Merton abbey mills update November 2003

A Glimpse of the Past

NEWSLETTER: From the School Log, Singlegate Infants Board School.October 22nd-26th 1877

Elia Heaton the daughter of a sweep being in the habit of coming to school dirty, was encouraged by the teacher to make herself presentable. One girl in standard IV brought her a suit of comfortable clothes and helped her to wash and attire herself comfortably. The improvement was soon invisible for in less than a week she came to school as dirty as ever.

The commercial complexes are rising higher.

The commercial complexes are rising higher [Full image 34.3kb]

While Dave Saxby of Museum of London continues to excavate across the site, the building work is now far advanced. The new residential block next to the William Morris already looms large over it, and over the Wandle, even though reduced in height from the original proposals. At the far end the commercial complexes are rising higher, and in between the new car parking facilities are struggling to cope.

Even though we all regret that the planners did not see fit to insist the architecture of the new buildings, whether structurally or in detail, reflect the site as one of its historical importance, we have gained a much increased knowledge of the archaeology as a result of the development.

The Chapter House during open day, last month.

The Chapter House during open day, last month [Full image 15.9kb]

Below is Dave's short article about the excavation last Spring, and he has promised us another on the current excavation of the old Priory mill.

Visitors to the Chapter House on the open day recently could see evidence of the work Dave and his team have put in to let us in on developments. He is particularly pleased to be able to trace evidence of the commercial use of this site for textile production on a continuous basis from the 12th Century right up to the 20th.

He is also ensuring that the footings for the new buildings do not destroy valuable archaeology. We await developments, keenly.

Ed August 2003

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