Tag Archives: 1874

Christ Church, Colliers Wood

sketch of the church from the May 1926 issue of their magazine

Church, on Christchurch Road, which was built in 1874.

Its address is 58 Christchurch Rd, Colliers Wood, London SW19 2NY

It was originally in the Mitcham parish and was built to cater for the increasing population in north Mitcham. The area covered by the church was described in the London Gazette, see District Chapelry of Christ Church.

From The Builder magazine, 4th July 1874:

Church-Building News

The new church at Singleton has been consecrated by the Bishop of Winchester. The edifice, which containes 550 sittings, has been built from designs by Messrs. Francis, of London, the total cost being £4,283. The chief part of this sum has been the joint contribution of Mr and Mrs Harris, of Gorringe Park, Mitcham, who have also erected, at their sole cost, a parsonage and mission-room, on the adjoining ground. The amount of their gift is between £6,000 and £7,000. The site has been in part the gift of Emanuel College.

Note the spelling Singleton should have been Singlegate.

Eric Montague said, in his book Mitcham Histories 2 : North Mitcham, page 93, that in 1968, on his suggestion, the chapelry boundary stone that was in Streatham Road, opposite the east lodge of Gorringe Park House, be moved to the church for safe keeping.

In this OS map of 1895, the church was surrounded by fields, with watercress beds opposite.

1895 OS map

See also the history of Christ Church on the church’s website.

Photos taken 15th April, 2019

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

J. and G. Miller

from Grace’s Guide – 1914 Who’s Who in Business:

MILLER, J. & G., Distillers of Mitcham Essential Oils, Fruit Growers, Farmers and Market Gardeners, Mitcham, Surrey.
Hours of Business: Usual.
Established in 1874.
Premises: Cultivate about 1200 acres.
Staff: About 250.
Branches: Chelsfield, Swanley, Bromley, Kent.
Business: Distilling Mitcham Essential Oils, Fruit Growing, Farming and Market Gardening. Claim to be the largest Distillers in England of Mitcham Essential Oils.
Connection: United Kingdom, Foreign, Colonial.
Telephone: No. 865 Mitcham.
Telegraphic Address: ” Miller Brothers, Mitcham.”
Bankers: London County and Westminster Bank, Ltd.

Ravensbury Villas

The 1925 street directory describes the properties on the south side of Morden Road, heading west, away from the London Road.

Ravensbury terrace :
2, Ernest NICHOLAS
3, Mrs. Annie OAKES, shopkeeper
4, Ernest TAMPLIN

Ravensbury tavern, George Thomas DEEPROSE

..here is Ravensbury grove

Ravensbury villas
1, George EDWARDS
2, William WOODCOCK & Son, decorators
3, John George ATKINSON
4, Thomas GREEN, cycle repairer

here is bridge over River Wandle ….

This 1910 OS map shows a terrace of 4 houses just past Ravensbury Grove.

1910 OS map

This terrace can be seen in this clip from a Merton Memories photo, which looks east along the Morden Road. On the left is the Ravensbury Tavern pub.

clip from Merton Memories, photo reference Mit_​TomFrancis_​A13, copyright London Borough of Merton.

Although the Merton Memories webpage says the photo is around 1900, the name of the licensee of the pub can be seen as John Dent, who was licensee to 1876.

News Articles
From the Surrey Advertiser, Saturday 11th April 1874, via the British Newspaper Archives

At Nominal Reserves.— Mitcham, Surrey.

—Nineteen Villa Residences and Cottages, in the road, Mitcham, a most healthy locality, five minutes’ walk from the railway station.

MR. S. WALKER will Sell by Auction, at the Mart, on MONDAY, April 13, twelve for one, Nineteen Leasehold Villas and Cottages, known as Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4, Ravensbury villas, term 91 years, ground rent £4 year each, estimated value £25 a year each ; eight Cottages, Nos. 2 to 16 (even numbers). Ravensbury grove, term 90 years, ground rent £20, producing £125 16s. per annum; and seven Cottages in Ravensbury-road, estimated to produce £80 a year, together with an improved ground rent of £3 10s. per annum, secured in seven adjoining cottages.

May be viewed, and particulars and conditions of sale obtained of R. Miller, Esq., Solicitor. 6, Copthall-court, E.C ; of Mr. John Wade, House Agent, Lower-green, Mitcham ; and the Auctioneer’s Offices, 61, Coleman-street, Bank, E.C.

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 15 April 1876

A Troublesome Fellow.

— At the Croydon Police Court, Monday, George Jones, of Ravensbury Villas, Mitcham, was charged with being drunk and creating a disturbance on Sunday morning.—P.c. 183 stated that at half past 12 o’clock on Sunday morning he was on duty in Merton-lane, when he heard a great noise, apparently that of lot of females screaming. As he was proceeding towards the spot, he was met by woman about forty years of age, who begged of him for God’s sake to come. When he got near the spot, he found the prisoner running away. He asked him what was the matter, and the prisoner replied, “Nothing.” Witness took him back, and found a man who was bleeding from a wound under the right eye. The man charged the prisoner with having assaulted him. Prisoner said, “All right, old pal! I shall square it with a sovereign in the morning.” Prisoner was very violent, and witness apprehended him to prevent further breach of the peace, which he thought was imminent. —Prisoner, in answer to the charge, alleged that the man referred to challenged him to fight, and struck him. The man afterwards came to him, and said he was sorry for having done so.The constable said the man referred to did not formally charge the prisoner with having assaulted him, he said he was unwilling to lose a day’s work. The prisoner, witness added, was a great source of trouble to the police at Mitcham.—The prisoner was bound over in the sum of £5 to keep the peace for three months, and was then discharged.

