7th May 1956
The 150 year old stone cottage from which Singlegate, Colliers Wood, acquired its name, is still standing. It is on the site of Walter Mays Ltd., the cork specialists in Byegrove Road. The cottage was built in 1803, when the Surrey Iron Railway was started. The railway ran from Ram Field, in Wandsworth, to Croydon. It ran through Summerstown, and crossed Colliers Wood High Street diagonally at Cavendish Road, and a single gate was put across the railway at the junction with the street.
The gate-keeper lived in the single-storey cottage, which is believed to be built with grey flint-stones from the ruins of Merton Priory. The roof of the building collapsed after the railway ceased to be used in 1838, but it was repaired in 1900. This roof lasted until three years ago. The cottage was originally called the stone cottage, and the whole of Colliers Wood was known to local inhabitants as Singlegate, even until the turn of the century.
Although the line was described at the time of building as a “ vast and important concern ” it was not successful. The wagons, which carried goods only, were drawn by horse or mule; the introduction of the steam engine, however, rendered it obsolete. The London and South Western Railway Company bought it in 1844 and later sold it to the London and Brighton Railway Co. In 1846 the railway was finally abandoned.
Source: Mitcham Advertiser, Thursday, 7th May 1956