate. Sherford Brook was diverted to serve the new precinct and the mill.
The leper hospital building of c.1510 still exists (just). It continued as an almshouse until
1936, when it was
condemned for human habitation, and is now empty and roofless.
1. J Collinson History of … Somerset 1791 iii p231
2 A Pre-Conquest bank underlies the Great Hall which also might be part of the precinct
boundary of the minster
College of Heralds: Arundel MS 28 fo.93v; M L Colker Studia Monastica Vol.12 (1970) p342
4. BL Royal MS 8 E ix; M L Colker .The Life of Guy of Merton …. in Medieval Studies Toronto
Vol.xxxi (1969) p257
5. ibid. p259
A record of 1138 states that he built castles at Winchester, Farnham, Bishops Waltham, Merdon
and Dunton as well as Taunton, but many of these,
including Taunton, were already in existence.
BILL SOLE has redrawn the map of STANE STREET IN GREATER LONDON
In the Merton and Morden News for 3
June 1960 there is a short article and
photograph under the headline Traces
of Roman road found on Crown Site.
It reports that contractors on the
construction site of Crown House, the
present Civic Centre, had unearthed a
layer of chalk covered with flint. Neither
material occurrs as layers naturally in
the district, and the assumption was that
these finds were part of the Roman road
Stane Street, which is known to have
passed through Morden. Sections of it
have been excavated in Stonecot Hill.
According to the report, Bernard Sunley,
whose firm was the main contractor for
the Crown House development,
presented some of the flints to Miss
Jowett, Librarian for Merton & Morden
UDC and founder member of this
Society. The photograph, which shows
four men and a trench, unfortunately
does not reproduce well.
No official record seems to have been
made at the time, but, thanks to Bill
Sole, the find is now registered with the
Sites and Monuments Record. The exact
location was in the backyard of the then
Crown public house, at Grid Reference
TQ 26500 68500, and Bill’s new map
takes it into account .
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 132 – DECEMBER 1999 – PAGE 11
JUDITH GOODMAN on WILLIAM DE MORGAN AT COLLIERS WOOD
As mentioned in the Workshop Report in September’s Bulletin (No.131, page 15) I recently
discovered, quite by
accident, that the ceramic artist William De Morgan, friend and colleague of William Morris,
had his .Merton
Abbey. workshop, not in Merton, but on the other side of the Wandle, at Colliers Wood.
William Frend De Morgan (1839-1917) had as father a musical mathematician and as mother a
classicist. Both were free-thinkers. Their seven children grew up in a high-minded, but happy
four were to die relatively young of TB, and the fear of this disease clouded much of William’s
De Morgan came to ceramics by way of stained glass and experiments with lustre. He had met
(1834-96) in the early 1860s and worked with him briefly at Queen Square before setting up his
own workshop in
The two men shared a dream of setting up their ideal factory where men and women would exercise
their skills in
traditional crafts among beautiful surroundings; and they undertook many fruitless journeys in
search of a site for
this .fictionary., as they called it. Finally, in 1881, they came upon a printworks at Merton
Abbey, within the old
priory precincts, with picturesque buildings, a millpond, trees and meadows. Morris took a
lease on this site, and
by the end of the year was beginning to manufacture his goods – but it has never been clear
where De Morgan
established himself and built his kiln.
J.W.Mackail, Morris’s first biographer, stated only that the plan of .joint, or even
contiguous, factories never fully
took effect..1 Mackail, who was Burne-Jones’s son-in-law and also knew Morris quite well,
would have known exactly where De Morgan’s workshop was, but unfortunately did not think it
relevant to his
narrative. Later writers have contented themselves with locating De Morgan, vaguely, next door
to Morris2, or
very close by3. For some reason however the Museum of London booklet on Morris4 placed De
in the middle of the Morris site. Apart from the fact that no building is shown there on the OS
1:2500 map of the
mid-1890s, a very well-known article from 1883 in The Spectator makes it clear that the sites
were indeed quite
separate: .Turning out of the garden [of the Morris site]. it says,. a few minutes along the
high road bring us to the
building where Mr. De Morgan’s pottery is already manufactured, though the whole building is not
De Morgan took a little time to get started at his new site, wherever it was, but early in 1882
he was beginning to
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
produce .Merton Abbey. wares.
Impressed .Merton Abbey. marks on
De Morgan pottery and tiles
De Morgan stayed at .Merton Abbey. for only six or seven years. He found the travelling from
Chelsea, where he
lived, tiring, and he was troubled with a painful back which he was fearful was tuberculosis of
the spine (it
wasn’t). In 1888 he set up his Sands End factory in Fulham, and early the following year
finally moved all his
Until now I had been more or less convinced that De Morgan
had taken over the old copper mill immediately to the east of
the Morris works. Copper milling had ceased in the 1860s.
