March 1996 – Bulletin 117
Morden Park House: an inventory of 1867 – J A Goodman
Morris & Co. stained glass in Australia – E N Montague
White Cottage, Morden Road Mitcham – E N Montague
and much more
PRESIDENT: The Viscountess Hanworth. F.S.A
VICE PRESIDENTS: Arthur Turner and Lionel Green
BULLETIN NO. 117 MARCH 1996
FORTHCOMING PROGRAMME 1996 Friday 12th April 8.00 p.m. Snuff Mill Environmental Centre The
Crystal Palace. A slide talk by Ian Bevan of Crystal Palace Foundation.
(Park in Morden Hall National Trust Garden Centre Car Park
and follow the path across the bridge and through the gateway)
Saturday 11th May 1.45 p.m. meet at Crystal Palace Museum Crystal Palace Walk and Museum Visit
led by Ian Bevan.
£1.50 (£1.00) payable on arrival. Teas available in Park Cafe. 157 bus route from Morden.
Saturday 8th June 1.45 p.m. meet outside Nonsuch Mansion House Visit to Nonsuch Mansion House,
Nonsuch Park, including Kitchen & Garden
led by Gerald Smith – £1.00 payable on arrival. 293 bus route from Morden.
RESERVE THESE DATES: Saturday 20th July Walk round Wimbledon Village plus visit to Museum.
Saturday 17th August Guided walk in Carshalton.
Saturday 21st September Historic Pub Walk in Mitcham.
THE CHARTERHOUSE OF SHENE
21 members and 2 visitors braved the bitterly cold winds to hear John Cloake’s lecture in mid-
December, and were not disappointed. John Cloake, a former Ambassador to Bulgaria, was born
and brought up in Wimbledon, and at an early age developed an interest in local history,
Merton Priory. He is now President of Richmond Local History Society, having lived in Richmond
for over 30 years.
Henry VII named his new palace ‘Richmond’ from his Yorkshire earldom, but previous to that the
area was called Shene. There were royal residences in Shene from at least 1313, and it was in
grounds of one former palace that the Charterhouse was built. The Charterhouse of Jesus of
Bethlehem was one of three monasteries founded in 1414-15 by Henry V in the area, in expiation
for the murders of Richard II and Archbishop Scrope in the rebellion which brought his father,
Henry IV to the throne. At a time when English monasticism was being severely criticised for
abuses, Henry chose strict and contemplative orders for his foundations. The Carthusian monks
lived most of the time the life of recluses with only minimal concessions to the community
Unlike the Augustinian Canons of Merton, who lived a communal life, the monks of Shene only
met together in Church, Chapter House and Refectory (on Sundays and Feast Days). They lived
in individual small houses with garden plots, surrounded by high walls, built around the
each house or cell consisting of a living room with fireplace, a small bedroom, an even smaller
study, and a lobby with stairs to a workroom. Next to the door from the cloister would be a
hatch, designed with a right-angled bend so that food could be passed in from outside without
any contact between the monk and the monastic servant who would bring it from the kitchens.
The monastery relied heavily on lay brothers and servants to keep the system running. They too
were expected to attend services, keep fasts, and refrain from talking unless it was essential.
They had their own living quarters, Chapter House and Chapel, though they would sometimes
join the monks in the main church.
The Charterhouse returned to royal ownership at the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538, but
enjoyed a brief revival during the reign of Queen Mary, when the lands provided for its
upkeep included the former Merton Priory site and demesne lands. However, with the accession
of Elizabeth I it all passed into lay occupation.
There was quite a good turnout for Miranda Poliakoff’s lecture in January, but there were
in obtaining a volunteer to ‘write up’ a report. A guide book on a walk round Fulham Palace and
its gardens was purchased, so anyone wishing to visit may borrow this. (See Tony Scott). The
Museum and grounds are open Thursday to Sunday, and there is a guided tour on the second
Sunday of every month. For details telephone 0171 736 3233. The 93 bus stops on the bridge
outside All Saints Church, Fulham, before turning into Putney Bridge Underground Station.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 117 – MARCH 1996 – PAGE 2
MY LIFE AND WORK AS YOUR LOCAL MEMBER OF
PARLIAMENT BY ANGELA RUMBOLD MP
The first point I always make about my life as a Member of Parliament is that I believe it is a
privilege to be allowed to represent a constituency like Mitcham and Morden in the House of
Commons. Whilst I always take account of the views of my constituents, and I am glad to report
that they are very forthcoming on many issues, I always point out that I am there not as a
delegate but as a true representative.
