Mitcham

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Surrey Iron  Railway Route

Tramline follows it to Mitcham Station. It then forks north from the tramline on the other side of London Road to intercept with Baron’s Path, cross it and continue.

Baron Grove

Mitcham gravel pits Hall's closed 1909.

Baron Path

Crosses railway with footbridge Surrey Iron Railway line

Church Road

The old village lay around the church and Lower Greens.  Still a narrow lane with a village flavour, some old cottages

60-64, an eight-bay mid c 18 house with double roof, stuccoed.

66 Early to mid C 19 house.

Vicarage plain early c19.

Archway on the site of Hall Place, a medieval house demolished in 1870.  Small, rubble from the chapel of 1348, repaired with stones from Merton Priory.

St. Peter and St. Parish church. .  The parish church, rebuilt in 1819-21 by George Smith.   Originally built by Baldwin de Redvers, Earl of Wight.  The Avowdson was given to Tower by the Augustinian Canons of St.Mary Overy in 1259.  Raleigh married Elizabeth Throckmorton there.  cf. tobacco connections of the area.  Struck by lightning in 1637. Three paths in 1807/10.  Children went there by wagon on Surrey Iron Railway.  Henry Hoare and Daniel Watney II both lived locally and gave money to the building.  Demolished 1819 Present church 1822, brick and Roman cement, Gothic. Rebuilt in an uninteresting manner. Large, and still of the Commissioners' type, stuccoed, with bald Perpendicular detail. The only anomaly is the tower, its base is medieval.  Tall interior with very pretty tierceron- and lierne-vaults.  Monuments: Sir Ambrose Crowley 1713 and Lady Crowley 1727. Good, with two profile portraits in a medallion within an architectural frame, with putti on the pediment Designed by Gibbs probably carved by Rysbrack. c. 1727. Mrs Tate. 1821 by Westmacott. Woman holding a chalice.  Several late c 18 tablets, e.g. Sophia Tate 1780 by C. Harris.  Greatly damaged by fire in 1943, it was restored in better fashion in 1951 by S. E. Dykes Bower. 

Churchyard

Surrey Iron Railway on eastern side used to be called Iron Road

32 Bull

Cranmer Road

St.Peter and St.Paul RC Undistinguished. 1889 by F. A. Walters

Cricket Green,

Built on common land.  Still has a pleasantly semi-rural atmosphere. Evidence of very early cricket played here. 1685 match recorded. 

Fire Station 1756 watch tower and lock up, pond, stocks and pump, 1850s fire engine, present building 1887,

46 Wesleyan preaching house a tiny one-storey building, 1789.

8-10 school house of the infants school, built in 1838

Chestnut Cottage c 18 altered.

Elm Lodge early c 19

Fir trees

Methodist Church 1958.  Honest but clumsily detailed. Church overlooking the Cricket Green, designed by Edward D. Mills and Partners in 1960, it was the first Methodist Church to receive a Civic Trust award. The interior makes as much use as possible of natural materials, including a chancel wall of riven York stone, and the landscaping of the site has preserved a number of fir trees. Big-boned, modern, honest, but unfortunately clumsily detailed. Zigzag timber roof, steel-framed, on Y-shaped columns, the wall set back to form a loggia on the side The wall behind the altar is of rough-cut slabs of York stone

Church hall

Mitcham Court set back, stuccoed.  Three-bay centre of 1840, with an Ionic porch and top-heavy lunette dormers.  Later wings of irregular height.

Mitcham Cricket Club

Obelisk of 1822 with the inscription 'In grateful recollection of the goodness of GOD through whose favour water has been provided for this neighbourhood'.

Parish Room, 1788, Sunday school 1812

Queen's Head

Tate Almshouses.  Miss Mary Tate lived 1705 in a house on this site; she let it as a house of recovery 1829, demolished.  Almshouses of stock brick, one-storeyed with a central gable, 1829 by.  C. Buckler.

White House.  C 18, with a Regency exterior of 1826.  Three storeys with a semicircular entrance bow with two Greek Doric columns. 

John Place

Old cottages

London Road

260 Burn Bullock.  The former Kings Head.  A good c18 five-bay, three-storey house with a Tuscan porch, dummy windows, and a modillioned cornice of 1911; the back older (timber- framed, with tile-hanging).

340 Cricketers

346-348 timber-framed with a Georgian front. Originally one timber framed building. probably with earlier origins.

