Colliers Wood overview
What’s it all about?
Serving as a bridge between the cheerful bustle and vibrant street life of Tooting and the leafy reaches and suburban shopping centres of Wimbledon, Colliers Wood is a compact residential area in south-west London. Its place name is derived from the charcoal burners, known as ‘colliers’, of medieval times who made their living collecting wood from the forests that once covered this part of the Capital. The river Wandle, too, provided industrial and creative impetus in the area, and as traditional occupations have declined, retail has taken their place. A stop on the Northern line ensures an easy commute into the City and West End and, with plenty of buses serving neighbouring areas of South London, Colliers Wood is increasingly seen as a reliable choice for first-time buyers, young families and commuters alike.
- What is now the High Street Colliers Wood formed part of Stane Street, one of the Romans’ famously straight roads – this one connecting London and Chichester.
- Colliers Wood played a major role in the Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with influential designers William Morris and William De Morgan basing their workshops on the banks of the Wandle.
- Henry VI, the only English monarch of the past thousand years with the distinction of being crowned outside of Westminster Abbey, held his coronation at Merton Priory in 1437 – remains of the Priory can be found in a foot tunnel under Merantun Way, between Sainsbury’s andMerton Abbey Mills.
What is Colliers Wood like to live in?
Quiet and unassuming, Colliers Wood has built a solid reputation as it has gained residents from more expensive areas of South London and now has a loyal and active local community. Families value its relative peacefulness, abundance of green space and the convenience of its large shopping centres and transport links.
Tidy and modest Victorian terraces and slightly larger Edwardian properties form the bulk of the property on offer in Colliers Wood, with some 1930s houses also attracting attention. The once-reviled Colliers Wood Tower (voted ugliest building in London in a 2006 BBC poll) has been thoroughly updated and developed into apartments, with more new residential developments appearing on a regular basis.
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- In the southern borders of the area on the banks of the river Wandle, Merton Abbey Mills is a 400-year-old complex and one of London’s oldest heritage sites. Once home to the Arthur Liberty printing works producing famous fabrics for eponymous West End department store, Merton Abbey also has a working Grade-II-listed Victorian waterwheel.
- The entrepreneurial spirit lives on in Merton Abbey Mill’s range of specialist shops – stock up on artisan cheeses and London-made salamis at Cut & Cured delicatessen, treat yourself a bottle of organic and handcrafted batch gin from Graveney Gin, or commission something spectacular for a special occasion from The Tattooed Bakers, whose edible creations have included a lifesize C3PO and R2D2 and a 14-foot gingerbread house. A weekend craft market is another reason to make sure to visit.
- Local venue The Colour House Theatre has a lively programme of music, comedy and theatre, but is best known for its children’s shows.
- A large Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer close to Colliers Wood Tube mean that keeping stocked up on groceries is unlikely to be a problem, with the High Street also providing corner stores and takeaways.
Leisure, relaxation and community
Eating and drinking: Coffee in the Wood on the High Street is a popular choice for brunch and lavish selections of savoury and sweet bakes – including the legendary Jammy Muffnut. The Charles Holden, perched on the edge of Wandle Park, offers the full gamut of pub life, from quizzes to a wine appreciation society, as well as serving a menu of upmarket pub classics, which you can enjoy in its attractive garden – large enough to accommodate a bouncy castle on Sundays. Merton Abbey Mills, meanwhile, has a range of restaurants making the most of its pleasant waterside setting with outdoor terraces and seating. Italian restaurant La Violetta, family-run Ban Yai Thai, and the snug Rock Star Sushi all come highly recommended. Also on site, Merton Apprentice and The William Morris serve up a fine line in local and regional brews, pub grub and Sunday roasts.
Community and events: An active Colliers Wood Residents Association organises a range of events throughout the year, including litter picks, kids’ tennis coaching and street parties. A runners’ group and Little League Football are some of the local sports groups residents can get involved in.
With the river Wandle running through the heart of the neighbourhood, green space is one of the area’s great advantages with a riverside wander taking in Wandle Park, Wandle Meadow Park and the National Trust-owned Morden Hall Park. Deen City Farm lies close to Merton Abbey Mills and is a popular family day out with petting zoo, riding school and café. The nature reserves, wildlife, bridleways, golf courses and sports facilities of Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park are also within easy reach.
Britannia Point is an exciting redevelopment of Colliers Wood Tower, the tallest building in the area. Sitting opposite the Tube station, the reclad and refurbished block has 140 new apartments. Colliers Wood Library on the High Street is also undergoing a major facelift, with the new mixed-use development due to open in 2017 and featuring 60 new apartments.
Tube: Colliers Wood is on the Northern line with a journey time to Bank of 25 minutes and Tottenham Court Road of 27 minutes.
Rail: Haydons Road is part of the Thameslink service, with trains reaching Blackfriars in around 27 minutes and St Pancras in 40 minutes.
Buses: Local bus services take minutes to reach Wimbledon or Tooting.
State primary schools in the area include Singlegate, Garfield, Merton Abbey and All Saints’ C of E School. Nearby state secondary schools include the community girls’ school Ricards Lodge and boys’ Roman Catholic Wimbledon College. Independent options include the co-ed King’s College School and girls’ school Wimbledon High School. Eagle House School in Mitcham is an independent specialist autism school.
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If you’re looking to buy, sell, rent or let in Colliers Wood, contact the KFH Tooting branch today.
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