Sunday, 31 October 2010

Thames Tributaries – the Norbury Brook - Thornton Heath

Thames Tributaries – the Norbury Brook flowing to the River Wandle
The Norbury Brook continues to flow north west.

Post to the north Norbury Park
Post to the east Thornton Heath 

Braemar Avenue
Norbury Brook. The brook passes under the road

Brigstock Road
Library. Built 1914 with funding from the Carnegie Foundation. Remodelled in 2009.
Trumble Gardens. Opened by the council in 1947/8 on the site of bombed houses which bricks were used to build the
walls. Named after Alderman Trumble.

Bridport Road
Norbury Brook runs parallel and at the back of houses on the north side.

Carew Road
Named for Carew family
Thornton Heath Recreation Ground. Bought by the Council initially in 1884 and ten years later another five and a half acres were added. The footpath in the path marks the divide. The bandstand has now been removed, underground tunnels were built during the Second World War for air raid shelters
Norbury Brook runs parallel to the road and south of it. Along the western boundary of the park in a deep concrete channel. In heavy rainfall the water level rapidly rises.

Colliers' Water Lane
Name has been said to reflect industry, charcoal quenching. The road used to go as far as Thornton Heath Railway Station on the line of what is now Brigstock Road.

London Road
949 Leander Road Primary Health Care Centre
939 Macdonalds
Esso Garage
Tesco Express
Thornton Heath Evangelical Church

Richmond Road
Norbury Brook. The road is parallel to the brook on the south

Strathyre Avenue
Norbury Brook, the brook passes under the road
Warwick Road.
St Christopher’s Gardens
St.Stephen built 1918 with brick trim.

Winterbourne Road
Winterbourne Junior Boys School
Youth and social centre

Thames Tributaries – The Norbury Brook - Thornton Heath

Thames Tributaries – The Norbury Brook feeding the River Wandle
The Norbury Brook continues to flow north west

Post to the west Thornton Heath
Post to the south Selhurst

Bensham Manor Road
St.John’s Congregational Church

Beulah Road
Bensham Junior School

Bensham Close
Norbury Brook - cuts off the end of the road. Undergrowth

Boswell Road
Norbury Brook – crosses the road

Brigstock Road
Norbury Brook crosses the road and the section of road from Colliers Water Lane to the station was once all Colliers Water Lane.Shree Shakhty Ghanapathy Temple. Hindu
19 The Railway Telegraph. Built 1876.
Clock Tower. Erected by Croydon Council in 1900 on what had once been Walker’s Green. In 1987 workmen repairing the Clock Tower had to suspend work following the discovery of an unsuspected underground chamber. The tower was originally built to hold' tramway switch gear.

Brook Road
St.Andrew's RC church. Built 1970 by Broadbent, Hastings, Reid & Todd. Inside is Stained Glass of the Last Supper by Patrick Nuttgens.
Norbury Brook runs behind the houses on the south side of the road.

Burton Close
Pump House from the water works used as a production studio and housing. Built in 1861 by Lambeth Water Co.

Crowland Road
Thornton Heath Health Centre

Ecclesbourne Road
Norbury Brook crosses it

Foulsham Road
Christadelphian Hall.

Gillett Street
1 & 2 Foyer Croydon with a huge great outline metallic hand coming out of the building. Accommodation for young ex-offenders run by Broomleigh HA.
10 Thornton Heath Islamic Centre in what used to be the Victory pub
61a Thornton Heath Health Centre

Grange Road
Road to Thornton Heath from Norwood –the Thornton Heath end used to be known as “Decimus Burton Road”. The road was cut through Bewlye Coppice by John Davison in the 19th when he was owner of the Manor of Whitehorse. He went on to develop the Beulah Spa
St.Alban. Built 1889 with some later additions. This was Sir Ninian Comper's first church built in red brick but his planned furnishings were never put in place, except for some stained glass. It is very high Church of England.
Grangewood Park. This was 80 acres of Whitehorse Wood. The area was part of the Manor of Whitehorse and had belonged to the Bishops of London from 1299 to 1338. It was enclosed in 1797 by John Cator and later the area was developed as a gentleman’s park with a house and facilities at the northern end. This southern tip of land had been part of Woods Field and Heath Lodge at the southern end of the park was not built until an entrance to the park was made from the junction of Grange Road and Ross Road. Croydon Council bought the Park in 1900 and added a bowling green and tennis courts, and a band stand, which was demolished after the Second World War. It has Oak woodland, gardens, sports facilities and a playground

Heath Road
Applegarth Social Club, CIU

High Street
2 Prince George.
61 Thomas Farley pub was the Wilton Arms. Farley was a local landowner and developer.
66 Salvation army
72 Government offices built 1954 By E. H. Banks. Job centre.
Baths opened 1897 and demolished in 2004
Leisure centre opened 2004
Polytechnic, opened in 1892

Lucerne Road
The Norbury Brook
Mersham Road
Elim Pentecostal church

Norbury Road
The Grange pub

Nursery Road
Strand House, Croydon Council Local Centre. Social Services, CAB etc.
Croydon Depot and Education Supplies Centre

Parchmore Road
55 Parchmore Methodist Church
Parchmore Tavern
Fountain Head pub

Pridham Street
Thornton Heath Early Years Centre

Reservoir Close
Housing on the site of the reservoir
Selhurst reservoir for 2,500,000 gallons. Built in 1861 by Lambeth Water Co. A loop pipe to laid at 200' to act as a standpipe and the site included cottages for the work force

St Pauls Road
St. Paul’s Church built 1871 by A.N.Shaw

Thornton Heath
This was once a heathland and charcoal burning area. The name means ‘farm where thorn bushes grow’. The heath itself was common grazing for the manor of Bensham.
Thornton Heath Station.1862. Between Selhurst and Norbury on Southern Rail. Built as part of the Balham Hill and East Croydon line of the London Brighton and South Coast Railway as a short-cut on the Brighton Main Line. The station was originally called Colliers Water Lane. It is a good example of the red brick suburban stations built c. 1900 by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway. The ticket office is on a bridge
Colliers Water Farm was in this area

White Horse Lane
Clifton Gospel Hall

White Horse Road
Junction with White Horse Lane was site of the manor. Had been South Bensham Manor. Then owned by a Walter Whitehorse, under Edward III.
Whitehorse Manor School. On the site of the original Whitehorse Manor. The building dates from 1892 and has had a series of different age ranges and types of school in it.
War memorial in front of the school

Friday, 29 October 2010

Thames Tributaries – the Norbury Brook - Selhurst

Thames Tributaries – the Norbury Brook feeding to the River Wandle
The Brook goes north and west through this area

Post to the north Thornton Heath
Post to the east Selhurst

Atlee Close
Ecclesbourne schools. Infant and Primary. Began to be built on this site in 1970.

Bensham Lane
304 Lynton House. Cash and carry and light industry
Potter & Co. Victorian company which exploited the gravel pits in the area.

Bert Road
Built as an access road in 1891
Bensham Manor Allotments. Originally this old allotment site was built on an area of gravel pits later used for land fill. It had been part of the land of Whitehorse Farm. The original allotment site was very large and covered most of the area between the cemetery and Brigstock Road. Memorial garden where the ashes of allotment holders can be scattered.

Boulogne Road
Gravel workings in the area by Croydon Canal Co which were excavated in 1840s and pond over most of it then.
38 Access Ability Centre
Youth club
Boulogne Road Playground, In the 1880s the site was a fish pond. It was bought by Croydon Council in 1930 and the pond filled in.
Horse bus garage and stables behind the playground, demolished

Ecclesbourne road
Bensham Manor Secondary School. Built on a site which was once gravel pits and then allotments. It was built as Ecclesbourne Road School in the early 20th.

Edith Road
Hut which acts as a sports clubhouse.

Eileen Road
Norbury Brook runs under Eileen Road

Marian Road
Norbury Brook runs under Marian Road

Northcote Road
64-66 Electricity sub station

Palmerston Road
Norbury Brook runs parallel to the north east side of the road

Pawsons Road
Norbury Brook crosses there road having been through the grassed area underground.
New housing on the hospital site.
William Pawson was an 18th local landowner
Pawsons Road Baptist Church at one time this was Memorial Baptist Hall or Joynsons Memorial Hall.
182 The Lion

Queens Road
Queens’s Road Hospital. Was originally the Croydon Union Workhouse. This building was originally part of Croydon Union Workhouse, built in 1865 by J. Berney. Separate fever wards were added in 1879. During the Second World War the buildings became a hospital under the Emergency Medical Scheme but was bombed in 1941. From 1948 it was known as Queen's Road Hospital under the National Health Service, and specialised in geriatric care. It closed in 1987. The site is now housing with some preserved and listed original buildings.
Queens Road Homes. 3 two-storey cottage homes, to provide separate accommodation for children, were built on the site in 1905.
Queens Road Cemetery. Opened 1861 with two rag stone chapels from the 1880s, designed by E.C.Robbins and an entrance with two arches. There was also a lodge where someone lived until recently. This was the original cemetery in Croydon. It has about 50,000 graves and approximately 97,000 burials have taken place since it opened – the first being a member of the Croydon Board of Guardians who had conveniently died. In the south-west corner is a brick air-raid shelter. There are areas where members of catholic religious orders are buried.

Saxon Road
The Norbury Brook runs parallel to the south east side.
St.Saviour's Road
New housing built 1975- 80 designed by P. G. Vincent, head of the borough's Department of Architecture. They are low cottages in dark red brick surrounded by 19th artisan housing

Swain Road
The Norbury Brook crosses the road underground
Sydenham Road
Broadmead Junior School
Broadmead Nursery and Infant School
King George’s field
. Once a rubbish tip the area was bought by Croydon Council in 1937 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of George V. It was opened on George VI’s Coronation Day with equipment all painted red, white and blue. It is managed by the Eleanor Shorter Trust.
333a Mount Zion Seventh Day Church of God. The church was founded in the USA in the 1880s and came to England in the 1970s via Jamaica.

