Morden Hall Park, a National Trust park located on the banks of the River Wandle, covers over 50 ha (125 acres) and contains Morden Hall itself, Morden Cottage, an old Snuff Mill, as well as many old farm buildings, some of which are now used as a garden centre and a city farm. Interestingly, in the rose garden there are over 2000 roses (which makes it a good place for a romantic date).
The park is located in Morden, South London. The main entrance to the park is a short walk from Morden town centre, and there is a car par at the main entrance. The Snuff Mill and Riverside Café are adjacent to the main entrance. The river meandering through the park is spanned by numerous foot bridges.
The estate land was originally owned by Westminster Abbey. There is evidence of an earlier manor house, but the current Hall dates back to the 1770s and contains a variety of natural landscapes, including the parkland of the “Deer Park”, meadow and marshland. A number of historic buildings are located in the park, including the preserved watermills.
In was there, in these watermills that tobacco was once ground into snuff. The Hall was owned and occupied by the Garth family for generations. Later, about 1840, it served as a school for young gentlemen, until it was sold by Sir Richard Garth to a tobacco merchant Gilliat Hatfeild in the 1870s. During World War I the Hall was used as a military hospital. Gilliat Hatfeild’s son, Gilliat Edward Hatfeild, left the core of the estate (including the house) to the National Trust. The Hall is now empty, after Whitbread plc (public limited company) decided that the site did not fit in with the business plan they had for their Beefeater chain. They still own the lease and continue to pay rent, according to the original lease contract. At least two attempts to sublease the property have failed, after limited success.
The formal garden of the cottage is surrounded by an unusual collection of ornamental trees, including one of the oldest yews in England. The rustic character of the site makes it idyllic, the spot being surrounded by meadows, trees, and sounds of singing birds.