350 White Hart.  Refaced in 1747.  Seven bays, with a Doric porch.

421-445 Lacatgol in old mill buildings.

470-472 two dignified pairs of four-storey houses built c. 18 by local builder, Thomas Finden, a neat end and with brick arches added 1981.

Board of Guardians School pre-1855

Brewers House.  Used as Ravensbury School, demolished 1958

Eagle House. Adult Education Institute, The finest house in Mitcham. Built in 1705 for Fernandez Mendez, physician of Queen Catherine of Braganza. His initials are on the rainwater heads. In 1711 he leased it to Sir James Dolliffe, a director of the South Sea Company. The house is of yellow and red brick, five bays wide and four deep, two storeys high over a basement, with three-bay projection and pediment, a hipped roof, dormer; with segmental gables, and a balustrade and a cupola o: belvedere on the roof. In spite of its noble and elegant composition it is decidedly conservative; if it were not for the slenderer windows one might mistake it for a building of 1650-60 of the school of Roger Pratt. The curiously humble doorway - a plain apsidal hood on small carved brackets - leads into a passage through to the back door. In this rises the staircase, with three twisted balusters to each tread, and shaped but not carved tread-ends. A second staircase at a right angle. Excellent wrought-iron gates with Dolliffe's initials. The Southwark Board of Guardians leased the estate in 1855 and added a large school building since demolished. James Moffatt monogram on the gates.  1858 school, conservative, noble, cats. 

Eagle. Site of Eagle Brewery, from 1789 Hughes Brewery, became Thunder and Little, artesian well on site, demolished 1970s.  A few out-buildings in a yard are all that remains of the former Surrey Brewery which dated back at least to the beginning of the c19th, site just before Mitcham Station. First mentioned in 1789 as 'Hughes Brewery' changing to 'the Globe' by 1841, 'Wandle Grove' in 1853 and 'the Surrey Brewery' 14 years later, it changed hands as frequently as it did names. By the turn of the century it had been taken over by 'Thunder and Little', famous in the area for their 'Mitcham Ales'. No doubt this particular brew contributed in no small way to the "sound of revelry by night" in local hostelries! Before the outbreak of the 2nd World War, a sub-artesian well was used to obtain water for brewing. This supplied 2,000 gallons of water per hour which were raised by pumps to the brewery storage cistern. The timber clad  brewery  building, with its distinctive 'loading loft' was a familiar sight  in  London  Road, where it stood until the early 1970's, used in its later years as warehousing. The 'Brewers House’ was a large weather boarded building, dating from the late 18th or early 19th century. Between the two world wars it was used as a private prep school, the 'Ravensbury School', and was demolished in 1958. They supplied hotels, nearly 20,000 clubs and 24,000   off-licences   in   the United Kingdom. The Eagle Brewery in its heyday no doubt made its own contribution to slaking the nation's thirst

Mitcham Grove

Mitcham Grove House map shows it on the London road opposite the breweryalso shown to have survived until the early 20th

Century, but part of is grounds

survived to form Ravensbury Park.

Part of the site of Mitcham Grove

House was also developed for

commercial use in the form of the

Locomotors coach works and an

associated sports ground which

eventually provided the site for the

construction of the Watermeads

Monty then moved on to show us a print of Mitcham Grove, which once stood beside the Wandle, and was the largest house ever built in Mitcham. Large, and luxurious – it was said to have had hot and cold water piped to the bedrooms. This was where Henry Hoare, of Hoare’s Bank, and a great benefactor to Mitcham, lived. After

his death in 1828 the house was acquired by Sir John Lubbock, but by 1846 it had been demolished. A cedar of

Lebanon near the Watermeads estate is the only reminder of a grand house, but the footings of a medieval

predecessor were found in 1974/5 during a ‘dig’ by members of Surrey Archaeological Society and Merton

Historical Society.

