Bulletin 132

Download Bulletin 132

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

VICE PRESIDENTS: Viscountess Hanworth, Arthur Turner, Lionel Green and William Rudd



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

discuss the
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.
Buses 118,157,164)

(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.


Fourteen members and friends braved the threatened rain to join Dr Tony Scott on the 25th

September, and
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

Diamond Jubilee
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

properties owned
by Bess Throckmorton, who married Sir Walter Raleigh. From 1934-61 the site housed Mitcham’s

only cinema.

Two pubs which used to stand nearby were demolished in the pedestrianisation of the area. The

Old Nag’s
Head, which replaced the original Nag’s Head in 1903, was demolished in 1991. Its predecessor

had the
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

after the
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

orphans from
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

Mitcham family.
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

cottages. Described
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,

dating from
1897, was still standing. The Swan was built around 1807 by James Moore, the physic gardener,

who owned
the manor of Biggin and Tamworth with some 250 acres in Mitcham. He saw the potential of a pub

here to
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?

Peter Hopkins

The King’s Arms and The Buck’s Head in 1865


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

an introduction

– 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

some centuries
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.

Judith Goodman


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

with narrative

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

Montague. Mr
Bass, who was born in 1897, recalled with affection the .compact community. of early 20th-

century Colliers
Wood, the games, treats and semi-rural pleasures of childhood in the days of horse-buses; the

annual highlights
of Epsom Week and Sanger’s Circus; and the coming of the electric tram and the cinema.

Judith Goodman

Available at meetings or from our Publications Secretary



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,

onThe Archaeology
of World War I – A 20th Century Monumental Landscape.

Outgoing Chairman Eric Montague welcomed us and introduced Scott, who presided over the

meeting, having
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


Chairman’s Report

“This year, 1999, sees the conclusion of my three-year term of office as your chairman, and is

therefore something
of a personal milestone. In less than two months time we will of course pass a point of far

greater chronological
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

Wandle Industrial
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

generally satisfactory,
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

membership as
a whole.

“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
necessary arrangements.

“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

English Heritage,
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

extraordinary good
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

assiduously each
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.


“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

collection of
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

present uncertain.

“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

adopted to
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

understand no
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

members in
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.

Commenting on
the forthcoming anniversary, he expressed his hope that the Society can go forward to the next

50 years.

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

in costs.

Treasurer’s Report: David Luff apologised for two typographical errors on the copies of the

balance sheet
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

Davies, seconded
by Mr Conway, and accepted unanimously.


Subscriptions £629.50
Publications MHS £790.57
Midland Bank
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
Petty Cash
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

recommendation by
the President of a Symposium organised by SCOLA & SWLALC (see back page), the meeting adjourned

for tea.


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

memorials with
Stonehenge. Just as Stonehenge should not be considered in isolation, but as part of a broader

landscape, with
earlier wooden henges and later burial mounds, adapted and reinterpreted over the centuries, so

the individual
sites in France and Flanders, reflecting various national characteristics, form an overall,

though changing,

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.

Peter Hopkins

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

Morden. The
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

Britain, Morden
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

of Fundy.
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

suggests a
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

by a
Col.E.K.S. Butler, after which the settlement grew somewhat larger. The Anglican Christ Church

erected in
1854 was consecrated the following year, but was destroyed by fire in 1905. Morden by this time

had become
a busy little port, where many of the men were fishermen. By the early 1900s ships were making

regular stops
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
24/05/2017 18:49:52
Menin Gate at Ypres, rebuilt and unveiled in 1927 as a memorial to British soldiers who fell



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.

This was
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

from their
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

Charles Lawrence
issued a proclamation to the people of New England, inviting them to settle the fertile Nova

Scotia farmland
forcibly vacated by the Acadians. By 1768 approximately 8,000 New Englanders, known as the

.Planters., had
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

Canadian government

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

Cariboo, British
Columbia (Cariboo seems to be the Canadian place-name spelling!). The website has a facility to

leave messages,
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

broken up
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-

top publication.

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

the 11th
century as an estate owned and managed by Westminster Abbey. The manor remained with

Westminster until
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

was published
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.



