Tag Archives: Taffys How

Love Lane

Following the road as it is currently numbered, it starts as a footpath off Church Road along the eastern side of the parish churchyard, and continues to Western Road.

1954 OS map showing the start of Love Lane at Church Road

Eric Montague, in his book, 12 Church Street and Whitford Lane, chapter 6, said that Love Lane almost certainly dated back to the Middle Ages as it served as the access lane to strips of land that stretched north of it. These strips were around a furlong, or 22 yards, in length, and the layouts of roads such as Frimley Gardens and Rodney Road to Fox’s Path, another access lane.

Entrance to Love Lane from Church Road. Photo taken when four 3-bed houses were being built on this corner by the Beaver Housing Society in 1996/7, which is now numbered as 82A Church Road.

In Love Lane, the houses with even numbers 2, 4 and 6 are on the right in the first part of the footpath, then 8, 10 and 12 are round the corner as the path heads east.

Then there is a block of four houses numbered 14, 16, 18 and 20, that have a datestone identifying it as Laburnum Cottages.

LABURNUM COTTAGES W. F. 1853

This block can be seen on this 1866 OS map:

1866 OS map

After this block the footpath ends, and on the left is a terrace of 6 houses, numbered 1 to 11. This has a name plate in the middle, partially obscured by a drainpipe, which says ‘Hope Terrace’.

Opposite this terrace are houses built around 1983, as planning permission MER170/83 was granted on 21st April 1983. They are numbered with suffixes.

Next to these houses on the right side of Love Lane is a three storey block of 12 flats called Frimley House, which has numbers 22 to 44. Possibly built late 1930s or post-WW2 as the block is not shown on the 1933 OS map.

Opposite Frimley House, and past Hope Terrace, are two pairs of semi-detached houses, numbers 11A and 15, 17 and 19. Next to 19 is number 21, a detached house that is on the corner with Frimley Gardens.

After this the roadway turns right into Church Place but Love Lane continues as a footpath until Edmund Road. On the right can be seen the remains of the entrance to the council depot.

Breeze block filling where entrance to depot was. Photo taken 20th April 2016.

Past Harwood Avenue, the next houses on Love Lane are a pair of semi-detached on the left numbered 23 (Hope Cottage) and 25 (Rose Cottage). This is the only remaining pair of such cottages from those that were built in the early 19th century. The 1896 street directory describes walking from Church Street to Western Road, i.e. in a easterly direction, and the occupants were:

Samuel BEALES (Hope Cottage)
John HUSSEY (Rose Cottage)

23 and 25 Love Lane. Photo taken 21st May 2020

Rose Cottage was the childhood home of William Henry SLATER, who emigrated to Australia in the late 1850s where he was one of the founders of the Mitcham township, now a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria.

This is followed by a terrace of 12 houses, numbered 27 to 49, which has the nameplate in the middle of ‘Douglas Cottages’. These were built in the first decade of the 20th century according to Montague., and were numbered 1 through 12, from west to east. In the 1915 directory Stewart Daniel SLATER, florist, is listed at no. 12.

1954 OS map

After Douglas Cottages is currently a nursery school, built in the early 1960s after a pair of semi-detached cottages, numbered 55 and 57, called Dent’s Cottages, was demolished. The Mitcham News & Mercury had an article in the 2nd September 1960 issue: 132-year old Love Lane cottage to come down.

Further along on the left hand side, after Dearn Gardens, are two detached houses that are set back from the road side at an angle, number 75 and number 77, the latter of which may have been called Glendene when it was occupied by George Victor DEARN, who developed Dearn Gardens.

75 Love Lane with its arched chimney stacks. Photo taken 21st May 2020

Next is a 3-storey block of 6 flats, numbered 79, 81, 83 and 79a, 81a, 83a. After which is a block of 2 houses, 85 and 87, with a third added on, number 89.

Corner of Love Lane and Taffy’s How shows no. 85, 87 and 89 Love Lane. Photo taken 15th July 2020

Houses numbers 103 to 121 were built in 1934 as part of the Pear Tree Close estate.

