Mitcham is a district in south west London, located within the London
Borough of Merton. It is centred 7.2 miles (11.6 km) south-west
of Charing Cross. A suburban area, Mitcham is located on the border of
London and Outer London, and is in the historic county of
Surrey. It is both residentially and financially developed and served
by train, bus and tram routes. Localities within Mitcham include
Mitcham Town Centre and Mitcham Common. Amenities include Mitcham
Library and Mitcham Cricket Green. Nearby districts include Wimbledon,
Streatham, Croydon, Tooting,
Morden and Sutton. Mitcham itself had a
population of 63,393 which includes the electoral wards of Cricket
Green, Figges Marsh, Graveney,
Lavender Fields, Longthornton and
Pollards Hill in 2011 but its urban area had a population of
3 Open Space
4 Notable buildings
5 Notable residents
7 Transport and locale
10 External links
Mitcham is in the east of the
London Borough of Merton
London Borough of Merton and is bounded
London Borough of Wandsworth, the
London Borough of Croydon,
London Borough of
Lambeth and the
London Borough of Sutton.
Mitcham is close to Wimbledon, Croydon,
Streatham and Tooting. The
River Wandle bounds the town to the southwest. The original village
lies in the west, although expansion has pushed the eastern boundary
Mitcham Common takes up the greater part of the boundary
and area to the south.
Mitcham Parish Church, Church Road, Mitcham dates in part from the
The toponym "Mitcham" is
Old English in origin and means big
settlement. Before the Romans and
Saxons were present, there was a
Celtic settlement in the area, with evidence of a hill fort in the
Pollards Hill area. The discovery of Roman-era graves and a well on
the site of the Mitcham gas works evince Roman settlement. The Saxon
graveyard, located on the North bank of the Wandle is the largest
discovered to date, and many of the finds therein are on display in
the British Museum. Scholars such as Myres have suggested that Mitcham
and other Thames Valley settlements were some of the first populated
by the Anglo-Saxons. The area is a possible location for the Battle of
Merton, 871, in which King
Ethelred of Wessex
Ethelred of Wessex was either mortally
wounded or killed outright. The Church of
England parish church of St
Peter and St Paul dates from the Saxon era. Although it was mostly
rebuilt in 1819–21, the current building retains the original Saxon
Domesday Book of 1086 lists Mitcham as a small farming
community, with 250 people living in two hamlets; Mitcham, an area
known today as Upper Mitcham; and Whitford, today known as the Lower
The area lay within the Anglo-Saxon administrative division of
Domesday Book records Mitcham as Michelham. It was held partly by
the Canons of Bayeux; partly by William, son of Ansculf and partly by
Osbert. Its domesday assets were: 8 hides and 1 virgate. It had ½
mill worth £1, 3½ ploughs, 56 acres (23 ha) of meadow. It
rendered £4 5s 4d.
During her reign Queen Elizabeth I made at least five visits to the
John Donne and Sir
Walter Raleigh also had residences here in
this era. It was at this time that Mitcham became gentrified, as due
to the abundance of lavender fields Mitcham became renowned for its
soothing air. The air also led people to settle in the area during
times of plague.
When industrialisation occurred, Mitcham quickly grew to become a town
and most of the farms were swallowed up in the expansion. Remnants of
this farming history today include:
Mitcham Common itself; Arthur's
Pond, sited on the corner of Watney's Road and Commonside East, and
named for a local farmer; Alfred Mizen School (Now named Garden
Primary), named after a local nursery man who was very charitable
towards the burgeoning town; and the road New Barnes Avenue, which was
named after the farm that stood on that site.
Potter & Moore aftershave, made with Mitcham lavender
There were many lavender fields in Mitcham, and peppermint and
lavender oils were also distilled. In 1749 two local physic gardeners,
John Potter and William Moore, founded a company to make and market
toiletries made from locally-grown herbs and flowers. Lavender
features on Merton Council's coat of arms and the badge of the local
Tooting & Mitcham United F.C., as well as in the
name of a local council ward,
Mitcham was industrialised first along the banks of the Wandle, where
snuff, copper, flour, iron and dye were all worked. Mitcham, along
with nearby Merton Abbey, became the calico cloth printing centres of
England by 1750. Asprey, suppliers of luxury goods made from various
materials, was founded in Mitcham as a silk-printing business in 1781.