My work in the constituency ranges from undertaking to help many people with their varied
problems. Matters such as housing, difficulties with the Inland Revenue or with the Benefits
Agency, education issues and, increasingly, problems for the disabled, mentally ill and
with learning difficulties have come to the fore. I am also often asked to intervene in
issues, which although strictly speaking are issues for the local authority, I nonetheless feel
important from a support point of view, for the constituents to know where I stand, so I will
them as honestly as I can.
I also do my best to support the local organisations, charities and events as they come about
during the course of a year. I believe it is important for the MP to show a lively interest in
is happening in the locality, so the Annual Mitcham Fair, the lovely Spring show that the
Trust sponsor in Morden Park and the various exhibitions and local fetes will always see me as
In the House of Commons itself I still maintain a great interest in the Departments where in
past I have been a Minister namely Education and Employment, Transport, the Environment and
the Home Office. I endeavour to attend the Question Time sessions and to take part in debates
where I believe I have a contribution to make. I also manage to convey my constituents’ views
on these particular issues to the best of my ability.
As people know the House of Commons sits from November to the end of July on a continuous
basis with short holidays at Christmas, Easter and the Spring Bank Holiday. Now that Parliament
has decided to make the hours rather more sensible we no longer have the all night sittings or
very late endings to our daily sessions. I think this is very helpful because people are not
tired when they make important decisions, and also it certainly encourages people who would
otherwise not contemplate a political career to come in and make their contribution.
Although much is written about Members of Parliament and their behaviour and their decision
making I still believe it is the greatest of all our institutions and that we who are lucky
serve for whatever period of time, should always acknowledge the privilege of working and
contributing to the Mother of all Parliaments. For those people who have travelled across the
world, you only have to look at the number of countries who emulate our system to realise what
a wonderful tradition of democracy and openness we have inherited here in Great Britain.
Finally, for all those readers who would like to visit the historic buildings, do remember that
arrange for parties to come and view the Parliament buildings and if anyone is interested in
seeing the Commons and the Lords when they are in session, I can also offer tickets to the
Strangers Gallery. I hope that some people will be interested in this offer in 1996.
Anyone wishing to tour the Houses of Parliament or who would like a ticket for the Strangers
Gallery, please contact Sheila Harris our Hon. Secretary.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 117 – MARCH 1996 – PAGE 3
LOCAL HISTORY WORKSHOPS
These continue to meet every six weeks or so and provide an opportunity to discuss individual
research, and to share information and ideas for future lines of enquiry.
Peter Hopkins talked about a visit to the Public Record Office in Chancery Lane, where he
had examined the Ministers’ Accounts for property formerly belonging to Merton Priory in
1538. Land in Merton itself was listed in considerable detail. He had also seen a grant of
West Barnes to the Gresham family in 1545, which listed lands totalling 579 acres rather
than 200 acres as the authorities all say.
Bill Sole referred back to an earlier mention of postal districts in Merton and Morden,
which overlap the parish boundaries. He went on to discuss planning applications for two
buildings in Mitcham – Chestnut Cottage and the White Hart Public House. Bill also
mentioned on-going research about Roman London.
Judy Goodman told us about her researches into the suggestion that the dramatist James
Brinsley Sheridan had ever lived in Merton. There seems to be no evidence for this belief,
though there are references to visits to Morden. He certainly had friends in the Mitcham
area, and probably these references relate to a stay with friends in Mitcham.
Peter Harris showed members his latest acquisition for the Wandle Industrial Museum – a
‘Yard Steel’ of very good quality. These are things that very rarely come to light and is a
valuable addition to the collections.
Peter Harris reported on a visit to Ness in the Wirrall, Cheshire, and the discovery of Emma
Hamilton’s baptism record, under the name of “Amy, daughter of Henry Lyon, blacksmith”.
She and her mother later moved to Hawarden in Wales, after the death of her father.
Judy Goodman added that according to a note on one of the Linley family portraits in
Dulwich Gallery, Emma was a maid in service to the Linley’s, leaving when she became
pregnant. However, Judy pointed out that she would only have been 12 or 13 at the time,
so this seems unlikely.
