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Morden

From Academic Kids

This article is about the area of London, for alternative meanings see Morden (disambiguation).
Morden
OS Grid Reference:Template:Gbmappingsmall
Administration
Borough:Merton
County:Greater London
Region:Greater London
Nation:England
Other
Ceremonial County:Greater London
Traditional County:Surrey
Post Office and Telephone
Post town:MORDEN
Postcode:SM4
Dialling Code:020

Morden is a place in the London Borough of Merton. It is located approximately 10 miles South-southwest of central London between Merton Park (to the north), Mitcham (to the east), Sutton (to the south) and Worcester Park (to the west).

Contents

Origin of name

Morden gets its name either from the Saxon words "Mawr" (high) and Don (a hill), or possibly "The Den on the Moor".

A brief history of Morden

Early history

Human activity in Morden dates back to the prehistoric period when Celtic tribes are known to have occupied areas around Wimbledon, London, but the first significant development in Morden was the construction of the Roman road called Stane Street from Chichester to London.

The route of Stane Street through Morden followed the current A24, London Road up Stonecot Hill from the south west crossing Morden Park to the west of the current dual carriageway road and passing through the pitch and putt golf course and the grounds of St Lawrence's Church. The road then descended the other side of the hill towards the town centre passing west of the Underground station and crossing the north corner of Morden Hall Park heading in the direction of Colliers Wood and Tooting. Small Roman artefacts, mainly coins and pottery, have been found at various locations within the area although there is no evidence of any settlement.

Ethelstan the Etheling, son of Ethelred the Unready, left "land at Mordune" to the abbey of Christ and St. Peter in his will of 1015, which became the site of the first Saxon parish church of St Lawrence. Later in the 11th century Morden is mentioned in the Domesday Book when it belonged to Westminster Abbey and just 14 people lived in the area.

The Garth family

The manor and village remained abbey property until the dissolution of the monasteries in Henry VIII's reign when the manor was sold to Sir Richard Garth who became Lord of the Manor. The Garth family owned the land and maintained their connection with the parish for the next four centuries, living at Morden Hall Park until the 1870s.

The prominence of the Garth family is recorded locally in the name of Garth Road, Lower Morden and the former Garth School. The two lions included in the present civic arms of the London Borough of Merton are adopted from the arms of Sir Richard.

19th Century

Morden's Population
19th Century 20th Century
18015121901960
181154919111,202
182163819211,355
1831655193112,618
18416851941¹war
1851628195135,417
18616541961²68,011
18717871971²62,872
18816941981²61,108
18917631991³ n/a
  1. no census was held due to war
  2. includes Merton
  3. census data no longer relates to parish boundaries
source: UK census

Despite the rapid suburban development of nearby Wimbledon occassioned by the arrival of the new railways constructed in the mid 19th century, Morden remained a rural parish throughout the 19th century. Whilst the population of Wimbledon grew hugely from 1,591 in 1801 to 41,652 in 1901, the population of Morden was 512 in 1801 and, one hundred years later, had grown to just 960.

The first Ordnance Survey map of the parish produced circa 1871 (Template:GBvoss) shows the small village of Morden clustered around St Lawrence’s church at the top of the hill on the road from London to Epsom (now the A24, London Road/Epsom Road). Approximately half a mile to the west of the main village and the grounds of Morden Park stood the hamlet of Lower Morden.

Close to the church were the George Inn (a 17th century coaching inn which remains, in a much modernised form, as part of a national pub restaurant chain), the estate of Morden Park and a school.

The other main public house in the village was the Crown Inn, located to the north east of the village with a small cluster of cottages on Crown Road. The rest of what is now the commercial centre of Morden was fields.

In the late 19th century the principal industry remained agriculture, although some industrial activity did exist along the river Wandle where watermills ground tobacco to snuff and a varnish works existed close to the site of Poplar Primary School.

20th Century

The first two decades of the 20th century saw little change in the village with industry still mainly agricultural in nature. It was not until 1926 when Morden Underground station opened as the terminus of a new extension of the London Underground's Northern Line that the fast and direct route to central London opened up the village for residential development.

To complement the new station, a garage was constructed on the other side of London Road, adjacent to the railway cutting and, in 1932, Morden Cinema was built next to it on the corner of Aberconway Road and opened in 1932. Around the station a new commercial centre grew quickly as shops sprang up along London Road and Crown Lane, including a large Co-operative Society department store and a rebuilt and enlarged Crown public house.

Away from the new commercial centre of Morden, the existing rural roads were widened and rebuilt and the fields were rapidly divided into building plots and laid out for new housing. Further transport improvements came with the construction of a new Southern Railway branch line from Wimbledon to Sutton via South Merton and Morden South (so named, presumably, to differentiate it from Morden Underground Station and Morden Road Station (now tramstop) although it was actually north east of the original village centre). The new line opened in January 1930. As a result of the new transport links, the population of Morden experienced a sudden leap from 1,355 in 1921 to 12,618 in 1931. In the next fifteen years the population continued to grow as most of the parish was covered in new suburban homes.

One of the main residential developments in the 1930s was the St Helier estate, built by the London County Council (LCC) to house workers from inner London and named in honour of Lady St Helier, an alderman of the LCC. The estate was the largest local authority development in south London and has its road names arranged in alphabetical order, from the north-west corner (Abbotsbury Road) to the south-east corner (Woburn Road). Reflecting the previous ownership of the land by Westminster Abbey, all are named after religious establishments. Most of the St Helier estate now lies in the London Borough of Sutton.

Today

Missing image
Morden.JPG
Morden town centre

Little of the earlier rural character of Morden survived the suburban expansion, although the area has excellent provision of parks and playing fields, many of them created from remnants of the former country estates. It is, for the most part, a pleasant popular suburb.

The Crown public house was demolished in the early 1960s to make way for the fourteen-storey office block Crown House and a large supermarket (the supermarket was in turn demolished in the 1980s and replaced by the Civic Centre/Library). The Co-op, cinema and garage were all demolished in the 1980s or 1990s.

Landmarks

Transport connections

Nearest tube station:

Nearest railway stations and tramlink stops (in approximate order of proximity):

Nearest places

External links

  • News story on Mosque (1) (http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,2763,1054312,00.html)
  • News story on Mosque (2) (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fnews%2F2003%2F10%2F03%2Fnmosq03.xml)
  • Template:Mmukscaled
  • British Pathe News Archive (http://www.britishpathe.com/product_display.php?canisternumber=UN+79+C&sortnumber=&filmid=&szin=&group=&decade=&date1=&date2=&date3=&datefrom=&dateto=&choice=all&description=Enter+search+word%28s%29+here&searchword=&choice1=all&title=Enter+a+film+title+here&choice2=all&keywords=Enter+key+words+here&choice3=all&summary=Enter+a+summary+search+here&advanced.x=25&advanced.y=25) 1930s Newsreel footage of construction of Morden Cinema (download - select low resolution free preview)

Template:Mmuk maphot

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