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Mitcham Common is ancient common land, which once extended much further and before clearance in Neolithic times was oak woodlands; it adjoined Croydon Common, Beddington Farmlands and Waddon, and included the various greens that remain around Mitcham. It was divided between four manors and was long used for agriculture and grazing, and in the early 19th century was used for gravel extraction.
Today the borough of Merton, Croydon, Sutton and the Corporation of London are involved in the preservation of the common, making an annual contribution to its maintenance costs; and in 1997 it was agreed that the common and adjoining farmlands and Beddington Park would form part of the larger Wandle Valley Country Park.
The Golf Course was established on the Common in the late 1890s and until 1924 when the golf club's rights ceased it covered a far greater part of the Common, then reduced to its current area by the Conservators. Some land has been lost to railway and roads. There are a number of ponds on the common, many created as a result of gravel extraction, which continued until the 1980s, and some ponds have since been infilled. Among those that remain are Seven Islands Pond created post 1867 and Bidder's Pond north of Croydon Road, and One Island Pond south of Croydon Road.
There are a range of habitats here with woodland and scrub, ponds and grassland. The Common was originally flatter than at present, some areas having been artificially landscaped, such as Tilbury Hill completed in 1984, named after a former chairman of Mitcham Common Conservators. In 1995 Mill House Ecology Centre opened on the site of a 19th century windmill. Part of it remains in the grounds of The Mill House restaurant/pub, which also opened in 1995. The Ecology Centre has study facilities and is generally for educational use.
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Mitcham Common is located on Windmill Road, Mitcham and is based in the Pollards Hill ward.
Leisure and Culture Services
Merton Civic Centre
Tel: 020 8545 3678 or 020 8545 3930
Fax: 020 8545 3237
This page was last updated on Thursday 1 October 2015