Sheila Harris shared some archive material recently given to the Wandle Industrial Museum
relating to the 19th century Mitcham peppermint and lavender oil distillers, John Jakson &
Co. Their Lavender Water won a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition of 1885.
Monty has been asked to produce another publication of Mitcham photographs/postcards,
and has also completed work on three areas: Lower Green West, Watermeads, Wandle
Mills & Mitcham Bridge, and Three King’s Piece. He also told about his recent visit to yet
another Mitcham, near Adelaide. See article on page 8.
Bill Rudd told of his researches into his own family history, and the various sources he has
been using, including Census Returns, Rate Books, Electoral Registers and street maps.
Peter Hopkins updated us on his continued search for records relating to Tudor Merton,
particularly the demesne lands, some of which were later included in Baker’s Farm, and
Merton Grange, part of which formed the nucleus of the later Morden Hall Farm.
Lionel Green reported on the recent survey of St Mary’s Church Merton by the National
Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies. He also told us about his search for the
London house occupied by the Prior of Merton before and after the Dissolution.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 117 – MARCH 1996 – PAGE 4
There was a brief discussion about a permanent secretary for workshop meetings. This was
Bill Sole’s idea, and it was agreed that he keep notes for a year.
Peter Hopkins produced a copy of a map of c.1830 of .Titheable Lands at Merton in
Surrey, the Property of the Late E.H. Bond Esqr.. (copy of map in Morden Library). There
was some discussion about the exact date of the map, and then about the connection of
tithe-free land with early holdings by religious foundations. Monty commented on tithe-
free .mills of ancient demesne.. Peter had also obtained a copy of a Wenceslas Hollar (C17)
print of an Augustinian canon, which showed in detail the black robes, relieved by a white
.apron., which would have been worn by the Merton Priory canons.
Bill Sole spoke about possible risk to sections of Priory wall, and to ancient building
nearby. It was agreed to make this an agenda item at next Committee meeting. He also
mentioned the LAMAS conference next November on Industry in Greater London, and the
uncertain future of 346/8 London Road, Mitcham, a timber- framed building.
Judy Goodman had been comparing the two versions of Merton’s 10th century charter and
of another one which has usually been dismissed as not dealing with .our. Merton. Eric
Montague, Peter Hopkins and Tony Scott agreed to look at the (not quite complete!)
translations and brief commentary she had written. Tony had a friend with experience in
medieval Latin, whom he would consult.
Tony Scott spoke about reminiscences of Mitcham Hockey Club, from transcribed notes of
a speech given in 1970. The club had been founded in the 1890s and had later moved to
Merton, playing in Cannon Hill Lane. There were also many slides, dating probably from
the 1950s. He would write an article for the Bulletin.
Peter Harris reported that the two Wandle booklets were virtually complete, needing slight
changes to the maps only. Final illustrations had been chosen from the Museum’s collection.
Sheila Harris had had a letter from someone enquiring about a well (with a Latin inscription)
supposed to have been on the Savacentre site, and said to have had healing powers, but no
one present had any information. She also spoke about an interesting visit to the Watts
Gallery and Chapel at Compton, near Guildford. It was agreed to arrange a Society visit
Eric Montague referred to the copper industry in the area. See his article on page 12.
The next Workshop will be on Friday 29th March from 7.30pm at the Wandle Industrial Museum.
Do come along. Susan Andrew from Merton Libraries Department will be attending this meeting
to seek views on bringing together the Borough’s local history collection at one site.
WIMBLEDON THEN AND NOW by Richard Milward
Richard Milward’s most recent book uses the always-popular .then and now. approach to
illustrate aspects of Wimbledon’s development in the 20th century. Forty-four old postcard
views are compared with modern photographs of each scene. Concise but informative
captions point out the changes, and the, sometimes unexpected, surviving features.