The Crescent
The Crescent Primary School on the site of the old Selhurst High School which was later a specialist school for mathematics but had to close because of low numbers.
Brit School. Performing arts college in new buildings funded by the BRIT awards/

Treetops Close
The Norbury brook runs in front of the houses which are reached by little bridges
Tugela Road
Named for the Tugela River which figured in the South African War of 1899-1902.

Whitehorse Road
The name reflects an alternative name for the old manor of Bensham. This estate was held by Walter Whithors, the King's squire and shieldbearer, in 1367, and is referred to as ‘Bencham alias Whitehorse’ in 1589. The manor house built 1604, was pulled down in the 19th,
Whitehorse Road Recreation Ground, ornamental garden and playing field which has belonged to the Council since 1891. Used for air raid shelters in the Second World War
Norbury Brook crosses it.
Salvation Army

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Thames Tributaries – the Norbury Brook - Selhurst

Thames Tributaries – the Norbury Brook feeding to the River Wandle
The Brook goes north and west through this area

Post to the west Selhurst
Post to the east Woodside
Post to the south Addiscombe

Alverston Gardens
St.Chad’s Catholic Primary School

Brampton Road
A path once ran from here to Junction Cottages between the railway lines.¬ This path continued, via a footbridge to Gloucester Road

Canal Walk
Follows the alignment of the Croydon canal. Housing from the 1990s

Dagnall Park
30 plaque to Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, which says ‘composer of the "Song of Hiawatha", lived here'. He spent most of his life in the Croydon area but only the first two years of married life here. Plaque erected 1975.
Selhurst Early Years Centre

Davidson Road
The boundary of the rear gardens of houses on the west side marks the towpath of the Croydon Canal.
Site of steam pump' that was part of the canal equipment.
This area had been lands of Selhurst Farm, later known as Heavers Farm. Access a across the canal was via a swing bridge.
Croydon Sixth Form College, Davidson Road Campus. The site also includes professional development centre. This was Davidson Road School where D.H.Lawrence taught in 1908

Dinsdale Gardens
58 Heavers Farm Primary School. Opened 1972, and rebuilt 1997 in glass and steel. Designed in the form of an open book.

Gloucester Road
154 The Woolpack. Closed pub
221 Two Brewers pub. Books, stuffed birds and fish on display. Shepherd Neame tied house

Northway Road
Runs on the line of the Norbury Brook.
Railway Lines
The area through which the tangle of railway lines runs was partly Croydon Common and Selhurst Wood which was split in two by the lines.
The railway between Norwood Junction and West Croydon stations was opened in 1839 mainly on the line of the Croydon Canal except through this area where the line diverged from the canal to the north. The loop of the canal to the south remained in water. The line was initially built by the London and Croydon Railway authorized in 1835 and they purchased the canal for £40,250. They also had arrangements with other railway companies to share routes through this area. The South Eastern Railway had agreed to construct its line to Dover through Croydon and the London and Brighton Railway was to join at Norwood Junction both coming from what is now East Croydon Station and all going to London Bridge and/or Bricklayers Arms. The line was partly converted to atmospheric traction in 1844 until 1847. Lines thus run across this area to Norwood Junction from both East and West Croydon Stations. In 1862 lines were added via Selhurst Station on a line from Victoria to East Croydon coming via Balham.
Willow Wood in 1910,
Selhurst Yard was on the open space to the south which was developed from 1880 and handled freight from Deptford Wharf and Surrey Docks. The Croydon Canal went through the site and had remained in water until then.
Lupin Bridge. Within the depot
Gloucester Road Junction. This was once known as Windmill Bridge Junction. It was the site of ‘cinema’ style box with Westinghouse Brake & Signal Co. Ltd. Style 'L' Power Lever Frame opened in 1954. The aim was to abolish semaphore signalling from London Bridge and Victoria where lines met at Windmill Bridge and so replaced former London, Brighton & South Coast Railway signal box which had opened in 1903. The new box was closed in April 1984 and was demolished in May 1986. Replaced by Three Bridges Signalling Centre.
Depot - In 1912 lines were electrified and Selhurst became the site for the carriage sheds and repair depot for the LB&SCR railway electrification scheme. There depot is now to the east of Selhurst station and acts as a maintenance facility for Southern and First Capital Connect trains. It is the first train depot, south out of London Bridge on the Brighton Main Line.
Cottage Bridge. Pre stressed concrete bridge built 1983 to carry the slow lines between Selhurst and East Croydon over the Norwood Junction to West Croydon line. It has four short spans.
Cottage Junction
Junction cottages built between the lines in the 1860s in 3 terraces of 4 houses each. They were demolished in the early 1970s.
Railway arches – as railway lines were built, the track to Selhurst Farm was moved slightly south and under the three lines on brick arches which could be seen from trains.

Name means willow wood - probably ‘wooded hill where sallow willows grow'. Selhurst Wood is shown near here on the Ordnance Survey map of 1819.

Selhurst Road
Heavers Farm Centre. Croydon Council Day Centre.
Heavers Meadow. Flood Meadow .The area of Heavers Meadow and the adjacent allotments were conveyed to the Croydon Corporation in 1935 by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for use as an open space or recreation ground and allotments or allotment gardens. In the 18th part of the site was Dragnet Wood and later called Selhurst Wood. It has been set up to deal with seasonal flooding from Norbury Brook - after rain the water level can rise several feet in a few minutes.
Norbury Brook. Can be seen in Heavers' Meadow alongside the British Railways area. It then runs under Selhurst Road. A range of boggy plants can be seen alongside.Selhurst Station Opened 1865 Between East Croydon and also West Croydon and Thornton Heath on Southern Rail. Built by the London Brighton & South Coast with a booking office on the level part of porch.
Church Seventh Day Adventist in congregational church

Tennison Road
Priory School. Nature garden
South Norwood Primary School. nature garden and living willow wheel maze
12 plaque to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The house is now a care home. Sir Arthur lived here 1891 and 1894. During this time he had six of his stories published. Plaque erected 1973.
Clay pit of brickworks turned into a lake and nature reserve
Site of the canal steam pump. The building that housed it outlasted the canal by some years.
Brocks fireworks moved here in the 19th and left following an explosion,

Towpath Way
Follows the line of the Croydon canal.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Thames Tributaries – Norbury Brook feeding the River Wandle - Addiscombe

Thames Tributaries – Norbury Brook feeding the River Wandle
The Norbury Brook rises just off the Lower Addiscombe Road and flows north and west towards the Wandle
The Ravensbourne is fed by water from springs in this area

Post to the north Selhurst
Post to the east Addiscombe

Addiscombe. This means 'Addi’s enclosed land'. As the two places are quite near, it is possible that this is same individual recorded in Addington. The area was built up when land was released by the Royal Military College for the East India Army, whose cadets moved to Woolwich in 1862. Laid out by the British Land Company south of the SER station.  It is now a suburban area to the east of Central Croydon

Canning Road
Name of the road is for Charles Canning, 1st Earl Canning who was Governor General of India 1856-1862 and first Viceroy 1858-1862 and reflects the presence of the East India College.
St.Mary Magdalene. A high timber roof and a tower which is a freemason’s symbol while the furnishings reflect an ex-rabbi's tastes. Designed by E.Buckton Lamb, 1868-70 and not finished until 1930. The church started as St Paul’s founded by local residents, and paid for by Robert Parnell, the priest being his was -in-law - a converted rabbi Maxwell M. Ben Oliel. But the congregation fell when ritualistic services began in 1872, and the church was sold to St Mary Magdalene, then in a temporary building nearby. Inside big beams rest on marble columns, standing on brackets. Around the sanctuary are the twelve apostles on marble panels.
Vicarage by E. B. Lamb's for St Mary Magdalene, 1870,

Capri Road
The Norbury Brook runs from Grant Road and meanders through the old railway lines to Dalmally Passage

Cherry Orchard Road
A cherry orchard stood in this area but previously it was Coney Lane.
98 Oval Primary School
81 The Glamorgan. Once called The Grouse and Claret and also once called the Horse and Groom
112 The Orchard was Cherry Orchard pub.
Cherry Orchard Methodist Church built 184. Now offices.

Clyde Road
Name of the road is for Field Marshal Colin Campbell, 1st Baron Clyde and reflects the presence of the East India College.

Dalmally Road
The Norbury Brook runs past here from Capri Road to Northway Road

East India Way
New housing on the site of old Addiscombe Station.
Addiscombe Railway Park – new park on the old railway line. On a level and slightly raised embankment. Bramble and scrub. Old sleepers used for signage

Elgin Road
Name of the road is for James Bruce, 8th_Earl of Elgin - Viceroy of India 1861-1863 and reflects the presence of the East India College.

Freemasons Road
Davidson's Lodge, elderly accommodation for Croydon Council with Croydon Neighbourhood Care in the Central Hall. It was built as the Freemasons' Asylum, 1852 by S. W. Daukes, for the Royal Masonic Benevolent Association. Red brick with blue brick and stone decoration.

Gloucester Road
60 St John’s Ambulance
80 Victory works of the Oliver Typewriter Co, this was an American company whose British branch opened here in 1928. Now Access Self Store

Grant Road
Named for Sir Hugh Grant, a soldier involved in the Indian Mutiny.
Norbury Brook known as the Beverley Water or Spring, locally since it is there seems to be a presence near the Scout Hall.
Beverley Hall Scout HQ. Built 1927 and refurbished following floods in 1993. Roman House. Mansell construction company head quarters.

