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Opinions of CherryWood (page 1):

Extract from Peter Hopkins excellent booklet "Discovering the Past - Lower Morden and Morden Park" (Copyright Peter Hopkins 1999 - revised 2000) - go to MHS for more details

CherryWood has retained its distinctive shape for at least 160 years. In 1838 it was called Great Wood, part of the Morden Park estate, and contained four and a half acres of woodland.

A recent study by the London Ecology Unit reports that the larger oaks in Cherry Wood are around 200 years old, and the presence of ramsons and wood melick suggests an ancient origin.

There are references to the North Wood as a landmark in leases of 1719 -1783, relating to property belonging to Bryons Farm that became part of the Morden Park estate in 1783.

The North Wood itself was not part of Morden Park at this time, but a year later Richard Garth leased to Thomas Conway of Morden Park, a parcel of wood ground called Cumberstrode Ruffit of 3 acres, previously held by William Taylor of Cannon Hill.

Several Cumberstrode lands appear in lists of fields transferred from Bryons Farm to Morden Park in 1783.

In 1616 Combestrood Ruffett had extended over eight and three quarter acres, whereas only three acres passed to Thomas Conway in 1784. However, in a document of 1745 a Jonas Lovejoy is shown as holding lands including Coomberstroude Ruffett alias Wood Close, containing 5 acres.

References from the 16th century onwards place Coomberstroude Ruffett to the east of Bowhill, in the same area that we find Cherry Wood today.

In the 16th and early 17th centuries there are also references to Bowhill Furze, and it seems likely that the two names relate to the same general area.

When Westminster Abbey surveyed its estates in 1312, it listed arable, meadow, pasture and woodland. However, no woodland was recorded for its Morden estate.

However, the name Comstrod did appear, among the most valuable arable land, but less valuable land seems to have adjoined it.

This suggests that Cherry Wood may have once been poor quality arable land that was abandoned some time after 1312, perhaps following the Black Death of 1349. It gradually reverted to scrub, leading to the descriptions as Furze and Ruffett, and by the early 18th century it had become a substantial wood.

When Messrs Selley acquired land here for building in the 1930s, they offered Cherry Wood to Merton and Morden Urban District Council as a permanent open space