19/03/2014 14:00 - 15:00
Merton Priory was an Augustinian priory founded in 1117, Thomas Becket, later Archbishop of Canterbury, and Walter de Merton, founder of Merton College Oxford. The priory was surrendered to the crown in 1538 during the Dissolution under Henry VIII. Although most of its buildings were demolished, some remained standing. From the 17th century the former site of Merton Priory became commonly known as "Merton Abbey", and was developed into a textile manufacturing centre, and this became the main focus of activity during the following decades. A number of printers later occupied the site, the most notable being Arthur Liberty: Liberty & Co. was situated there from 1904 to 1972. The site is now a market and craft workshop known as ‘Merton Abbey Mills’. During the latter part of the 19th century the works were leased by (William) Morris & Co. who continued production until 1940.
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