Colliers Wood is an area in south west London, England, in the London Borough of Merton. It is a mostly residential area, but has a busy high street around Colliers Wood tube station on London Underground's Northern line. The high street is part of the A24, a major road route roughly following the Northern Line, running from London through Tooting and other areas. There are two large shopping areas, the Tandem Centre and the Priory Retail Park, as well as a large supermarket complex built in 1989 on the site of an old print works. The Colliers Wood ward had a population of 10,712 in 2011.
The River Wandle at Merton High Street, with Colliers Wood Tower behind
|OS grid reference|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Colliers Wood shares its postcode district of SW19 with Wimbledon. It merges into Merton Abbey. Colliers Wood has three parks: a recreation ground, the National Trust-owned Wandle Park, which covers an area of approximately 11 acres (45,000 m2), and the more informal Wandle Meadow Nature Park. Colliers Wood United F.C. is a semi-professional football club founded in Colliers Wood but now based in nearby New Malden.
In 2006, local resident and ex-resident of Slough Keith Spears, having seen the BBC TV series Making Slough Happy, started the "Making Colliers Wood Happy!" initiative as a way of building community spirit to counteract the decline in neighbourliness in suburban areas. This has resulted in a lively programme of social activities for local residents, including a choir, a ukulele orchestra  and an annual open gardens event, and its importance has been recognised by attracting grants for its work in community-building.
Colliers Wood takes its name from a wood that stood to the east of Colliers Wood High Street, approximately where Warren, Marlborough and Birdhurst Roads are now. Contemporary Ordnance Survey maps show that this wood remained at least until the 1870s but had been cleared for development by the mid-1890s.
The twelfth-century ruins of Merton Priory were considered by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport as a possible British candidate for World Heritage status. Henry VI was crowned king of England at Westminster Abbey in 1429, and king of France at Notre-Dame de Paris in 1431. He was reported to have been "crowned" at Merton Priory in 1437, but this was more of a 'crown-wearing' ceremony than a coronation. Similarly the current Queen wears the Imperial State Crown at the State Opening of Parliament every year.
Close to Merton Priory is the market and heritage centre at Merton Abbey Mills, the former Liberty & Co. dyeworks on the bank of the River Wandle. The Wandle was reputed to have more mills per mile than any other river in the world, having 90 mills along its 11 mi length. William Morris, at the forefront of the Arts and Crafts Movement, located the Morris & Co. factory at the Merton Abbey Works after determining that the water of the Wandle was suitable for dyeing. The complex, on 7 acres (28,000 m2), included several buildings and a dyeworks, and the various buildings were soon adapted for stained-glass production, textile printing, and fabric- and carpet-weaving. The works closed in 1940. The site is now occupied by a large shared Sainsbury/M&S supermarket complex (originally a SavaCentre opened on 28 February 1989 with 107,430 sq ft (9,981 m2) of sales area, making it the largest hypermarket in the UK at the time of its opening).
The world's first public railway, the Surrey Iron Railway, which was initially horse-drawn, passed through Colliers Wood on its route from Croydon to Wandsworth, between 1803 and 1846. Before the merger with Merton, it was in the Municipal Borough of Mitcham.
In July 2010 the first of London's Cycle Superhighways opened, with a continuous bicycle lane known as CS7 originating in Southwark Bridge, in the centre of London, and terminating in Colliers Wood. The route was originally intended to continue to South Wimbledon.
Colliers Wood TowerEdit
Colliers Wood is visually dominated by the "Colliers Wood Tower". Originally named the "Lyon Tower", it was originally occupied as the headquarters of property company Ronald Lyon Holdings but has also been known as "The Vortex" and "Brown & Root House". When being built, the tower reached the third storey before an error in construction was discovered and it was demolished to begin again.
It was voted the ugliest building in London in a 2006 BBC poll and one of the 12 ugliest in the UK in a 2005 Channel 4 poll for its programme Demolition. The same BBC poll quoted an architect working for Golfrate Property Management, the current owners, as saying the building was due a make-over and new lease of life.
By 2009, the ground and first floor windows and doors had been boarded up, and green netting attached across each end to prevent falling debris causing injury to passers-by. Demolition of the adjacent spiral car park began in April 2010, but due to complications with an electrical substation was halted soon after, with half the car park still standing. But by June 2011 the car park had been demolished entirely.
In Spring 2011, two small samples of decorative cladding were fitted. These were a much lighter colour than the underlying concrete surface and would change the look of the Tower significantly if installed across the building.
A major renovation of the Tower began in 2014, to create a glass clad block of 150 rentable apartments, with commercial units to the ground floor. The renovation was originally expected to be complete by the end of 2015, but it was finished by October 2017 calling the building Britannia Point.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Outstanding volunteers reveal surprising inspirations at Merton Council Civic Awards night". Yourlocalguardian.co.uk. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- "Making Slough Happy". BBC News. 15 November 2005. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- "Making Colliers Wood Happy!". Making Colliers Wood Happy!. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- "Colliers Wood Chorus". Colliers Wood Chorus. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- "Colliers Wood International Ukulele Orchestra". Collywoodukes.com. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- Parry, William Morris, p. 57
- "Cycling Revolution London" (PDF). Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- Good Stuff IT Services. "Colliers Wood - UK Census Data 2011". Ukcensusdata.com. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
- "Colliers Wood Demographics (Merton, England)". Colliers-wood.localstats.co.uk. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
- The Daily Telegraph (London) - Obituary of Ronald Lyon
- "BBC Poll - Most Hated Building". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- "Demolition". Channel4.com. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- "Colliers Wood tower to stay despite falling masonry, drugs and porn movie". Yourlocalguardian.co.uk. 30 April 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- "Bulldozers move on to site of "ugly" Colliers Wood tower". Thisislocallondon.co.uk. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
- Media related to Colliers Wood at Wikimedia Commons