The site had briefly become a flock mill, but seems to have
been standing empty by the early 1880s. Admittedly it was
scarcely .a few minutes. walk from the Morris site – it was
next door and barely a minute away – but I could not see where
else De Morgan could have been. And that was because it had
never occurred to me to seek him over the border.
It was when looking for dates and addresses for mineral water
bottlers in Mitcham (see September Bulletin), and going
alphabetically through the commercial pages in the Mitcham
section (where I had never before ventured!) of the Kelly’s
directory of 1884,6 that I was astounded to see an entry which
De Morgan, Wm, Stone pottery, Singlegate, Merton Road
Rice plate, with green fish on royal blue ground,
surrounding a central motif in turquoise.
Made at .Merton Abbey. in the 1880s.
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 132 – DECEMBER 1999 – PAGE 12
On trawling through the various directories of the period I found that De Morgan was listed
from 1884 to 1892.
Later entries were more accurate and place him firmly at .Stone Cottage Pottery.. The fact that
he had returned to
London several years before he ceases to be listed is not surprising. Such directories
frequently lag behind events.
Stone Cottage was a small one-storey building which may have been constructed in part from
remains of Merton
Priory. It is believed to have served as the local tollgate house for the Surrey Iron Railway
during the early 19th
century. The pantiled roof is known to have collapsed in 1838, but presumably it was worth
repairing,7 and at the
time of the 1881 census the cottage was occupied by an agricultural labourer. .Singlegate. in
the address refers
not to the railway gate but to the turnpike gate which had barred the road until 1870, at what
would become the
site of Colliers Wood station. It was known thus to distinguish it from Merton Double Gates
which stood at
Merton Grove, the future site of South Wimbledon station.
Stone Cottage, from a photograph of a pen-and-ink drawing probably by Hubert Williams. Location
and date of
original not known, but copies are held at Wandsworth Museum, Lambeth Archives and Surrey
History Centre, Woking.
De Morgan seems to have taken Stone
Cottage itself, which may have served
as the office, and also a piece of land
which lay behind both this building and
the neighbouring cottages known as
Walnut Tree Place. In directories which
included listings for each road
separately the entry .here is private
road to Potteries. is shown between the
two blocks of Walnut Tree Place. The
site, which was about a third of a mile
(five or six minutes walk) from Morris’s
site, lay entirely in the Colliers Wood
area of Mitcham, on the north-west side
of Merton Road (the present Colliers
Wood High Street). On the west,
between it and the Wandle, were
meadows; on the east the boundary was
Byegrove Road. At the rear, on what
had recently been fields, was a new
street of small terraced houses, Bailey
Road. As at Morris’s site along the road,
the suburb which was .woeful beyond
description.8 was close at hand!
From the 1898 OS map 1:2500. The buildings shown on the site are probably
those put up by De Morgan, as they do not appear on earlier maps.
Walnut Tree Place
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 132 – DECEMBER 1999 – PAGE 13
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
Here De Morgan built a workshop and a kiln – the .magnificent basement. that .became a
skyscraper., as he said.9
His foreman described the kiln as .in and on the ground, right in the centre of the building –
the chimney shaft quite
a splendid idea, but unfortunately it was built over the centre of the kiln, and the weight of
the shaft was enormous
… [I]f it fell it would take the whole of the building with it..9
After De Morgan’s departure the Stone Cottage site stood empty for a while, before being taken
over, by 1899, as
the Abbey Cork Mills, proprietor Walter Mays. And as a cork works it continued for decades. By
the late 1950s
Stone Cottage had gone, replaced by part of a motor company’s premises. Today its site lies
beneath the forecourt
of Colliers Wood Service Station. The cork works site at the rear was redeveloped in the mid-
1960s. Here stands
Newborough House, named to mark the creation in 1965 of the new London Borough of Merton. It
would be good
to see it bearing a plaque celebrating De Morgan’s association with the site.
At the end of the 20th century, when De Morgan is seen as one of the great
William De Morgan, chalk
figures of the Arts and Crafts Movement, it seems astonishing that the memory portrait by
Evelyn De Morgan,
of his presence at Colliers Wood had vanished so completely. In James Bass’s 1907 (De Morgan
reminiscences of an Edwardian childhood at Millers Mead10 he mentions the
.cork factory (where tiles were previously made)., and he might have been
talking of a sanitary ware works. However it seems to have been true that in
his own day De Morgan achieved more fame in his second career. Because of
poor health he gave up making pottery and became a successful novelist,
producing nine books between 1906 and 1921. They were mainly in a sub-
Dickensian vein and have not remained popular, though the first (and best),
Joseph Vance, was reprinted in the World’s Classics as late as 1954.
