Haydons Road

Haydons Road, Merton

The southernmost section of the A218, which runs from Wandsworth to Merton, west of the River Wandle

Bendon laundry
Ben­don laun­dry, seen before its demo­li­tion to make way for a mixed-use scheme

The Hay­don fam­i­ly had been liv­ing in Mer­ton for over two hun­dred years when George Hay­don acquired Cowdrey’s Farm in 1746. The site of the farm­house is now marked by Cow­drey Road. The track that led to the farm from Mer­ton High Street had been called Cow­drey Lane, but soon became known as Hay­dons Lane.

In the 1840s Plough Lane branched east­wards off the north­ern end of Hay­dons Lane in the direc­tion of the Plough Inn, which lay across the Wan­dle.

The arrival of the rail­way in the 1850s brought ear­ly sub­ur­ban devel­op­ment as part of what was ini­tial­ly called New Wim­ble­don, lat­er South Wim­ble­don.

The Church of Eng­land estab­lished a mis­sion in a small room off Hay­dons Lane in 1859. Around 1870 the lane was renamed Hay­dons Road and streets of work­ing class hous­ing began to be laid out, like De Burgh Road in the 1870s and Dry­den Road in the 1890s.

At the cor­ner of Cax­ton Road, Ben­don Laun­dry was estab­lished in 1902 in out­build­ings that had orig­i­nal­ly served as a cow­house and sta­ble. The laun­dry was extend­ed in sev­er­al stages over the fol­low­ing cen­tu­ry before its recent demo­li­tion to make way for a pri­mar­i­ly res­i­den­tial ‘mixed-use scheme’ of the kind that usu­al­ly replaces dis­used indus­tri­al premis­es in mod­ern Lon­don.

Though sec­tions of Hay­dons Road retain a low-rent appear­ance, much of the hous­ing in the hin­ter­land is pleas­ant enough, and new homes con­tin­ue to be shoe­horned into every avail­able space.

Two women and a man who masterminded a million-pound prostitution ring were jailed in 2003. The team brought unsuspecting Thai women to the UK and set up a brothel at 261a Haydons Road as a ‘training centre’ for them. The women were then sent to work in other brothels outside of the organisation, or were ‘sold on’ to new owners.

Postal district: SW19
Station: Thameslink (zone 3)


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