Havelock Road
The name reflects the interests of the East India College and Major General Henry Havelock
Flats in the old gymnasium built 1854/5 for the Hon. East India Co. In brick with stone dressings.

Lebanon Road
Flats on the site of the Co-op's delivery and bottle sterilisation plant on the corner with Leslie Park Road. The plant set new standards which were copied around the world. Milk when delivered to customers must be no more than 36 hours old.

Leslie Park Road
65 Builders Arms
56-59 Gaybank Construction Co
41 New Moon Recording Studio, painted bright blue and semi derelict

Lower Addiscombe Road
Croydon Tramlink tracks along here run at street level whereas the old railway formation ran up above.
62 Leslie Arms. Grade II listed pub. Closed for a long time. Also for a while called shocks
127 Alma Tavern
Addiscombe Station. Originally called ‘Addiscombe Road Croydon’. In 1861 the South Eastern Railway wanted to extend to Redhill from Beckenham and so opened this station in 1864 and the line ended in a turntable against the station front wall. In the 1880s there was a train service to Liverpool Street. In 1899 it was rebuilt as a red brick station with a gated forecourt on to the road but it could not compete with East Croydon and eventually in 1939 it was just a shuttle service from Elmers End. At the north end of the platforms were four disused carriage sheds which were said to be haunted. In 1955 it was renamed ‘Addiscombe’. In 1997 the Station closed because of the opening of the Tramlink although it is west of the new tram stop. In 2000 new housing was built on the station site and it became a in a close called East India Way – this followed an attempt to turn it into a railway museum. There is an old railway retaining wall on the east side of the new close and there are some sections of station wall at the entrance.
Cab approach from Addiscombe Road and turntable.
Depot was demolished around the same time as the station in 2001.
Goods yard closed June 1968
Train cleaning sheds erected by Southern Railway in the late 1920s.
Chestnuts House and chestnut trees were on the site of bridge over the pond in the East India College grounds
Church of the Nazarene. Victorian mission church and hall
Havelock House. Flats on the corner of Havelock Road. The site here was once known as Coldstream and was the spring headwater of the Norbury Brook.
98 Flats on the site of Turners Removal Co, original depot.
Christ Church Methodist. The church dates from the 1960s but is the amalgamation of two older Methodist congregations – one in Cherry Orchard and one in Lower Addiscombe Road

Morland Road
John Morland owned Morland Park with its entrance near the Leslie Arms.
Board Schools, 1891 by R. W. Price.
St. Martin’s church was on the corner of Stretton Road. Built 1902 as a chapel of ease to St.James. It was eventually merged with St. Mary Magdalene and demolished in 1994.

Northway Road
The Norbury Brook runs from Dalmally Passage before passing under the triangle of railway lines at Selhurst.
Outram Road
The road name reflects the East India College and Lt General Sir James Outram, 1st Baronet Outram
Addiscombe Place, this was at the junction with Mulberry Place. It had been the home of Hon Maberley MP and became the East India Co College for Engineering in 1809. Originally built in 1702 to Vanbrugh's design. And it replaced an Elizabethan house.In 1809 Emelius Ratcliffe sold it to the British East India Company, and it became the Addiscombe Military Academy. The company’s army officers were trained here. Following the Indian Rebellion of 1857 the British East India Company was closed down and the college itself closed in 1861 and was sold to developers. It was blown up with dynamite.
Lake in the grounds was one of the head waters of the Ravensbourne.

Oval Road
131 Oval Tavern

Christ Church. Web sit
Connor & Halford. Forgotten Stations of Greater London
Croydon Scouts. Web site
Disused Stations. Web site
Field. London Place Names
London Borough of Croydon. Web site
London Encyclopedia
Norwood History. Web site
Penguin. Surrey
Pevsner and Cherry. South London 
Pevsner and Cherry.
Stewart. History of Croydon

St. Mary Magdalene. Web site
Wagstaffe and Pullin. Beckenham anthology,

Friday, 22 October 2010

Thames Tributaries – the River Wandle - Colliers Wood

Thames Tributaries – the River Wandle
The Wandle continues to flow north and slightly west

TQ 26238 70472

Suburban area of Merton along the Wandle.It includes several mill sites and the line of the Surrey Iron Railway

Post to the north Haydon's Road
Post to the south Merton Abbey
Post to the east Colliers Wood

Abbey Road
25 Princess Royal a small but friendly Pub, with a pleasantly uncrowded garden area

All Saints Road
Houses by the Borough Architects Department, R. Hodge and A. Bews, 1978 - The department was disbanded in 1980.
All Saints by Micklethwaite & Somers Clarke, built 1891-3 in brick with a bellcote.

Battle Close
Active Health Club
There was a Battle of Merton in 871 but the record does not say which Merton this was, and there are several others.

Boundary Road
Norfolk Farm

Bygrove Road
Bygrove name of field.
Route of Surrey Iron Railway went between what is now Wandle Park and Bygrove Road. It crossed Bygrove Road at the north end and then followed Mead Path
Bygrove House

Christchurch Road
The boundary of the Priory ran down the west side of the road.
Route of the Surrey Iron Railway followed Christchurch Road as far as the High Road at Colliers Wood Station.
12-14 Venus Pub
Christ Church. Built 1874 by Messrs Francis in stock brick, with a timber belfry and spire. Said to look like an engine shed or a water works and to be Impressive. Badly bombed in the Second World War. Inside glass by W.Crane, bell ringing teams here.

Colliers' Wood
The name is first recorded in 1632 and implies the presence of charcoal burners here.

Colliers' Wood High Street
This was originally called “Merton Road”.
Route of Surrey Iron Railway crossed the main road here at Colliers Wood Station and then continued to Wandle Park,
Singlegate. A toll gate here 1755-1870 on the site of the station – which gave an alternative name to the area.
Colliers' Wood Station. Opened September 1926. It goes between Tooting Broadway and South Wimbledon on the Northern Line. Built by the City and South London Railway. It was designed by Holden in the house style of the line with the emphasis on the corner. It is concrete and like Holden's earlier buildings.
10 Lyon Tower built 1966 in the style of the Chicago school by Bader & Miller. All in a dark grey, it is 17 storeys and originally the headquarters of Ronald Lyon Holdings a property company. It was later called the Apex Tower and is now known as the Brown and Root Tower. Voted London’s most hated building. Brown and Root Halliburton are an engineering company.  When built it was demolished after the third storey was finished and restarted.
Spiral car park to the rear of the Lyon Tower
62 GJs
180 Royal Standard pub. The ordnance survey map of 1865 shows another large building, now gone, possibly stables. The pub was once called 'The Rose and Crown'
186 Rehab pub
198 Colliers Tup
220 Miller's Mead, 18th house, post for Bow Street Runners.
222 Boabob Pub. Previously called The Riverside and previously the Royal Six Bells. Closed and boarded up.
5 Priory Retail Park, 131 Kiss Me Hardy
Cavendish House. Office block which includes Donald Hope Library and Job Centre
Colliers Wood Community Centre
Holiday Inn Express
Rainbow Nursery. The Methodist Church was built in 1936 as ‘model of modern architecture’ by Edward Mills and Partners, and the first ‘genuinely modern Methodist Church’ used as an illustration in books on modern architecture. It originally contained a mural showing Christ washing the disciples’ feet by the German artist Hans Feibush, who had come to England as a refugee. When the church was taken over by National Children’s Homes as a family centre, it was moved to Southfields Church.
Priory wall – another stretch here.
St Josephs RC church. Built 1966

De Burgh Road
Named for Hubert de Burgh Chief Justiciar to Henry III who fled to Merton Priory seeking sanctuary. 20,000 armed Londoners converged on Merton but dispersed.

Doel Close
Merton Place – approximate site of Merton Place, home of Lord Nelson. Merton Place estate stretched from Quicks Road to south of the Liberty site, bounded by Abbey Road and Morden Road. Emma Hamilton called it “Paradise Merton”. Originally it was a Moat House Farm set in 52 acres in 1801. Merton Place was built about 1750 for Mr. Henry Pratt and enlarged by Sir Richard Hotham, a hat manufacturer who had also developed Bognor. It later passed to Charles Greaves, of a local calico-printing works.Nelson bought it in 1801 £9,000 after the birth of his daughter, Horatia. It was a one-wing property with an annexe. Emma refurbished it extravagantly with architect, Thomas Chawner, turning it into a double-fronted house, with facilities and a walkway leading to a summer house. The gardens were landscaped, with a canal fed by the Wandle, called 'The Nile' and spanned by a rustic bridge. Nelson returned here in September 1805 before leaving for Trafalgar. Emma sold Merton Place for £13,500 in 1808 to the Goldsmid family and the estate was broken up and developed and the house was empty for many years. Much of it is now under the High Path estate, council housing from the 1950s.

Fortescue Road
1-27 Oasis Church, the church was founded in 1990 and moved to this building in 1996. Part of the Baptist Union.
Thames Water site. Ring Main Shaft. The ring main passes under this site about 45 metres underground. There is also an access shaft. The ring main connects to these shafts at a depth of 40m

Garfield Road
Recreation ground. With mural partly done by children from local schools.
Garfield Primary School. Dates from 1956 but partly rebuilt since.

Gilbert Road
Gilbert the Norman oversaw the building of Merton Priory and was an associate of Queen Matilda

Haydon’s Road
117 Marquis of Lorne
143 Horse and Groom
Haydon’s Road Recreation ground
South Wimbledon Community Centre in building which were originally Haydon’s Road Boys School and then All Saints School
161 Haydon’s pub, closed. Crest on the gable
171 Redeemed Christian church of God. Living water.