This small-format book will conveniently fit pocket or bag, but the location map in the
front is quite hard to decipher. Mr Milward has been well served by his present-day
photographers, Roger Musgrave and Angela Rathbone, somewhat better perhaps than by
his publishers, S.B. Publications of Seaford, who might have reproduced the pictures to a
slightly higher standard. The book costs £6.50 and is available at all the usual outlets in
Wimbledon, including the Wimbledon Society’s Museum.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 117 – MARCH 1996 – PAGE 5
MORDEN PARK HOUSE – AN INVENTORY OF 1867
In the Harold Williams Collection of Sales Particulars in the Croydon Local Studies Library and
Archives is a small hand-written notebook 1 labelled:
Inventory and Valuation
Morden Park, Surrey
the Property of Mrs E.M. Ridge
to be taken by the Freeholder
Richard Garth Esq.
the 99 Year Lease expiring
at Michs. 1867
Evelyn Jowett in her account of Morden Park 2 described how in 1768 the Richard Garth of the
time, and John Ewart, a London merchant, agreed to procure a private Act of Parliament to
enable Garth to grant two leases of land to Ewart, for 99 and 87 years3. Ewart built himself a
handsome house, but seems to have left Morden by 1781. There were then several short-term
residents, before George Ridge, a banker, came in 1808.
Ridge died in 1824, and was succeeded at Morden Park by his son, Captain George Cooper
Ridge, whose wife was Eleanor Martha (née Chamberlain). After Captain Ridge’s death in 1842
his widow stayed on in Morden with her son George Chamberlain Ridge, until he moved to
Abbey Lodge, Merton4, in 1845. Morden Park was then taken by Edward Majoribanks of Coutts
Bank and his father-in-law John Loch (or Lock) until 1855. From 1859-67 it was the home of
Charles Smith Mortimer5. With the expiration of the 99-year lease Mrs Ridge would have
arranged for this inventory to be taken, to enable her to claim the current value of the
from Richard Garth when he regained possession. The inventory specifies the use of each room
listed, sheds some light on 19th-century .improvements., and hence indicates something of the
mode of life in a gentleman’s country residence of the time.
Only rooms with fixtures for which Mrs Ridge could claim are mentioned. The cellars, for
do not appear. As there is no mention of water piped to the upper floor, nor any reference to
sanitary fittings, it is probable that chamber pots and earth closets had to suffice. There was
rainwater cistern outside the scullery, and otherwise water from the well described by Miss
would have been used to supply the domestic quarters and outbuildings. On the upper floor
there were five bedrooms; north, north-east, south-east, south, and north-west, the principal
(north and south) ones having dressing-rooms. All the bedrooms had stoves, the sizes being
specified, and one being named as a Romford [sic]7. The same floor held a billiard-room, which
had a large stove. Next to this was a room which was probably a bathroom, as it contained a
stove. – presumably filled by hand, with the hot water then run off into a fixed or portable
There was also a store-room, a housemaid’s room, a servants. bedroom, and a corner room on
this floor, all with stoves. Shelves, cupboard fronts, bell-cranks, .night-bolts., drawers,
and finger-plates were noted, as well as a spring alarm on the back staircase.
Downstairs, in the entrance hall, was the .alarm with springs and cranks etc. to all the ground
floor windows, as well as the bell-pull and crank to the front door. There was also a .hot
apparatus by Bruhaw with bronzed pedestal enclosure, black & gold marble top, pipes, boiler &
furnace in kitchen.. This must be the heating apparatus for the hall mentioned by Miss Jowett
having been installed sometime before 18799. We now know it to have been in place by 1867.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 117 – MARCH 1996 – PAGE 6
The principal rooms consisted of drawing-room, dining-room and library, all with stoves and
bells. In the library there were glazed bookcases on either side of a sideboard fitted in a
The back hall had a .hot plate and broiling stove. by Bruhaw, and a 5′ 4″ open range, with
.wrought iron boiler, oven, copper supply cistern, & pipe from cistern in scullery., a Bruhaw
smoke-jack10, and a towel-roller. Though the inventory does not say so, the range at least must
have been off the back hall, in the kitchen, with the Bruhaw furnace described above. The hot
plate could have been separately sited conveniently for the dining-room.
There was a butler’s closet; a back entrance hall, with seven spring-bells; the scullery with
and lead-lined sink; and a butler’s pantry, with shelves and drawers. One of these rooms was
presumably the one described as a lamp room in 18798.
Immediately outside the house there was a large alarm bell. Outbuildings consisted of dairy,
laundry – with four .washing- troughs. and two ironing boards, brewhouse – with cistern,
furnace and cooler, and a coach house with a large cider-press.
In the yard was the lead rainwater cistern outside the scullery; a .boiling house. with an iron
boiler; a stable with seven stalls; a harness room; and a loft with a meal mill and corn bin.
stable door was a wrought-iron weather-vane, with gilt letters. There were lead-lined cisterns
the walled kitchen garden and the greenhouse. In the vineries were staging, shelving and
wires, as well as a slate cistern and heating apparatus by Weeks & Co. This last, at £25, was
highest valued item in the whole inventory.