De Morgan was clearly a delightful companion and an entertaining friend. He
married, in his late 40s, artist Evelyn Pickering. In a letter to Edward Burne-
Jones he announced his engagement as follows:
I meant to come in yesterday evg: but I was engaged to be married and
I wanted to convey the news to you of two engagements that have just
come to pass. One is my own – I am engaged to a lady. The other is Evelyn
Pickering’s – she is engaged to a cove, or bloke….
It seems to have been a strong and happy marriage, though Evelyn, who survived her husband by
only two years,
was 17 years his junior. There were no children.
Why did he call his works .Merton Abbey.? He must have known he was in Colliers Wood, Mitcham.
have paid rates, after all. However, that part of Mitcham then received its mail through Merton
Post Office, and the
whole area by the Wandle where the parishes of Merton, Mitcham and Wimbledon met, was generally
as Merton. Moreover the name would have reaffirmed the friendly collaboration with Morris,
were indeed at Merton Abbey. Would William De Morgan’s Mitcham Works, or Colliers Wood Works
sounded so euphonious as the Merton Abbey Works? Possibly not.
J.W.Mackail The Life of William Morris (1899) World’s Classics edition vol ii p46
e.g. Mark Hamilton Rare Spirit, A Life of William De Morgan 1839-1917 Constable 1997 pp55-6
e.g. Charles Harvey and Jon Press William Morris: Design and Enterprise in Victorian Britain
Manchester University Press 1991 p132
David Saxby William Morris at Merton Museum of London Archaeology Service and London Borough of
Merton 1995 p5
The Spectator 24 November 1883
Merton Local Studies Centre has copies of various local directories from the early 19th century
E.N.Montague History of Colliers Wood 1979, unpublished typescript at Merton Local Studies
Letter from William Morris to Jane Morris 19 March 1881, The Collected Letters of William
Morris vol ii pt A 1881-84 Norman Kelvin (ed.) Princeton
University Press 1987
De Morgan’s words and Bale’s account, both quoted in A.M.W.Stirling William De Morgan and His
Wife Thornton, Butterworth 1922 p28
10. James B. Bass Once Upon a Time Merton Historical Society Local History Notes – 15 (due to be
published Autumn 1999)
A comprehensive account of De Morgan’s work in ceramics is given in:
William Gaunt & M.D.E.Clayton-Stamm William De Morgan Studio Vista 1971 – copy in Merton Local
Some places to see De Morgan ceramics:
Victoria & Albert Museum William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow
City Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham Leighton House, Kensington
Kelmscott Manor Standen House, East Grinstead
Old Battersea House 8 Addison Road, Holland Park
(Old Battersea House and 8 Addison Road are not open to the public but may be visited by
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 132 – DECEMBER 1999 – PAGE 14
PETER HOPKINS has been exploring the fore-runners of
WYEVALE GARDEN CENTRE, LOWER MORDEN LANE
After 1000 years of agriculture in Lower Morden, Wyevale Garden
Centre alone keeps the tradition alive. A Council-run nursery
had preceded Wyevale on the site of Peacock Farm. The Victorian
farmhouse still survives. The name Peacock Farm appears on
Ordnance Survey maps from the 1860s.
It is possible to trace the succession of tenants of this farm as far
back as 1714, when it was leased to Reginald Marriott.1 He also
held property in the Morden Hall area.2 In 1719 he assigned his
lease3 to William Wickham, and either William or his son of the
same name was holding it in 1745.4 It covered 75½ acres. William
Wickham the younger died in 1771, but he had given up the farm
a few years earlier.
In 1768 John Arbuthnot of Mitcham was granted a 21-year lease of this farm, which had been
It now included the farmstead formerly known as Franks Farm, on the opposite side of Lower
Morden Lane, as
well as other lands which brought the farm to almost 125 acres. In 1780 Edmund Bryon was
granted a lease,6 and
the farm was known as Bryons Farm until at least 1856. During his tenancy 50 acres of the
transferred to the newly formed Morden Park estate. In 1804 ‘Brions Farm’ was leased to James
Atkinson, by which time another 56 acres had been added from a neighbouring farm, formerly
leased to John
Manship of Mitcham.7 By 1838, when the tenant was William York, the farm extended over 156
Although we can only trace tenants back to 1714, this farmstead was
almost certainly of medieval origin. However, the site was probably not
one of the earliest in Lower Morden. A group of eight farmsteads had
been built around a triangular green which had formed at the junction of
Lower Morden Lane and Bow Lane. Six of these tenements each
consisted of a house in a 1-acre yard, a 1-acre orchard and a close of
pasture of around 4 acres, three to the north-west of the green, and three
to the south. On the north-east of the green Peacock Farm and its
neighbour, probably to be identified with Graves Farm, were much
smaller, with a ½-acre yard, a ½-acre orchard and a 2-acre close of
It was recently pointed out to me that these two farmsteads seem to have been built on the
green itself, and are
therefore unlikely to have been part of the first phase of development. It was not unusual for
to be made on open spaces, as the increase in population led to a greater demand for housing.
