Mitcham is a popular district in south London located in the London Borough of Merton. It is just over seven miles from central London. Regarded as a suburb, it is commonly divided into Mitcham town centre and Mitcham Common. Mitcham is on the border between inner and outer London and historically was always part of the county of Surrey until the mid-1960s. Mitcham is close to Morden, Wimbledon, Croydon, Streatham, and Tooting. The River Wandle borders the town to the southwest.(Estate agents in mitcham)
Mitcham is home to what is widely believed to be the world’s oldest cricket green in continuous use since 1685. At around this time, the area was famed for its soothing air and this was partly because of an abundance of lavender fields. Lavender oil was distilled commercially, and toiletries made and sold from the plant. Lavender still features on Merton Council’s coat of arms today.
From the end of the 18th century to the early post-war years of the 20th century, Mitcham was an important industrial location with 90 mills sited on an eleven-mile stretch of the River Wandle. The area was famous for producing printed calico – a course, unbleached cotton – but there were mills producing anything from corn to dyes and snuff to gunpowder.(Estate agents in mitcham)
The Surrey Iron Railway opened in 1803, the world’s first public railway. Eventually, horticulture gave way to industrialisation, and the population in Mitcham doubled during the years between 1900 and 1910.
Many names still famous today owe their earliest origins to Mitcham. Asprey, the well-known supplier of luxury goods, was founded in Mitcham as a silk-printing company in 1781. William Morris opened a factory on the River Wandle at Merton Abbey, and Merton Abbey Mills were the Liberty silk-printing works, now preserved as a craft village.
Mitcham is also home to Jo Brand, comedienne, the Fielding brothers, Michael and Noel from the Mighty Boosh, and is the former home of Charles Maxwell Knight, OBE known as Maxwell Knight, a British spymaster, naturalist, and broadcaster. Knight is reputed to be the model for the James Bond character, ‘M’.
Property Types in Mitcham
Housing is very affordable in Mitcham, and it is becoming popular with families as the area offers plenty of outdoor space, but with a convenient location to central London. Prices are also popular with first-time buyers.
There is a good selection of homes from the Victorian era through the interwar and post-war years providing family homes, flats and maisonettes.
The average price for property in Mitcham is currently £371,570* Flats in Mitcham sell for an average of £289,496 and terraced homes for £538,726.
The average monthly rental price in Mitcham is £1,077**(Estate agents in mitcham)
Demographics in Mitcham
According to the 2011 Census, the population of the London Borough of Merton was 199,693***, and the average age of people was 36.
Schools and Colleges in Mitcham
There are 30 primary schools in Mitcham and Morden, including the ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rated Cricket Green School and Singlegate Primary School. St Mark’s Primary School, St Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School and St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School are all rated by Ofsted as ‘Good’.(Estate agents in mitcham)
For secondary education, Harris Academy Morden, located on the southern edge of Mitcham, is rated ‘Outstanding’ alongside Glenthorne High School, while St Mark’s Church of England Academy has a ‘Good’ Ofsted grading.
There are independent schools, including The London Acorn School, housed in a beautiful National Trust property and parkland and proudly a ‘no tech’ school with no screens of any sort even during the holidays. This is for boys and girls aged up to 14.
Date Valley School is an independent prep school for parents who want their children to be educated in an Islamic environment.
Only 20 minutes drive from Mitcham is the University of Roehampton which offers undergraduate and postgraduate study with one of the most culturally diverse student communities in the UK.
Local Attractions Near Mitcham
Mitcham Common is a massive 460 acres of green space, more extensive than Hyde Park, and a site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. It is also part of the renowned Wandle Valley Regional Park. The common is a mix of parkland, woodlands and a network of paths for easy access. There are also several ponds, some of which result from gravel extraction in the 19th century and a golf course.
Mill House Ecology Centre is the home to local conservation work and is a dedicated educational facility for school children. The centre is also used for lectures and exhibitions for adults to learn more about Mitcham Common.
