Publications

A Walk around Merton Rush in the early 20th century


Cyril Maidment has collected photographs and views of all the old buildings that stood on the site of the Nelson Hospital and nearby, identifying the viewpoint of each one. Peter Hopkins has gone through the manorial court rolls to trace the history of each holding from the late 15th century to the 19th. Also included are a Vincent Lines article from a 1929 edition of Wimbledon Boro’ News, information from the 1891 and 1901 Censuses and local directories, as well as several maps.

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Abbey Roads: a modern pilgrimage

When it dawned on Bill Rudd that most of the roads in the St Helier Estate in Morden and Carshalton were named after British monastic sites, he conceived the idea of visiting every one of these sites – 108 of them – photographing them and learning what he could about their histories. Abbey Roads, is Bill’s own account of his Project, which he based on his diaries and notes, and this has been illustrated with his fine photographs..

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Around Manor Road, Mitcham


Constance Pope was born at 1 Willow Cottages, Mitcham in 1916, and has lived in the same house ever since. Her recollections of life around Manor Road in the 1920s reflect a way of life long gone, but still fresh in her memory.

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Beating the Bounds:


On Thursday 16 May 1833, led by the village band, a party of Mitcham parish officials, accompanied by old men who claimed to remember the boundary marks from their childhood, and boys upon whom reliance would be placed in years to come, walked the boundaries of the parish.
By good fortune a detailed account by Edwin Chart of this perambulation, conducted with all due ceremony, has survived (in transcription), and we can still attempt to follow the route taken.

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Coal and Calico: Letters and Papers of the Bennett and Leach Families of Merton and Wandsworth

This publication is concerned with two families who, for several decades in the 18th and 19th centuries, were important in the industrial north-east of the historic county of Surrey. They were the Bennetts, coal merchants of Wandsworth, and the Leaches, calico printers of Merton Abbey. These families, who were at first business contacts and then became friends, were joined permanently when Thomas Bennett married Sarah Jane Leach in 1797. Their grandson, Frederick Bennett, seems to have decided to leave a genealogical legacy to future generations. Firstly, from his own recollections and research he compiled a memoir of the Bennett family; secondly, he assembled the inherited letters and papers into a bound volume, and added his own commentary; and, finally, he put together, from both published and manuscript material, an account of Merton Abbey. Judith Goodman has edited these three projects into this volume.

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Copper Milling on the Wandle

Whereas the establishment of copper mills at various locations throughout the Wandle Valley during the late 17th and early 18th centuries occasionally finds a brief mention in the respective parish histories, the phenomenon overall has so far attracted only passing comment and, rather surprisingly, appears not to have stimulated any detailed study by industrial historians.

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Daughter Houses of Merton Priory


Profusely illustrated with plans, photographs, drawings and tables, the book traces the spread of Merton’s influence in England, Scotland and Normandy, through the setting up Augustinian communities at Taunton, Plympton, Canterbury, Bodmin, Edinburgh, Cirencester, St Lô, Dover and Christchurch within 33 years of the foundation of Merton Priory beside the Wandle.

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Excavation of a Romano-British site at Short Batsworth, Mitcham 1966-68


In this study Eric Montague, late Vice-President of MHS, records the history of the site, the dig, the finds and his conclusions. This 32-page A4 booklet has 18 illustrations (maps, plans and photographs) and sells at £2.50 (£2 to members) plus £1.20 postage.

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Growing up in Mitcham (1939-1963)


Memories of life in and around Mitcham’s Church Road where the Michael Reed’s parents ran a newspaper shop.

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GROWING UP ON THE ST HELIER ESTATE 1930–1950: School, Wartime and First Jobs

Albert Smith recalls his wartime childhood on the St Helier Estate Morden, his schooldays, and his first job at Hawes Bros, Morden.

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I Remember… Childhood Memories of Wartime Mitcham


Those who remember the War years will have very vivid memories of all that happened:- of the sudden changes – the house and family across the road that were not there next morning – the ‘culture shock’ of evacuation, etc., etc. Irene Bain has remembered, vividly, life in Mitcham during the War, as it was for a family. For those who weren’t there, this is what it was like.

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If you can’t make sterling payments

We have an arrangement with Di And Saul Books for customers who cannot make sterling payments

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In Search of Merton Priory’s Granges


Merton Priory was once one of the most important monastic establishments in the country, with an extensive property portfolio.  Though little remains of the priory today, it has been extensively studied.  Less is known about its granges and this volume sets out to identify these monastic granges and examine what evidence, if any, still remains of them in the landscape.

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JUSTICE TO MEN AND COUNTRY: The Mitcham Military Tribunal, 1916–1918

In this study Keith Penny provides information on the ever-changing regulations regarding conscription, and the way these were administered in Mitcham, as reported in the local newspapers of the time.

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Liberty Print Works: Wartime Remembrances


Bill Rudd has achieved a great deal in this paper. There are good clear descriptions of the processes that went on in each of the separate buildings, (together with occasional stories of his personal mishaps), set against a background of wartime life, air-raids, lack of sleep, bomb damage, finding some lunch, etc., ending with call-up in 1943.
This will be of interest to many future historians – the map and illustrations are nice too!

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Life at the Cranmers, Mitcham, before the 1914-18 War


The Cranmers was a large 17th-century house standing on the site of the former Wilson Hospital at Mitcham. Mrs Ethel Smith, as a young woman, saw service with the Peat family, the last private occupiers.
These memories were recorded by E N Montague in 1973 during a series of interviews with Mrs Smith in her flat in Monarch Parade, London Road, when she recalled with extraordinary freshness the life ‘below stairs’ in this, the largest of Mitcham’s big houses, over 60 years before.

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Lord Monson’s Schooldays:


Reminiscences of Mitcham 1804-1809
Many of Mitcham’s large houses were occupied as private schools in the 18th and 19th centuries. For most of these we have no knowledge of life and learning. For one of these schools, however, we have a unique account – the sixth Baron Monson’s reminiscences of his schooldays at the Revd Richard Roberts’ Academy, in the house known in recent times as Glebelands.
Many of Lord Monson’s Mitcham schoolfellows later became prominent in politics, the church and society. His memoirs give interesting glimpses of some great men when they were boys.

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Lost Common Lands – Merton Common


An account of how Merton Common was enclosed by means of a private Act of Parliament in 1816.

This article first appeared in the Merton Borough News as part of the series ‘The Merton Story’ on 15 and 22 March 1974. Miss E M Jowett , Vice President of the Society, died in August 1990.

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Lost Common Lands – Morden Common


Morden Common, always small, shrank throughout the 19th century. The last open land was lost in the 1920s.

This article first appeared in the Merton Borough News as part of the series ‘The Merton Story’ on 8 March 1974. Miss E M Jowett , Vice President of the Society, died in August 1990.

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Lower Morden and Morden Park

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.

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