Tag Archives: 1865

The Willows

Demolished in the late 19th century and the roads Graham Road, Graham Avenue, Elmfield Avenue and Fernlea Road were built on this land.

Described by Eric Montague in his book Mitcham Histories : 2 North Mitcham, page 74, as having extensive stabling, farmery, meadows and gardens.

1865 OS map

1865 OS map

One of the developers of houses on the Willows Estate may have been Nott & Cartwright, as shown in the auction ad of 1899:


NOTT – CARTWRIGHT.— Freeholds. 34 building plots. the Willows Estate, Mitcham i ; at the Falcon Hotel, Clapham Junction, at 7.

Source: London Evening Standard – Thursday 27 April 1899 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

In the 1900 electoral registers, owners were named of some of the lots on the Willows Estate:

Name Address Lot(s)
Frank Denyer 183 Clapham Park Road 11, 12, 13
Benjamin William Dale 130 Falcon Road, Battersea 36
James Dale 130 Falcon Road, Battersea 36
William Frederick Laing Mortimer House, Bond Road, Battersea 40

Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Companies Amalgamated with the Wandsworth Gas Company

From the centenary booklet of the Wandsworth and District Gas Company:

The Mitcham Gas Light and Coke Company was formed in 1849, and commenced with Works at Mitcham. The following year the Company was extended to take in Merton and altered its name to “The Mitcham and Merton Gas Light and Coke Company”. Its expansion increased , for two years later, mains in Tooting were purchased from the Phoenix Gas Company, and the name was altered again to “The Mitcham, Merton and Tooting Gas Light and Coke Company.”

The Wimbledon Gas Light and Coke Company was formed in 1852 and Works were built in Haydon’s Road. Ten years later negotiations started with the Mitcham Company in reference to amalgamation, and in 1864, the Wimbledon Company was amalgamated with this Company, and the two became the Mitcham and Wimbledon District Gas Light and Coke Company. The Wimbledon Works closed down in 1877.

The Mitcham Company amalgamated withe the Wandsworth Gas Company in 1912.

The Kingston Gas Light and Coke Company was the outcome of a small company formed in 1835, and was reorganised in 1854. Gas was supplied to Kingston and Norbiton, and in 1862, the second trunk main was laid from the works to Surbiton. Two years later the mains were extended to Esher.

The Malden Gas Company had been formed and was supplying Malden, but in 1868 the Kingston Company purchased the Malden’s Gas Works and Mains, and extended their own mains to New Malden, Worcester Park and Old Malden. Mains were ultimately extended to Claygate, and continued extensions followed.

The Kingston Company was amalgamated with the Wandsworth Gas Company in 1930.

The Epsom and Ewell Gas Company was formed in 1839, curiously enough at an hotel at Epsom bearing the same name as that in which the Wandsworth Company was formed – the “Spread Eagle.” The early records show that while the Company was successful from the start it was concerned in a difficult problem in 1841, for it recorded that in 1841 the surveyor and engineer to the original works was indicted with a number of charges and was to be brought to trial. The allegation against him (according to an old and very lengthy legal parchment) was that he had left 5,000 leaks and left the works “insufficient, inadequate, imperfect, unskilful, and inappropriate, etc.”, causing damage to the plaintiffs amounting to £10,000.

The records also include references to the meetings of the Directors, at one of which, held at the “Spread Eagle” Inn, on the 21st July, 1853 : “no resolutions were passed on account of strangers being present.”

The Epsom and Ewell Company was amalgamated with the Wandsworth Gas Company, in 1912.

The Sutton Gas Company came into being in 1853, and was also successful from its inception for records show an early reduction in the price of gas, a determination “to supply the village with gas at as low a rate as any village of the same size as any in the country,” and (in 1863) reference to the necessity of calling the Directors frequently together to sanction various extensions as they might be required. A minute in May, 1876, indicates the prosperity of the Company for it records: “Your Directors have pleasure to inform you that their efforts for the last twelve months have been crowned with the usual success.”

The Sutton Gas Company was amalgamated with the Wandsworth Gas Company, in 1931,

Source: “The Wandsworth and District Gas Company 1834 to 1934”, available at Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

From the National Archives:

The Wandsworth gasworks were established in 1834 on the south bank of the Thames close to the Wandsworth Bridge. The early company supplied Wandsworth, Putney and part of Battersea. The Wandsworth and Putney Gaslight and Coke Company was incorporated by AoP in 1856 following its formation by Deed of Settlement in Feb 1854. The first chairman was R.Barchard who was succeeded by James Howell and his son Thomas Howell. In 1912 the company amalgamated with the Mitcham and Wimbledon District Gaslight Company and the Epsom and Ewell Gas Company to form the Wandsworth, Wimbledon and Epsom District Gas Company. In 1931 the Kingston upon Thames Gas Company and the Sutton Gas Company were acquired and the title changed to the Wandsworth and District Gas Company. The headquarters of the company was at Fairfield Rd, Wandsworth. In 1936 the Leatherhead Gas & Lighting Company and the Walton upon Thames and Weybridge Gas Company were absorbed. The chairman between 1903 and 1925 was H.E.Jones who was followed by his son F.H.Jones. The company owned a fleet of colliers to supply coal from the NE of England. The first steam collier was acquired in 1906 – the SS “Radcliffe” which carried about 1050 tons of coal. Pontoons were also built with steam cranes to unload the colliers. The SS “Wandle” was purchased in 1909 and became the flagship of the fleet. The company purchased land at Worcester Park in Sussex in 1924 for additional gasholders. On nationalisation in 1949 the undertaking became part of the West Surrey Division of the SEGB.