Mead Path
Surrey Iron Railway the route followed the existing path from Bygrove Road

Merton High Street
15 The Nelson Arms. An ornate pre-first World War I pub with glazed tiles on the front by Carter’s, Poole (later Poole Pottery) depicting Lord Nelson and HMS Victory. The pub is on the site of the entrance to Merton Place and dates from 1910
18 The Kings Head. Closed
131 The Kilkenny
190 The Piano Lounge
Abbey House. An 18th building with plaster walls. Demolished in 1914.
Abbey Lodge
54 Darul Amaan Mosque. The building was previously a garment factory.
Amery Mills. In some old priory buildings and on site before 1117. Merton Copper Mills – the mill itself was south of the High Street between the Wandle and the priory wall. There were two mills Amery or Amoric Mill became a copper mill, and in 1669 there was a Brazil wood mill producing dye until the 1760s. In 1720 David Blanker converted a corn mill here to copper production. In the early 19th there was a copper rolling mill worked by an undershot wheel and a hammer mill with two hammers of 6-7cwt each worked by two undershot wheels. Two smaller wheels worked the bellows. Between 1874 and 1892 it was used as a flock mill. In 1892 converted to a paper mill by the Metropolitan Paper Co.
Savacentre on the site of Merton Board Mills also here demolished after a fire. Metropolitan Paper Co from 1892. In 1897 they produced 30-40 tons of paper a week for newsprint, card for railway tickets and printing papers. Reed’s Paper Mills owned the site in 1913, before it became Merton Board Mills making fibreboard and more recently the Merton Packaging Works of the Dickinson Robinson Group (DRG)
Morris works. William acquired an old silk works in 1881. The Merton Tapestry Works was thought to be the site of a Huguenot silk works and also later operated by James Halfhide. For the output of the stained glass, tapestry, carpets, printed and woven fabrics of Morris & Co. On Morris’s death operated by Smith until the Second World War.
Merton Bridge Three leats on the Wandle join together. The bridge may have roman origins. It was maintained by the priory and was still in place in the 16th. A timber replacement of 1633 remained until the modern bridge was built.
Merton Bus Garage. Dates from 1913 and still in operation

Norman Road
78 Sultan. Hop Back's only London tied house. Walled patio in a two-bar pub.

North Road
Wandle Meadow, Nature Park on the site of the sewage works. Includes some wetland and enhancement work to the river.
Wandle Valley Sewage Works. Previously water meadows called Holmsmead and Bygrove Mead. The works was opened in 1877 and closed in 1871,
Health club

Priory Road
Priory Retail Park

Rodney Place
Merton Evangelical (Baptist) Church

South Gardens
Route of the Surrey Iron Railway was along an alley way parallel to Christchurch Road
Singlegate First School. Built 1897 and designed by H. Burke-Downing. One-storeyed, redbrick with Gothic detail and a steeple.
Colliers Wood Recreation Ground

Valley Gardens
Alleyway on the line of the Surrey Iron Railway

Wandle Bank
Georgian terrace houses face the river and are followed by a series of factory buildings.
Merton Flour Mill. The Mill site is on the corner of Wandle Bank. It was originally the site of a Domesday corn mill, replaced in the 18th by a brick built flourmill now standing. There is a fall of water at the back and three mills ran here, two for fulling and one for corn. It was used as a Japan ware works in 18th. It was rebuilt by John Rennie in 1789. In 1800 it became Merton Corn Mills working seven pairs of stones in 1807 and was then owned by James Perry who was a Surrey Iron Railway promoter & owner of 'Morning Chronicle'. Corn was ground here until 1905 when it was converted for leather production.
Connolly Brothers Curriers Ltd took over the mill in 1920s. They were Irish boot manufacturers who had bought a business from Williamsons of Canterbury. Connolly developed a process and sold leather upholstery to much of the car trade. They also developed a process for cleaning the leather. . They added extensions to the mills. The firm moved to Kent in 1994 and the mill has since been converted to flats. There is a brick entrance approach in Wandle Bank and the boundary walls in Wandle Park are older.
Kendall Court – flats on the mill site in Connolly buildings.

Wandle Park
What appears as the course of Wandle is in fact an old mill leat and the river’s old course is the stream on the east side of the park
Site of the millpond in the park is between Wandle Bank and Merton Bridge
The park is partly National Trust
Course of Surrey Iron Railway went alone the North east boundary behind some old people's flats
Monument inside the park with inscriptions on three sides. It says the park and monument was bequeathed by “John Fenwick of Birmingham and Berkswell “who loved nature and his fellow man” and was opened in 1907. Fenwick lived at Wandle Bank House and was instrumental in the setting up of All Saints Church
Site of Wandle Bank House. Merton mill was owned by a friend of Nelson's, James Perry, who lived at Wandle Bank House from 1790 to 1821. He owned the Morning Post.

All Saints. Web site
Bayliss. Surrey Iron Railway
Christ Church. Web site
Connolly Leather. Web site
Day. London Underground
Garfield School. Web site
London Borough of Merton. Web site
National Trust. Web site
Oasis Church. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Pub History. Web site
Princess Royal. Web site
Singlegate School. Web site
Sultan. Web site
Thames Water. Web site.
Wandle Museum. Wandle Walk
Wandle Museum. Leaflets.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Thames Tributaries – the River Wandle - Merton Abbey

Thames Tributaries – the River Wandle
The Wandle continues to flow northwards

Post to the north Colliers Wood
Post to the south Morden Hall

Batsworth Road
Road name from an old name of ‘Battesworth’ recorded in 1235 and means ‘farm of ‘Baetti'.
Bush Essential Oil Works. W J Bush and Co built the works in 186 and moved equipment there from the Figges Marsh works of Potter and Moore. This was for distillation of peppermint, lavender and camomile. This ended in 1957, because stills could only be used for six weeks each year. The Batsworth Road works were closed and demolished in 1977
Cock Chimney Works. Donald Macpherson and Co. paint makers on site in 1965.

Bennett’s Ditch
Bennett's Ditch. This was used to provide water to Mr Bennet's Calico Print Works, which stood a hundred yards down river in the 1740s. The works later became part of the Liberty Site. There is a sluice gate at the back of Runnymede.

Brangwyn Crescent
On the site of the Harland Varnish works.
Harland varnish works is first listed in the area in 1845. The family had lived in the area for some time, maybe 1791. William Harland was displaced from Battlebridge by the building of Kings Cross Station and developed the works here at the back of Grove Cottage. Because raw materials were volatile the works covered 5 of Home Field, previously bleaching. Oils and solvents were stored in underground tanks, along with lacquers which matured over some years. The stable blocks survived into the 1960s and had the date 1848 on it. Parkland with a stand of mature pine trees was part of the landscaped site of Harland’s' works. Bought by Ault and Wigborg in 1955. Eventually the site was sold to the GLC.
Henry William Butler, floor cloth manufacture. The factory was actually inside the Harland works. Building still there in the 1970s with an excavated earth floor to allow the lino sheets to dry.
Grove Cottage later called White House was the Harland home and inside the site of the Harland works. It was very posh inside. Became derelict during the Second World War and eventually demolished for a car park. It had had extensive grounds with a lake fed from the Wandle and statues, etc. a bridge in a field was one of the last remains. The gates are now the entrance to Bunce’s Meadow.
The Nook, flats named for a point on the river which was marked by a brick garage. A small sluice gate which fed the Pickel Ditch.

Bunce's Meadow
Part of Morden Hall Park. One-time water meadows and bleaching grounds now owned by the National Trust. In bleach fields the cloth was stretched over ridges between water channels and here in winter, traces of these troughs could be seen until rubbish was tipped here by Mitcham Council in the 1950s. Bunce was a farmer and stock dealer who owned the land by Rucker's Cut. It was later used for prize fights and related activities. The area was later used as allotments so there are garden flowers gone wild. Leased to Deen City Farm in 1994
Bunce's Ditch. This runs at the edge of the meadow, alongside the factory estate and joins Pickle Ditch near the roundabout on Meruntun way. It drains the marshy grounds by the railway footbridge. Watercress and celery still grow as escapes from the old beds. Landscaped as part of a new housing development.
Gate to the meadow. A fragment of brick wall and two large pillars, and there were once wrought iron gates here. This was the entrance to the Old White House, home of William Harland,

Chapter Way
Named for the Abbey Chapter House now buried under the main road

Christchurch Road
Crosses track bed of Merton Park/Tooting railway which opened 1868 and closed to passengers in 1929 and goods in 1975. This has since been redeveloped as a road – Meretun Way.
The Surrey Iron Railway followed Church Road and then Christchurch Road.
70 timber building said to be Surrey Iron Railway original "Manager's House".

