The Museum was established in 1983 by local people concerned by the decline along the banks of the River Wandle and determined to ensure that the heritage of the valley was no longer neglected but enhanced for the use and benefits of the community.
The aims of the Museum were:
To preserve, restore and interpret the River Wandle and its Industrial heritage; and
To establish a working Museum based in Wandleside historic properties connected by a riverside walk.
The objective of the Museum was to increase awareness of the heritage of the valley through the development of two centres:
Liberty Mill, Colliers Wood; and
Morden Snuff Mill, Morden Hall Park.
which were to demonstrate the use of waterpower, the arts and crafts of the valley, and working and living conditions from the time of the Domesday Book to the present day.
Although the two locations have been appropriated by other bodies, the success of the Museum can be seen from the fact that the Liberty Mill is now working again at Merton Abbey Mills, driving a generator and a potters wheel as part of that site, and the Morden Snuff Mill is an integral part of the Morden Hall Park environmental centre - both mills rescued from seeming disaster by our enthusiasm, so that other's could see the benefit of incorporating them in their own plans.
The riverside walk is an even more immediate credit to the Museum, as we were, and remain, the driving force behind the Wandle Trail, and our maps of this are sold far and wide.
We are now, at last, in touching distance of our real target, taking over an important grade 2 listed mill at Ravensbury Mill, restoring its wheels, and demonstrating, conclusively, the industrial power of the Wandle River.