John Innes (1829-1904) used some of the money he made from developing office property in the City of London to buy nearly 200 hectares in Merton (mainly), Morden and Wimbledon. From c.1870 on part of this land he laid out roads, planted trees and hedges and built houses of various sizes. He named this ‘garden suburb’ and its station Merton Park and he lived as its squire in Manor House, Watery Lane. He left most of his money for horticultural research, and it was the John Innes Horticultural Institution that devised the formulae for the familiar garden composts which bear his name. The John Innes Centre, as it now is, internationally famous for plant research, is now at Norwich.
For more information about Innes and Merton Park contact the John Innes Society. Visit their website at: www.johninnessociety.org.uk