Merton's historic environment bears evidence of over 10,000 years of human activity - ancient sites, monuments and landscapes, historic settlements, ancient features and finds. Archaeology is the discovery, study and understanding of this evidence.
Protecting, investigating and helping people to understand and appreciate the archaeology of Merton is therefore important as they give us a valuable insight into the way in which our ancestors lived.
Important archaeological remains, including palaeolithic flint axes and the fossil remains of a mammoth, rhinoceros and giant ox, have already been found in Merton.
Other finds dating as far back as 10,000 BC and remains of early settlements have also been found along the course of the river Wandle and Roman coins and pottery have been found in the vicinity of the Roman Road, and Roman burials have also been discovered in Mitcham.
Archaeological or historic remains give us a sense of both national and local identity, and are valuable not only for their own sake, but also for their role in education, leisure and tourism. It is vital that we encourage 'sustainable development' that does not sacrifice what future generations will value, for the sake of short-term and often illusory gains. Our heritage has been created over many centuries and is irreplaceable. It must, therefore, be preserved wherever possible.
Archaeology priority zones
Areas of known archaeological potential within Merton have been identified and designated as Archaeological Priority Zones. The extent of the these zones are shown on the Proposals Map to the Unitary Development Plan which can be viewed here:
UDP Proposals Map.
More information about the archaeological priority zones including maps of the individual areas can be found here:
Archaeological Priority Zones in Merton.
Scheduled ancient monuments
The Schedule of Ancient Monuments is compiled and maintained by the Secretary of State under Section 1 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaelogical Areas Act 1979. The fact that a monument has been scheduled means that it has been recognised as being of national importance. The primary purpose of scheduling a monument is to preserve it for the future, and to protect it from damage, destruction or any unnecessary interference.
There are three scheduled monuments in the borough as listed below. The Design and Conservation team holds detailed descriptions of each monument together with ordnance survey location plans.
The location of the monuments is also indicated on the Unitary Development Plan Proposals Map.
Scheduled Monuments in Merton
- Caesar's Camp
- Merton Priory
- Morden Park Mound
London Borough of Merton
12th floor Merton Civic Centre
Morden SM4 5DX
Telephone: 020 8545 3837 or 020 8545 4141
Fax: 020 8545 4160