Merton Priory Chapter House

Merton Priory Chapter House The Chapter House is a temporary museum which houses the ruins of the Chapter House of Merton Priory. https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=merton+priory+chapt
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25/03/2020

Due to the recent restrictions due to COVID-19 we will be postponing any events and visits until it is safe to do so. We'll update our website and page here when we have more news from Public Health England. Stay safe and look after each other.

There are only two Sunday open days left until we shut for the winter and Phase 2 of our building works begins. If you’v...
20/10/2019
2019 Sunday Opening Times - Merton Priory

There are only two Sunday open days left until we shut for the winter and Phase 2 of our building works begins. If you’ve missed out so far here’s your final chance to visit this year! #museums2019 #History #localheritage

Spring is finally here and we have regular Sunday opening times confirmed. We will be open on Sundays from 28th April – October 27th 2019 from 11am to 4pm. We just hope the weather holds out for every day we’re open. Please keep an eye out for any special events on the What’s On section …Rea...

17/05/2019

Some classical music to send you to a special place tonight. Evening all.

Just getting ready for John’s 77th birthday party. A fitting setting for someone who’s worked over 30 years on this proj...
17/05/2019

Just getting ready for John’s 77th birthday party. A fitting setting for someone who’s worked over 30 years on this project. ❣

Merry Christmas everyone! If you wanted to know how the Monks and Tudors would have celebrated in the 15th Century, this...
30/12/2018
Tudor Monastery Farm - Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! If you wanted to know how the Monks and Tudors would have celebrated in the 15th Century, this BBC programme will shed some light.

The team recreate a Tudor christmas, which featured 12 days of celebrations and feasts.

26/10/2018

Sunday will be the last open day event of the year until we finish the final Phase One works and reopen in the Spring. If you haven't been to see us yet. Tomorrow is your last chance this year.

30/09/2018

Lovely to see so many new faces today. If you like what we’re doing. Please like and share. If you don’t like what we’re doing. Please tell your enemies. 😂

28/09/2018

We have two events this weekend. The Murder Mystery Night for the Mayor's sponsored charity fundraiser on Saturday and Open for Visitors on Sunday. Please see our new website for more details.

Thanks to everybody who visited on the first day of #openhouselondon We’ll be back tomorrow morning and hopefully the ra...
22/09/2018

Thanks to everybody who visited on the first day of #openhouselondon We’ll be back tomorrow morning and hopefully the rain will stop. #madeinmerton #history #heritage

Merton Priory Chapter House's cover photo
19/09/2018

Merton Priory Chapter House's cover photo

Some photos from the preview launch event on Saturday.
19/09/2018

Some photos from the preview launch event on Saturday.

Only 10 days to go until the #murdermystery night at the Chapter House.
19/09/2018

Only 10 days to go until the #murdermystery night at the Chapter House.

Case Noire is just 11 days away and the evidence is being collected for our detectives. Could you be the first to solve the murder of Leo Foreman?
£50 per player includes dinner, arrival drink and mystery!
Book via 02085453517.
#murdermystery #debut #exciting #comingsoon #historic #mertonpriory

Hope to see you all next weekend for Open House. The dry run went okay. 😆
15/09/2018

Hope to see you all next weekend for Open House. The dry run went okay. 😆

The launch of Merton Priory is complete. 200 people who were deeply involved met today and smashed the ball out of the P...
15/09/2018

The launch of Merton Priory is complete. 200 people who were deeply involved met today and smashed the ball out of the Park. #wandlepark #merton #wimbledon #mitcham #heritage #heritagelotteryfunded

Just getting ready for the grand opening next week.
15/09/2018

Just getting ready for the grand opening next week.

Looks like some interesting projects are afoot around the area. This is from South Wimbledon tube station in time for th...
17/08/2018

Looks like some interesting projects are afoot around the area. This is from South Wimbledon tube station in time for the Merton Arts Festival. Have a visit before it goes.

