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Merton Priory is 900 years old

12 July 2014 - 31 August 2014

Don’t miss the fascinating new exhibition at the Museum of Wimbledon which celebrates 900 years of
the history of Merton Priory.
 
This undeservedly unknown national treasure exists today in only some fragments but its story
embraces important events and important people – many of them Kings. And also a Pope and a Saint.
Merton Priory was the place where in 1236, twenty years after Magna Carta, Parliament met to prepare
the written parliamentary law in the form of the eleven chapters of the first Statute of Merton, which
remained on the Statute Book for over 700 years.
 
 
The only English Pope, Adrian IV, and Saint Thomas Becket were educated there. King John stayed there often.
 
Henry III maintained lodgings there and throughout his reign many charters were attested at Merton.
Merton Priory also saw the death of the son of Edward I in 1274, a Privy Council of Henry IV in 1412,
Henry VI crowned (for the second time) in 1437 on his sixteenth birthday, and a visit from Henry VII’s
daughter Mary in 1533.
 
The exhibitions chronicles these and many other events together with a display by the Merton Priory
Trust of plans for the extensions to the Chapter House Museum which are being funded by the National
Lottery.
 
Other contributors to the exhibition are the Museum of London with a display covering their extensive,
comparatively recent digs and the Merton Historical Society showing a variety of historically important
documents plus work done by Richard Chellew on the Statute of Merton and other documents. There is
also a look at some of the beautiful churches of Augustinian Priories that escaped destruction by Henry VIII and exist today.
 
 

Visiting information

‘Merton Priory is 900 years old’ runs from Saturday 12 July until Sunday 31 August at the
Norman Plastow Gallery, Museum of Wimbledon, 22 Ridgway, London SW19 4QN.
 
Opening hours are 2.30 – 5pm Saturdays and Sundays and 11.30 am – 2.30 pm on Wednesdays
ADMISSION FREE
 

For further information

Cassandra Taylor
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0208 946 1544