William Morris opened a factory on the
River Wandle at Merton Abbey.
Merton Abbey Mills
Merton Abbey Mills were the Liberty silk-printing works. It is now a
craft village and its waterwheel has been preserved.
The activity along the Wandle led to the building of the
Railway, the World's first public railway, in 1803. The decline and
failure of the railway in the 1840s also heralded a change in
industry, as horticulture gradually gave way to manufacturing, with
paint, varnish, linoleum and firework manufacturers moving into the
area. The work provided and migratory patterns eventually resulted in
a doubling of the population between the years 1900 and 1910.
Mitcham became a borough on 19 September 1934 with the charter of
incorporation being presented to the 84-year-old mayor, Mr. R.M.
Chart, by the
Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Lord Ashcombe.
no census was held due to war
census data no longer relates to parish boundaries
source: UK census
Social housing schemes in the 1930s included New Close, aimed at
housing people made homeless by a factory explosion in 1933 and
Sunshine Way, for housing the poor from inner London.
This industry made Mitcham a target for German bombing during World
War II. During this time Mitcham also returned to its agricultural
Mitcham Common being farmed to help with the war
From 1929 the electronics company
Mullard had a factory on New
Post war, the areas of Eastfields, Phipps Bridge and Pollards Hill
were rebuilt to provide cheaper more affordable housing.[citation
needed] The largest council housing project in Mitcham is Phipps
Bridge estate. Further expansion of the housing
estates in Eastfields, Phipps Bridge and
Pollards Hill occurred after
1965. In Mitcham Cricket Green, the area lays reasonable, although not
definitive, claim to having the world's oldest cricket ground in
continual use, and the world's oldest club in Mitcham Cricket
Club. The ground is also notable for having a road
separate the pavilion from the pitch. Local folklore
also claims Mitcham has the oldest fair in England, believing it to
have been granted a charter by Queen Elizabeth I, although this claim
has not been proven.
Mitcham is referred to in a rhyme dating back to the 18th century. The
rhyme was revised in the Victorian era as:
Sutton for good mutton;
Cheam for juicy beef;
Croydon for a pretty girl
And Mitcham for a thief.
Main article: Mitcham Common
Pond on Mitcham Common.
Mitcham is home to a large area (460 acres) of South London's open
green space in the form of Mitcham Common. There are several ponds and
a few buildings on the Common.
The Seven Islands pond is the largest of all the ponds, and was
created as the result of gravel extraction during the 19th
century. The most recent, Bidder's pond, was created
in 1990 and named for George Parker Bidder.
Old Mitcham Station
Mitcham Methodist Church
St Barnabas Church
The White House, Mitcham
The Burn Bullock
The Canons. House originally built in 1680; it was the home of the
family Cranmer until it was sold to the local council in 1939. The
name originates from an Augustinian priory that was given this site in
the 12th Century. The pond next to which it is located and the
dovecote both predate the house.
Eagle House, built in 1705. Eagle House is a Queen Anne house built in
the Dutch style on land formerly owned by Sir Walter Raleigh. It is on
London Road, Mitcham, the grounds forming a triangle bounded by London
Road, Bond Road and Western Road. The building was commissioned by the
marrano doctor Fernando Mendes (1647–1724), former physician to King
Mitcham Common Windmill, a post mill dating from 1806.
Old Mitcham Station, on the
Iron Railway route. Now called
Station Court, the building was a former merchant's home and is
possibly the oldest station in the world.
The Tate Almshouses, built in 1829 to provide for the poor by Mary
The Watermead Fishing Cottages.
Vestry Hall, the annex of which now houses the Wandle Industrial
Mitcham Public Library, built in 1933.
Elm Lodge, 1808. This listed Regency house was occupied by Dr.