Morden Hall Park is a stunning National Trust park located on the banks of the River Wandle and with amazing views of London’s skyline. The site is 51 acres consisting mainly of picturesque parkland where the river splits into channels spanned by numerous footbridges. There is a cafe for refreshments, and the park is home to the National Trust’s first-ever garden centre.
Merton Abbey Mills is a former textile factory now a stylish retail centre with a range of independent businesses specialising in arts and crafts, pottery and jewellery. The site is the former home of the Liberty silk-printing works. There is a weekend market, a riverside pub, and several restaurants and cafes, plus evening entertainment, including jazz nights.
Shopping Facilities and Leisure in Mitcham
Mitcham town centre is a mix of high street names and independents, and there are four supermarkets, Asda, Morrisons, Lidl, and Iceland.
To prepare the perfect Asian meal, seek out the Hoo Hing, an oriental supermarket and wholesaler on Western Road with a small cafe at the back where you can sample some simple no-fuss Chinese food.
Mitcham also has a market that runs special themed days. Fifteen minutes away is Clapham Junction, with designer boutiques and wonderful markets. A short tram journey of around fourteen minutes will offer access to Wimbledon Village with a charming array of quirky and artisan shops.
In the heart of Mitcham is Canons Leisure Centre, which offers a 25-metre swimming pool as well as smaller teaching pools, a gym, a dance studio and a dedicated toddlers’ area.
For culture, the Attic Theatre Company based in Mitcham Library hosts award-winning productions. The nearby New Wimbledon Theatre puts on musicals and dramatic productions, mainly promoting the work of new writers and comedians. Polka is a children’s theatre-based a mile from Mitcham in Wimbledon.
For family fun, head to Tamworth Farm Recreation Ground which has a multi-use games area, a children’s centre, five tennis courts, a paddling pool, and a playground.
Pubs and Restaurants in Mitcham
There are the usual chain restaurants such as Miller & Carter and pizzerias plus award-winning gourmet eateries like CHAK89, which serves Pan-Indian, Pakistani, and Sri Lankan dishes. CHAK89 is a banqueting venue as well as a restaurant and is the place to be seen in Mitcham with plenty of famous faces from the Glitterati. Also noted for Asian cuisine is the Ravensbury Arms, where the pub atmosphere meets fine Indian dining.
The Kings Arms is a traditional pub, Victorian in origin, and located near Mitcham Clock Tower. The Gorringe Park is a local gastropub that serves delicious home-cooked food using locally sourced ingredients and specialising in creative British dishes but is also home to a library room, a basement cinema, and two gardens. Surrey’s rolling countryside is on Mitcham’s doorstep with an abundant choice of country pubs for those who want to venture a little further afield.
For a light bite, grab a coffee and a pastry from MUD on Mitcham Road or head to the relaxed and laid back Graveney and Meadow for brunch or a tasty snack.
Upcoming Developments in Mitcham
The developer, Clarion, is leading a £1.3 billion regeneration of three rather tired post-war former council estates, which will provide 2,800 new homes for council tenants, shared owners, renters, and private buyers. This development will include new shops, leisure facilities, and open spaces.
Most of the other major housebuilders are represented in Mitcham with many new and planned developments offering properties of all sizes and types. A controversial 10-story development is proposed adjacent to the conservation area and green, with over 1,000 apartments. This project has attracted significant local opposition, including a crowdfunding campaign to mount a concerted plan of objection to these planned proposals.
Travel Connections from Mitcham
Mitcham has excellent transport links whether you want to head into central London or out into the countryside.
There are two train stations, Mitcham Junction and Mitcham Eastfields. Mitcham Eastfields Railway is in Zone 3 and offers a direct line into central London as well as south to the coast. Trains from Mitcham Junction in Zone 4 take just 20 minutes to London Victoria or around half an hour to Blackfriars.
Tramlink arrived in 2000, giving access to Croydon, Beckenham, New Addington, and Wimbledon.
Local buses run from Mitcham Junction to Tooting Broadway and Lavender Fields, as well as Wimbledon and Colliers Wood.
Gatwick and Heathrow airports are both under an hour away by car or by train. Thameslink also offers a direct connection to London St Pancras International and then on to Luton Airport.