Mitcham Grove. Was one of Mitcham's finest houses, although fairly typical of the spacious dwellings once occupied by the wealthy on the outskirts of Mitcham village. Enjoying an island setting, Mitcham Grove in the late 18th century offered seclusion and comfort to London banker Henry Hoare, as well as being situated within fairly easy reach of the capital. Its previous owner had been Lord Loughborough, and when purchased by Mr. Hoare in 1786 it seems to have been substantially modernised, although it may have incorporated parts of an earlier Elizabethan house. In addition to the magnificent flower borders, lawns and shrubberies which surrounded the house, the grounds included a large walled kitchen garden, with hot houses and an Orangery. Inside it was beautifully appointed, and boasted a supply of soft and hard water pumped by a waterwheel to all parts of the house. After Henry Hoare's death in 1828 Mitcham Grove passed into the hands of Sir John Lubbock, and the house survived until the mid-1840s. Its site and the grounds remained open space, however, and subsequently became the Hovis sports ground, thus preserving an air of rural seclusion until the early 1970s, when the land was acquired by Merton Council and developed for housing. Only a cedar tree, perhaps planted in Henry Hoare's tine, now stands as a silent witness to a very different past.  Site built over.  Waterwheel for house supply.  Home of Clive of India.  More recently area was a cricket field before development as a council housing estate.

Saxon cemetery behind it, the area alongside Morden Road.  Goods found in Saxon graves of this area are different found in the Kent and Medway areas.  This could point to Saxon Surrey as an independent area.

Locomotors coach works is he hovis van works.

Library.  first expression of Mitcham's pride in itself. nine storey statues. By Chart, Son & Reading, 1933 -neo-Georgian.

Local connections with Walter Raleigh who had a house here

Manor House, demolished

Mitcham Station. Mitcham Station is said to have served the Surrey Iron Railway because the building used for the later station dates from around the same time as it.  It is an 18th city merchant's retreat with a passageway runs through the centre of the building and it is suggested that it was a commercial premises however it may be that the passage was added in the 1850s or later when it was adapted as a station.  In 1855 it became the booking office of Mitcham Station on the line opened by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway between Croydon and Wimbledon.  Passengers went in through the front door and out into the garden to where there were two platforms, with wooden buildings on either side.  Trains from Morden Road station arrived on a section of double track, which had begun near the London Road bridge. A landslip on the Wimbledon side of London Road bridge in 1971 resulted in this double track section being cut back to a little beyond the station, leaving the former eastbound platform isolated, and so it was taken out of use. All track level buildings were eventually demolished, and an Abacus shelter erected on the old westbound side.  In 1989, a new brick ticket office was built at the Croydon end, but only staffed during the morning peaks. Mitcham was in a poor state by 1997, with a vandalised waiting shelter, and much graffiti.  It has since become a stop for the Croydon Tram and the old booking office with has been converted into offices as ‘Station Court’ and is Listed.

he estate comprised of around 825 acres of land and required its own private railway to deliver the necessary materials.The track was laid, using flat bottomed rail and cinder ballast, by the contractor C.J. Wills & Sons, and commenced from Hall’s siding, just east of Mitcham station st helier railway

Houses - a row of early c19th four-storey stock brick Houses opposite Mitcham station wall.  Between them and railway marks the end of Mr. Baron's grounds.  This is the Limit of encroachment of the Surrey Iron Railway. 

Surrey Iron Railway must have crossed slightly higher than present railway

Love Lane

Nineteenth century cottages in haphazard development.  Tiny mid c19 cottages characteristic of the haphazard development of the waste land on the fringes of London, and some borough housing equally characteristic of the vacillations of the 1960s-70s

Lower Green West:

Sunday Schools Raised centre with a tower.  Pretty.  Founded 1788, clock turret 1792, enlarged 1812, retaining the turret.  Nine bays.

Lower Green:

470-472; 283-484 1840;

Vestry Hall 1887.  Ugly. Erected in 1887 to the eclectic designs of Robert Masters Chart. This is a two storey building of red brick with pleasing terra-cotta dressings.

Fire station ugly

Annex Wandle Industrial Museum

Madeira Road

The Canons Community Centre.  One of the manors of Mitcham, once a possession of the canons of St Mary Overie  The Estate was acquired by Robert Cranmer in 1650 and his family held the manor of Mitcham Canons over the next five generations. The present Substantial manor house, was built in 1680 built by John Odway, who was granted a building lease in 1680.  It stands in its own grounds, now a public park, between Cricket Green and Mitcham Common. It is a good late c17 house, stuccoed later. Genner family until 1843

Sports centre.  Old garden walls, car parks; site of farm.  Carp pond.  .

Dovecote Behind the house, and older than it.  c16, square of coursed stone with some flint and brick, much patched.

Sports Centre beside the bowling green, handsome one-storey building, the first phase by A. Jadhar, L Drake, G. Copper of the Borough Architect's Department 1978

old garden walls. tablet 1761.  now enclos- ing car parks.

