Mitcham Clocktower. Built in 1898 and renovated in 2016
|Population||63,393 (2011 Census) |
|OS grid reference||TQ285685|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Mitcham is an area within the London Borough of Merton in South London, England. It is centred 7.2 miles (11.6 km) southwest of Charing Cross. Originally a village in the county of Surrey, today it is mainly a residential suburb, and includes Mitcham Common. It has been a settlement throughout recorded history.
Amenities include Mitcham Library and Mitcham Cricket Green. Nearby major districts are Croydon, Sutton, Streatham, Brixton and Merton. Mitcham, most broadly defined, had a population of 63,393 in 2011, formed from six wards including Pollards Hill. 
Mitcham is in the east of the London Borough of Merton. Mitcham is close to Thornton Heath, Streatham, Croydon, Sutton, and Tooting. The River Wandle bounds the town to the southwest.  The original village lies in the west. Mitcham Common takes up the greater part of the boundary and the area to the south part of the CR4 postcode is in the area of Pollards Hill. Some of the area which includes Mitcham Common and parts of Mitcham Junction are in the CR0 postcode area.
The toponym "Mitcham" is Old English in origin and means big settlement. Before the Romans and Saxons were present, it was a Celtic settlement, with evidence of a hill fort in the Pollards Hill area. The discovery of Roman-era graves and a well on the site of the Mitcham gasplant evince Roman settlement. The Anglo-Saxon graveyard on the north bank of the Wandle is the largest discovered to date, and many of the finds therein are on display in the British Museum. Scholars such as Myres have suggested that Mitcham and other Thames plain settlements were some of the first populated by the Anglo-Saxons.
What became the parish lands could have hosted the Battle of Merton, 871, in which King Ethelred of Wessex was either mortally wounded or killed outright. The Church of England parish church of St Peter and St Paul dates from the early Kingdom of England. Mostly rebuilt in 1819–1821, the current building retains the original Saxon tower. The Domesday Book of 1086 lists Mitcham as a small farming community, an implied estimate of 250 people, living in two hamlets: Mitcham, the area today being Upper Mitcham; and Whitford (Lower Green).
The Domesday Book records Mitcham as Michelham. It was held partly by the Canons of Bayeux, partly by William, son of Ansculf and partly by Osbert.  Its domesday assets were: 8 hides and 1 virgate. It had ½ mill worth £1, 3½ ploughs, 56 acres (23 ha) of meadow. It rendered £4 5s 4d, at a time when a pound sterling still implied something similar to a pound of silver. The area lay in the Anglo-Saxon county subdivision of Wallington hundred. 
During her reign Queen Elizabeth I made at least five visits to the area. John Donne and Sir Walter Raleigh also had residences here in this era. It was at this time that Mitcham became gentrified, as due to the abundance of lavender fields Mitcham became renowned for its soothing air. The air also led people to settle in the area during times of plague.
When industrialisation occurred, Mitcham quickly grew to become a town and most of the farms were swallowed up in the expansion. Remnants of this farming history today include: Mitcham Common itself; Arthur's Pond on the corner of Watney's Road and Commonside East, and named for a local farmer; Alfred Mizen School (Garden Primary School), named after a local nurseryman charitable towards the burgeoning town; and the road New Barnes Avenue, replacing part of New Barn(e)s Farm.
Many lavender fields were in Mitcham, and peppermint and lavender oils were also distilled. In 1749 two local physic gardeners, John Potter and William Moore, founded a company to make and market toiletries made from locally grown herbs and flowers.  Lavender features on Merton Council's coat of arms and the badge of the local football team, Tooting & Mitcham United F.C., as well as in the name of a local council ward, Lavender Field.
Mitcham was industrialised first along the banks of the Wandle, where snuff, copper, flour, iron and dye were all worked. Mitcham, along with nearby Merton Abbey, became the calico cloth printing centres of England by 1750. Asprey, suppliers of luxury goods made from various materials, was founded in Mitcham as a silk-printing business in 1781. William Morris opened a factory on the River Wandle at Merton Abbey. Merton Abbey Mills were the Liberty silk-printing works. It is now a craft village and its waterwheel has been preserved.
Activity along the Wandle led to the building of the Surrey Iron Railway, the world's first public railway, in 1803. The decline and failure of the railway in the 1840s also heralded a change in industry, as horticulture gradually gave way to manufacturing, with paint, varnish, linoleum and firework manufacturers moving into the area. The work provided and migratory patterns eventually resulted in a doubling of the population between the years 1900 and 1910.
In 1829 Miss Mary Tate donated land and money to build almshouses on the site of the former Tate family home in Cricket Green. The buildings were designed in a Tudor style by John Butcher and established to accommodate twelve poor widows or spinsters of the parish. Miss Tate was the only surviving member of the Tate family, who had lived from about 1700 in a large mansion on the site of the almshouses.   The gardens at the rear of the property were originally provided for the use of residents, but later informally rented out as allotments. 
