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The 19th century stable yard

The 19th century stable yard
NTPL Zoë Colbeck

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Crazy Paving Day.....

The last in the current series of Taster Days at Morden Hall Park proved to be popular, as members of the public learned about different types of flooring and other materials which are being used in the development of the Stable Yard. There were a series of talks, where experts spoke about subjects including the various types of pavers being laid, and the use of carpets made from Cumbrian sheep’s wool.

Robert Knott talks about the indoor “Star” pavers © NPTL/Caroline Pankhurst

Tom Walsh from Sustainable Merton (, which will have volunteers running drop-in advice sessions about sustainability in the new Living Green Centre, also spoke about the importance of the new project for the London Borough of Merton and its residents.

Moving outside, visitors were given a tour of the Stable Yard, and were then able to try their hand at laying two types of pavers. An expert from our builders, R Durtnell and Sons Ltd, demonstrated how the chocolate block style pavers (which were lifted from the Stable Yard and refurbished) are being relaid in a bed of sand and firmed down with a whacker plate.

Tom from Sustainable Merton lays some "Chocolate Block" pavers NPTL/Caroline Pankhurst

A Taster Day participant using the whacker plate on the “Chocolate Block” pavers © NPTL/Caroline Pankhurst

Star pavers will be used in the exhibition area. Hundreds of these have also been recycled, and are being supplemented by new, matching pavers supplied by Bulmer Bricks and being laid by A.T.Knott and Sons Ltd. Learning how to lay “Star” pavers © NPTL/Caroline Pankhurst

In the office areas, carpet will be supplied by Wools of Cumbria Carpets Ltd ( These durable carpets are made from Cumbrian Swaledale and Herdwick wools, and the company helps upland farmers to maintain their flocks, so that they can keep the hills and fells in the traditional way that they have done for many years.

Also on show during the Taster Day were samples of the flooring that will be used in the café areas. The norament Luxor rubber floor covering is long-lasting and easy to clean and is manufactured by nora flooring systems UK Ltd. (

Although this was the last in the current series, we plan to hold a further Taster Day during the installation of our Archimedes Screw hydroelectric turbine - sign up to the blog to be alerted to the date for this. And if you'd like to volunteer in the new Living Green Centre, please email

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Come and lay the final paving blocks in the new Heart of the Park Courtyard!

Chocolate Block Pavers. NT/Jon Whitehead

On Saturday 13th August, people will have the chance to help complete the new courtyard in the Heart of the Park project at Morden Hall Park.

The last in the series of free “Taster Days” will have three experts telling people about the special “chocolate block” paving blocks being used in the renovated stableyard, as well as the special original “star” pavers being used in the exhibition space. People will then have a chance to lay the final paving blocks themselves and have a behind-the-scenes tour of the whole stableyard renovation project (seeing the solar panels, air source heat pump, cork insulation etc). A carpet expert from Cumbria will also be attending to talk about the carpets being used in the office space, and the rubber flooring to be used in the new café will also be on show.

The event runs from 10-12.30pm.

This will be the last chance to see the stableyard before it opens to the public on 5 November 2011, so is an opportunity not to be missed.

The event is free to attend but spaces are limited and booking is essential – please contact or 020 8545 6856 for further details and to book a place.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

It's all happening....

Refurbished pavers being re-installed NPTL/Jon Whitehead

There has been a lot of progress on several fronts at Morden Hall Park over the last few weeks.
One of the principles of the stable yard renovation is that original materials should be re-used wherever possible.
Thousands of the original "chocolate-block" style pavers in the stable yard were removed to enable drainage works to take place and the installation of the huge rainwater harvesting tanks. Where possible, the pavers have been cleaned and re-laid to restore the original stable yard surface and maintain its historic appearance. Each paver is about the size of a house brick and in some cases several centimetres of concrete had to be chipped from the underside of each one. Some of the original pavers are also being re-used inside the new exhibition area.
Most of the original wooden window frames are being refurbished too and secondary glazing is being added to bring the insulation levels up to standard.

The new turning circle outside Morden Cottage NPTL/Jon Whitehead

Meanwhile, outside Morden Cottage, the area has been re-landscaped to restore the original turning-circle that Mr Hatfeild would have had when he lived there.
The tarmac surface has been reduced to make way for a grassy area.

Paddles being installed on the waterwheel NPTL/Jon Whitehead

Work has also been going on to replace most of the paddles on the waterwheel so that you can see what it would have looked like when it powered the Snuff Mills. The workings inside the mills are no longer there, so unfortunately the waterwheel won’t be turning again.