Quick links: for history, children's activities, and leisure time in Morden
Morden in General
Morden is too often known as being, ‘that place at the end of the Northern Line’ but with the coming of 24 hour underground train services and the increased awareness of its easy access into Wimbledon, the West End, The City and key commercial areas of Surrey, Morden is an up and coming area that has seen a 25% increase in online property searches over the last 12 months.
The housing stock in Morden varies and as result attracts all types of purchasers. With one and two bedroom flats lining many of the streets leading up to the underground station first time buyers and landlords find the good transport links and varied properties a great first home buy-to-let investment.
Off the immediate main thoroughfares, 2 and 3 bedroom houses and maisonettes are a popular purchase for growing families. There were two main house-builders that helped develop the area in the 1930’s, Blay and Selly, as well as local authority housing much of which has been sold off to owner occupiers and represent good value for money.
To the north of Morden Station is Merton Park. With its SW19 postcode and conservation area status, Merton Park is a highly desirable location. Property prices do reflect this but here you will find larger period houses of all shapes and sizes though there are still a few ‘projects’ to be had with one or two properties in each street needing extensive modernisation.
Overall Morden represents an area of London that so far has been undervalued and under-developed but ballooning Central London property prices and the general trend towards redeveloping outlying areas means that Morden is increasingly being sought out as the next place to invest.
History of Morden
Originally much of the land in Morden was owned by the church and sold to the Garth Family, who founded Morden Hall Park with its famous rose gardens and which is maintained today by the National Trust and is Morden’s best, worst kept secret.
Morden’s contemporary history is very much tied in with the event of its underground station opening in 1926. With the local census count showing approximately 600 residents in 1801 by 1920 Morden’s populace still hadn’t reached over 1500. This is compared to nearby Wimbledon which grew from 1500 inhabitants to over 42,000 in the same period!
However from the 1930s Morden thrived, with a Cinema, Public Houses and Departments stores all opening up to cater to the new residents.
In the 1960s Crown House was built and is the civic centre for the London Borough of Merton. 2003 saw the establishment of the Bait’ul Futuh Mosque significant for both its size and promotion of tolerance and peace.
Morden’s development continues with proposals to now redevelop and pedestrianise the areas around the underground station along with improvements to shop fascias and a general drive to reinvigorate the local business community.
Children’s Activities in Morden
The Borough of Merton is very much a family orientated London borough with family homes, good schools and plenty of activities for children. Morden is no exception boasting a number of large and small parks and recreation grounds. With Wimbledon just being up the road there are plenty of Tennis clubs in the area including the popular Cranleigh Tennis Club in Merton Park. Morden has its own little league and Turners are proud supporters of the Turners Tigers. Martial Arts also features in the area with a number of classes being run in the vicinity.
Eddie Katz play centre is a popular destination just down the road from Central Morden, as is Deen City Farm and the ‘Better Leisure Centre’ part of the national GLL run leisure centres.
Leisure Time in Morden
As we write this in April 2015, it would be fair to say Morden does lack the charm and commercial pull of Wimbledon or Sutton but its excellent transport links and renewed interest in the area is beginning to see green shoots in the form of new businesses opening in the area. Tariro coffee bar offers a great selection of fair-trade coffees and food which indicates an increasing demand for a more premium offering and the local Italian restaurant, Bella Donna, is permanently packed at weekends. Nonetheless Morden remains down to earth and reassuringly so, with no shortage of ‘greasy spoons’ serving up traditional English grub. Ganley’s Irish Bar is exactly how a Saturday night out should be; lots of drinks, laughs and a place to meet new people and chat as if you have been friends for years!
Healthier lifestyles are well catered for, with tennis clubs, sports clubs, martial arts and persona l trainers all being within the vicinity. Perhaps more importantly however Morden has lots of green space to explore. Not least the wonderful grounds of Morden Hall Park. But with Cannon Hill Common, another Morden Park and Mostyn Park all within walking distance, Morden residents can certainly boast about their closeness to nature. For those preferring the ‘big smoke’ with the underground’s Northern Line running from Morden into Central London and through to North London approximately every five minutes, it’s no wonder that Mordenites see this as the beginning of the northern line rather than its terminus.