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Cannon Hill Common Merton


Cannon Hill Common was not commonland as such but part of the former extensive holdings of Merton Priory, founded in the C12th and later part of Cannon Hill Estate. The land was farmed for many centuries until Cannon Hill House was built, probably shortly after 1762. By 1880 the house was empty and the surrounding land farmed. In 1924 developer George Blay purchased the estate as well as part of the Rayne Estate and built over much of it, but in 1925 offered the present site to Merton and Morden UDC for a public park, which opened in 1927, named Cannon Hill Common. The house was demolished and its site at the edge of the lake and woodland was first designated a bird sanctuary in 1927, since 1998 it has been managed as a nature reserve. The ornamental lake was created in the C18th and is a remnant of the former landscaped grounds of Cannon Hill House.

Basic Details

Site location:
Cannon Hill Lane/Parkway

SW20 ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Public Park

C18th; 1925-7


Listed structures:


Site ownership:
LB Merton

Site management:
Leisure and Culture Services. Friends of Cannon Hill Common

Open to public?

Opening times:

Special conditions:

fishing in Cannon Hill Common lake (licence required), café


Public transport:
Rail: Raynes Park, South Merton then bus. Bus: 413

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2011
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Further Information

Grid ref:

Size in hectares:

Green Flag:

On EH National Register :

EH grade:

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:

In Conservation Area:

Tree Preservation Order:

Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Borough Importance I

Green Belt:

Metropolitan Open Land:

Special Policy Area:
Yes - Archaeological Priority Zone (part)

Other LA designation:
Local Nature Reserve. Public Open Space. Green Corridor

Fuller information

In 1974 angling on the lake was banned in order to protect the wildlife but was re-introduced in 2001 under the auspices of and control of the Merton and Cheam Junior Angling Club. Cannon Street Common has largely been managed for nature conservation since the mid 1970s and is on undulating ground with meadows and woodland areas; among the trees are fine mature oak, a number of which are around 200 years old. Other trees include horse chestnut, lime, ash, willow, holm oak and there is a fine cedar of Lebanon on the ridge of a hill, a remnant of parkland planting. There are good views from the higher ground; a pavilion is situated below woodland and near the nature reserve. Immediately to the north beyond a strip of woodland is the Joseph Hood Recreation Ground, which has a children's playground, bowling green and tennis courts.

Sources consulted:

Ian Yarham, Dave Dawson, Martin Boyle, Rebecca Holliday 'Nature Conservation in Merton, Ecology Handbook 29', London Ecology Unit, 1998, p73. See Cannon Hill Common History on Merton Council website

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