Category Archives: Buildings

Post Office in Langdale Parade

7 and 8 Langdale Parade, Upper Green East, Mitcham CR4 2YS

The premises for the post office were obtained in 1958, although it didn’t open until 1961, as explained in the news article below.

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 6th January, 1961, page 1.

GPO explain post office mystery

THE G.P.O. explained this week the mystery Of Mitcham’s Langdale Parade post office—taken over in September, 1958, but still not open for business.

They blame the delay on capital expenditure restrictions. And they promise that “open” notices should go up at the end of this year.

It took Mitcham’s M.P. (Mr. Robert Carr) to solve the mystery. After reading about the unopened post office in the News on December 9 he wrote to the G.P.O. for an explanation.

Part of the reply was: “You probably know that the present Mitcham Post Office, sorting office and telephone exchange are housed in a building in London Road.


“The accommodation on the ground floor is inadequate for our postal needs and, unfortunately, site limitations prevent us from effecting improvements unless we remove some of the work done there at present.

“In May, 1957, we were offered accommodation in a new block of shops to be erected by a private firm of developers in Langdale Parade. We saw an opportunity of overcoming our difficulties by transferring the Post Office counter to the premises on offer.

“We knew at the time that owing to restrictions on capital expenditure, there was no immediate prospect of opening a post office on the Langdale Parade premises, but if we declined the offer we foresaw difficulty in acquiring suitable premises later.

” We therefore decided to accept, and the premises were leased for a term of 21 years from September, 1958, at the annual rental of £1,170 reduced to £400 per annum for the first three years or until the post office is opened for business, whichever is the earlier.”

Cost of the new post office — about £12,550. Fitting out should begin in March.

A photo from 1960 is on Merton Memories of the inside of the post office.

The land on which the parade of shops called Langdale Parade were built was bought in 1957 by Secunda Properties (Mitcham) Ltd from the Trustees of the Methodist Church at Mitcham. The church had been destroyed by bombing in the Second World War and was not rebuilt. This map from 1933 shows it occupied the site now known as Langdale Parade, with its car park at the back.

1933 OS map

1958 clip from Merton Memories photo 51620 of Langdale Parade after construction. Copyright London Borough of Merton.

Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Zion Congregational Chapel

A chapel that was in Western Road, the site of the present Lidl store.

Image courtesy of Collage - The London Picture Library -

1978 Image courtesy of Collage – The London Picture Library –

1910 OS map shows ‘Chap.’ (chapel) and ‘Sch.’ (school). The site is occupied by Lidl (in 2017).

The chapel and a Sunday school next to it was built in 1819. It was deconsecrated in around 1930 and sold off and used by light industrial companies.

The building was demolished in the late 1980s.

Source: Mitcham Histories : 14 Upper Mitcham and Western Road, by Eric Montague, chapter 9 ‘Zion Chapel’.

From the Mitcham Advertiser of 1st May 1914 :

One of the old landmarks is Zion Congregational Church, which this week celebrated its 95th anniversary with a series of successful gatherings. For close on a century good useful work has been carried on, and the church has a record for long service. It used to be known simply as Zion Church, one of the real old Independent churches. The Rev. R. Richman, the present minister, has served in that capacity for 34 years, more than one third of the church’s existence.

Mr Richman is a well known and highly respected figure in Mitcham. His work has not been confined to the church alone, for he has always taken a keen interest in the local government, and he has served on the Parish Council. He is still a member of the school managers, and in that direction does good work. In his church he is surrounded by body of zealous workers, many of whom have been engaged there for a long period of years, in fact one at least can boast of a longer record than the pastor himself, and that is Mr Gardener, the secretary of the Sunday school, who has held that post for 39 years.

This has been quite a week of presentations in Mitcham. On Monday night a presentation was made to Mr A. Gardener at Zion church in recognition of his 25 years service as a deacon. He is also Superintendent of the Sunday school. The name of Gardener has been associated with Zion Church for years. Mr Gardener’s mother was a descendant of the Huguenots. Yet another presentation at Zion Church was to Mr Simmons, another deacon, who has also been treasurer of the church, this week celebrated his silver wedding, he having been married at Zion Chapel 25 years ago.

For more details of the early vicars, see the ‘Mitcham entry in the Story of Congregationalism in Surrey‘.

Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Mitcham entry from the Story of Congregationalism in Surrey

The story of Congregationalism in Surrey
by Cleal, Edward E; Crippen, T. G. (Thomas George)

Publication date 1908

Mitcham (1818)

Towards the end of the eighteenth century some ministers associated with George Whitfield preached in a little building that had been prepared for them in this village.

