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This cache is the Second of the series. unfortunately some of these caches may be hard for wheelchair access as grass or mud can be quite thick in places. The cache is a micro with a logbook, pencil and a FTF Certificate inside.
This series of caches are on a wonderful walk around Morden Hall Park. It takes you over the river Wandle a few times as it twists and turns around the wetland part of the park. You should be able to see many fish enjoying the fast current and where it widens in some places and slows down there are plenty of ducks to visit and feed.
History of Morden Hall Park
The Morden Estate was originally owned by Westminster Abbey and has survived four centuries of change, reflected in the history of its buildings.
Family home and snuff mill
Morden Hall, built in 1770, has seen a variety of uses from a family home to a boarding school for young gentlemen and even a military hospital during the First World War. Many of the other estate buildings, including two 18th-century cottages, are gathered around the two water mills, which until 1922 were used for grinding snuff. Visitors can still see the original waterwheel that once turned the massive millstones to crush tobacco into a fine powder. Before the tobacco was ground it was dried in kilns - these are visible from the bridge. Today one of the mills houses the Snuff Mill, now used as an Environmental Centre, is a study centre for children from the local area.
Gilliat Hatfeild and National Trust ownership
Morden Cottage was home to Gilliat Hatfeild, who considered the cottage better suited to a bachelor than the Hall. He was a keen huntsman and fisherman, attracted to the idea of being a country gentleman. Many of the buildings on the estate reflect his interests, including gatehouses, lodges and a stable block built for his hunting horses, which has a weather vane in the shape of a trout. Even the former Dairy was converted for trout breeding. The formal garden of the cottage is surrounded by an unusual collection of ornamental trees, including one of the oldest yews in England. Morden Cottage is currently empty but the premises will shortly be refurbished. In 1941 Gilliat Hatfeild left the core of the estate (125 acres) to the National Trust.
About this property
The parkland covers more than 50 hectares (125 acres), with the River Wandle meandering through. The river plays an important role in the park, with an old snuff mill, now used as an education centre, and a variety of bridges traversing it. The park has hay meadows, wetlands, a collection of old estate buildings and an impressive rose garden (with more than 2,000 roses). The workshops house local craftworkers and there is an independently run garden centre and a city farm.
Morden Hall Park sits on the flood plain of the River Wandle and consists of three main types of habitats: meadowland, marshland and woodland. The meadowland is a remnant of old countryside showing traces of the 'ridge and furrow' method of ploughing, which was abandoned in late medieval times. The grass has never been ploughed or sprayed with artificial fertilisers but allowed to grow - grazed originally by deer and then dairy cattle until the 1970s. In summer the meadows provide a mixture of natural grasses and wild flowers. Conservation of these meadows is carried out by the Trust using a traditional system of annual hay cutting which enables the plants to seed. Areas of long grass, particularly along the hedgerows, are deliberately left to provide shelter for nesting birds like the warbler and small mammals like the short-tailed vole
Don't forget to visit the Riverside cafe for some light refreshments or an ice cream if its hot.
Car park by café, shop and garden centre closes at 6. Shop and café closed 25, 26 Dec & 1 Jan. Rose Garden and estate buildings area open 8–6. Last admission 30mins before closing.
You can use the other gates which are situated around the park to gain access to the main park if you cannot get here within the opening hours.
Thanks to the National trust for allowing us to place these caches here.
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