The records of the smaller gas companies which were absorbed by Wandsworth DGC are listed within the main group of Wandsworth DGC records as the individual records were absorbed by the administration at Fairfield Rd. AoPs relating to old gas companies prior to amalgamation are listed with Wandsworth DGC AoPs. There are a small number of records of former undertakings which were clearly not a part of Wandsworth DGC collection and these are listed under their former names – e.g. Leatherhead Gas Company etc.

1865 OS Map of Wimbledon Gas Works

1865 OS Map of Wimbledon Gas Works

Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Chilton Place

In 1952, a terrace of 7 houses on Church Road, it no longer exists. It was on the corner with what is now called Liberty Avenue.

1885 auction notice for five brick-built freehold cottages known as Chilton-Place, Church-Lane, Mitcham:


To Land Speculators, Builders, Building Societies, Investors, and others. Upwards of acres of valuable Building Land, immediately ripe and available for building. Also Five Freehold Cottages, all let, and producing £52 per annum.

Messrs. Rogers, chapman, and THOMAS are instructed to SELL by AUCTION, in lots, at the Mart, Tokenhouse Yard, City, E.C., on Tuesday, May 12. at p.m. precisely, FIVE brick-built FREEHOLD COTTAGES, known Chilton – place, Church-lane, Mitcham; all let, and producing £52 per annum.

Also 20 Plots of Freehold Building Land, situate at Mitcham, close to four railway stations on the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway, the church and Common, and ripe for building.

Particulars, plans, and conditions of sale at the White Hart Hotel, Lower Mitcham; of Messrs. Champion, Robinson, and Poole, 17, Ironmonger-lane, E.C.; and of the Auctioneers, No. 78, Gloucester-road, South Kensington, 50, Belgrave – road, S.W., and 8, Wetherby Terrace, Earl’s Court.

Source: South London Press – Saturday 02 May 1885 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

In 1886 a house and shop was auctioned :

To Small Capitalists.

—First Class Investment.

Chilton Place, Church Road, Mitcham.

Mr. G. WALTON MOULAND Has received instructions to Sell Public Auction, the White Hart Hotel, Lower Mitcham, on Wednesday, March 3rd, at Six for Seven o’clock, THE Valuable and substantially built FREEHOLD DWELLING-HOUSE and SHOP adjoining the Albion Beerhouse, Church Road, Mitcham situated on the high road from Mitcham Merton, and one minute’s walk from Merton Abbey Railway Station. property is at present in hand, but would immediately let at £25 per annum. Particulars conditions of sale, may obtained from Messrs. Drummond, Robinson, & Till, Solicitors, Croydon; at the place of sale; and of the Auctioneer, 19, High Street, Mitcham.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 27 February 1886 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)


1865 OS map

1865 OS map

1911 OS map - the pub on the right was the Prince of Wales; and the 'club' was the Singlegate Club.

1911 OS map – the pub on the right was the Prince of Wales; and the ‘club’ was the Singlegate Club.

1952 OS map

1952 OS map

Occupants in the 1896 street directory

4,William RUDER
6,George BLAKE
7,Henry MASON

Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Lavender Grove in Westfields

The road called Lavender Grove, off of Lavender Avenue and parallel with Mortimer Road, was built in the 1930s. Possibly named from a group of nearby cottages that were situated near what is now the junction of Steers Mead.

1952 OS Map

1952 OS Map

Lavender Grove in the ‘west fields’, was referred to in a newspaper story about a fire in 1889. The actual location is uncertain, but the article refers to the water supply for the fire brigade to be too far away in Merton Lane (later Western Road).

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 17 August 1889 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Fire at Westfields.

The Volunteer Fire Brigade received call on Monday night 11.50 to a fire at Westfields. The men were mustered and the steamer taken to the spot in a very few minutes, when it was found that two cottages in the occupation of Mr. Simmons, jun., florist, namely, 3 and 4, Rosemary-cottages, Lavender-grove, and used by him for the storage of herbs, were well alight.

The nearest fire plug being over 400 yards distant in Merton-lane, the brigade had not sufficient hose to reach the burning cottages, and a mounted patrol was dispatched for the Merton Brigade, which arrived shortly afterwards.

By this time, however, the fire had obtained a good hold, the efforts of the firemen were directed principally to the surrounding property. By about 3 a.m. the flames were extinguished, the result being that the two cottages were gutted the contents destroyed.

It is understood that the property is fully insured in the Phoenix Office. The cause of the fire is unknown.

An 1865 birth certificate has Lavender Grove as the address of Louis James Block.

1865 birth certificate

1865 birth certificate