Obelisk in the grounds to commemorate spring during the dry summer of 1822.  1939 sold to the council.  Grateful favour - water has been provided.

Miles Road

75-79 seven buildings, built originally between 1913 and 1935 for a varnish, japan and enamel factory'.

Rodd and Chapman Ltd, making seats for railway carriages.

Mitcham Cemetery.  1883 extension to church yard dates from 13th, enlarged in 1885 cemetery from 1883, church yard is bosky, cemetery is from the tress, chapel is gone, Gothic cross in the North wall, does this mark the grave of a gypsy woman.

Mitcham

Originally two settlements focussed on Upper and Lower Greens.Elizabeth I said to have granted the charter for a fair.  Name mean s 'large village', possibly by contrast with Streatham 'ham by paved road' nearby, or with the several small places with ‘ham’ names in Croydon, within the same Hundred. ‘Michelham’   1086, ‘Micham’ c1150

Bush making perfumery, chemicals and essential oils

Harvey & Knight, manufacture of leather cloth and oil boilers

Copper Mill, Tower Mill stamping copper coins, Charles Parry, 1805

Mullard used Blackburn for large-scale production of valves and Mitcham for smaller runs.  New engineering department to devise and develop tools used in the construct of valves and tubes

Railway follows line of SIR

Carshalton Chemical Works bought by distillers, 1925, to produce synthetic solvents.  Reaction of ethyl and other alcohol's with acetic acid formed the acetates used by lacquer manufacturers.  Alkyd resins used by the paint industry in the late 20s and 30s

Mitcham Park

Mitcham Hall.  Home of G.P. Bidder.  Playing Fields behind London Road.  SIR crossed this at a sharp angle it was then Orchards now raised by tipping

Railway Lines

Signal box was at the Wimbledon end of the down platform, and retained a lower quadrant signal long after such things had become rare. It was closed on 23rd May 1982, and was later demolished.

Sidings Beyond the station on the south side. Built to serve nearby gravel pits belonging to Hall & Co. Halls' offices, 1903, went there because of flooding at Church Road.  Stables and offices built by Haydons. Gravel pits owned by Halls and closed 1920. Opened 1917

Mitcham goods depot. The line from Morden Road Station crosses above the River Wandle, and continued through parkland, to the depot.

The depot opened with the line, and for a few years represented the only freight facility on it.. The original sidings were located to the south of the line. Hall & Co. had a sidings of this line which connected to the St.Helier contractor.

contractors'  line serving St. Helier estate in 1930. This was constructed for LCC by J.C.Willis &  Sons.   They had an extensive network of railways to service the site.  The locomotive shed was a mile away from Mitcham. The site included a 30ft bridge over the Wandle

Sidings added which  served a coal yard, and an extensive railway civil engineers' depot. This site was used by Southern Railway as a trial site for complicated new railway layouts.

Tramway Path

Tramway path is. On the Croydon side of London Road. It is a street which diverges immediately south of the line, and runs parallel to it for a short distance. This is refers to the Surrey Iron Railway which once occupied the track bed. From where the path meets Bramcote Avenue, it used to run at an angle to the left, straight to Mitcham Station, but this has now been built over.  The Surrey Iron Railway followed it in the same way as the present railway.  The name Tramway Path thus means a footpath more or less beside the SIR, rather than the course of the SIR itself.

A different Tramway Path, runs south of the railway, road. sign up saying so. It leads from the east end of The Close, and follows the line until it reaches the bridge carrying Willow Lane. Here the main Croydon route of the Surrey Iron Railway continued along the present formation, but a branch to Hackbridge diverged southward. this path runs on the former track bed, instead of just following it. 

Coal merchant's depot on plan of SIR in 1843

Upper Green

Settlement of Mitcham, Mikleham - the big settlement.  Transformed into a suburban centre at the end of the C19

Clock Tower a prim little Victorian tower or rather clock column

Queen's Head brashly striped

King's Arms half-timbered 1906.

 

^^Whitford Gardens (in Mitcham) Merton. Preserve the name of the old

^^H"   manor ofWitford 1086 (Domesday Book), Wicford 1199, Wikeforde 1200,

^^•|,  Wickford 1650, that is 'the ford by the trading settlement", from Old

^^^H. English wic and/ord. The ford referred to was no doubt on the River

^^^^ WANDLE. The change from Wick- to Whit- must be relatively recent (the

^^^K Domesday Book spelling Wit- is simply an error for Wic-).

 


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