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Merton Abbey Mills, Merantun Way SW19 2RD
Fascinating excavated remains of the Chapter House of Merton Priory c1117, one of the most important of all Augustinian foundations prior to its destruction in 1538 by Henry VIII preserved under a busy suburban by-pass between Sainsbury's / M&S and Merton Abbey Mills craft market.
The Priory, which attracted generous financial contributions, was a site of grand ornate buildings, including the Priory Church which in its completed form was 110 metres long and an unusually large Chapter House.
The foundations of the Chapter House have been preserved and are housed in a specially constructed enclosure underneath the raised section of Merantun Way. Although little remains today of the Chapter House, its role as the administration centre for the monastery, meant it was also used by royal patrons such as Henry IV for a variety of purposes including a peace conference, a working council on legal codes and Privy Council meetings.
During its 400-year existence the monastery became a very important site both nationally and locally as well as providing an important source of employment and stability to the surrounding area.
The Statutes of Merton, the basis of common law in England for centuries and seen by many as the forerunner for modern parliament, were signed at Merton and Walter de Merton, founder of Merton College in Oxford and Chancellor of England was also educated at the Priory.
At the time of dissolution most of the monastic buildings were demolished and the site was adapted for a range of water-based and water-powered industries, which were predominantly associated with fabric printing, and were latterly associated with significant designers and manufacturers such as Edmund Littler, William Morris founder of the Arts and Crafts Movement, and Liberty & Co who continued to operate on the site into the 1970s.
Urban Design and Conservation
London Borough of Merton
Merton Civic Centre
Telephone: 020 8545 3777
Fax: 020 8545 3326
This page was last updated on Monday 12 December 2016