powered by FreeFind




MARKET TOWNS OF SURREY (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)

Wimbledon, Merton & Mitcham in 1842

Wimbledon is in Brixton hundred, west of Tooting, between the Portsmouth and Worthing roads. The parish comprehends 3,700 acres ; the population, in 1831, was 2,195. Wimbledon park extends northward to the Portsmouth road, and comprehends an area of 1,200 acres : it belongs to Earl Spencer. West of the park is Wimbledon Common, nearly as extensive, on which is an ancient circular entrenchment. The church is a modern building. There are meeting-houses for Independents and Wesleyan Methodists.

Merton is in Brixton hundred, and on the Worthing road : it adjoins Wimbledon on the south. The parish has an area of 1,540 acres ; the population, in 1831, was 1,447.

Mitcham is in Wallington hundred, between the Worthing and Brighton roads : the area of the parish is 2,670 acres ; the population, in 1831, was 4,387. Merton had an abbey for the regular canons of St. Augustin, the yearly revenues of which at the dissolution were £1,039, 5 shillings, 3 pence gross, or £957, 19 shillings, 5 pence clear. Merton has some historical interest : its abbey was the place of meeting of the assembly which enacted the ‘Provisions of Merton.’ Part of the outer walls and the east window of the abbey chapel are still standing. Merton church has some Norman and early English portions, mingled with others of later date : Mitcham church has some portions of perpendicular date. The river Wandle flows through these three villages, and contributes to manufacturing operations. There are several establishments for printing calicoes and silks ; and there are considerable copper-works ; leather-dressing is carried on ; and there are several flour, snuff, and drug mills, and two or three malthouses and breweries, and gardens and fields for aromatic and medical herbs. Mitcham is a vicarage ; Merton and Wimbledon are perpetual curacies : their respective yearly values are £456, £93, and £170. Mitcham and Merton have glebe-houses : all are in the rural deanery of Ewell.