Watercress Growers


Marshy areas and landscape changes arising from previous industrial use of land created ideal conditions for the growing of watercress, esp in parts of Mitcham and Merton.

Willow Lane area – French émigré _ Louis Dutriez had thriving business – market garden and pig farm. Cress harvested and sent to London markets via Mitcham Junction. Richard Martinne – Vimy Ridge 1917


Merton – Colliers Wood area – Wandle waters and cuts left by calico bleaching were ideal for crop.

Brook Path area , High St & Christchurch. Tended with planks to prevent crushing – workers wore kneepads. Cultivation till First World War period – Vitacress contd to be grown at Grove Farm nr Watermeads till 1960