Merton Area Guide

[vc_row el_class=”content pd-l mg-t mg-b-large mg-t-none-md”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Where is Merton?” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner offset=”vc_col-lg-6 vc_col-xs-12″][vc_column_text]The London Borough of Merton, located south-west of central London, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2015. It was formed as a result of the merger of Mitcham, Morden, Merton and Wimbledon local authorities in 1965, but the area was settled much earlier. Archaeology has shown that Merton was active even in prehistoric times. Celtic warriors were roaming Wimbledon Village long before the shoppers and drinkers of today. You can find the remnants of an Iron Age hill fort to the southwest of Wimbledon Common windmill, and there is evidence of another Celtic fort in the Pollards Hill area of Mitcham.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][ultimate_modal modal_title=”Where is Merton?” modal_on=”text” modal_on_align=”left” read_text=”Click here to read more” txt_color=”#17347a” modal_size=”block” overlay_bg_opacity=”80″ header_bg_color=”#0e396d” header_text_color=”#ffffff”]Merton was rural until the 20th century when it became a thriving suburban area of the city and much more densely populated, with a range of commercial and industrial buildings. Industry and the development of Merton was primarily centred around the Merton Abbey complex on the banks of the River Wandle. Towards the end of the 20th century, the river became a lot less important to local industries and the area went into decline.

However, London’s gentry began to populate Merton soon after the railway reached the borough. Shops such as Elys – a well-known department store in Wimbledon’s well appointed town centre – in opened in 1876 to cater for the tastes of the new suburban residents. In 1868 the All England Croquet Club was founded in Worple Road, Wimbledon. Its name was changed in 1877 to the now world-famous All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club, and it later moved to Church Road.

Trams came to Mitcham and Wimbledon in 1906 and 1907 respectively. Motorbuses picked up their first passengers from Raynes Park and dropped them off at Liverpool Street in 1914. The London Underground reached Colliers Wood, South Wimbledon and Morden by 1926. These transport improvements turned Morden from a small farming community of 1,000 in 1900 into a residential suburb of 12,618 within 30 years.

Today, Merton is mainly residential and is home to about 211,000 people, who take advantage of the borough’s wealth of green space. The borough, which includes Wimbledon and Mitcham commons within its boundaries, has five main town centres: Colliers Wood, Mitcham, Morden, Raynes Park and Wimbledon.[/ultimate_modal][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner offset=”vc_col-lg-6 vc_col-xs-12″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”2097″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row bg_type=”bg_color” bg_override=”full” el_class=”content pd-l pd-t-large pd-b-large” bg_color_value=”#ebf1fb”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Wimbledon” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner offset=”vc_col-lg-6 vc_col-xs-12″][vc_empty_space height=”10px”][vc_single_image image=”2098″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner offset=”vc_col-lg-6 vc_col-xs-12″][vc_column_text]The jewel in Merton’s crown, average sold prices for property in Wimbledon climbed more than 14% in 2014 to hit in excess of £654,000. Famously known as the place that hosts the annual Wimbledon tennis tournament, the suburb is also a popular residential district, with both upmarket Wimbledon Village and easily accessible Wimbledon Town proving popular choices for families and young professionals due to its great transport links, superb shopping and excellent local schools.

Affluent families and some young professionals head up the hill to the grand Victorian houses and conversion flats in Wimbledon Village, while young professionals and families seeking more for their money stay closer to the town centre (and train station) attracted by the period homes and modern developments offering townhouses and apartments.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][ultimate_modal modal_title=”Wimbledon” modal_on=”text” modal_on_align=”left” read_text=”Click here to read more” txt_color=”#17347a” modal_size=”block” overlay_bg_opacity=”80″ header_bg_color=”#0e396d” header_text_color=”#ffffff”]When it comes to entertainment, Wimbledon has two theatres – including the Grade II-listed New Wimbledon Theatre and Studio – two cinemas and one of London’s three remaining greyhound tracks in addition to a wide range of restaurants, bars and traditional pubs.

Apart from tennis, the area’s greatest attraction is its green space. There are numerous parks and greens in residential areas, including South Park Gardens, while Wimbledon Commons – made up of 1,200 acres of woodland, scrubland, heathland, mown recreation areas and nine ponds – are complemented by Wimbledon Park, which is located next to the All England Lawn Tennis Club and contains one of the largest lakes in south London.

For residents who work in London, Wimbledon has excellent connections with overland, tube and tram services. Fast trains from Wimbledon into London Waterloo take just 20 minutes and to London Blackfriars in 30 minutes.