Parrott, a village doctor, in the early 19th century, and for a short
time by the artist, Sir William Nicholson. The curved canopy over the
entrance door is a typical feature of this period.
Mitcham Court. The centre portion, first known as Elm Court, was built
in 1840, the wings later. Caesar Czarnikow, a sugar merchant, lived
here circa 1865–86 and presented the village with a new horse-drawn
fire engine. Sir Harry Mallaby-Deeley, M.P., conveyed the house to the
borough in the mid-1930s. The Ionic columned porch and the ironwork on
the ground floor windows are notable features.
Renshaw's factory, a marzipan factory, founded in 1898 in the City and
thus one of the earliest in the country, which came to Mitcham in
1924. It was on Locks Lane until 1991, when the
company moved its operations to Liverpool. The factory was featured in
three 1950s British
Pathe News shorts. The building has lent its name
to the area where it stood, Renshaw Corner.
Poulters Park, Home to Mitcham Rugby Union Football Club
Tooting & Mitcham United F.C.'s home ground.
Mitcham Methodist Church was designed by the architect Edward Mills
(1915–1998), and built in 1958-9. Regarded as the best surviving
work by the most successful Nonconformist architect of the period. A
radical and inspiring building that was forwarded by the 20th Century
Society for listing as it was under threat. Grade II listed on 5 March
St Barnabas church, Gorringe Park Avenue, Mitcham. Built in the gothic
style, on 17 May 1913 the foundation stone of the church building was
laid, and on 14 November 1914 the church was consecrated - by the
bishop of Southwark. The architect was HP Burke-Downing. The building
is still in use as an Anglican church. Both the church itself and the
adjacent parish hall are Grade II listed.
The White House, Mitcham on which the wall plaque says: "This 18th
Century house was renovated in the Regency style in 1826 by
Dr.A.C.Bartley, a village doctor, whose daughter wrote reminiscences
of old Mitcham. The house remained in his family until 1919. Fluted
Greek Doric columns support a slightly altered porch with a bowed
front." Grade II listed.
Burn Bullock Public House,
London Road, Mitcham is a three-storey
Grade II listed building originally called the King's Head Hotel. The
front of the building dates from the 18th century whilst its wing
dates from the 16th and 17th centuries. It is named after a well
known, former cricket player from the locality.
Jo Brand in 1994
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Jo Brand – comedian
Steve Brookstein – winner of The X Factor
Roy Budd – jazz musician
John Donne – Jacobean poet
M.I.A. – singer, songwriter and rapper
Master Shortie – MC
Michael Fielding –
The Mighty Boosh
The Mighty Boosh comedian
Noel Fielding –
The Mighty Boosh
The Mighty Boosh comedian
Mike Fillery – footballer
David Gibson – cricketer
Florence Harmer - historian
Neil Howlett – opera singer
Maxwell Knight – spymaster
Chris Powell – manager of League One football club Southend United
and former footballer
Annie Ross – jazz singer
Shane Smeltz –
New Zealand footballer
Alex Stepney – former Manchester United footballer and 1968 European
Herbert Strudwick – cricket wicket-keeper
John Mosely Turner – supercentenarian
Slick Rick - East coast Rapper who was born in
Surrey then moved to
the U.S at the age of 11
William Allison White
William Allison White – recipient of the Victoria Cross
Faryadi Sarwar Zardad – Afghan warlord; later tried for war crimes,
convicted and imprisoned
Jill Gascoine – actress - married to actor
Alfred Molina and starred
in The Gentle Touch. Lived in Caithness Road, Mitcham
Westminster Parliamentary Constituency)
Population - 103,298
British - 40,608, Irish - 1,840, Gypsy or Irish Traveller - 161, Other
White - 12,899
Mixed/Multiple Ethnic Groups
White and Black Caribbean - 1,862, White and Black African - 856,
White and Asian - 1,163, Other Mixed - 1,444
Indian - 4,536, Pakistani - 5,054, Bangladeshi - 1,484, Chinese -