The gardener’s cottage, lodges and farmhouses had stoves, coppers and shelves. In the stockyard
was a woodstack frame and an ironstack frame. At the main iron gates .at the end of the Avenue.
was a spring bell valued at 10 shillings.
Mention is also made of .two Cottages in the Fields pulled down by Mr. Garth., for the fixtures
in which Mrs. Ridge also sought compensation.
The total valuation for the estate’s fixtures was £214 19s 0d.
Ref. N872, Harold Williams Collection of Sales Particulars, Croydon Local Studies Library and
2. E.M. Jowett, Morden Park, Morden M.H.S. 1977
3. Jowett, p1
Abbey Lodge was in fact in Wimbledon parish. It stood in good- sized grounds, set well back
the road, on the north side of Merton High Street, approximately opposite Abbey Gate House.
Grove Road and Laburnum Road represent the site.
5. Information in this paragraph was kindly provided by Bill Rudd.
6. Jowett, p5
Count Rumford (Sir Benjamin Thompson) (1753-1814) was well ahead of his time, when late in
the 18th century he applied scientific principles to the design of domestic stoves and ranges.
American by birth, he was widely honoured in Britain and Germany, as well as his own country.
It was more than a century before some of his ideas were developed, but by the 1860s there were
numerous other makes of stove. (see L. Wright, Home Fires Burning 1964, chap. 15)
8. This was not an unusual arrangement. See L Wright, Clean and Decent, 1960 (1966 ed.), chap.
9. Jowett, p7
Smoke-jacks, otherwise known as chimney-wheels or draft- mills, used the rising hot current to
drive a fan in the neck of the flue, and so power the roasting spit. They were in use from at
the 17th century, replacing the human or canine turnspit of earlier days. (see Wright as in 7
Note: The writer has transcribed the inventory – almost all of which is decipherable – and is
to provide a copy to anyone interested.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 117 – MARCH 1996 – PAGE 7
STAINED GLASS FROM MORRIS & CO. IN AUSTRALIA
Out of curiosity, I made a point of visiting Mitcham, a suburb of Adelaide, when in South
last October. I was intrigued to find a reference in a “Mitcham Village Walk” leaflet, which I
obtained from the City offices, to a “superb Morris & Company stained glass window over the
altar” in St. Michael’s Anglican Church. This had to be seen and, with the kind permission of
vicar, photographed. It is a triple lancet window with three lights above in the style of the
century (the church was actually begun in 1848) and would not be out of place in Saint Peter
Saint Paul in our Mitcham. The window was the gift of Robert and Joanna Barr Smith in 1908
and, with its glowing colours, dominates the east end of what is a very attractive building.
On my return home, Heather Morton of Wimbledon library kindly supplied me with a copy of the
list of “Morris windows in other countries” which appears in A. Charles Sewter’s The Stained
Glass of William Morris and his Circle (1975). Here windows at St. Michael’s are listed, but
these are dated to 1923 and 1939, and from the descriptions given are difficult to identify
those in my photographs. Morris windows were obviously much in favour, and several others in
and around Adelaide are listed by Sewter.
Miss Jowett, on page 120 of her History of Merton and Morden (1951), mentioned one of the
last windows to be produced by Morris & Co. at Merton being for “a church in Albany,
Strangely, this is not listed at all by Sewter.
Whilst visiting the Pioneer Settlement at Swan Hill, Victoria, (an “open air museum” of
reconstructed period buildings) I spotted another stained glass window in a church. This, I was
told, had been salvaged from a church in Melbourne, but it was not known if it was a product of
the Morris works. Joe Blake, a local school teacher who is much involved in the work of the
Settlement, has undertaken to make a few enquiries. His wife, incidentally, came from Merton
(not the Surrey Merton, but one north-east of Melbourne) and at their request a selection of
Heritage Notes produced by our Libraries Department has been sent to them.
E N Montague
Earlier this year there was an enquiry about “The White Cottage” in Morden Road. I am pleased
to print the following from Eric Montague.
