Church Street and Whitford Lane, by E.N. Montague
Book published by the Merton Historical Society in 2012, 152 pages. Paperback (N4720P1)
This book provides a fascinating local history of a small part of Mitcham in South London (which together form part of the London Borough of Merton). The book charts the history and development of the area, and chapters include:
- Church Road - an Archaeological assessment
- Mitcham in 1291
- Guide to the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul
- Church Street and the Manor of Vauxhall
- Church Street
- Love Lane and Glebelands
- London Road alias Whitford Lane
- London House
From the rear side cover: The origins of a village or small town are among the most fascinating facets of its history, and yet often the least known. Mitcham is no exception and fragmentary evidence can be seen of a substantial community, probably well-established by the fourth century AD, continuing into the early Saxon period. Its focal point was a ditched enclosure to the south of what became known as Church Street, close by the site of the present parish church.
The early settlement was surrounded by a field system, the boundaries of which can be traced today. There was a stone-built church by the 12th century, and the names of villagers are known from the late 13th. The development of what appears to have been envisaged as a planned village seems to have halted in the 14th century. However, the later development of Church Street can be traced in increasingly copious documentation following the Reformation, survival of a few attractive 18th-century houses, and the rebuilding of the church early in the 19th century.
Thereafter came decline, with urbanisation, the building of factories, and increasing traffic. It was in the belief that the remaining features in Church Street (now part of Church Road) might be saved and enhanced that in 1995 the local council included this historic part of Mitcham within the Cricket Green Conservation Area.
The condition of the book is generally very good. The covers are clean and bright, the spine is intact and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. There is a small price sticker on the rear side cover, and the book curves very gently upwards along the left and right hand edges.