1,169, Other Asian - 10,194
African - 9,036, Caribbean - 7,029, Other Black - 1,912
Other Ethnic Group
Arab - 670, Other ethnic group - 1,381
Christian - 57,665
No Religion - 17,677, Religion Not Stated - 6,887
Muslim - 11,046
Hindu - 8,400
Buddhist - 862, Sikh - 252, Jewish - 147, Other Religion - 362
Transport and locale
Mitcham is on the
Tramlink providing easy access to Wimbledon
as well as Croydon
Mitcham is served by two train stations, Mitcham Junction and Mitcham
Eastfields is the first suburban station to be
built in 50 years in the area. Both stations are
served by Southern and Thameslink with direct trains to London
London Bridge (peaks only), Blackfriars, City Thameslink, St
Pancras railway station for the Central
London stations, as well as
direct links by train to St Albans,
Luton airport north of
London and Epsom,
Dorking south of London.[clarification
needed] Trains on the Thameslink route from Central
London continue on
the loop via Sutton and Wimbledon back towards Central London. London
Tramlink also serves Mitcham with 4 stops in the area; Mitcham
Junction, Mitcham, Belgrave Walk & Phipps Bridge. Trams provide a
direct service to Wimbledon,
Croydon and New Addinton from Mitcham and
Beckenham Junction and
Elmers End with a change at Croydon.
Bus services operated by
London Buses are available from Mitcham.
These include night buses to
Liverpool Street in central
National Express services 024
London Victoria to Eastbourne, 025
London Victoria to Brighton and Worthing via Gatwick Airport, 026
London Victoria to Bognor Regis and A3
London Victoria to Gatwick
Airport hourly shuttle all stop at Mitcham (Downe Road/Mitcham Library
bus stop)
Colliers Wood & Wimbledon
Norbury & Thornton Heath
Sutton & Rose Hill
Beddington & Croydon
"Merry Making at Mitcham". Wayback Machine. The University of
Sheffield's National Fairground Archive. Archived from the original on
21 December 2004.
"Making Merton". Merton Council. Archived from the original on 26
"A Brief History of Merton by John Precedo: Part 1 - Romans to the
Norman Conquest". Wayback Machine.
Tooting Community Website. Archived
from the original on 13 April 2005.
Eric Norman Montague (1976). The 'Canons' Mitcham. Merton Historical
Society. ISBN 0-9501488-3-0.
Eric Norman Montague (2001). North Mitcham. Merton Historical Society.
Eric Norman Montague (1996). The Historic River Wandle: Phipps Bridge
Morden Hall. Merton Historical Society.
^ a b "Population Density, 2011". Area: Mitcham and Morden
Westminster Parliamentary Constituency). Office for National
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 February 2014.
^ "Surrey". The
Domesday Book online - Surrey.
^ "Potter and Moore - An Introduction". Potter & Moore.
Daily Mirror page 13, 19 September 1934
^ "Chapter XIV: Local Allusions to Women". sacred-texts.com. Retrieved
5 December 2013.
^ "The Canons, Mitcham: Dovecote - Merton Memories Photographic
Archive". photoarchive.merton.gov.uk. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
^ "Mitcham Methodist Church, exterior (E. Mills)". Flickr.
^ "British Listed Buildings:
Burn Bullock Public House, Merton".
^ "Burn Bullock, Mitcham, Surrey". ukpubfinder.com.
^ "Ethnic Group, 2011". Area: Mitcham and
Parliamentary Constituency). Office for National Statistics.
^ "Religion, 2011". Area: Mitcham and
Parliamentary Constituency). Office for National Statistics.
^ "Se, 2011". Area: Mitcham and
Constituency). Office for National Statistics.
Merton Borough Council
London Borough of Merton
England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Merton Abbey Mills
Museum of Wimbledon
New Wimbledon Theatre
Wandle Industrial Museum
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum
Parks and open spaces
Cannon Hill Common
Morden Hall Park
Mitcham and Morden
Tube, rail stations and tram stops
Grade I and II* listed buildings
Parks and open spaces
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