Merton Priory Chapter House
Merton Priory was one of the major Augustinian houses in Europe. Founded in 1117, it was a centre of education – Thomas Becket was educated here – a major landowning institution, and the place of international treaties and lawmaking. The first statute of of England is the Statute of Merton of 1235. The Priory was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1538 and the buildings dismantled – the stone re-used to make Nonsuch House in Cheam. Since the dissolution of the priory, the area became one of the first industrial centres in the world, along the Wandle Valley. William Morris had a factory here, and Liberty of London had printmaking facilities here until the 1970s. In the 1980s the area was redeveloped to form a large supermarket. The Chapter House was preserved under a road bridge. The area is a scheduled monument.
The Chapter House has become a little museum, managed by volunteers. The chapter house enclosure was upgraded in 2017-18 as part of the Wandle Valley Partnership with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Works involved removing the existing brick wall at the south of the enclosure and replacing it with a new glass wall and zinc-clad roof. A new medicinal garden will be created in the enclosure to the south as phase 2 of the project.
A short film about the history of the priory was made in 2018 and can be accessed here.
The Merton priory Trust website can be reached here.Read less.
- London, UK
- Job Architect
- Daniel Shabetai