Green Wrythe Lane

Once a grassy track

Memories of the 1930s

Frances Horry (nee Nash) remembers

Photo:Berry pickers in Green Wrythe Lane circa 1910

Berry pickers in Green Wrythe Lane circa 1910

Sutton Local Studies and Archives

This road had different names over time: Little Wrythe Lane and Canon Sheephouse Lane being two of them.  Although ancient, it was a little-used roadway used mainly for accessing  Batts Farm which lay on its right-hand side.  The trackway leading up to the farmhouse crossed the area now occupied by the new Circle Library.

Public or private?

In 1863 there was a court dispute over who was responsible for the upkeep of the road – Carshalton Parish or the landlord of Batts Farm, John Blake. In court the lane was described as being between 40 to 50 feet wide and covered with grass. There were hedges on either side  growing on banks protected by ditches and containing elms of great age.  The hedges were very old and probably dated from the time when the parish was first divided into fields.  The court decided that the upkeep of the road was the duty of Carshalton Parish rather than  the owner of Batts Farm, despite the fact that some witnesses claimed that it was sometimes blocked by dungheaps and felled trees and was often too muddy to use.*  This judgement was the opposite to that made in a similar dispute in 1784 when William Smearley who owned a brickfield off the lane, wanted the Parish to keep it in good repair.  On that occasion William had to pay up.  The lane was often called Smearley's Lane at that time.

*Sutton Local Studies and Archives 2361/2/8 (Cutting from Croydon Chronicle, 2 May 1863)


This page was added by Trudy Marcus on 08/06/2010.
Comments about this page

Oh to have seen it like that wonderful photo, reminds us all where we came from and what we lost.

By Ted Blowers
On 22/06/2012

Fascinating insight into St Helier before the estate was built. Made all the more interesting by the fact that I have just met a Frances Horry who must be the Frances Horry who recorded this piece!

By Tom Brake
On 23/06/2019

It must have been 1960 (no later), my brother and I used to holiday with our Nanna in Carshalton. Every Wednesday we would go to " The Mission" down Wrythe Green Lane, not sure if it still exists. We would walk under the arched trees and play hide and seek, I still remember it vividly 60 years later.

By Phil Clark
On 19/04/2020

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