Church Road
The route of the Surrey Iron Railway followed Church Road and then Christchurch Road.
There were half dozen works here in the 1840's, but about 30 by 1900. This made Mitcham the centre of London's paint and varnish industry
92 Parson’s varnish works. Thomas Parsons varnish maker, on site in 1862. George Parsons had worked in Long Acre and Battlebridge in varnish works.
96 Purdom varnish works . Established in the 19th. In the 1960s the works had ‘Established 1842' on the gates. Closed in 1964. The varnish house was demolished in the 1970s.
96 W. Morgan and Sons. Varnish makers on site in 1965 on site of the Purdom works,
5 Hesee & Smith floor cloth
John William Townsend floor cloth manufacturer.
Gravel and sand pits owned by Halls of Croydon. Opened 1898, closed 1904 because constant flooding caused a nuisance in the nearby depot.
Skin dressing factory
Printing ink factory

Deer Park road
TV Centre used for filming ‘The Bill’

High Path
23 Trafalgar Freehouse

Homefield Gardens
South boundary of Merton Priory was along left side of road and followed The Pickle

Jacobs Green
The Jacob family were Dutch and used the old priory grounds as a bleach factory from the 1660s.
Merton Abbey Mills. Site of craft market etc
Leach and Newton. There was a succession of calico manufacturers on the site from the 17th. Newton Leach and Co. from 1787 were responsible for a number of improvements and innovations in this area including continuous roller printing. Joseph Ancell was here from the 1820s.
Abbey House was here until 1914 and used by several of the calico manufacturers. This is where the preserved arch originated from.
Merton Abbey Mills were started in 1724 by William Halfhide as a calico printer. It continued to produce block printing when it was taken over early in the nineteenth century by Edmund Littler.
Liberty Co. housing & school. In the 19th Oriental textiles began to be fashionable. Arthur Liberty's opened his shop in Regent Street to meet this demand. He then needed an English source of these. He obtained supplies from Wardle Bros. of Leek, Staffordshire and to print the designs he used Littler & Company. Liberty's bought the business and site at Merton themselves when Littler retired in 1904 and continued to use water power there. The last hand printing was done in the early 1970s. Part of the former print works survives, rebuilt since 1910. After the Second World War, production moved to hand and machine screen printing. By the 1960's two fully automated high-speed printing machines were on site. Liberty were mainly retailed and in 1977 they s0lod the works. Printing continued as Merton Fabrics until 1981.
Madder mill built by John Leach c.1800. Demolished by Liberty early c.20th .His son made handkerchiefs there,
Print shop built for Littler & Co. c1880. Littler, block-cutter and Lawrence, printer, came to Merton Abbey from Waltham Abbey area where the family were calico printers. They had previously come from Ireland. They took over Ancell’s calico works and established a silk printing business there. Littlers first printed for Liberty in 1877, and later exclusively for them. Ancell's wooden framed, timber clad sheds were replaced and The Printhouse dates from this time.
Littler's House. Demolished in 1914.
Apprentice Shop 1926
1929 Shop flanking the river where the transition from block printing to silk screen printing took place
Long Shop. The first of Liberty's new buildings 1906, sky lights, inside walls are matchboard and the roof is supported by steel trusses.
Showhouse, second of the Liberty buildings, constructed in 1912. The ground floor was a design studio and display area.
'Colour-house'. Behind the wheelhouse is an old building used in the 18th as a colour house. This could be the Priory Chapel used as a print shop in 1754. Here dyes and colours were stored and cloth hung out to dry after rinsing. Flint in-fill walls, with Brick, flint, and re-used stone. Used as a conditioning room for Varuna wool until 1982. Converted to a theatre.
Water wheel. Probably site of an earlier wheel. 1840s undershot waterwheel. 12ft in diameter and 15ft wide. It generated 15hp and powered the rinsing spools, housed in the weather boarded extension which projects over the water. It has four sets of seven cast-iron arms originally on a timber ship. In the Second World War, it was used to produce electricity.
Housing by Countryside Properties

Jubilee Way
Trading estate with superstores and light industry

Liberty Avenue
This was once part of Phipps Bridge Road

Littler's Close
Now truncated and the northern section is Watermill Close.
Leat on the Wandle.
Merton Abbey Waterworks, 1899. Southwark and Vauxhall Water Co temporary engine house only. Wells sunk in 1888 and 1902. These were bored by Docwra but were quickly flooded with a high bacteria count.

Lombard Road
Trading estate with many outlets and works.
Pumping station

Merantun Way
The name of the road is about an unlikely link between Merton and a place in Wessex where King Cynwulf died Station Road was the previous name. The road covers the route of the old line of the Merton Abbey railway for about a mile. Some of the old line is preserved in the middle of the road as a central reservation. The road is slightly higher than the track bed and continues to a junction with Christchurch Road where a brick bridge once took the road over the railway.
Stane Street crosses the Wandle here. There was thus a possible Roman posting station here.
Cycle Path on line of old railway, a cycle path which follows the course of the old trackbed on the south side of the line. an old retaining wall has been opened to a set back grassy area which suggests the site of sidings to the Tandem Works
Merton Priory. It was an Augustinian foundation, Priory to St Mary the Virgin set up in1117 by Gilbert le Norman, Sherriff of Surrey, under Royal Patronage. It became one of the most influential and wealthy in institutions in England. It was a centre of learning where Thomas Becket was one of its earliest pupils as was a century later Walter de Merton, founder of Merton College, Oxford. In 1236 the earliest statue in the book – the Statutes of Merton resulted from a decision taken here by a council of Barons. By 1437, Henry VI was spending most of his time here and the Priory had become very rich. In April 1538 the Priory surrendered to Henry VIII and within the week demolition began. Its estates were dispersed and the stones used to build Nonsuch Palace. During the Civil War troops were garrisoned in some of the remaining buildings. There is a garden with memorial to the Priory on site of the High Altar however the now removed railway line went down the site of the nave.
Gateway. Norman archway found within the walls of Littler's house, opposite the Liberty site. thought to be the entrance to the abbey Hospice, was re-erected in Merton churchyard by Squire Hatfeild. The location of the priory was worked out by Col.Bidder in 1921. the gateway was set in a wall which was thought to surround the priory. the priory had been demolished after the dissolution but the gate. there is a new gateway on the original site in Mereturn way.
Section of Merton Priory Wall. 17th and later. Built of flint with random ashlar stone from the ruins of Merton Priory. In poor condition.
Fish ponds
Bennett's Calico printing mill. Built 1802 by John Leach for improved madder dyeing, for which he had a patent. Bennett was his son in law and they both worked here with Anthony Heath. They were mass producing handkerchiefs here and a branch of the river ran under the mill to wash them in. Taken over by Littler in the 1830s and demolished before 1814.
Merton Abbey Station. Opened 1st October 1868 on the Tooting, Merton and Wimbledon Railway a joint line by London Brighton and South Coast and London South Western which provided two lines to Wimbledon. It was on the south side of Station Road and it was promoted by Shears for his mill. Unknowingly the company placed the station immediately above the nave of the Priory. In 1917 it was the suspended because of competition from trams and in 1929 it was closed to passengers. It remained as a freight line controlled from Merton Park as a long sidings. In 1965 it was burnt down and demolished. Goods services closed in May 1975 and the track was taken up.
Corfield and Buckle at Corfalgar, Trafalgar Works. Aluminium manufacturer
Priory works. Alumilite and Alazak factory
Riverside Business Park
Underpass which connects car parks for Pizza Hut and Sainsbury's. Space with medieval stone coffins, stonework, and ceramic. There is the outline of the chapter house, with a curved apse. Reached via a door in the underpass.
Sainsbury’s on the site of New Merton Board Mills.
New Merton paper board mill. Reed’s Paper Mills owned the site in 1913, before it became Merton Board Mills and more recently the Merton Packaging Works of the Dickinson Robinson Group (DRG)

Miles Road
R.J. Hamer and Son. The last varnish works to survive

Nelson Grove
Merton Evangelical Church

Phipps Bridge
Site of a bridge on a path between Colliers Wood and Morden.
Mill here owned by Merton Priory and it had gone by the Dissolution.
George Hadfield bought premises here in 1892 but later moved to Western Road.
Charles Turner varnish works, moved here from Western Road in 1851. May have been taken over by Addington for his works
Addington varnish works. Paul Addington was working here in 1851 making a special black varnish for use on coaches. Purchased by Hadfield in 1892 his house remained there until 1969 having been used as the works canteen by Hadfields whose works were behind it.
Phipps Bridge Mill – Rucker Calico mill. Wandle Villa was adjacent Rucker’s calico printing factory. Rucker was a merchant, in business with Francis Nixon, calico printer of Merton Abbey who invented of copper plate printing. A works had been established here in 1752n for engraving with copper plates. Nixon died on 1765 and Rucker continued to make a lot of money. He died in 1805 and the calico industry declined. It was then run by Howard & Co. who were bankrupt 10 years later. Eventually Peter Wood's Silk Works moved on to the site. This was Welch and Margetson of Cheapside and the mill was run by the Asprey Brothers of Bond Street. This was burnt down in 1850 and a varnish works took its place.
96-98s to the rear of these was The Patent Steam Washing factory opened here in 1811 opposite the mill in an effort to modernise the calico industry. Run by John Tyrell who was bankrupt by 1828. In 1846 the building was a block printing factory and later a stocking factory. Demolished by Gilliat Hatfeild in the 1870s.

Phipps Bridge Road
This area became part of the Morden Hall estate when purchased by Gilliat Hatfeild in 1872.
Coachman's House, standing behind the high, white gates. Rendered brick, castellated, with interesting window details, the Lodge was built in 1824 as the gatehouse to Wandle Villa, when this whole working estate was the property of Peter and Thomas Woods, mill owners. Before its sale and subsequent rebuilding the building stood empty and derelict for many decades.
Keepers Lodge
98 Wandle Villa. A yellow London stock brick Georgian mansion built around 1788. National Trust. It has been extensively altered and restored although the original doors and railings were there. Mature trees around it reflect the parkland which once surrounded it. It was built for businessman John Antony Rucker, adjacent to his calico printing factory. Later used by Welch and then bought along with the works by Gilliat Hatfeild. He went on to buy Morden Hall. Restored 1981.
84 Everett's Place. Gothic lodge Folly in a row of workmen’s’ cottages, built in 1824 to house mill-workers for Woods Silk Works. National Trust. It was built along with the cottages by Henry Everett, but why we don’t know or built later by Mann to shore the other up the cottages which due to the unstable ground had begun to subside. The rubble and flint are said to come from Old London Bridge but more likely the Priory boundary walls
94 adjoining it was The Running Horse pub
94 bressumer shows this was in commercial use
86 built later by Everett’s son
Phipps Bridge Estate. Fifteen-storey flats of the late 1960s
Yew trees marking the last part of Grove Cottage garden with some brick remains of a bridge over a water channel.
115 gatehouse and lodge to the Harland works and had stood next to the offices.
Housing on the site of the Harland First School which was on the site of the Harland works.
Homefield House. Harland residence, well appointed, with ceilings hand painted by Italian craftsmen. Sited among the works buildings. Built around 1860 in gothic revival style. Demolished in the 1960s and housing now on site.
211-221 the back gardens of these houses are on the site of Homefield House.

