Saxon Morden

The Saxons settled in the area, though little has been found in Morden from this period. A large Saxon cemetery has been excavated across the Wandle, within Mitcham.

The names of local settlements date from Saxon times.

Morden probably means “hill in a swampy place”.

The boundaries of the various settlements were also set during the Saxon period. A charter of King Edgar of AD967, granting the estate of Merton to Ealdorman Ælfheah and his wife Ælfswith, lists the boundaries of the estate, including that between Merton and Morden.

A Saxon monk

Westminster Abbey owned Morden before the Norman Conquest. Although no original Saxon charters survive, tradition had it that 10 hides at Morden had been given to Westminster before the abbey was refounded during the reign of Edgar, and that Edgar had confirmed the grant in AD969. Westminster Abbey retained the estate until the 16th century.

The dedication of Morden Parish Church to St Lawrence may be evidence that it was a Saxon foundation. There were two early saints called Lawrence, the martyr Lawrence of Rome (d.258), and Lawrence of Canterbury, successor to St Augustine who introduced Christianity to the Saxon kingdom of Kent.