We do know of one such small freehold tenement in the Lower Morden area, which came into the
hands of the
Garth lords of the manor in 1636. It seems probable that this was a fore-runner of Peacock
Farm. Plomer Shawe
had just 4 acres – 2 in the Southfield (south of Lower Morden Lane), 1in Coombestrowde (near
the present Cherry
Wood), and 1in the Common Mead (in the Grand Drive area).
The property first appears in extant records in 1596, when Henry Butte left it to his son of
the same name.9 Butte
is recorded as holding 6 acres in a tithe survey of 1583.10 Perhaps the additional 2 acres
referred to the close
adjoining the farmstead. In 1603 Henry Butte of Chipstead leased it to William Chary for 21
years at £2 a year.11
Chary was still an occupant in 1609, along with Widow Russell and Thomas Dassett. This was the
Butte of Mitcham sold Plomer Shawe to John Whiteing of Morden yeoman,for £40.12 In 1624 the
described as “all that messuage or tenement with barn, stable, orchard, garden and all other
edifices in Lower
Morden” with “4 acres land and pasture to the said messuage belonging lying dividedly in the
parish and field of
Lower Morden”.13 In 1634 the tenant, Nicholas Dumbrill of Morden, carpenter, surrendered the
lease to Richard
Garth of Morden,14 who had bought the freehold. The witness was Thomas Heath, who died the
He could well have been occupying the adjoining farmstead, as in 1640 Elizabeth Heath (his
widow or his daughter?)
married William Graves of Mitcham, who became tenant of Graves Farm. James North, a sub-tenant
Shawe until 1634, was granted the lease of another small farm in Lower Morden in 1636,15
probably that occupied
by Abraham Clarke in 1838, which seems to have been carved out of a former copyhold tenement.
1 SRO 85/2/41 2 SRO 683/1 3 SRO 85/2/41 4 SRO 85/2/51-52 5 SRO 85/2/42
6 SRO 85/2/43-44 7 SRO 85/2/47 8 Morden Tithe Apportionment 9 SRO 85/1/1 10 SRO 85/3/5
11 SRO 2575/2/C 12 SRO 2575/2/C 13 SRO 2575/1/D;/2/C & 3/G 14 SRO 2575/2/C 15 SRO 2575 /2/C
Peacock Farm in the 1950s, photo by W J Rudd
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 132 – DECEMBER 1999 – PAGE 15
!!!!!Archaeology in South West London is the title of a symposium organised by the Standing
London Archaeology (SCOLA) South West London Archaeological Liaison Group for Saturday 22
2000, to be held at the Civic Offices of London Borough of Sutton, St Nicholas Way, Sutton,
from 10am to
4.30pm. Papers to be presented will include investigations at the Archbishop’s Palace at
Charter Quay, Kingston, and the Thames Foreshore Survey. Tickets at £5, including tea/coffee,
from J S
McCracken, Flat B, 231 Sandycombe Road, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 2EW. Please enclose a stamped
addressed envelope and make cheques payable to SCOLA.
The current exhibition at Merton Heritage Centre, at The Canons, explores The Peopling of
Merton in the 20th century has been shaped by its various communities. The Heritage Centre is
Fridays and Saturdays from 10 to 5. Admission is free. The next exhibition, on life in Merton
wars, opens on 3 March.
Tony Fuller, a Society member, has been researching his wife’s family, the Clarks of Morden,
lived in the district since about 1820, most of them in the Crown Road/Crown Lane/London Road
has now presented the Society with an impressive dossier on the family and its connections.
number have been farm labourers, soldiers, a sexton, a school caretaker, a milkman, and an
!!!!!Tramlink is currently scheduled to start service between Wimbledon and New Addington
before the New
Year. The rest of the network is expected to be in service sometime in January. The smart
now a familiar site along the Wimbledon-Croydon stretch, as the drivers undergo instruction and
(we hope) adjustments are made to signalling etc. The Tramlink information office in George
has information on the timetable and fares. Leaflets headed Trams – a guide for Pedestrians,
Drivers are available from Croydon’s Tourist Information Centre, but not, it seems, in Merton.
COMMITTEE MEMBERS 1999-2000
Letters and contributions for the bulletin should be sent to the Hon. Editor.
The view expressed in this Bulletin are those of the contributors concerned and not necessarily
those of the Society or its Officers.
Printed by Peter Hopkins
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 132 – DECEMBER 1999 – PAGE 16