Morden Cottage at Morden Hall Park

Morden Cottage in the 1930s © NT Morden Hall Park

Morden Cottage in the 1930s

The white timber-fronted house found in the rose garden is known as Morden Cottage. It was built at the same time as the East Snuff Mill. Both the cottage and mill were built around the 1750s. Originally tenanted by a tobacconist, Nathaniel Polhill, Morden Cottage is remembered mainly for being home to Gilliat Edward Hatfeild.

A family home

The Hatfeild family first came to Morden when they became part of the snuff-milling business based there. Originally they lived at Morden Cottage. Slowly, the Hatfeilds bought the surrounding lands and houses in the area and finally bought Morden Hall in 1867. They then moved from Morden Cottage into the Hall itself.

Gilliat Edward’s bachelor retreat

After Gilliat Hatfeild’s death, his son Gilliat Edward inherited the snuff business and sailed back from the tobacco plantations in Virginia to take up residence in Morden. However, he did not take up residence in Morden Hall but instead decided to live in Morden Cottage. Gilliat Edward found the Hall too large for a bachelor. It’s likely that Gilliat Edward loved the location of the cottage, nestled in his beloved rose garden.

Film star parties

Photographs show that Morden Cottage hosted the celebrities that attended the Sunday Pictorial Film Star Parties in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Morden Cottage today

Since 1941, Morden Cottage has been in our care. It has been a council office and a registry office and is now leased for educational purposes. This brings in important income which allows the park to be run according to Gilliat Edward Hatfeild’s wishes.