An older terrace of 4 houses, numbered 123 to 129, north of the corner with Westfield Road, dated from the 1880s, as are the similar houses on the north side of Westfield Road, according to Montague. The 1910-1911 street directory lists these houses as Knapdale Villas, with these occupants:

1, Frederick NEWSOM
2, Thomas ARTHUR
3, John HINCKLEY

A photo from around 1970 on Merton Memories, incorrectly labelled as Gladstone Road, shows these houses with their original slate roofs.

From Merton Memories, photo reference Mit_Streets_D_LEW_29-2

From the current footpath that leads to the Glebe Path and Queen Anne’s Gardens, on the right hand side of Love Lane northwards, were 6 pairs of semi-detached houses, all demolished by the end of the 20th century and replaced by houses and bungalows.

1910 OS map

From the 1896 street directory the occupants, in houses numbered from 12 down to 1 heading north, were:

12, William Talbot WALLIS
11, Edward WAINWRIGHT
10, Henry DEARN
9, Miss Susan WOOLSEY, dress maker
8, John STEERS
7, Edward FOSTER (Jasmine Cottage)
6, Thomas RYOTT (Ivy Cottage)
5, James CURRELL
4, George James GREGORY
2, Joseph PRIOR
1, Robert Edward SLATER


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

Taffy’s How

Road off of Love Lane. Council Minutes use two spellings “Taffys How” and “Taffy How”. Note no apostrophe. The OS map for 1953 shows it as Taffey’s How.

1953 OS map

1953 OS map

A strip of land 0.6 acres was bought from Messrs Mizen Brothers, market gardeners, in 1935 by the Borough of Mitcham, for £975. It was developed for social housing. Inflation adjusted this is around £63,000 in 2016.

Proceedings of the Council and Committees, Mitcham Borough Council
Volume 1 Nov-Oct 1934-45
Housing Committee
Page 884

Taffys How, Love Lane

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Accompanying this report we beg to submit for your approval a preliminary sketch lay-out for the site acquired from Messrs. Mizen at Taffys How, Love Lane, immediately adjoining the Pear Tree Close housing scheme.

The area acquired is 0.600 acres. It is outside the area of the Town Planning Scheme and consequently free from restrictions of density. Adopting the same density figure as was taken in the case of Pear Tree Close, it should afford sites for 12 houses, and this is the number which we have shown on the plan upon the assumption that is to be developed to its utmost capacity.

It is a long and very narrow strip of land, with a very short frontage to Love Lane, and the only way in which the utmost use may be made of the land is to drive a road along one side of it as shown. This will be a 24 feet road with turning space at the end. While in this position it will also be available for the development of the adjoining land, which is not your property, it is, in our view, preferable to placing it on the other side of the site, when the new houses erected upon it would look out on the backs of the Pear Tree Close houses.

As regards the type of houses to be erected, the two blocks of three in each we propose should be exactly similar to those already erected on the Pear Tree Close estate; for the remainder of the houses the shallow depth of the sites calls for wide frontages, shallow depths, and the provision of some garden space at the sides. We show in the sketch the plan we suggest, which will provide similar accommodation to the other houses included in the scheme.

we are, ladies and gentlemen,
Yours obediently,
Chart, Son and Reading.

Housing Committee
Thursday, October 10, 1935
page 980

“Taffy How,” Love Lane. – The Town Clerk reported that the District Valuer was prepared to support an application for loan for the purchase of “Taffy How” from Messrs. Mizen Bros. at the price at which the Council had acquired the same. Resolved, That the Finance Committee be recommended to submit an application to the Minister of Health to borrow the sum of £975 for the acquisition of the land known as “Taffy How,” Love Lane.


Eric Montague says the origin of the name is unknown but that it was an alternative field name for an inclosure off Love Lane called Barn Field which was part of property owned by an Andrew Feltham, as documented by Edwin Chart in 1827. The details are held at the Surrey History Centre.

Source: note 14 on page 137 ‘Mitcham Histories: 12 Church Street and Whitford Lane’ by EN Montague.


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

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