Pickel Ditch
Tributary of the Wandle which runs towards Christchurch Road, behind the site of Merton Priory and is the eastern boundary of the Priory estates. Re-enters the Wandle at Priory Road. The name is thought to mean 'Pike Hole', meaning the monks’ stew pond, or it was used to flush waste water from the Priory.

Prince George’s Road
British Nitrolac Ltd. On site in 1965, making cellulose.
Lea Park works. James Ferguson and Sons, making synthetic resin and ebonite on site in 1965
John T, Keep and Sons on site in 1965 paint manufacturers

Siding off the line to Merton Abbey in the 1860s to Shear's Copper Mills
Siding off the line to Merton Abbey in the late 1920s to the Lines Brothers Triang Factory which was in Morden Road.
Siding off the line to Merton Abbey to the Eyre Smelting Works.
Siding off the line to Merton Abbey to the New Merton Board Mills.
Sluice gate feeds the Pickle Ditch

Rock Terrace
This was a street name in an area which had been waste land, on which squatters lived. Thus known as Redskin Village
Recreation ground. On the site of cleared housing

Rucker's Cut
Rucker canalised a section of the river at Phipps Bridge.
Gravel and sand pits owned by Halls of Croydon. Opened 1909. Closed 1911

Tandem Way
Tandem centre
Eyre Smelting Works, Tandem Works, making phosphor bronze and white metals. Processed old Second World War

Watermill Close
The northern part of what was Littler’s Close
20 The William Morris Pub

Western Road
Was previously called Merton Lane. There were a half dozen paint and varnish works established here in the 1840's, which had become 30 by 1900 by when it had become the centre of London's paint and varnish industry
Chelsea Fields Industrial Estate
Brickworker's cottages demolished
Hadfields 1917 took over George Hadfield (successor to C H Blume), Western Road, Mitcham, Hadfields (Merton) Ltd, were formed in 1917 as manufacturers of varnish, japans, enamels, colours, oils, paints, pigments, cements, dye wares. Trading since 1840. In 1969 the business was sold to Bestobell Ltd, and the company's name changed to G H Successors (Merton) Ltd.
James estate. T.J.Jackson. On site in 1965 making paint, varnish and polish
326 Bowleys Paints on site in 1965
Wax Vesta factory
336 Prince of Wales pub. Closed
Charles Turner, varnish factory. In the area by 1846. Took premises over from a brick maker, Mears then but had moved to Phipps Bridge by 1851, site taken over by Latham. Charles Turner and Son Returned to Merton Lane on a different site in 1862
280 William Latham varnish maker in Turner’s old premises in 1851.hw may have been Harlands gardener’s son. The works remained there until the 1960s and his varnish house with special chimneys demolished in the 1960s.
Belata belting factory demolished 1970s. Built on site of another earlier varnish works, site is now housing.
Mitcham Gas Co purchased the site from James Moore of Potter and Moore in 1849.

Windsor Avenue
Remains of Abbey Precinct wall behind the flats. Cross Winsor Road on footpaths on the river. To the north sluice gate behind Runnymede. To Bennett's Ditch
Deen City Farm.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Thames Tributaries – the River Wandle - Morden Hall

Thames Tributaries – the River Wandle
The Wandle flows north and west

Post to the north Merton Abbey
Post to the south St.Helier

Belgrave Walk
Belgrave walk tram stop. Built 1998 between Mitcham and Phipps Bridge on Croydon Tramlink

Benedict Road
Surrey Iron Railway Route. The line ran north west from Baron Path to the junction of Church Path and Ravensbury Lane. It then ran parallel with the west side of Benedict Road and then Followed Church Road
Benedict First School

Central Road
4 The Grange. Regency villa
Steel Hawes. Estate on the east side of the road with cottages and a main house.

Church Road
The road was locally called ‘Iron Road’.
The route of the Surrey Iron Railway from Benedict Road followed Church Road

Hallowfield way
Chemical plant replaced by anaerobic digester

Hengelow Avenue
Garages – site of Ravensbury Print Works. The print works extended along the north bank of the river, and the site is now occupied by the garages of the Hengelow Gardens housing estate. In the early 18th Peter Mauvillian, a Huguenot calico printer, employed over 280 people here and in Wandsworth. It was one of the sites where large scale block printing was done. In 1755 the print works was "a most extensive manufactory", and where that the calico bleached on the adjoining grounds was printed. In the mid 18th it was run by a John Arbuthnott, then Thomas Hatcher and then William Fleming. In the early 19th the Works was known for its brightly coloured Paisley shawls, Ravensbury print works stopped operating around 1860 when it was operated by Peter Dempsey and George Heard. In 1875 it was sold to Gilliat Hatfeild of Morden Hall and used as a store. It was bombed in 1940 and then bought by Morden Council and demolished. Nothing now remains except some red brick wall

Morden Hall Estate
Morden Hall Park was the private park for the mansion on the western edge of it. The Park occupies a site of ancient settlement. In the Saxon period and at Domesday Morden belonged to Westminster Abbey and this continued until the Dissolution. The Manor was then bought by William Duckett and Edmund Whitchurch for £699/18/1 in ready money". It was later sold to Richard Garth, a Clerk and this included Growtes`, a newqly bnuilt house. The later hall was built to the west of this area and ferequently leased out. In 1867 Richard Garth M.P. sold the Hall and property to Gilliat Hatfeild and he took possession in 1872. Most of the improvements to the grounds were put in place by him and he extended the estate, including the purchase of Bunce's Meadow, reclaimed marshland and created a deer park. His son, Gilliat Edward Hatfeild, planted the curved avenue of chestnuts and limes. The parkland thus covers 125 acres with the River Wandle meandering through it. There are hay meadows, wetlands, a collection of estate buildings and a rose garden with over 2,000 roses. There is also a ginko and a large yew. Workshops now house local craft workers.
Stane Street. The Roman road between London and Chichester runs across the park a few feet below the surface.
Snuff mills. Mills may have operated here for many years but the first records are for two snuff mills stood on each side of the river which last operated in 1922 and were cleared in the early 1940s. They were built in 1750s and leased to Peter Davenport. John Hatfeild, Alexander's father, had married Anne Taddy, daughter of the senior partner in Taddy & Co. Snuff Grinders. In 1811 Alexander Hatfeild formed Taddy, Tomlin and Hatfeild, Tobacconists Fenchurch Street. In the 1770s they were operated by Nathanial Polhill and in 1845 by James Taddy. The business expanded and moving into from Fenchurch Street to new premises in the Minories. By 1834 Taddy's had leased Morden Mill specifically to supply the firm with snuff. Gilliat Edward Hatfeild returning from plantations Virginia in 1902 and took take an active role in the management. In 1921 a strike in the Minories led to closure.
East mill. This is built in brick and weatherboard and here snuff was ground from the mid 1750's using vertical edge runner stones. One of two millwheels, narrow but with a large diameter, remains. It was used for emergency electricity during the Second World War. The building is now part of the London Borough of Merton Registry Office.
Environmental Centre - 'New' West Mill, This was built circa 1830. Here new technology was used in the form of mechanical pestles and mortars, arranged around circular wooden tables. The mill wheel was the twin of that on East Mill and drove the pestles with a central vertical axle. None of this machinery survives and changes to the river bed in 1968 means that the wheel could not operate in this way. The building is used as storage by the National Trust with two millstones displayed outside.
Kilns. These are built against the mill adjoining the Cottage in the shape of 'furnace' chambers. They were used to control humidity in tobacco before grinding. The leaves were stacked on copper shelves and fumes left through roof vents. This produced ‘toasted snuff’.
Morden Mill Cottage. This was accommodation for the Works Foreman, a position held by three generations of the Groves family over 125 years. Emma Groves, daughter of the last foreman, remained there until the 1970's. It is now used by National Trust staff.
Bothy. This is a single storey outhouse attached to Morden Mill Cottage. It has a pitched roof and chimney. It is thought that it comprised dormitory accommodation for estate workers.
Kitchen Garden. This walled area is used as a car park via an entrance in Morden Hall Road. The south facing section once had glass houses for fresh fruit and vegetables.
Walled Garden. Also used as a car park. Cast-iron railings have a vertical Greek key pattern.
Stable block. This is a quadrangle around a cobbled courtyard, with an arched gateway, over which is a clock-tower and a trout weather vane. Gilliat Hatfeild maintained a stable of hunters here and commuted to the City in a carriage and pair.
Dairy trout bred were bred in this building which is across the river from the stables.
Wall - Long red brick, older than the house. Much repaired
Cow house. With exhibition about the estate.
Garden Centre
Bridges over the mill stream. Light cast-iron bridges of early 19th type over it.
Railway Line – built through the park. This is now the Croydon tramlink.
Red Cottage
Saddlers End
Lodge. Grey brick, c. 1840, one-storeyed. Lodges in the park
Morden Cottage, 18th cottage with a 'Gothick' castellated facade. It now houses the London Borough of Merton Registrar's Offices. It was built as a shooting lodge. It was the home of Alexander Hatfeild and his wife Elizabeth Gilliat. Their son Gilliat bought Morden Hall itself and moving there replacing Garth as Squire of Morden. His son Gilliat Edward, a bachelor, moved back to the Cottage. It is partly weather- boarded, with castellations and obelisks, and Tudor dripstones over the windows
Wilderness Island, in the park on the east bank of the river opposite Morden Lodge. Abraham Goldsmith committed suicide here in 1810.
Barn, behind the Surrey Arms. A fine boarded timber framed structure, slate roofed, weather-beaten this farm building may be as old as the Estate walls. Burnt down in 1991
Blacklands was the area around the barn and used as vcommon fields. These were ‘poors allotments but now crossed by the railway line. The old field system and hedges can be traced. There were water meadows between the avenue and the river.

