Merton Priory Wall
Merton Priory Wall, Merton, SW19 1DD

Restoration of Merton Priory wall.

Restoration of Merton Priory wall.

Built in the early 12th century and run by Augustinians, Medieval Merton Priory was one of the most influential monasteries in southern Britain. Pupils educated here include Thomas Becket and later, Walter 'de Merton' who went on to found Merton College, Oxford.

As part of King Henry VIII's Suppression in 1538, much of the stone was dismantled to build Henry's new palace at Nonsuch and features such as the east window of the priory church could still be seen embedded in later buildings around the site. During the 19th century, the riverside location made the site especially suitable for mills and a large area was taken over by William Morris and Arthur Liberty - producers of all Liberty's fabrics.

Though excavations have revealed existing foundations, the 200 metre long precinct wall is the only above ground part of the medieval priory that remains. It is in a very fragile state and has been badly damaged by vegetation growth leading to cracking and, in places, complete collapse. HOLT has awarded a grant to restore the wall, advised on its conservation and will ensure that the project be properly interpreted at the site to encourage community interest and help people understand this rare survival.