The Canons, Mitcham
by E N Montague
The architectural and historical importance of The Canons, the somewhat altered but still interesting house of the Restoration period to the north of Cranmer Green, received early official recognition with listing under the Town and Country Planning Act 1947. It was featured subsequently in the Surrey County Council's Antiquities of Surrey, published in 1965, and was placed in the Grade II* category when an updated statutory list was compiled by the London Borough of Merton in 1990. At the same time the dovecot in the grounds was listed Grade II.1 The main part of the house was erected during the reign of Charles II, and is therefore now well into its fourth century. Nevertheless, it is still a centre of local activities of various kinds, and both house and grounds remain very much part of current community life. For much of its long history the site has been occupied by one of the manor houses of Mitcham, and for nearly 300 years the property was closely associated with the Cranmer family and their descendants the Simpsons, a leading dynasty in the village. The site itself, however, has a far longer history which can be traced back to within a few years of the Norman Conquest.
Merton Historical Society's first venture in publishing, The Canons, appeared in 1967. A second edition was published in 1976. Both have long been out of print. This latest edition has been considerably extended in the light of continued research.
Extract from the Introduction
The basement of The Canons now houses Merton Heritage Centre.