Morden Hall Road
Growtes. This was the Tudor House built by the original purchasers of the estate. Built in 1553 by Edward Whitchurch who published the first bible in English. Sold to Richard Garth in 1554. Peter Mauvillian calico printer lived there. It stood near the site of the present Morden Lodge
Morden House built by Mr. Groves which replaced Growtes. Built by Dutch financer Goldsmit in 1797.
Goldsmit’s villa built on the site of Morden Lodge, decorated by the same people as Brighton pavilion. Goldsmit killed himself in 1810 and the house became derelict.
Morden Lodge. Regency villa built on the site of Goldsmit's villa. Built by John Tyrell of the steam washing factory at Phipps Bridge and the first occupant was Edward Walmsley of the Ravensbury print works. Eventually in the 1920s it was bought by the Hatfeilds and is now owned by the National Trust. It is set back from the road in its own grounds.
'White Cottage' or 'Casabianca', a three storey timber framed 18th. Has an artesian well in the garden from which a mineral water called 'Ravens' Spring' been produced in the 1870's.
Surrey Arms. a refurbished early 20th building standing on the site of an older hostelry
Ivy Lodge. An 18th garden building converted to a two-storey cottage.

Morden Road
In 1690 William Wood was prosecuted for damaging the lane by building a new watercourse for his bleaching business
Morden Road. John Arbuthnot, 1753, diverted it without consent. The old road can be seen in the park between Perske Price building and the park. It had passed close to the house and disturbed his privacy.
2 The Gables. Part of old farmhouse. Former stables and garage block to Ravensbury House; c. 1910 by H. Porter and Percy Newton in a Lutyens-inspired neo-Georgian
Ravensbury Park House built by Bidder on the south of the river going up towards Rose Hill. This was superseded by a new "Ravensbury Manor House", built by his grandson Harold Bidder. An attractive house with lawns running down to the water's edge.
Private eighteenth century sham ruin - really a tower with a single brick on masonry. Folly.
Millstones – edge runners behind Ravensbury mill site.
Ravensbury Mill. The mill was apparently built in the 1680s by a Mr. Westbrook. The earliest calico works on the Wandle in 1690 begun by Peter Mauvillion. In 1758 it became a snuff mill with two wheels by 1800. IN the 1780s it was run by a Mr. Pearkes who probably built the18th buildings. Nathaniel Polhill, tobacco merchant from The Borough, operated it with Mr. Spencer from 1789 and then with John Rutter from 1810. Their Cheapside premises sold Mitcham Shag and later it was where Rutter's Mitcham Shag was made, which won a gold medal at a brewers' exhibition in 1906. They also made cigarettes. The Rutter tobacco and snuff manufactory lasted until 1926. During the Second World War to was hoped to generate electricity frose33333e33333m the wheels but they were not suitable. The building was later used by a manufacturer of sports goods. It dates from the later c 19, with two cast-iron low-breast-shot wheels inside. The mill is in yellow brick with a hipped slate roof. The largest of the buildings was the 19th snuff mill. The smaller building is probably the earlier snuff mill. It was reputedly the last working mill on the river, still operational in the 1960s, when the main stream was diverted for flood relief work. It was then used for wood- working machinery. The last owners of the Mill were Whitely Products who purchased the factory from Rutters in 1926 for £4200. They made sports goods but finally closed in the 80s. Two quarter breast- shot wheels are still housed inside the building and separated by a narrow gangway. Both have ribbed drive shafts and could have been operated separately or in unison by individual sluices.
Ranalah Ltd, small coach works
Harvey & Knight, floor cloth manufacturers
Lodge Grey brick, c. 1840, one-storeyed.

Phipps Bridge Road
"Bridge over a conduit', crossing an arm of the Wandle - possibly artificially diverted - and the main stream of the river ‘Pypesbrige’ 1535, ‘Pippebridge’ l548
Cherry Orchard Estate, borough housing of c. 1979, grouped around two greens opening off two spine roads, an informal type of perimeter plan derived from Watermeads
Phipps Bridge Tram stop 1998. Between Belgrave Walk and Morden Road on Croydon Tramlink
Varnish works. 1890s

Ravensbury Park
Channels built for the 17th bleach works can still be found and a diversion to the Wandle, made for this purpose, remains as an ornamental water area.

Ravensbury Path
Belgrave Walk Tram stop. 1998. Between Mitcham and Phipps Bridge on Croydon Tramlink
Ravensbury House. The name probably refers to a Norman owner, Rafe the Chamberlain. In 1531 it was purchased by a member of the Carew family. Part of old manor house, built in the 16th century remains in brick walls left in the shrubbery. By the early 17th it was the home of the Garth family lord of the Manor of Morden and later leased to an east India merchant. In 1753 it was in the hand of John Arbuthnot who diverted the road. In 1823 it was "an extensive ancient mansion”. In 1855 it was sold by the Carews and George Parker Bidder, the engineer and sometime calculating boy, bought the house and his grandson Harold built Ravensbury Manor House here - one of several with that name. By 1929 it was a ruin and the site bought by the local authority as a park.
162 Ravensbury Farm, the former Ravensbury farmhouse. Close by exit into Wandle Road. On the southern bank, close by the exit into Wandle Road, a house now much altered and lacking its outbuildings. From here, just within living memory, cattle crossed the Wandle Road to their grazing grounds

Friday, 8 October 2010

Thames Tributaries – the River Wandle - St.Helier

Thames Tributaries – the River Wandle
The Wandle flows north west through the park

Post to the east Mitcham
Post to the north Morden Hall

Bishopsford Road
250 St.Theresa of the Child Jesus. RC church 1930 by W. C. Mangan.
St.Peter's church, 1932, with large mural on the front.

Llanthony Road
Moreton Green First School

Lillishall Road
131 Bishopsford Arts College. Secondary school
Moreton Green

Montacute Road
St.Theresa’s RC Primary School

Pollard Road
15 St.Joseph’s Convent

Ravensbury Park
Small open space on the banks of the Wandle –It has been a park since 1930. The section south of the Wandle has 200 year old Plane trees, as well as Sweet Gums, Chinese Cowtail Pine and Oaks although some trees were lost in the 1987 hurricane. In the bushes around the huts grow Witches Broom whose berries grow on the underside of the leaves.
Wandle flows through the park fed by side branches from Watermeads Estate and the Morden Road area. The river widens in what was the mill pond for Ravensbury Mill.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Thames Tributaries – the River Wandle - Mitcham

Thames Tributaries – the River Wandle
The Wandle continues to flow north

Post to the west St.Helier
Post to the south St.Helier

Cranmer Ditch
This watercourse runs east-west
. Called after Mr.Cranmer who had a house on what became the Wilson Hospital site.

Ellis Road
Trading estate road
15 British Bakeries – Premier Foods bakery, produces Hovis and ‘morning goods’.
B. Nebbitt scrap metal. Founded 1970.

Imperial Fields.
Tooting and Mitcham United football ground
The Hub with café and bar.

