Although it gave its name to the modern Borough in 1965, historic Merton itself – a Saxon estate and an ancient parish – is largely forgotten. The site of the important Augustinian priory is now often described as being in Colliers Wood and the lands to the south are part of Morden Hall Park. At the western end of the parish, the priory’s West Barnes estates are now known as Raynes Park and Motspur Park, the former extending into Wimbledon, the latter into Malden and New Malden. In the centre of the parish Cannon Hill ward includes much of Morden. Even Merton Park, which retains the ancient name, is often treated as an adjunct of Wimbledon. But this area is an historical entity dating back across centuries and even millennia, as revealed by the following pages.

To explore each period further, select from the links on the right.