On the Underground, the District Line terminates in Wimbledon while South Wimbledon offers Northern Line tube services. And commuters heading east are connected to Croydon by a tramlink.[/ultimate_modal][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row el_class=”content pd-l mg-t mg-b-large mg-t-none-md”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Colliers Wood” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner offset=”vc_col-lg-6 vc_col-xs-12″][vc_column_text]Despite sharing its SW19 postcode with Wimbledon, the mostly residential area of Colliers Wood offers housebuyers in Merton a pocket of affordability, with sold prices for homes averaging £345,536 in 2014.

Offering a mix of period properties and new-build flats, the area benefits from being on the Northern Line between South Wimbledon and Tooting Broadway. While there might not be a wood nearby, Colliers Wood is close to the green spaces of the National Trust-owned Wandle Park and the more informal Wandle Meadow Nature Park.

Many of the residential streets lead directly to the busy high street, which offers a good mix of local shops, while two large shopping areas – the Priory Retail Park and Tandem Centre – are home to many big-name high street brands.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][ultimate_modal modal_title=”Colliers Wood ” modal_on=”text” modal_on_align=”left” read_text=”Click here to read more” txt_color=”#17347a” modal_size=”block” overlay_bg_opacity=”80″ header_bg_color=”#0e396d” header_text_color=”#ffffff”]Nearby is Merton Abbey Mills, craft village on the river Wandle that is housed in the former Liberty silk-printing works and contains a restored waterwheel that the borough council uses as its logo.

The tourist attraction hosts a bustling weekend market, pretty shops, a riverside pub and a wide range of food outlets including Caribbean, Thai, Italian, Brazilian and a traditional carvery.[/ultimate_modal][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner offset=”vc_col-lg-6 vc_col-xs-12″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”2099″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row bg_type=”bg_color” bg_override=”full” el_class=”content pd-l pd-t-large pd-b-large” bg_color_value=”#ebf1fb”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Mitcham” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner offset=”vc_col-lg-6 vc_col-xs-12″][vc_empty_space height=”10px”][vc_single_image image=”2100″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner offset=”vc_col-lg-6 vc_col-xs-12″][vc_column_text]Once famous for its lavender farms, Mitcham was an important industrial centre from the end of the 18th century until the 1960s. Unlike neighbouring Colliers Wood, Mitcham is in the CR postcode area and this is reflected in the good value prices for its range of Edwardian, Victorian and 1930s housing that was originally built to house the poor.

The area also has a large number of post-war houses because Mitcham suffered bomb damage during World War Two due to its economic importance in addition to a large number of local authority properties and a growing number of purpose-built low-rise properties.

Since 2013, property values in Mitcham have risen by more than 16% in 2014, but the suburb remains highly affordable with the average sold price for a home in Mitcham being just above £270,000 in 2014.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][ultimate_modal modal_title=”Mitcham” modal_on=”text” modal_on_align=”left” read_text=”Click here to read more” txt_color=”#17347a” modal_size=”block” overlay_bg_opacity=”80″ header_bg_color=”#0e396d” header_text_color=”#ffffff”]Mitcham is well placed to benefit from the services of the nearby retail centre in Colliers Wood, but it does have a large supermarket and a market is held on the pedestrianised Fair Green area, which is also the location of the landmark Clock Tower that was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1896.

Mitcham has plenty to offer when it comes to green space and leisure. Bordered by Croydon Road, Carshalton Road and Beddington Lane, Mitcham Common is a 460-acre conservation area that contains a golf course.

And Mitcham Cricket Club on London Road is said to be the oldest in the world. The green on which it stands is thought to have been used since 1685 and was regularly visited by Lord Nelson.

Transport links in Mitcham are also good. The Wimbledon tramlink connects Micham with Croydon and beyond, while Mitcham Junction and Mitcham Eastfields train stations offer fast links to Victoria Station in central London.[/ultimate_modal][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row el_class=”content pd-l mg-t mg-b-large mg-t-none-md”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Morden & Raynes Park” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner offset=”vc_col-lg-6 vc_col-xs-12″][vc_column_text]Until the Tube station was built and the Northern Line extended in 1926, Morden remained a sleepy backwater of cottages and farms. The development of the station transformed the rural landscape, which overnight became within easy commuting distance of central London just seven miles away.

