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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
20th July 1982 Bombs planted by Irish Republican Army explode in 2 London parks
20th July 1982 T Macauly and D Vosburghs musical Windy City, premieres in London
20th July 1960 Born today: Katie Rabbet, London England, Prince Andrew's former girlfriend
20th July 1956 Born today: Paul Cook, London, rock drummer (Sex Pistols)
20th July 1944 Pierre Vinot, French ambassador to London/writer, dies
20th July 1935 Born today: Ted Rogers, Kennington London, comedian (Aladdin, Cinderella)
20th July 1930 Born today: Sally Ann Howes, London England, actress (Dead of Night)
One of the most important relgious ruins in the UK.
Location: Merantun Way, Merton
Description: Underneath this underpass and Sainsbury's in Merton, South London is Merton Priory - one of the most significant religious buildings in Britain. From the 12th century until its destruction during the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538, the abbey's remaining ruins are one of the key medieval archaeological sites in the UK.
Currently it's inaccessible, except on the occasions when the Merton Priory Trust, an organisation staffed by committed volunteers, is able to open it for visits or events such as Open House Weekends. However the remains are still visible and above ground, despite being concealed under the A24.
Thomas Becket was educated here in the late 1120s, and he wore the black cowl of the Augustinian canons of Merton when he was elected Archbishop of Canterbury in 1162. The monastery expanded during the 13th century, and was a favourite place of King Henry III. In 1217, Henry held a peace conference with Louis, Dauphin of France, in the chapter house, and later in the century stayed several times a year in private apartments at the priory.
More than 700 bodies were found on the site, and their analysis has shown people here lived longer, and were healthier, than the comparable urban populations.
The site is one of the oldest print works in the UK too with many important manuscripts being printed first here.