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Church Path, Merton Park, SW19 3HJ
Grade II listed gem of a country church dating from the 14th century on the site of a much earlier 12th Century Church, the original site of Merton Priory. It is in the heart of the Merton Park conservation area, an attractive garden suburb laid out to the designs of John Innes, the famous horticulturist and philanthropist. Some Medieval details survive including the north door which features a Norman arch ( 1121 ) and 14th century woodwork. the dripstone above the West door, thought to portray Edward III and Queen Phillippa and the Priest’s door, which leads to the modern vestry. There are also Norman features, William Morris glass and associations with famous people including Nelson.
The building has an impressive Medieval roof with 12th century cross-beams, a gift from King Henry III and carved chestnut supports dating from the 14th century. The north and south aisles of the church were added during the Victorian period. These house a number of significant stained glass windows designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, friend and business partner of William Morris. The series of Biblical scenes was produced at the Morris & Co. works at Merton Abbey to commemorate John Innes.
Within the Churchyard are a number of memorials to famous people including William Rutlish, embroiderer to Charles II; Frances Nixon, who perfected the art of copper plate calico printing and John Innes, gardener, benefactor and town planner. There is also a War Memorial, designed by the architect H P Burke Downing.
To the west of the church is Norman archway leading to the vicarage. This is believed to have been the gateway to the guesthouse at Merton Priory. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, it was recycled as part of the fabric of a house and revealed when it was demolished in 1914. The arch was restored and moved to its current site in 1935, thanks to the generosity of Gilliat Edward Hatfeild, the last squire of Morden.
Urban Design and Conservation
London Borough of Merton
Merton Civic Centre
Telephone: 020 8545 3837/4141
Fax: 020 8545 3326
This page was last updated on Monday 25 June 2012