WHITE COTTAGE, MORDEN ROAD, MITCHAM
Arguably one of the most visually attractive of the National Trust’s domestic properties in the
London Borough of Merton, “White Cottage”, or “Casabianca”1 in Morden Road is also a rare
example of a three-storeyed tiled and weatherboarded house. This form of construction was
once common throughout north-east Surrey and Kent, and of course still dominates the vernacular
architecture of New England, but the ravages of rot and woodworm, exacerbated by neglect,
have combined with a mania for development to reduce those left to a pitiful handful.
Stylistically, “White Cottage” must date from the latter half of the 18th century, and a
indicated on the present site in Edwards’ map of c. 1789.2 Its actual date of erection has not
ascertained, but some time between perhaps 1760 and 1780 is feasible, and of the three local
builders active in Mitcham at this time Samuel Oxtoby seems most likely to have been
for its construction.
Early in the 19th century “White Cottage” became the residence of William Ness, a gentleman of
independent means.3 Tenure of the property was by lease, with ownership being in the hands of
the Carews of Beddington. Ness died in 1844 at the age of 84, and one can still see a white
marble tablet to his memory on the wall of the south aisle in the parish church of Saint Peter
Saint Paul in Church Road, Mitcham. He was survived by his wife Eliza, who was some 30 years
his junior, and she stayed on at “White Cottage” for another ten years or so.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 117 – MARCH 1996 – PAGE 8
With the break-up of the Carew estate White Cottage (described as a “freehold cottage
and still occupied by Mrs Ness) was bought in 1856 by Samuel Haines.4 The following year he
sold to Henry Haines, an auctioneer and surveyor,5 who at that time was living with his family
“The Rectory”, a substantial house standing in extensive grounds overlooking Cranmer Green,
Mitcham. Henry Haines relinquished tenure of “The Rectory” in the mid 1860s, apparently moving
away from the village, but “White Cottage”, leased to tenants, remained his property until his
death in around 1873.
In 1875 Haines’ widow leased “White Cottage” to Robert Ellis of “Elm Lodge”, which overlooks
the Cricket Green at Mitcham, and he purchased the property four years later.6 Ellis, who was a
mineral water manufacturer, sank an artesian well at the rear of “White Cottage”, where he
erected a small factory and offices. His “Raven’s Spring” (the name was obviously inspired by
manor of Ravensbury or the nearby Ravensbury Park) is marked on a map of 18837 and in another,
dated five years later, the factory is shown, measuring 54 feet by 25 feet, together with the
and a “well room”.8 The seemingly unlimited supply of pure, albeit hard, water was a valuable
asset, but the premises were small and by 1882 the business must have been transferred to the
Ellis family’s “Ravenspring Works” in Western Road, Mitcham, for in this year “White Cottage”
and the buildings at the rear were purchased by Gilliat Hatfeild of Morden Hall.9 A cast-iron
drinking fountain fitted with a chained metal cup, which presumably had been installed by
Ellis for the benefit of passers-by, remained in the front garden for a number of years but,
inscription it once bore, has long passed beyond living memory.10
From the time of its purchase by Gilliat Hatfeild, “White Cottage” has been a private residence
and part of the Morden Hall estate, passing into the ownership of the National Trust in 1941
following the death of Hatfeild’s son, Gilliat Edward. During the 1939/45 War, when an
dump was located to the rear of the premises, the old factory building was used as a Home Guard
post. Nothing of this remains, but the house fortunately survived the war, shaken during the
raids but relatively unscathed, and was categorised by Mitcham Borough Council as Grade III in
the supplementary list of buildings of architectural and historic merit prepared under the
of the Town and Country Planning Act of 1947. It was subsequently upgraded, and is now Grade
II in the statutory list compiled by the Secretary of State.11
Repainting was carried out by The National Trust in the autumn of 1980 after overhaul of the
structure, but “White Cottage” stood empty and boarded for several years more before a new
leaseholder was found, prepared to undertake further refurbishment and maintenance necessary
to ensure the continued survival of the property.
1 Both names may be relatively recent, and appear not to have been current before the beginning
century. It was also known as “Ravenspring”, and in Gilliat Edward Hatfeild’s will of 1941 it
“The White House”.
2 Edwards J., “Companion from London to Brighthelmston” (1789)
3 Surrey Record Office. Mitcham Land Tax records.
Mitcham Library. 1841 Census returns and 1846/7 Tithe Redemption register and map.
4 Surrey Record Office. 85/4/318
5 Surrey Record Office. 85/4/320
6 Surrey Record Office. Catalogue of Hatfeild deeds 85/4/-.
7 This map was on display in Morden Hall in the late 1940s, but is now (1995) in the National
Warden’s office at the snuff mills.