Friday 20 August 1999

Peter Hopkins had been putting the final touches to the booklet (see review on p 7) and display

on the
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

(Morden) of
these boundaries.
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

diocesan Open
! 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.

Lawrence was
a military man of some standing, based near Dijon, who, in about 250 AD, refused to take orders

from the
emperor. Perhaps, when the Roman army was building Stane Street, the soldiers set up a shrine

to Mithras
at the local high point, which later became the site of the church. (There may even have been

an earlier
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
page 12).
¨ 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
24/05/2017 18:51:19
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).
Judith Goodman


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

some nine
years ago of an area of chalk ‘slabs. covering roughly 100 m2. It was inspected by a

representative from
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

the Chapter
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

suspects he
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

assembling a
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

will however
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

youngest brother,
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.

He described
how Henry III’s justiciar Hubert de Burgh was obliged to seek sanctuary at Merton – a

fascinating account
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

agreed this
should be reported to E F Clark, descendant and biographer of G P Bidder. Support was also

given to
Lionel’s suggestion that the mayor of Merton be invited to attend the annual commemoration

service to
be held in the Chapter House next May.
Peter Hopkins, in pursuit of the Domesday mill of Morden, and seeking resolution of the

confusion over
the history of land tenure in the vicinity of the Watermeads, produced a series of maps. These

clarify the
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,

Eric Montague
* The Wardles turn out to have lived in Charlotte Street, Bloomsbury, throughout the time

George worked
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,
Oxford. JG

Friday 28 January and Friday 10 March 2000 at 7.30pm at Wandle Industrial Museum.
Everyone is welcome at Workshop meetings.


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

were brought,
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

personally involved
with the foundation of Merton and Southwark monasteries near London. He wished the existing

secular priests
at Taunton to follow the new Rule, having observed how the canons of Merton were ‘sublimely

aspiring to
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

.prebends. and
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

manors, including
Fons George, which contained the Syreford (Sherford) Brook .for grinding their corn and all

advantage thence
to be derived.. The fishponds or vivary were within this parish.


It was no doubt Guy’s influence that resulted in the foundation of St Margaret’s leper hospital

and chapel
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

finally appealed
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.

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 .




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

atmosphere, though
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

William Morris
(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,

almost certainly
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

Morgan’s workshop
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

yet finished….5

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
24/05/2017 18:52:04
(Rectangle comment XPMUser
24/05/2017 18:52:10
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

manufacture there.
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
24/05/2017 18:52:25

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
Stone Cottage
De Morgan’s

(Rectangle comment XPMUser
24/05/2017 18:52:50
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:
.Dear Ned,
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.

He would
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

spoken of
as Merton. Moreover the name would have reaffirmed the friendly collaboration with Morris,

whose workshops
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

Centre p61
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

Studies Centre

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



PETER HOPKINS has been exploring the fore-runners of

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

extended considerably.5
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

farmland were
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

such encroachments
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

year Henry
Butte of Mitcham sold Plomer Shawe to John Whiteing of Morden yeoman,for £40.12 In 1624 the

farmstead was
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

following year.
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

at Plomer
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

site of


!!!!!Archaeology in South West London is the title of a symposium organised by the Standing

Conference on
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

Battersea and
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: how
Merton in the 20th century has been shaped by its various communities. The Heritage Centre is

open on
Fridays and Saturdays from 10 to 5. Admission is free. The next exhibition, on life in Merton

between the
wars, opens on 3 March.

Tony Fuller, a Society member, has been researching his wife’s family, the Clarks of Morden,

who have
lived in the district since about 1820, most of them in the Crown Road/Crown Lane/London Road

area. He
has now presented the Society with an impressive dossier on the family and its connections.

Among their
number have been farm labourers, soldiers, a sexton, a school caretaker, a milkman, and an

Olympic athlete.

!!!!!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

rolling-stock is
now a familiar site along the Wimbledon-Croydon stretch, as the drivers undergo instruction and

the final
(we hope) adjustments are made to signalling etc. The Tramlink information office in George

Street, Croydon,
has information on the timetable and fares. Leaflets headed Trams – a guide for Pedestrians,

Cyclists &
Drivers are available from Croydon’s Tourist Information Centre, but not, it seems, in Merton.


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