If you see something that looks like a) and not b) c) or d) around the town, drop us a message and we’ll see what we can...
30/07/2018

If you see something that looks like a) and not b) c) or d) around the town, drop us a message and we’ll see what we can do. 😉

New street signs. Thank you Merton Council.😊
14/07/2018

New street signs. Thank you Merton Council.😊

16/06/2018
Merton Priory - History Unearthed

What links a supermarket, the Magna Carta, St Barts Hospital, William the Conquerer, Parliament, a Roman road, Oxford University, Wimbledon and Henry VIII?
Produced by Bobbin Productions ; featuring John Hawks and Charlie Shakespeare. Funded by Heritage Lottery Fund. Please like and share!

If you’ve been past the Chapter House you’ve probably see the building work going on outside. The external work has now ...
08/06/2018

If you’ve been past the Chapter House you’ve probably see the building work going on outside. The external work has now been completed and yesterday evening John Hawks premiered a Heritage Lottery Funded educational video aimed at school children. We’ll be releasing the video very soon. Watch this space.

A very happy birthday to our vice chair of trustees. Mr John Hawks. Esq. Have a great one, John. We’ll see you at the gr...
25/05/2018
Historic site gets £400k for redevelopment

A very happy birthday to our vice chair of trustees. Mr John Hawks. Esq. Have a great one, John. We’ll see you at the grand opening. 🎂

New cash for Merton Priory in Colliers Wood, which played a vital role in the development of England’s legal and political system.

20/04/2018
Merton Abbey Sept 2016

Happy sunny Friday! Here's a video by "Train Boy and Granddad with Ellie" of a replica of how the train line from Wimbledon to Merton Abbey would have looked in the 1950s - which is where Metantun Way is now located.

Based on the line from Wimbledon through Merton Park to Merton Abbey circa 1950's. The O gauge end-to-end layout is 36 feet long and is in the form of a "U" ...

Did you know that the Chapter House and Abbey buildings were situated directly under the Tooting, Merton and Wimbledon l...
25/03/2018
London's Lost Railways 8 - Tooting, Merton and Wimbledon

Did you know that the Chapter House and Abbey buildings were situated directly under the Tooting, Merton and Wimbledon line? A former railway, with only the Haydons Road branch surviving today.

The Tooting, Merton and Wimbledon line is a former railway, with only the Haydons Road branch surviving today. We take a walk along the route to see what clu...

23/03/2018
Time Team S10-E06 Merton,.London

Are you a big fan of archaeology? Here's another Merton Abbey Mills trip down memory lane. This one is with Channel 4's Timeteam from 2002.

Tony Robinson and the team are hunting for Liberty's first factory in South London. 'Liberty silks' still evoke images of opulence and beauty, of floating dr...

16/03/2018
RUSSELL GRANT'S POSTCARD FROM MERTON ABBEY MILLS (Channel 5, 1998)

A trip down memory lane with RussellGrant.com. Featuring our very own John Hawks (Vice-Chair of Trustees).

A museum piece in itself, as the area from the Mills to the Chapter House no longer exists and is covered with retail outlets. The small theatre shown here i...

The building of the new glass extension. The sacristy and cloister walls will be preserved in the floor and they can be ...
08/03/2018

The building of the new glass extension. The sacristy and cloister walls will be preserved in the floor and they can be seen running through the concrete wall

08/03/2018
Merton Priory Chapter House - History Under Our Feet

Please like and share!
10 min mini-documentary "Merton Priory Chapter House - History Under Our Feet".

This short film, directed, filmed and edited by Groundwork London's volunteers as part of the Industrial Heritage Recording project documenting people’s experiences of the Merton Priory Chapter House, focusing on the proposed improvements due to take place to enhance the visibility and accessibility of the premises.

Seal of the Church of Saint Mary Merton - Latin Inscription: SIGILL ECCLESIE SANCTE MARIE DE MERTONA
08/03/2018

Seal of the Church of Saint Mary Merton - Latin Inscription: SIGILL ECCLESIE SANCTE MARIE DE MERTONA

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Merton Abbey Mills
London
SW19 2RX

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Our History

The Chapter House is a museum and visitors centre which houses the foundations of the Chapter House of Merton Priory and tells the history of Merton from pre-history to the present day.

