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.


Anonymous said…
Hi, Are you able to assist me in a tiny matter. My name is Doel, and I was surprised to find a Doel Close on google-maps, just off Merton high Street. Who or what is Doel Close named for, was there a well known Doel locally?

Thanks for your time,
This is an extensive list, glad I found it as I am looking for more places to explore in the Colliers Wood area

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