Tag Archives: Worsfold

1949 Demolition of Hall Place

From the Mitcham News & Mercury
20th May, 1949

Last Chapter In The Story Of Hall Place

The last chapter in the history of the Hall Place, Church-road, near Mitcham Town Hall, is now being written.

This week, the dust of demolition rises like the bursting of flour bags. Elizabethan type chimneys silhouette the sky, waiting their turn to tumble amid the debris.

The present Hall Place, described as a “village mansion,” was built in 1707, and many historical features were lost with later additions. For two hundred years it was occupied by the Worsfold family. Sir Cato Worsfold died just before the last war, and the family vacated the house.

Sir Cato had a humorous story to tell in connection to tell in connection with his home. In 1745, when the Young Pretender’s troops were marching on London by way of Mitcham, the Worsfold in residence called his employees together, and delivered a patriotic speech calculated to stir the most sluggish breast.

They stood and listened with flails, scythes and billhooks. But, somehow, they weren’t moved as he expected them to be. Then, the master of the house brought out three barrels of his best October brew. That did the trick.

Instructions have been given for two archways at the Hall Place to be left standing. One was erected from masonry brought from Merton Priory.

These two reminders of the past will add to the appearance and tone of the new building for the Mitcham County Secondary Boys’ School, which is scheduled for the site.

Rock Terrace

A terrace of houses built near the crossroads of two field paths. One path went from the parish church, north-westerly across the fields; the other ran east to west along Fox’s Path.

This OS map of 1866 shows where these two paths met, and, while Rock Terrace is not actually named, the buildings outlined in red may well be it.

Later, the terrace was extended and the road was named Belgrave Road, with the path leading to the church being called Belgrave Walk.

Earliest reference found so far in the newspaper archives is for an auction of 9 houses in Rock Terrace.

Freehold ground-rent of £21 per annum, arising from nine houses in Rock-terrace, Mitcham — £115.

Source: Morning Advertiser – Wednesday 29 August 1866 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

This 1910 map shows the outline of houses in Belgrave Road. Given that Batsworth Road was laid on the original path from Fox’s Path, then the 9 houses referred to in the auction may well have been the whole terrace.

News Stories

1922 Rock Terrace Recreation Ground

A major event was the Explosion of 1933.

King George V Silver Jubilee Celebrations in 1935

Note that Lady Worsfold, residing at Hall Place when this photo was taken, moved to the White House at the cricket green the following year when her husband, T. Cato worsfold, died.

Rock Terrace and Queen Street (sic), Mitcham, Jubilee Tea. From Mitcham News & Mercury, 31st May, 1935.

Rock Terrace and Queen Street (sic), Mitcham, Jubilee Tea. From Mitcham News & Mercury, 31st May, 1935.

Merton Memories Photos

Church Class

Off to the Races – this photo was reproduced in Eric Montague’s Mitcham Histories: 8 Phipps bridge, on page 113 with the caption that it was around 1910.