Amongst those who afterwards rendered occasional service were Matthew Wilks, Rowland Hill, Thomas Jackson of Stockwell, and John Sibree of Frome. Other ministers preached more regularly. At first the attendance was encouraging, but later the congregation declined and the chapel was closed.

In 1816 another effort was made to evangelise the village, and on November 27 in that year a little chapel was opened by Revs. Rowland Hill, E. J. Jones, and R. Stodhart.

Shortly afterwards Rev. Thomas Williams, formerly of Trowbridge, accepted an invitation to supply the pulpit for twelve months, during which time the place became so crowded that the necessity was strongly felt for erecting a new chapel.

A good site was procured, and with the strong recommendation of such men as those we have mentioned, with Dr. Collyer, Thomas Lewis of Islington, and indeed all the neighbouring ministers, the case for Mitcham was laid before the public.

On April 28, 1819, a commodious chapel called Zion Chapel was opened. It was built to accommodate 300 persons, but provision was made for a gallery which would seat an additional 200. The opening services were conducted by Revs. G. Mudie, Dr. Collyer,and Thomas Jackson. The Evangelical Magazine tells us that the attendance was numerous and respectable, and the collections liberal, but a debt of over £700 remained.

Mr. Williams did not remain long after the opening of the new chapel. In September, 1820, he accepted an invitation to become co-pastor with Rev. Timothy East at Birmingham.

On January 17, 1821, a church was formed by Rev. Samuel Hackett of London; and Hoxton students ministered to the little fellowship till July, 1823, when one of their number, Rev. John Varty, was ordained pastor.

John Varty was a Londoner, born November 29, 1798. He remained at Mitcham fifteen years, and in 1839 removed to Fareham, where he ministered for twenty-three years. He afterwards held a pastorate at Aston Tirrold, Berks, and after a short residence at Northampton died rather suddenly in London, April 16, 1873.

Thomas Kennerley, of Burton-on-Trent, was the next minister. He, too, was born in the great city, and as a youth attended Surrey Chapel. He studied for the ministry at Newport Pagnell, and on leaving settled at Burton. Soon after his removal to Mitcham a front gallery was erected, and on Sunday, January 12, 1840, the chapel was reopened. Two years later a large room was built for the Sunday school and with a view to establishing a day school.

In 1854 Mr. Thomas Pratt, a deacon of the church, bequeathed £20 per annum for the support of the ministry, and £90 per annum for the support of day schools. A British school was opened on July 20, 1857, in which 200 boys and girls received instruction.

During Mr. Kennerley’s pastorate at Mitcham he was for some years one of the joint secretaries of the Surrey Mission. In 1856 failing health compelled him to resign. For a time he preached at Eltham, but was never again strong. He lived for a while in retirement at Gravesend, and died July 12, 1870.

A few months after Mr. Kennerley’s resignation Rev. George Stewart, of Hastings, accepted the vacant charge. He remained till 1862, when he removed to Newcastle-on-Tyne. He has since held pastorates at Glasgow, Kilburn, Reading, and Bexhill, and now lives retired at Woodford Green.

Mr. Stewart was succeeded by Rev. Thomas Orr. He was born in 1823 at Annandale, near Kilmarnock, and was educated for the law. He was making con- siderable headway in his profession, but removing to Glasgow, under the influence of Dr. Morrison and Dr. Guthrie, he gave up his career to enter the ministry. After a course at Edinburgh University he settled at Ayr in 1852, and then removed to Mitcham, where he was recognised June 23, 1863.

For six years and a half Mr. Orr exercised a faithful and helpful ministry at Mitcham. In 1869 he removed to Poole, and four years later to Windsor, where he laboured for twenty years. He died at Crouch End September 30, 1895, in the seventy-first year of his age.

In 1870 Rev. George William Joyce, a student of Hackney College, accepted the pastorate. He remained two years and removed to Tavistock in Devon.

The next minister was Rev. J.F. Poulter, B.A. Mr. Poulter was educated at Queens’ College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. For twenty-six years he had laboured at Wellingborough. Mr. Poulter’s pastorate at Mitcham extended from June 20, 1872 to December 27, 1874. He has not sought another charge, and is spending the evening of his long life at Wimbledon.

In 1875 Mr. H. W. Mote, of Hackney College, accepted the vacant pulpit. His recognition took place on August 3, but he was not ordained until October, 1876. Mr. Mote only remained another year. He resigned in 1877, and was followed by Rev. W. H. Belchem, whose pastorate was also short, lasting from October, 1877, to June 29, 1879.

In 1880 Rev. Robert Richman accepted an invitation to the vacant charge and commenced his ministry on August 1.