Surrey Record Office.
Surrey Record Office.
TQ 26 NE 4/105
Certificate of Contract for Redemption of Land Tax No. 66729 d/d 16.2.88.
Tom Francis lecture notes 76 166.
33rd.List. dated 2nd. September 1988.
E N Montague
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 117 – MARCH 1996 – PAGE 9
An interesting facet of local history has come into the possession of Merton Historical
courtesy of Mrs Nethersole of Reading in Berkshire. Her sister, now living in New Zealand,
made up the scrap book, and has memories of Merton Historical Society, or rather Merton and
Morden Historical Society, going back many years.
Mrs Nethersole herself became a member in 1951, at the tender age of 9 years! – her mother
being a founder member and a very early committee member.
The scrap book contains newspaper cuttings giving details of the Coronation Carnival procession
which wound its way “through cheering crowds” through the streets of Merton, and in which the
Society’s float of the coronation of King Henry III and his Queen Eleanor won first prize for
best decorated float by a local society.
Other entries in the book include details of Holy Cross Church in Motspur Park, and an Order of
Service held at Merton Parish Church on 23rd October 1955 commemorating the 150th
Anniversary of the death of Nelson and of the Battle of Trafalgar on 21st October 1805.
Numerous photographs of excavations at Nonsuch Palace in 1960 as well as notices of places to
be visited by the Society on May 25th 1968 with details of St. Mary’s Abbey Waverley, Hampton
Lodge and Rodsall Manor.
We are indebted to Mrs Nethersole for her kindness in giving us such an interesting cameo of
in this area and the activities of the Society in its earlier days.
ENTRIES IN PARISH REGISTERS OF CHURCHES
IN GREATER LONDON
We are informed that registers of churches in what is roughly the old LCC and Middlesex areas
are now housed in the Greater London Record Office, 40, Northampton Road, London, EC1R
0HB. Transcripts and certified copies of entries in these registers can be obtained from the
GLRO on receipt of the relevant fee and requisite information:
BAPTISMAL CERTIFICATES or BURIAL TRANSCRIPTS can be provided at a cost of
£5.88 by sending a cheque, name of the church, person’s name and approximate date of baptism
MARRIAGE TRANSCRIPTS Pre-July 1837 can be provided at a cost of £5.88 by sending a
cheque, name of the church, date of the marriage and the names of the parties.
MARRIAGE CERTIFICATES POST-July 1837 can be provided on General Register Office
approved forms at a cost of £5.00 (no VAT) by sending a cheque, name of the church, date of the
marriage and the names of the parties.
Cheques/Postal Orders should be made payable to the Corporation of London.
AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS
The following Newsletters, etc. have been received by the Society, and can be borrowed from
Museums and Records Service, Portsmouth: Museums to Visit.
LAMAS Newsletter No. 86.
Royal Commission of the Historical Monuments of England Newsletter No. 17 (plus group
travel information 1996/7).
Surrey History Vol. 5 No. 2.
Kingston upon Thames Archaeological Society Newsletter.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 117 – MARCH 1996 – PAGE 10
THE HUGUENOTS OF WANDSWORTH
Over 50 people squeezed into a room in the Canons for this long awaited lecture from Tony
Shaw, Local History Librarian at Wandsworth.
The Huguenots first arrived in Britain in the mid-sixteenth century, escaping from religious
persecution in their native countries, and continued to come for the next centuries. They were
mainly from France, particularly the later arrivals, but also included Walloons and other
speaking refugees from the southern Low Countries (now Belgium and northern France). Major
groups of Huguenots refugees came after the Massacre of St. Bartholomew in 1572 and the
revocation of the Edict of Nantes (which had granted French Protestants religious and political
freedom in 1598) by Louis XIV in 1685. The biggest influx of refugees, some forty or fifty
thousand, came from France between the late 1670s and the first decade of the eighteenth
The Huguenots tended to concentrate in London, Canterbury, Southampton, Norwich, and Bristol,
where they formed distinct communities, creating their own churches and work environments.
