Merton has 20 areas designated as Archaeology Priority Zones (APZs) arranged under a number of archaeological themes.

Full details of the council's supplementary guidance note on Archaeology can be downloaded here:

List of APZs in Merton arranged by theme

Alluvial Archaeology

Wandle Valley Alluvium

This area includes the alluvial silts deposited within the Wandle Valley. Evidence for both prehistoric human activity, and the contemporary natural environment can be preserved within or beneath the alluvial deposits.

Beverley Brook Valley Alluvium

This area maps the extent of alluvial deposits along the course of the Beverley Brook. Although this area is thought to have played a less significant role than the Wandle Valley in the history of the area, it has potential for the survival of evidence of past environments as well as prehistoric (and later) human activities.

Map of the Beverly Brook Aluvium APZ

Prehistoric Landscapes

Wimbledon Common

The status of Wimbledon Common itself means that there has been relatively little archaeological work in this area, but stray/casual finds have demonstrated that evidence covering the whole prehistoric period may be anticipated to survive as buried remains. The Priority Zone Designation extends beyond the modern limits of the Common to include additional areas where archaeological evidence for prehistoric landscapes has been shown to survive

Map of the Wimbledon Common APZ

Mitcham Common

This area takes in a swathe of gravel terrace on the eastern side of the Wandle Valley. Finds of Mesolithic and Neolithic flint tools, Bronze Age metalwork, and stray Iron Age coins have been recovered from this area, demonstrating the area's significance for early settlement and indicating its potential for the survival of further remains.

Map of the Mitcham Common APZ

Morden Park

This area encompasses the northern part of the modern Morden Park, where remains of Roman and medieval date have been found. The park contains a Scheduled Monument 'Morden Park Mound', thought possibly to be (or to incorporate) a Roman burial mound, or to be an eighteenth century prospect mound created within Morden Park.

Map of the Morden Park APZ

Settlements

Merton

The medieval estate of Merton originated in the later Saxon period and is first referred to by name in a document of 949 AD. By the time of the Domesday Survey of 1086 the estate included a church and two mills, set within extensive agricultural land.

Map of the Merton APZ

Wimbledon

The historic village core occupies higher ground on the watershed between the valleys of the Wandle and the Beverley Brook. Wimbledon is not mentioned in the Doomsday Survey, and it may have formed an outlying grange of the extensive Mortlake estate at that time. Wimbledon is recorded as a separate unit from the early fourteenth century onwards.

Map of the Wimbledon APZ

Mitcham

The earliest historical reference to Mitcham settlement comes from an eighth century document, although archaeological evidence also points to unconnected Roman and early Saxon activity in the area. The medieval village developed as a 'ribbon' settlement along the London-Sutton Road, with two foci: Upper Green (probably also known as Michelham) and Lower Green (also known as Wickford Green).

Map of the Mitcham APZ

Morden

The estate of Morden is first referred to in the tenth century, and appears to have remained polyfocal with a particular cluster in the vicinity of the church throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods (this may be partly explained by its location on London Clay based soils rather than more easily cultivated gravels or river alluvium deposits). There was a second settlement at Lower Morden, near the Beverley Brook – this is identified as a separate Priority Zone (Map Area 11).

Map of the Morden APZ

Cannon Hill

An indication of human activity in this area on John Rocque's maps of 1749-62 suggests that this area may contain important remains.

Map of Cannon Hill APZ

Lower Morden

Medieval finds have been recovered from this area, indicating early human activity.

Map of the Lower Morden APZ

West Barnes Farm

This zone covers the location of West Barnes Farm, a Medieval, probably moated, 'Grange' belonging to Merton Priory.

Map of West Barnes Farm APZ

Settlement - Communications Routes

'Stane Street'

The line of an important Roman road, crossing the Borough between Colliers Wood and Pylford Bridge. The route of the road is preserved in part by modern streets (High Street Colliers Wood, and parts of London Road, Morden – both parts of the A24), although it appears to have taken a more direct route across Wandle Valley than the present A24 (which runs to the north through Merton).

Maps of the Stane Street APZ

Riverside Industries

Wandle/Copper Mill Lane

A centre of water-powered and water utilising industry from at least the medieval period onwards, this area included medieval corn mills and an eighteenth century copper mill. The latter was located at the end of Copper Mill Lane and was replaced, in the nineteenth century by a mill for the processing of leather.  

Map of Wandle/Copper Mill Lane APZ

Wandle/Colliers Wood

This area has formed a particular focus for riverside industry from at least the medieval period onwards, with several corn mills being located along this stretch of the river during the medieval period. These were supplanted in the post-medieval period by textile processing and finishing industries, initially calico bleaching and printing and subsequently the textile printing works of Arthur Liberty and of William Morris.

Map of the Wandle/Colliers Wood APZ

Wandle/Mitcham

The Wandle Riverside around Mitcham was famed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries for the market gardening of aromatic and medicinal herbs, watercress and other crops. It was also important in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries for calico bleaching and printing, copper, flour, and snuff milling, leather working and the manufacture of paper, flock and felt.

Map of Wandle/Mitcham APZ

Mill Corner

Documentary sources indicate the presence of a water mill on this part of the Beverley Brook in the fifteenth century, and also a series of fishponds. The mill appears to have been demolished sometime before the eighteenth century.

Map of Mill Corner APZ

Post Medieval Estates and Gardens

Merton Place

Built around 1700, between the village of Merton and the River Wandle – possibly on the site of an earlier, medieval, moated structure. The house is noted as being the only house owned by Admiral Nelson who converted the moat into a garden feature and called it 'The Nile'.

Map of Merton Place APZ

Wimbledon Park House

The house was originally built in 1588, but was much altered in the 1640s by Inigo Jones. The site of the early House is not known with certainty, but it is thought to lie close to the village church.

Map of Wimbledon Park House APZ

Morden Hall and Park

The existing Morden Hall dates from the mid-eighteenth century, replacing an earlier, Tudor Manor House to the south. The Hall is moated and the moat is an eighteenth decorative feature contemporary with the house.

Map of Morden Hall and Park APZ

Contact us

Urban Design and Conservation
London Borough of Merton
Merton Civic Centre
London Road
Morden
SM4 5DX

Telephone: 020 8545 3837
Fax: 020 8545 3326
Email: urban.design@merton.gov.uk