Thames Tributaries – the River Wandle - Wandle Valley

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

Post to the north Mitcham
Post to the east Beddington Corner
Post to the south The Wrythe
Assembly Walk
Assembly Walk Chapel. Small church for Brethren

Buckhurst Avenue
Pumping station cottages
4 Sewage pumping station owned by Thames Water

Budge Lane
Housing on the Wandle Valley Hospital site.
2 Community Hall
Nature reserve – wetland on site of watercress beds.

Durant Avenue
The Limes stood at the eastern end of the road, by the Wandle. The house was used as Culvers colony for Spanish refugees in the 1930s.
Housing demolished

Goat Island
Area between two branches of the Wandle above Goat Bridge. The eastern section is a nature reserve.
Nursery Gardens, in use as waste disposal and light industry. 2 Reservoirs on site.

Goat Road
The Surrey Iron Railway ran along London Road at the eastern end of Goat Road. It is possible the road follows the line of a siding which could have run to the riverside mill complex.
Goat Bridge. Across the Wandle
The Waterfall under Goat Bridge marks the site of the water wheel for the leather mill.
Wandle Trading Estate now on the area covered by the mills
Mitcham Leather Mills. South west of Goat Bridge and standing on an island in the river. This had been a skinning mill in 1690 although the mill itself is recorded in 1644. . In 1733 it was said to be four mills in one building - corn, copper and two leather mills. It was owned by Pillet and Paul Savignac in 1800 and from 1840 Peter Pharaoh and then his foreman William McRae had it until the 1870s until eventually he was bankrupt. In 1880 it was Pavlova Leather Co. From 1890 to 1914 it was worked by R.Daniel Roberts. & Sons Ltd. and it became known as Roberts' Mill. It was still operated as a leather mill in 1935. A yellow brick buttressed wall remains.
Riverside House south of the road on the riverside. Yellow brick belonged to the owner of the mill. Listed Grade II.
Drug Mill. This mill was downstream of Goat Bride and on the west bank of the river. In 1795 it was worked by Henry Batley, and in 1805 it had passed to Alexander Aiken whose family remained there until 1907. It closed 1918 and became a leather mill working into the 1950s.
Corn mill. This mill was downstream of Goat Bride and on the west bank of the river. It was downriver of the drug mill. This was a three storey mill, converted to leather in 1899 and remained in use until the 1950s.
Upper Farm. This was on the west bank of the river opposite the leather mill.

Green Wrythe Lane
Middleton Circle Library
St.Helier railway crossed Green Wrythe Lane where the triangular junction and depot was sited on the south side of the road. The site of the junction is now under housing.

Limes Avenue
Named for a local big house
Limes Green – recreation ground.

Middleton Road
Heliers Arms. Built originally as a community centre in the 1930s the site is now flats. It was once ‘the most dangerous pub in London’ with on going incidents including one ex-landlord cut up with a chain saw.
Wandle Valley Hospital. Opened 1899 as an isolation hospital and closed in 1976. Originally a poor law hospital, under the NHS it became long stay and geriatric as well as taking isolation cases.
The area to the right of the river footpath, was Cookson's calico bleaching grounds about 1800

New Road
Doerr's Mill said to have been on site before taken over by Mullard.
Mullard factory entrance. Mullard Radio was the biggest industrial concern in the Wandle valley, which later became Philips'. from 1927 to 1993 radio valves, sets and cathode ray rubes were manufactured here on land north of Culvers Avenue on a site previously Doerrs Mill. The Mullard Radio Valve Company was set up in 1920 by Robert Stanley Mullard who developed uses of valves and the use of fused silica glass. He began in a disused laundry in Hammersmith, and then at Balham in a former glassworks, at first he developed military applications, but in 1922 demand for radio valves followed the spread of radio broadcasting through the BBC and large-scale production began at Hackbridge. In 1925 the Dutch firm of Phillips took over the company but kept Mullards as the factory name until about 1988. The factory closed in 1993 and was demolished and housing now covers the site.

Peterborough Road
Dewsbury Cottage. Mitcham Rugby football club
St.Helier railway: the line ran a little to the north of Shaftsbury Avenue on what is still public open ground. It was enclosed by tall chestnut fencing and level crossings were equipped with proper gates opened and closed by the footplate staff.

Reynolds Close and Culvers Avenue
Between Wandle branches is the site of Reynolds estate. Their bleaching grounds were largest in the country.

Straightened for flood prevention, destroying the mill-leats
The river divides 700 yards north of Culvers avenue. The western channel is normally dry,

Watermead Lane
Wandle Tannery. 19th works operated by the Gibbs family. Demolished and site is housing.
Willow Cottages. Late 19th and may have been part of the tannery


Anonymous said…
hello - The Pavlova Leather Company (then owned by Booths of Liverpool) sold a five and a quarter acre site at Mitcham next to the river Wandle (complete with 44000 sq ft leather dressing works) in 1921 - any idea which site would that be?

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