Agriculture & industry

The copy in the Museum of the map drawn by Thomas Milne in 1800 depicts by choice of colour and letters the different uses of land in the London area. It highlights that Wimbledon, bounded by Beverley Brook and the River Wandle and lying north of Merton Street, was still a largely rural area with a village which was much smaller than those of Putney and Wandsworth. In 1729 a wooden bridge was built over the Thames at Putney. This was of vital importance to Wimbledon as it encouraged those Londoners who wanted an easily accessible country retreat to settle here.

Most work in Wimbledon, apart from services supplied in the village, was associated with the land. Either people owned it, leased it or let it, or they worked for themselves in the fields and meadows to sell the produce. However, some people living some distance from the village made a living from the many activities associated with the Wandle. Two of the many mills, the Garratt Copper Mill and the Martin (Merton) Flour Mill, were in Wimbledon parish, whilst textile industries with their bleaching grounds and fulling mills were nearby.