Mitcham became a borough, within a two-tier council system, on 19 September 1934 with the charter of incorporation being presented to the 84-year-old mayor, Mr. R.M. Chart, by the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Lord Ashcombe. 
|19th Century||20th Century|
|source: UK census|
Social housing schemes in the 1930s included New Close, aimed at housing people made homeless by a factory explosion in 1933 [ citation needed ] and Sunshine Way, for housing the poor from inner London.  This industry made Mitcham a target for German bombing during World War II. During this time Mitcham also returned to its agricultural roots, with Mitcham Common being farmed to help with the war effort.[ citation needed ]
From 1929 the electronics company Mullard had a factory on New Road.[ citation needed ]
Postwar, the areas of Eastfields, Phipps Bridge and Pollards Hill were rebuilt to provide cheaper more affordable housing.[ citation needed ] The largest council housing project in Mitcham is Phipps Bridge Estate.[ citation needed ] Further expansion of the housing estates in Eastfields, Phipps Bridge and Pollards Hill occurred after 1965. In Mitcham Cricket Green, the area lays reasonable, although not definitive, claim to having the world's oldest cricket ground in continual use, and the world's oldest club in Mitcham Cricket Club. 
The ground is also notable for having a road separate the pavilion from the pitch.  Local folklore claims Mitcham has the oldest fair in England, believing it to have been granted a charter by Queen Elizabeth I, a claim never proven.
Nimrod, sporting writer of the early 19th century, advocated against the grazing on grass of racehorses. He finds a very fast donkey chaise, investigates the donkey's owner and finds it is a Mitcham blacksmith, who never turns out the donkey in summer onto Mitcham Common but keeps it fed with oats and beans as if a hunter racing horse. 
Mitcham appears in local variants of mildly vulgar rhymes of 18th and 19th centuries, all beginning with:
One variant ends with "Mitcham for a thief", another "Ewell" which is opposite in direction. An author noted for another genre, James Edward Preston Muddock as Dick Donovan penned The Naughty Maid of Mitcham in 1910.
Mitcham is home to a large area (460 acres) of South London's open green space in the form of Mitcham Common, studded with a few ponds and buildings.
The buildings comprising the Windmill Trading Estate have existed in one form or another since 1782. The Mill House Ecology Centre and the Harvester (formerly the Mill House Pub) are located near the site of an old windmill, the remnants of which still exist.
The Seven Islands pond is the largest of all the ponds, created following gravel extraction of the 19th century.  The most recent, Bidder's pond, was created in 1990 and named after George Parker Bidder.
British – 40,608, Irish – 1,840, Gypsy or Irish Traveller – 161, Other White – 12,899
White and Black Caribbean – 1,862, White and Black African – 856, White and Asian – 1,163, Other Mixed – 1,444
Indian – 4,536, Pakistani – 5,054, Bangladeshi – 1,484, Chinese – 1,169, Other Asian – 10,194
African – 9,036, Caribbean – 7,029, Other Black – 1,912
Arab – 670, Other ethnic group – 1,381
Buddhist – 862, Sikh – 252, Jewish – 147, Other Religion – 362
|By property type||Number of sales last 12 months||Average price achieved last 12 months||Average price change per square foot|
Mitcham is served by two railway stations: Mitcham Junction and Mitcham Eastfields. Mitcham Eastfields was the first suburban station to be built in 50 years in the area.[ citation needed ] Both stations are served by Govia Thameslink Railway's Southern and Thameslink brands with trains to Sutton, Epsom, London Victoria, London Bridge (peaks only) and St Albans.  
Trains on the Thameslink route from Central London continue on via the Sutton Loop Line to Sutton and Wimbledon back towards Central London. Tramlink also serves Mitcham with four stops in the area; Mitcham Junction, Mitcham, Belgrave Walk and Phipps Bridge. Trams provide a direct service to Wimbledon, Croydon and New Addington from Mitcham and also Beckenham Junction and Elmers End with a change at Croydon.
Bus services operated by London Buses are available from Mitcham. These include night buses to Aldwych and Liverpool Street in central London. 
National Express services 028 London Victoria to Eastbourne, 025 London Victoria to Brighton and Worthing via Gatwick Airport, 026 London Victoria to Bognor Regis and A3 London Victoria to Gatwick Airport hourly shuttle all stop at Mitcham (Downe Road/Mitcham Library bus stop) 
Beddington is a suburban settlement in the London Borough of Sutton on the boundary with the London Borough of Croydon. Beddington is formed from a village of the same name which until early the 20th century still included land which became termed entirely as Wallington. The latter was in the 13th century shown on local maps as Hakebrug, and named after a bridge on the River Wandle. The locality has a landscaped wooded park at Beddington Park – also known as Carew Manor; and a nature reserve and sewage treatment works in the centre and to the north of its area respectively. The population of Beddington according to the 2011 census is 21,044.
Carshalton is a town, with a historic village centre, in south London, England, within the London Borough of Sutton. It is situated 9.5 miles (15.3 km) south-southwest of Charing Cross, in the valley of the River Wandle, one of the sources of which is Carshalton Ponds in the middle of the village. Prior to the creation of Greater London in 1965, Carshalton was in the administrative county of Surrey.
