Merton Abbey Mills




In 1988 USM was invited to revive the picturesque but derelict Arts and Crafts buildings of the Liberty printworks on the River Wandle near Wimbledon. In 1989 it  opened as a shopping village with twenty craft workshops, a 200 stall weekend craft market, antique market, 150-car Saturday bootsale,  riverside pub, restaurants, studios, museum and theatre. By 1991, Merton Abbey Mills had become the Borough of Merton’s most significant all-year tourist attraction, with over 500,000 annual visits.

Key Facts

Project dates 1988 - 2005
Uses Market, shops, A3, offices, studios, theatre and museums
Area 30,000sq.ft (built space)
Jobs created 400
Investment £1.2 million
Major initial tenants Gourmet Pizza, Regents Inns
Highlights Abbeyfest Summer Arts Festival, Blues Festival, Colourhouse Children's Theatre, Wandle Valley Festival, working water wheel
Partnerships J Sainsbury PLC, Countryside Properties PLC, Wandle Heritage Trust, London Borough of Merton

The working mill, with its market, pub and theatre is the jewel in [the Wandle's] crown

Evening Standard

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