Drawing by P D Harris

Morden today is an unexceptional corner of suburban London, known to outsiders only as the station at the end of the Northern Line.

Although mostly dating from the 1920s and 1930s, it has a history going back for centuries. The Roman road brought some settlement to the area. It acquired its name in Saxon times.

All the classical elements of land use and exploitation are here – the early open fields and their amalgamation, the meadows and the common heath – the latter less conducive to agriculture and therefore used as rough grazing, but also for squatters’ plots and illicit enclosures.

We also have evidence of the agricultural revolution taking place, with the rationalisation of holdings as they passed into the hands of major landowners during the Elizabethan period of high farming, and then the creation of parkland in the 18th century.

As a finale, we have the ultimate disappearance of the rural landscape as it was ‘developed’ for housing in the inter-war years.

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