Prehistoric

In relation to the priory site, Bronze age ditches and a possible Iron age enclosure have been found to the east of Merton Abbey at Kings College Sports Ground suggesting that the area around the River Wandle and its floodplain was occupied over many centuries during the later prehistoric period.

Roman (AD43-410)

The impact of the Roman period within Merton hinges upon the line of the Roman Road ‘Stane Street’, the major Roman thoroughfare from London to Chichester. To the north-east of the site the road follows the line of the current High Street Colliers Wood in a south-westerly direction, to the vicinity of Colliers Wood Tube Station. At this point it would have crossed the early course of the River Wandle before crossing the site of later Merton priory, on a projected line to pass under the north transept and nave of the church and thereafter across the Abbey Mills site and onwards to Morden.

Saxon-early Norman (AD 410-1066)

During the Saxon period the first documentary evidence for Merton appears. Merton as a place name can be traced as early as the 7th century, supporting the likelihood of settlement by that date. It is usually translated as ‘the farm by the pond’ or alternatively as ‘Maera’s homestead’.

Medieval (1066-1538)

Merton Priory was established in AD1117 on its current site by Gilbert, sheriff of Surrey and received the manor of Merton from Henry I in 1121. Thomas Becket, later Archbishop of Canterbury, and Walter de Merton, founder of Merton College Oxford, were both educated at Merton Priory. The priory was surrendered to the crown in 1538 during the Dissolution under Henry VIII. Although most of its buildings were demolished, some remained standing.

Post-medieval

From the 17th century the former site of Merton Priory became commonly known as “Merton Abbey”. In 1648, during the Civil War parliamentarian troops were garrisoned at Merton Abbey. From the 1660s the site of Merton Priory was developing into a textile manufacturing centre, and this became the main focus of activity during the following decades. By 1667 one Johannis Walker was operating a silk manufacturing works at Merton Abbey, and the Jacob family were using part of the priory site as a bleaching ground.

From the 18th century industries flourished along the banks of the River Wandle, with calico-printing, flour-milling, copper and iron-working, brazil wood and snuff-milling, and leather-working all occurring in the locality. Of these, calico-printing was the main 18th-century industry at Merton Abbey and, along with Mitcham, the area became a major centre for textile printing and dyeing in England. This was favoured by a good supply of clear water for bleaching and printing, and to drive machinery.

The first calico-printing works at Merton Abbey were established in 1724 and were situated on the east bank of the River Wandle. A number of printers later occupied the site, the most notable being Arthur Liberty: Liberty & Co. was situated there from 1904 to 1972. The site is now a market and craft workshop known as ‘Merton Abbey Mills’.

In 1752 further calico-printing works were established to the north of the 1724 works, close to Merton High Street. During the latter part of the 19th century the works were leased by Morris & Co. who continued production until 1940.

Modern

In the 1970s the land around the Priory church was acquired by Sainsbury’s who erected a supermarket north of the church in the 1980s. A road serving the new supermarket runs immediately to the south of the church and across the cloister and chapter house, whose remains are protected by a road bridge.

An 18th century print house was uncovered outside of the wheelhouse during the filming of Channel 4’s Time Team in 2003.

The Merton Priory Trust is a registered charity formed in 2003 out of the Merton Historic Buildings Trust, to provide and support in perpetuity an education and information centre on the site of Merton Priory Chapter House, Chapter Way, London, SW19 2RX.

It was funded by a Section 106 preservation order and a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and is a Scheduled Monument of National and international importance.

Phase 1 of renovation was started in January 2018 and completed in August 2018.

Phase 2 is due to be completed over 2019. https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=merton+priory+chapt

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Comments

Hello, do you have any 2020 opening plans?
This is such an imaginative project. Thank you very much for looking after this historic site so well.