Morden is a district and town in south London, England, within the London Borough of Merton, in the ceremonial county of Greater London. It adjoins Merton Park and Wimbledon to the north, Mitcham to the east, Sutton to the south and Worcester Park to the west, and is around 8 miles (13 km) south-southwest of Charing Cross. Prior to the creation of Greater London in 1965, for local government purposes, Morden was in the administrative and historic county of Surrey.
Wallington is a town in the London Borough of Sutton, South London, England, 9.7 miles (15.6 km) south-west of Charing Cross. Before the Municipal Borough of Beddington and Wallington merged into the London Borough of Sutton in Greater London in 1965, it was part of the county of Surrey. Wallington is a post town in the SM postcode area.
The London Borough of Merton is a borough in Southwest London, England.
The A24 is a major road in England that runs for 53.2 miles (85.6 km) from Clapham in south-west London to Worthing on the English Channel in West Sussex via the suburbs of south-west London, as well as through the counties of Surrey and West Sussex.
The River Wandle is a right-bank tributary of the River Thames in south London, England. With a total length of about 9 miles (14 km), the river passes through the London boroughs of Croydon, Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth, where it reaches the Thames. A short headwater – the Caterham Bourne – is partially in Surrey, the historic county of the river's catchment. Tributaries of the Wandle include Carshalton Ponds and Norbury Brook.
Tooting Broadway is a London Underground station in Tooting in the London Borough of Wandsworth, South London. The station is on the Northern line, between Tooting Bec and Colliers Wood stations and is in Travelcard Zone 3.
Mitcham and Morden is a constituency in Greater London represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 1997 by Siobhain McDonagh of the Labour Party.
St Helier is a residential cottage estate in the London boroughs of Merton and Sutton. The portion of the estate north of Green Lane and Bishopsford Road is in Merton, the remainder is in Sutton.
The A217 is a road in London and Surrey in England. It runs north–south. It runs from Kings Road in Fulham, London, crosses the Thames at Wandsworth Bridge, then passes through Wandsworth, Earlsfield, Summerstown, Tooting, Mitcham, Rosehill and Sutton Common in Sutton, then Cheam. Then, widened as a dual carriageway, comes Belmont, a suburban district built on a slope rising southward. On the North Downs in Surrey the road then skirts past Banstead and through its late 19th century offspring villages particularly Burgh Heath and Kingswood, Surrey. It then crosses the M25 motorway at Junction 8, then, returning to single carriageways, passes through the castle town of Reigate. It then cuts through the green buffer farmland of two rural villages and terminates at the road network at Gatwick Airport's northern perimeter.
Tooting & Mitcham United Football Club is an association football club based in the London Borough of Merton. They are currently members of the Isthmian League South Central Division and play at Imperial Fields in Morden. Their nickname is "the Terrors" or "the Stripes".
Merton is an ancient parish historically in Surrey, but which has since 1965 been part of Greater London. It is bounded by Wimbledon to the north, Mitcham to the east, Morden, Cheam and Cuddington to the south and (New) Malden to the west. The 1871 Ordnance Survey map records its area as 1,764.7 acres (7.1 km2).
Hackbridge is a suburb in the London Borough of Sutton, south-west London, just over two miles north-east of the town of Sutton itself. It is 8.8 miles (15 km) south-west of Charing Cross.
Merton Abbey is an area in southwest London, England. It lies between South Wimbledon and Colliers Wood in the London Borough of Merton. Merton Abbey takes its name from Merton Priory, which once stood on the northern edge of the district. The area is bounded by Merton High Street to the north, the River Wandle to the west, Christchurch Road to the east and Deen City Farm to the south.
The Wandle Trail is a 12.5-mile (20 km) walking and cycling trail that follows the River Wandle from Croydon to Wandsworth in south-west London.
The Wimbledon–West Croydon line was a railway line in south London. It was opened in 1855 by the Wimbledon and Croydon Railway (W&CR) over part of the trackbed of the Surrey Iron Railway. It closed in May 1997 and now forms part of the Tramlink network.
Sutton Common is the name of former common land and a district and neighbourhood located in Sutton, London. The area is mostly located within the London Borough of Sutton, with some of the streets to the north and west of Sutton Common Park adjoining Lower Morden and Morden within the London Borough of Merton. Much of the area is taken up by the large Kimpton Park commercial and industrial estate, adjoining the A217. It is served by Sutton Common railway station. The area to the south and east of Oldfields Road uses an SM1 postcode and the area to the north and west uses SM3.
The Wrythe is a district of Carshalton, South London, located in the London Borough of Sutton. The area is located 9.3 miles South of Charing Cross and is surrounded by the adjacent areas of Hackbridge and Croydon to the east, Morden and Mitcham to the north, Sutton to the west. The area is commonly referred to as Wrythe Green which is located at the centre of the neighbourhood. It is thought that the name derives from a spring which is related to the River Wandle which runs through the east of the area from the Carshalton ponds. The Wrythe had a population of 10,163 in the 2011 Census.
The Tooting, Merton and Wimbledon Railway (TM&WR) was a railway company jointly operated by the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) and the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) in Surrey.