The wider estate at Morden Hall Park
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The layout and lands at Morden Hall Park have changed little since the time of the Hatfeilds. The main change in the footprint of the park happened after the First World War when land was purchased to create the St Helier Estate.
The rose garden was created by Gilliat Edward Hatfeild in approximately 1921. It was probably the biggest addition he made to his father's estate, which was primarily a deer park. Unfortunately, no plans remain but photographs show rectangular beds in an asymmetric design. The rose garden is one of the park's unique features and was much loved by Gilliat Edward Hatfeild.
The stream which splits the garden in two halves is thought to have once been the divide between Mitcham and Morden (a cast-iron boundary marker can be seen under the plane tree). The stream is potentially the old course of the River Wandle, and during the Hatfeilds' time ornamental rose-covered bridges made crossing easy. Originally, the garden was sectioned off by a line of trees; in more modern times a railing has been erected to keep the garden separate and special.
The kitchen garden
An extensive kitchen garden (where the car park now is) was laid out by Gilliat Hatfeild in the late 1700s. It grew many varieties of fruit and vegetables. Greenhouses were built with a special heating mechanism to allow exotic vegetables to thrive. Following the Second World War, up to 14 gardeners were employed to tend to the garden, and much of the produce was used to feed patients at Morden Hall while it was used as a hospital.
The south park used to be sectioned off into small meadows, probably by hedgerow, but in 1873 Gilliat Hatfeild opened up the area leaving a few clumps of trees. This area was home to roughly 25 fallow deer increasing to roughly 100 in 1892. Cattle were also allowed to graze. Deer and cattle remained until the outbreak of World War II, although cattle were seen around the park until the 1972.
The avenue of lime and horse chestnut trees provided fodder for the deer and now forms the iconic avenue running through the centre of South Park leading towards the white iron bridge and Morden Hall. The iron bridges were built around 1873; others also existed but have since been lost. The horse chestnut trees are larger than the limes, suggesting that they were planted first.