Wealthier members of the community provided work and relief for later refugees and for those of
their co-religionists who had become destitute. Huguenots who had brought over their money
and other assets invested in technological or commercial ventures, and the artisans who formed
the bulk of the refugee population provided cheap skilled labour. The Huguenots provided a
major economic impetus to Britain, often introducing new techniques and ideas in crafts such as
silk and cloth weaving. Other major Huguenot industries were the manufacture of glassware,
paper and metalworking. It was the industrial potential of the Wandle’s water power, that
so many Huguenots to Wandsworth, so that in the 17th century 20% of its population were
London was the heart of Huguenot settlement in England. The immigrants tended to congregate
on the outskirts of the metropolis, where food and housing were cheaper and guild control less
effective. By around 1700 two distinct communities had evolved, one being based in
the centre of the Huguenot weaving industry, and the other in Leicester Fields/Soho in the
suburbs. The first French Church in London was in Threadneedle Street in the City, but as the
communities grew more joined it, and by 1700 there were around fourteen churches in the western
area and nine in the eastern. A Chapel in Wandsworth was apparently erected in 1572.
The Huguenots gradually became assimilated in English society during the nineteenth century, no
longer forming a distinct religious, economic and cultural unit. Many became even more British
than the British themselves. However, many people today are able to trace ancestors back to
those earlier refugees.
“BUILDINGS AT RISK” IN MERTON
Most of us know that English Heritage produces a “Register of Buildings at Risk in Greater
London”, but discovering that in the fifth edition 13 listed buildings are in the Borough of
sharpens one’s attention at once.
Among the 13 are Morden Park House, the remains of the windmill on Mitcham Common, and a
length of the medieval Merton Priory wall.
While Merton Council, either as owner or planning authority, struggles with the problems, and
the Conservation Areas Advisory Committee together with other bodies, and our own Society,
maintain an active interest, we can all keep our eyes open as we go around the Borough. The
more individuals who show their concern about the fate of some of our prized listed buildings
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 117 – MARCH 1996 – PAGE 11
PRIORY’S HEAD RETURNS TO MERTON AFTER 200 YEARS
The new exhibition at the Heritage Centre at The Canons, Mitcham, is on Merton Priory. Among
the exhibits is a stone head discovered by Mr Halfhide, the proprietor of the calico printing
at Merton Abbey, in 1797. It is described as a “charming little head with its sometime gilded
… it had a gold coronet on the head, and the eyes and colour were perfect when found but
defaced by washing.” Miss Jowett, in recounting the story in A History of Merton and Morden
(p.94), tells us that it was presented to the Society of Antiquaries by Sir William Hamilton,
husband of Emma Hamilton, mistress of Lord Nelson. At the suggestion of Eric Montague,
Sarah Gould the Heritage Officer contacted the Society of Antiquaries, and arranged for the
of the head for the exhibition.
Other exhibits of interest include a life-size model of an Augustinian canon in the clothing
in the 17th century engraving by Wenceslas Hollar mentioned in the report on our Workshops on
page 5. Don’t miss this special opportunity to discover more of Merton’s Heritage.
to Sarah and her colleagues for another excellent exhibition.
COPPER MILLS IN MERTON BOROUGH
English Heritage has embarked on a programme which seeks to document industrial sites of
national importance for which statutory protection should be considered. The programme will
run systematically through various industries, amongst which is the brass and copper industry.
Much work has already been done elsewhere in the country, but the London area has been
inadequately covered, largely due to poor survival and high level of redevelopment.
Merton is perhaps unusual, in that within the Borough boundaries we have records of no less
than three copper mills existing in the first half of the 18th century, and two others on the
with adjacent Boroughs.
None of the sites have been assessed, and none seems even to have been considered for inclusion
in the list of possibles for the Monuments Protection Programme.
I have recently completed a paper summarising what is readily available on the three mill sites
within the Borough, plus another off the Willow Lane estate in Mitcham (actually in
The study really needs to be widened to include all known sites in Carshalton, Wimbledon and
Wandsworth, but this work is best left to members of the Societies for these areas.
It is possible that, with further research, additional information on the Merton and Mitcham
might be gleaned through research into hitherto largely unused records, such as insurance
particulars and wills. Would any member of Merton Historical Society like to take up the quest
and perhaps add valuable new information to what I have put together so far?
E N Montague
Letters and contributions for the bulletin should be sent to the Hon. Editor.
The views expressed in this Bulletin are those of the contributors concerned and not
necessarily those of the Society or its Officers.
MERTON HISTORICAL SOCIETY – BULLETIN 117 – MARCH 1996 – PAGE 12