London Road
Mitcham Bridge. The mill sites lie close to the bridge over the Wandle. There was a bridge here in the 18th which was replaced in 1759 by the local parishes although by 1800 it was a ‘county’ bridge and built of brick. Widened and a pedestrian bridge built in the late 1940s.
Parish boundary marker on the centre of the downstream side of the bridge dated 1882
Ford - There was a ford upstream of the bridge before it was built. It was still in use by carters in the 1930s but in the Second World War it was blocked with dragon’s teeth.
Mill sites - Possibly the ones mentioned in Domesday – when it was Mitcham Mill alias Wickford Mill alias Marris Mill. In the 15th it was the site of Mitcham Mill which was a corn mill succeeded by a copper mill. By the 17th there were three mills here - two on the Grove Mill site and one opposite. There is evidence of paper production in the 18th and perhaps snuff but more likely they were milling corn. Henry Hoare bought the head lease of the mills in 1792 and the mills were all occupied by Richard Glover - both men were shareholders in the Surrey Iron Railway.
Grove Mill or Wandle Flour Mill. This is on the northern arm of the Wandle. It was a long, two-storied building which was rebuilt several times due to fire -the first one which is recorded was in 1788 and soon after it was occupied by the Grovers. In 1864 the Ashbys, of Brixton windmill, began flour milling here, but because of the reduced flow of water moved back to Brixton. In 1870, it was rebuilt, in stock brick. In 1903 the occupiers were the Patent Horse Hair Company who made artificial horsehair, for mattress and upholstery stuffing using the name Lyxhayr. This was a patented alternative to horsehair made from coconut fibres and said to be waterproof. It was rebuilt again in 1907, on the same floor plan and this building remains although in 1940 it was bombed. In 1919 Lyxhayr changed their name to Mitcham Fibre Mills Limited, and the company eventually bought the freehold of both buildings. The Managing Director, Mr. W.W. Dickinson, was a founder member of the Wandle Open Spaces Committee and with Octavia Hill was instrumental in acquiring the Watermeads for the National Trust. Until the 1960s, it remained a fibre mill, working jute and coir. R.F.White & Co., who made medicated toilet soaps, and perfumes used later part of the mill premises until 1979 when they moved to Peterborough. From 1977 it was occupied by Footman & Co. Ltd., who made and supplied chiropody equipment. An outbuilding was used by C.S.Walker (Sacks) Ltd., 'Plain and Misprinted Sacks, Polythene Builders' Sheets'. It has since been converted into flats.
Mill pond for the Grove Mill formed by a widening of the river - this included a tumbling bay. The mill wheel stood between the two mills. It had a single metal water-wheel, removed following a diversion to the river in the 1960s. This iron wheel was one of the last on the Wandle and used in the power crisis of 1947 when it generated electricity. This wheel was 18ft in diameter, and 10 feet broad with a potential output of 90 hp. Another wheel had been added in 1910. Millrace through Grove Mill that and adjacent north-south river channels were filled in by Surrey County Council and the river diverted to the south. The wheel was however still used in 1962. During the 1960s an asbestos shed was built over the former millrace of light industry, it was demolished in 2003
Crown Mill. This mill worked together with the Grove Mill. In 1848 the lease was taken over by a felt manufacturer and it was turned to the manufacture of felt jerkins and boots for the British Army during the Crimean War. Mitcham Felt & Fibre Works'. It was burnt down in 1870 but rebuilt in brick and felt production contrived. The Lyxhayr Company eventually took it over in 1910. An outhouse on the site still bears traces of their trade name 'Lyxhayr'. Lyxhayr survived until 1959 when they only occupied Crown Mill. It was later taken over by C. S. Walker (Sacks) Limited and the Jute Company Ltd but was destroyed by a fire in 1964.
Glover or Raleigh's Snuff mill. Also called Morden Mill although it was above Mitcham Bridge. This mill was ruined in the late 19th. There is nothing to connect it with Sir Walter Raleigh. It was a small mill occupied by Glover in 1809 and an edge runner millstone in Watermeads comes from here and marks the site. Remains of the mill consist of a brick pier and wall which acted as the end support to the waterwheel. By 1834 it was said to be empty. The buildings are said to have still been there in the 1920s when they collapsed and, they were given to the National Trust by Merton and Morden UDC, who were by then the owners.
'Wandle Fisheries Association’, this was an abortive fish-breeding industry set up here in the early 20th. A water bailiff, Mr. Henry Bourne, was employed and a trout hatchery was established in an old building at Watermeads. The bailiff left in 1907, and attempts at restocking failed.
Fisheries Cottages – probably built for mill workers. Three weatherboard cottages now called Fishermen's Cottages, because the bailiff of the Wandle Fisheries Association lived in the cottage facing the bridge and all three were homes of employees of the Mitcham Grove mills until the late 1950's. The oldest house as the central one with bow windows and original boxed sliding-sashes from the mid-18th. The double- fronted house facing the road was built about 1850, the other two a century earlier. The easternmost cottage is called 'a mill', and was first mentioned in 1765. Timber frame construction finished with boarding painted white
477 Yew tree in the front garden
Surrey Iron Railway. It has been suggested that there were railway workshops here, but there is no evidence for this. Some wheels from the railway were put in the stream to form a breakwater against walls of the mill building.

Paper Mill Cut
Canal between Mitcham Grove and Watermeads. It likely that the paper mill in question was Crown Mill. Dredging close to its junction with the Wandle threw up a cast-iron wheel of 32 inches diameter and a second wheel, with an incomplete rim. It is thought that these came from the Surrey Iron Railway.

Poulter Park
In 1928, the house and park were bought by the Greater London Playing Fields Association from the Anglo-American Oil Company and the British Legion. The trustees of the late Reginald Clifford Poulter helped fund the project and the park was named after him,
Bishopsford House in the park. Built in the 1860s for druggist Alfred Attwood and a partner in the manufacture of Meggezones. The building was razed to the ground by fire in August 2001.Rebuilt as housing.
Carshalton playing fields. –various Rugby and other clubs Pelhamanian Rugby Football Club and the Mitcham Rugby Union Football Club
St Helier railway which was at work from 1928 for building work on the St.Helier estate. A footpath follows sixty yards of the line across the park and then passes on to the south side of a narrow wood separating the two rugby clubs. The line runs in a shallow cutting which is the only remaining earthwork along the course of the railway. Beyond the wood, the line crosses the south side of the Park roughly on the line of an access road.

Rawnsley Avenue
Site of grounds for calico bleaching.
Watermeads estate. Council housing development from the 1970s with. Communal gardens going down to the Wandle. Designed by R. Hodge and A. Bews of the Council Architect's Department it has 186 houses, and flats arranged in a three-storey ribbon overlooking landscaped grounds.
Cedar surviving from Mitcham Grove
New lake alongside the river.
Electricity substation on the site of a Lodge which was the last survival of Mitcham Grove House on the corner of Rawnsley Avenue
Site of Hovis’s sports ground in the grounds of what was Morden Grove
Wandle branch with an island and a pond which is a flood control feature

Riverside Drive
Wandle House built 1795 and now part of an office block. It is a small brick house with a bow window facing the river. It is now part of an office block of 1963 connected by a glazed walkway. Grade II Listed. It is the remains of a house called Wandle Grove. In the mid 19th it was the home of William Wilson but mainly demolished in the 1960s.

Peterborough Road
St Helier railway. After completion of the St Helier estate in 1936 the line was cut back to Peterborough Road.

Tramway Path
Part of old footpath between Mitcham and Hackbridge. Used to carry on straight to Mitcham Station but now built over
The Surrey Iron Railway route followed the path from Willow Lane Bridge having followed the railway from Mitcham

Pumps on the riverside which are north of the end of Watermeads Lane. These pump water back to Carshalton Ponds
Bennett’s Hole. The river bends at this point and here flows in its natural channel – one of the few areas on the river where this still remains.
Bennett’s Hole Nature reserve with diverse habitats - scrub, wetland, herbage and rough grassland. There are common butterflies and dragonflies. It is a site with evidence of early settlement of the 3rd
St.Helier railway. The railway ran along the Wandle and a short stretch of the route is within the Bennett’s Hole nature reserve. The line crossed the river but there is now no evidence of the line or of the bridge.

Wandle Way
Part of a trading estate
Malden Plating. Metal plating works since 1949

Watermeads. Open space which belongs to the National Trust given to them in 1913 for a wildlife sanctuary. It is used partly for the cultivation of willows.
Seat in memory of Octavia Hill. Donated in memory of Octavia Hill, a founder of the National Trust. Largely through her efforts an 11 acre site was given to the Trust in 1913 by the River Wandle Open Spaces Committee. An additional acre was donated by the Urban District of Mitcham and Morden in 1965.

Wates Way
Part of the modern trading estate
Pond built by Cranmer on Cranmarsh Common in the 1740s. This was to impound water for mills on his land. Filled in during the construction of the trading estate.

Willow Lane
Ford – the road originally ran down to the Wandle where there was a ford.
Willow Lane was the site of a commercial bleach works owned in the early 18th by Thomas Selby from West Ham. In 1751 he died and was replaced by the Reynolds who were also active at The Culvers. Samuel Makepeace used the area for calico printing from 1824 but was bankrupt in 1851. The wheel and chimney of the print works remained but sand and gravel diggings took over the area.
The Willows. Big house also called ‘the old Red House’ built in 1746 by Selby. It was a farmhouse by 1851 when Makepeace became bankrupt. It was farmed by Louis Dutriez who could get more crops of the land than other farmers. In 1914 it was Wandle Paddocks Stud Farm. Demolished when derelict in the 1920s.
St.Helier railway. The line ran parallel to the Wandle but is lost under the Willow Lane industrial estate.
Surrey Iron Railway. The bridge for what is now the Croydon tram marks the division of the Hackbridge/Croydon branches of it.
Fig tree between road and tramway.
Hall's depot. Hall & Co, of Croydon bought 83 acres of gravel land from Mr. Simpson in 1914. And another 73 acres in 1919. It was to become their Transport depot. Their first mechanical plant for sand and ballast was installed there in 1923.
Mitcham Mills or Long Hack Mill or Searle’s Mill. Mills have now long since gone, the river re-channelled and new industries built over the area. It stood on an island formed by a diversion of the river and a millpond and it had to be reached by a ford. Technically the mill was in Carshalton, not in Mitcham. In 1698 one of these mills was a copper mill operated by William Tote and known as Tower Mill producing blanks for farthings and half pennies to be struck at the royal mint. The Mint was at the Tower of London and thus it was called Tower Mill. The business went bankrupt after the loss of the contract in 1717. It was taken over by the Edward Foster as a ‘Budge’ mill –processing lamb’s skin as a trimming. Charles Foster rand it as a corn mill, and also had a millwrights business there. New machinery was installed in 1810 and it was expanded in 1817 with a 12 foot wheel working three pairs of stones. In the 1830s it was owned by Spencers, occupied by John Searles who continued to grind corn there until 1853 when the water supply began to fail. It was then taken over by Deed & Sons
Eagle Leather Works. The mill was taken over by J.S.Deed & Son, of New Oxford Street and called Deed's Mill, proprietors of the Eagle Leather Works. Deeds, founded in 1834, specialized in high grade 'fancy' leathers - buckskin, glace kid, suede, soft morocco and book-binding skivers. They manufactured the scabbard for the Stalingrad Sword, presented to them by Churchill for their heroism in the Second World War. There were three wheels which were used to generate electricity until c.1965. The Deeds remained on site until the late 1980s but flood prevention works meant the old buildings were replaced and the wheel removed.
Logwood mill. This mill also stood at the end of Willow Lane. It was built by a wood grinder called Richard Bond in the 18th was used for logwood or color mill in about 1685 - but possibly earlier used for wool. It had been owned by the Cranmers and called Cranmarsh Mills. Bond paid £2,000 for river diversions. In 1853 30 hp wheels were installed but water was becoming very short. It continued as a colour mill until 1869. It became part of Deeds mill in 1875. Closed in 1989 and demolished in 1966