Friday, August 14, 2015

Merton Priory & Wandle pub crawl

Colliers Wood Saturday 25-July-2015

A friend who lives down near my old neighbourhood (South Wimbledon / Merton) suggested a visit to see the remains of Merton Priory which was holding an open day. An opportunity to see a bit of local history not normally open to the public. Given the friends involved this turned into a pub crawl.

We started in The Charles Holden opposite Colliers Wood tube station where we tried their own ale brewed on the premises, very nice. We were somewhat surprised to bump into Mary's godson Alex who lives on the Isle of Wight. It turns out that his sister Zoe works in that very pub and he was meeting her there before returning home.

After a pint, and once the company of six was fully assembled, we went across the road to spend an hour looking at the remains of Merton Priory. We learned all about the Chapter House of Merton Priory. "Merton was a major Augustinian priory, founded in 1117 and dissolved in 1538, whose foundations are preserved in a chamber under Merantun Way" We also learned more about William Morris' workshop at Merton Abbey Mills.

History is thirsty work so we had a crepe and a drink at the Belgian Brasserie. They do some delicious fruit beers. I had a Leffe Blonde but next time I will definitely try a strawberry beer, it would be delicious with ice cream.

Our friends were not aware that the Wandle Trail continued all the way to the Thames; we were able to reassure them as we headed north along the river. Armed with my trusty "River Wandle Companion" I was able to regale the assembled company with facts about the river past and present until we reached Earlsfield.

There the third and final pub stop was agreed upon. Eschewing "The Wandle" pub, Mary checked beerintheevening for pubs near Earlsfield and the recommended option was The Country House (formerly The Fog). Just off the main road it is a little gem of a pub, friendly landlady, some decent beers and enough seating for all of us.

We then dispersed and a short bus ride got us home for a quiet evening in after a well spent afternoon.

The Wandle Trust is an environmental charity dedicated to restoring and maintaining the health of the River Wandle and its catchment. They hold community river cleanups on the second Sunday of every month, up and down this unique urban chalkstream – pulling out everything from shopping trolleys to shotguns, and improving the environment for birds, fish, insects and local people. For more visit:

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