Publications

Medieval Morden: The Manorial Economy

Peter Hopkins began his studies of Medieval Morden more than 20 years ago, by copying, transcribing and translating any and every medieval record relating to Morden that he could find.

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Memoir of Priscilla Pitt, by John Marsh Pitt 1899


John Marsh Pitt produced this Memoir to his mother shortly after her death in 1899, and the Society is grateful to member John Pile for donating a copy of the book for reproduction. ‘This little book, measuring 14.5 by 11 centimetres, is plainly bound in blue cloth, with gilt lettering on the front and the spine, and blue marbled endpapers. It was printed in 1899 by Jesse Worts Ward, printer and publisher of Croydon. We are not told how many copies Ward produced. Though the book was ‘Printed for Private Circulation only’, Priscilla Pitt and her husband George were widely known and respected in Mitcham, as well as being noted members of the Croydon Friends’ Meeting. There are likely to have been many households in which this tender and respectful memoir by the Pitts’ only son found a place. There is more about the Pitt family, shopkeepers and philanthropists, in Eric Montague’s Mitcham Histories 12 Church Street and Whitford Lane, and in his 1993 edition of Tom Francis’s Old Mitcham‘.

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Memories of a Morden Lad 1932-1957


Local History Notes 30: by Ronald Read
Ronald Read recounts his childhood and wartime memories of growing up on the Morden part of the St Helier estate in the 1930s and 1940s. He then takes us to post-war Europe following his call-up to the army in 1945. His return to civilian life in Morden in 1948 was interrupted by 18 months spent in sanatoria in Waddon, Southbourne and Cheam, after he was diagnosed with TB in 1952. Mr Read expresses himself bluntly, and some readers might be offended by his language, but his account is a valuable, and fascinating, record of his life and experiences at home in Morden and further away. At 72 pages, this is our most substantial Note yet.

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Memories of Lower Morden


Lilian Grumbridge was born in one of the ‘New Cottages’ in Lower Morden Lane in 1915, and lived there until her marriage, when she moved to her present home in nearby Hillcross Avenue. Her memories of life in this tiny rural area, with its three farms, contrasts with life in the area today.

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Memories of Morden between the Wars


Betty Whittick relives her childhood in Garth Road. Those who heard Betty at our September 2012 ‘Chat Show’, or have listened to snippets on our website, have already had a foretaste of these fascinating reminiscences.

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Memories of Service with the LDV/Home Guard, Mitcham 1940-42


We have all laughed at ‘Dad’s Army’, but behind the mishaps and jokes was a very serious purpose. These notes by J B Pritchard give a clear, factual account of the formation, arming and training of the Mitcham Home Guard, formed to protect Mitcham against the threatened German invasion or any other hazard. A timely reminder of desperate measures needed in desperate times.

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Merton Priory monograph from MoLAS

Congratulations to Dave Saxby, Pat Miller and their colleagues for an excellent and very readable volume – well worth the long wait. The 296-page The Augustinian Priory of St Mary Merton: Excavations 1976-1990 is available from the Museum of London at £27.95 (ISBN 798-1-901992-70-0)

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Mitcham Gardens and Gardeners of the 18th Century

In Mitcham Gardens the author explores the surprisingly rich history of 18th-century horticulture in Mitcham, manifested by plantations, shrubberies, walled gardens, glasshouses and gravel walks, as local gentlemen vied with each other in this fashionable craze.

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Mitcham in 1838: A Survey by Messrs Crawter & Smith


Among the archives at Surrey History Centre, Woking, is a small folio volume entitled Collected Reference to the Parish of Mitcham in the COUNTY OF SURREY SURVEYED by Messrs Crawter & Smith 1838. Its 170 folios list every property in Mitcham – cottages, houses, shops, farms, gardens, fields, meadows, woods and wastelands – together with acreage and use – arable, meadow, pasture, wood or ‘sundries’. Each property is numbered, from 1 to 1438, and the names of the occupiers are listed, though often several buildings in the same ownership are grouped together. Thus the book gives a very detailed picture of Mitcham in 1838.

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Mitcham in 1846: The Tithe Apportionment Map


The tithe apportionment records of 1846 supply a very detailed picture of Mitcham, including every property and providing field names for almost every field. The map identifies each field and building with a number, and the accompanying schedule also gives the name of the owner and the occupier of each field, its area (in acres, roods and square perches), and, in most cases, the use to which it was put. It also gives the same information for the larger houses, but most dwellings are listed together near the end of the schedule under the general headings of Sundry Owners and Sundry Occupiers.

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Mitcham in the Mid-17th Century:


A Surrey Village under Stress
Using primary sources where possible, the author examines the impact of the Civil War on the semi-rural parish which was Mitcham at the time. Topics discussed include recruitment, taxation, parish administration, social structure and even the property market.

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Moated Sites in Merton, Mitcham and Morden


In this study, produced to accompany a display and short talk contributed to a seminar on ‘Moated Sites & Churches in the Landscape’ organised by Surrey Archaeological Society’s Medieval Studies Forum in March 2015, Peter Hopkins examines the evidence for nine local sites where the present or former existence of a medieval moat has been suggested.

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Morden Hall


In this booklet Bill Rudd recounts the history over more than 400 years of the building and the two principal families connected with it, the Garths and the Hatfeilds. Illustrated with drawings, maps and a family tree.

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Morden in 1838: The Tithe Apportionment Map


The tithe apportionment for Morden, which is the earliest for the four ancient parishes which make up the present London Borough of Merton, dates from 1838. It is also one of the most detailed, covering every property in Morden, and providing field names for almost every field. The map identifies each field and building with a number, and the accompanying schedule also gives the name of the owner and the occupier, its area (in acres, roods and perches), and, in most cases, the use to which it was put.

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Morden in 1910: The Land Valuation Records (‘Lloyd George’s Domesday’)


A unique view of Morden just before it was overwhelmed by suburbia. Every property, including building plots, is listed, with details of owner, occupier, leases and rents. Many properties have full descriptions, some with plans. The original maps are missing but Rosemary Turner has reconstructed them and plotted each property onto the 1912 OS map.

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Morden Park

A booklet on Morden Park, by former Borough librarian Evelyn Jowett, was published by Merton Historical Society in 1977, but has long been out of print. Since then further information has come to light, not least during the survey undertaken prior to the renovation and conversion of the house for use as Merton’s Register Office. This new edition has been prepared by William Rudd and Peter Hopkins of Merton Historical Society.

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More Memories of Manor Road in the 1920s Mitcham


Constance Pope’s reminiscences of the 1920s in Manor Road, published as Local History Notes 2, aroused considerable interest. In this, her second set of recollections, she gives “a sort of biographical account of life as a child going to school, describing the surrounding buildings and the people who lived in them.” Her account is complemented by delightful pen-and-ink sketches of the properties mentioned in the text.

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Not Trampled But Walked Over


A Study of the Ledgerstones in the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul, Mitcham
The ledgerstones (inscribed flagstones used to seal graves and vaults) in Mitcham parish church have been concealed under the carpeted floor since 1991. Fortunately Ray had photographed many of them, and had copied the inscriptions, shortly before they were covered, and this book reproduces this material, together with biographical notes. This book is a must for local and family historians.

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On the Wandle


On the Wandle is a reprint from the May 1889 edition of The English Illustrated Magazine of an illustrated article by the American artist Dewey Bates (1851–1898). It also includes extensively researched technical and biographical notes by David and Katharina Haunton.

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Once Upon a Time: Recollections of an Edwardian Childhood in Colliers Wood


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.

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