People flocked to the area and building work on the St Helier estate – the largest local authority development in south London – started in 1928, while the 270-home Haig estate was completed in 1935 at the same time as a large number of smaller developments. This explains why Morden’s housing stock has a large number mock Tudor 1930s semi-detached homes.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][ultimate_modal modal_title=”Morden & Raynes Park” modal_on=”text” modal_on_align=”left” read_text=”Click here to read more” txt_color=”#17347a” modal_size=”block” overlay_bg_opacity=”80″ header_bg_color=”#0e396d” header_text_color=”#ffffff”]With property prices averaging a little over £300,000 in Morden, the suburb offers housebuyers an affordable option. And while retail opportunities may be limited, the area does have an abundance of green space, access to the Tube network and is home to National Trust Property Morden Hall Park.

Dating back to the 1770s, the Hall was owned and occupied by the wealthy Garth family until it was sold to a tobacco merchant Gilliat Hatfeild in the 1870s. His son, Gilliat Edward Hatfeild left the core of the estate – including the house – to the National Trust when he died in 1941.

Raynes Park

Development in Raynes Park started in the late 19th century with the opening of the railway and it is the fast connections into London Waterloo that continues to draw people here today, together with its wide mix of architecture from classic period Victorian and Edwardian houses and terraced cottages to 1930s houses and contemporary apartment buildings.

More affordable than Wimbledon, sold prices in Raynes Park in 2014 topped £600,000. Largely middle class and with a low crime rate, families with young children and professional couples are attracted to Raynes Park by its abundance of green space.

Cannon Hill Common has 21 hectares of open space and has a Grade I listing for Nature Conservation with woodland that dates back over 140 years, while Cottenham Park – named after Charles Pepys, the 1st Earl of Cottenham – has a children’s playground, a cricket pitch, six tennis courts and a pavilion.

Raynes Park Fact

The name Raynes Park originates from the Raynes family who were landowners in the area and it was first used during the 1870s. Prior to this the area was known as Cottenham Park.[/ultimate_modal][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner offset=”vc_col-lg-6 vc_col-xs-12″][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”2104″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row bg_type=”bg_color” bg_override=”full” el_class=”content pd-l pd-t-large pd-b-large” bg_color_value=”#ebf1fb”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Education in Merton ” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner offset=”vc_col-lg-6 vc_col-xs-12″][vc_empty_space height=”10px”][vc_single_image image=”2106″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner offset=”vc_col-lg-6 vc_col-xs-12″][vc_column_text]Wimbledon comes top of the class when it comes to schools in Merton. Five of the six primary schools in Merton that are rated outstanding by Ofsted are in Wimbledon. These include West Wimbledon, Dundonald, Bishop Gilpin, Singlegate and St Marys. Other sought-after choices are Holy Trinity and Wimbledon Chase primary schools.

For secondary education, the girls-only Ursuline High also has an outstanding Ofsted rating. Other choices are Willington, Richards Lodge and Wimbledon College.

For private education, parents look to Wimbledon High and King’s College, which were both placed in the top 200 performing schools in the country for both GCSE and A level results.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][ultimate_modal modal_title=”Education in Merton ” modal_on=”text” modal_on_align=”left” read_text=”Click here to read more” txt_color=”#17347a” modal_size=”block” overlay_bg_opacity=”80″ header_bg_color=”#0e396d” header_text_color=”#ffffff”]The latter, an independent day school for boys aged 7-18 and girls aged 16-18 on the south side of Wimbledon Common, was ranked number two in the country for AS and A level results, while Wimbledon High, an independent girls’ day school, was placed in the top 200 for A level results with 27% of pupils achieving at least AAB.

The best performing schools for GCSE results were again Kings’s College and Wimbledon High School where 99% of pupils achieved five or more A* to C grades.

However, the reputation of other schools in Merton is improving. National data has placed the borough in the top 15% of local authorities for student progress between Key Stage 2 and GCSE, scoring particularly high in maths and languages.

The most improved school was St Mark’s Academy in Mitcham, which saw results rise from 43% in 2012 to 54% in 2013. And the Harris Academy Morden, which became part of the Harris Federation of South London schools in 2012, has earned glowing praise from Ofsten, which reported: “The drive for improvement in this new academy is relentless. Expectations are high. As a result, students are making better and faster progress than ever before.”[/ultimate_modal][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_row equal_height=”yes” bg_type=”bg_color” el_class=”pd-t-large pd-b-large”][vc_column el_class=”box border-box padding-box download-box-sm mg-b-md” offset=”vc_col-lg-4 vc_col-md-4 vc_col-xs-12″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_empty_space height=”20″ el_class=”hidden-sm hidden-xs”][vc_column_text]

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