1911 Census for Private Albert Morgan.

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

Blue Houses

Cottages, originally painted blue, near the Ravensbury Arms pub, on land between Croydon and Carshalton roads.

From a Percy Mayhew postcard. The Ravensbury Arms is on the left.

From a Percy Mayhew postcard. The Ravensbury Arms is on the left.


Eric Montague, in his book Mitcham Common, says, on page 63, that this area was called Sheldon’s Corner, the earliest mention of which was in 1738. Montague also said that the theory the cottages were painted blue was to match the stables of the Surrey Iron Railway. He agrees though with early railway history expert, the late Charles E. Lee, who dismissed it.

Merton Memories photos

1910 colourised

6 buildings can be seen on this 1866 OS map.

9 houses according to this 1874 auction.

In the booklet 50 Years at Grove Mills, Mitcham by Mr E.B. Hedger, fireman Charlie JORDAN, employed by John S Deed & Sons, lived in one of these cottages in 1907. See page 87 of Mitcham Histories : 6.

Occupants in Electoral Registers


4 houses on this 1910 OS map and 1952 OS map.

The Land

Although surrounded by Mitcham Common, Land Registry title SGL704178, it is not part of it.

Mitcham Common - registered land map

Mitcham Common – registered land map

London Borough of Merton own two plots of land, shown on this map in red:

LBM Owned land

LBM Owned land

Part of this land, title number SY258367, showing houses numbered 3 and 4 on the 1952 map, was bought by T.R. City of London Trust PLC (company registration number 34871) in 1984 and sold at Savills auction in February 2015 for £36,000 and again in June 2015 for £96,000.

Plan showing title SY2583677

Plan showing title SY2583677

The houses are presumed to have been demolished in 1963, as they are mentioned as a Clearance Area in these Mitcham Borough Council minutes:

From the Public Health Committee
27th June 1963

6. Housing Act, 1957: Blue House Cottages, Croydon Road, Clearance Area

Further to paragraph 5 of the report of this Committee of 28th February, 1963 (Volume 29, page 747), the Town Clerk reported that the Minister of Housing and Local Government had confirmed the Blue House Cottages, Croydon Road, Clearance Order, 1963, without modification.

Source: Proceedings of the Council and committees, Mitcham Borough Council, Volume 30 1963-4, page 111

Minutes of meetings held by the Mitcham Borough Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

James Pain and Sons, Ltd.

Firework factory, off east side of Acacia Road, that came to Mitcham in 1872. The company was taken over by the British Match Corporation in 1960 and transferred its factory to Salisbury.

1952 OS map

The Eastfields Housing Estate was built on the site. The roads were named Clay Avenue, Moore Close, Mulholland Close, Pains Close, Potter Close and Thrupp Close.

Clip from Merton Memories Mit_Work_Industry_6-3 copyright London Borough of Merton.

The offices were at Renshaw Corner until after WW1.

Clip from Merton memories photo Mit_Work_Industry_6-1 of

See also the entry on Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History.

News Articles

MATCH FIRM DO DEAL IN FIREWORKS BRYANT and May, chief operating subsidiary of the £30,750,000 British Match Corporation, is in the take-over field again.

It has acquired Waeco Ltd., whose main products are fireworks and marine distress equipment and a range of smoke pesticides and fungicides.

This company has two factories near Salisbury and a third has recently been acquired at Cambourne to provide room for further expansion.

British Match, which has been carrying out an energetic diversification programme, already owns two firework firms, James Pain and Sons, of Mitcham, and Octavius Hunt, the Bristol makers of sparklers and Bengal lights.

Its other interest, besides matches, range from man-made timber to boxes, steel wool and ticket issung machines.

Source: Newcastle Journal – Tuesday 22 May 1962 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)


Three-quarters of group sales were again made overseas, mainly in the Commonwealth and South America. In the home market competition was intense; higher sales of SWAN VESTAS offset lower sales of other British matches. Bryant & May’s new match factory in Glasgow, though relatively small, is the most modern in the world.


As consumption of matches is static, other interests are hems expanded or acquired. A new £2.5 million ‘WEYROC’ factory is to be built near Annan. Packaging, pulp mouldings, ticket machines, steel wool, scourers and wire products are other main interests in the U.K. In total. 26.4%, of the group profit was earned outside the match industry compared with 14.6% last year. James Pain, the firework makers, joined the group in June 1960.

Source: Birmingham Daily Post – Monday 29 August 1960 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)


Lloyd’s List – Monday 07 September 1874

Miscellaneous notes on staff.

from marriage banns 14th June 1905 – Alfred Albert Henry COOPER, 27, living at Eastfields, assistant manager firework factory, father William COOPER, firework maker. In 1911 and 1925 he lived at 5 Langdale Avenue. Died December 1950 in Bognor Regis.

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