Mr. Richman found a membership of only thirty, but it has since largely increased. The neighbouring population is rapidly growing, and there is every reason to expect for the church a prosperous future. In 1886 the chapel was refurnished and decorated. For some years there had been friction between the church and the day school, but at last the trouble was settled, the church receiving £10 a year for the use of the school-room. Now the school has a reputation for efficiency and good work which is acknowledged by all religious parties.

The tomb of Rev. Ingram Cobbin, M.A., author of a once popular Bible Commentary, who died in 1851, is in the burial ground adjoining the church.

Source : The Internet Archive

St Barnabas church

Church between Gorringe Park Avenue and St Barnabas Road, built in 1913/4. Designed by Henry Philip Burke Downing (1865 – 1947).

Foundation stone was laid on Saturday, 17th May, 1913, according to article in the Church Times, 23rd May, 1913, page 23 :

City of London School Mission.

On Saturday last the Lord Mayor, accompanied by the Sheriffs, drove down in state to Mitcham in order to lay the foundation-stone of the new Church of St Barnabas, which will be used in connexion with the City of London; School Mission. The service was conducted by the Bishop of Southwark, the Rev. E. J. Baker, the Mission priest, reading the Lesson. The Mission, which is conducted largely by the old boys of the City of London School, has been in existence for six years, and has done excellent work in this rapidly growing artisan area.

The new church, which will occupy a site in Gorringe Park, will have seating accommodation for 830 persons. The cost will be about £10,000, and £3,000 are still wanted, towards which £7,000 have already been contributed by public grants, funds raised by the School Mission Committee, and by the South London Church Fund. The raising of the remaining £3,000 is a matter of some concern to the Building Committee, The Bishop of Southwark expressed thanks for the generous sympathy, encouragement, and support of all connected with the City of London School. The Lord Mayor said that when the school decided to have a mission of its own it chose Mitcham, recognising that so many of the workers in the City resided there. Dr. Chilton, head master of the school, expressed thanks to the Lord Mayor, who has consented to receive at the Mansion House further contributions to the fund. The school Cadet Corps formed a guard of honour during the proceedings.

1934 OS map

For more, see the church’s website.

Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

White Hart owner

The freehold for the Grade II listed White Hart pub at 350 London Road, Mitcham, CR4 3ND, is title SGL510698, according to the Land Registry. Associated with this is the land at the rear of the pub which is title SGL413207. This consists of the access road from Broadway Gardens, the car park and garden at the back of the pub.

In 1994, parts of the land at the rear were sold by Bass (the brewery owner at the time) to Wandle Holdings plc. This is the housing association that owns Highfield Court, the block of flats next door.

These two titles (SGL510698 and SGL413207) were sold together for £1,500,000 on 16th October 2015 by Punch Partnerships to MENDOZA LTD (incorporated in Isle of Man) of 2a Lord Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 2BD.

The two titles were sold again for £1,500,000 on 21st December 2016 to ASSOCIATE PROPERTIES LTD (incorporated in Isle of Man) of 2a Lord Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 2BD.

The two titles were sold again for £1,500,000 on 6th March 2017 to GATEWAY REALTY LTD (incorporated in Isle of Man) of First Floor, 18-20 North Quay, Douglas, Isle Of Man, IM1 4LE.

On 14th July 2017 a charge contained in a debenture was registered against both titles by SANNE FIDUCIARY SERVICES LIMITED (incorporated in Jersey) of 13 Castle Street, St Helier, Jersey, JE4 5UT.

Their website gives contact details for their London office at 21 Palmer Street, London SW1H 0AD (telephone 020 3327 9720, fax 020 7222 5151). Their email address is

The Isle of Man companies house website for GATEWAY REALTY Ltd shows a different address than that on the titles, but there was a change of registered address filed on 26th June 2017. The website doesn’t give contact details for GATEWAY REALTY Ltd, but it does name the company’s agents as ANDCO CORPORATE SERVICES Ltd. Their website gives contact details: telephone 01624 623731 and email

The pub is currently (2017) offered to rent at £60,000 per year, see Jenkins Law website (pdf).

Cricketers pub building demolition

Photo taken 22nd May 2017.

Photo taken 22nd May 2017.

Photo taken 22nd May 2017.

Photo taken 22nd May 2017.

Photo taken 22nd May 2017.

Photo taken 23rd May 2017

Photo taken 23rd May 2017

Photo taken 23rd May 2017

Photo taken 25th May 2017

Photo taken 25th May 2017

Photo taken 25th May 2017

Photo taken 30th May 2017

Photo taken 30th May 2017

Photo taken 30th May 2017

Photo taken 30th May 2017