The Canons is a two-storey Georgian house to the north of Cranmer Green, the main part of which was built during the reign of Charles II in the latter part of the 17th century. It is now Grade II listed to preserve it, as is a 500 year old dovecote which sits next to an ancient monastic carp pond in the grounds of the estate.
In the Domesday Book, it’s recorded that Mitcham was held by the Canons of Bayeux. The land belonging to the priory of St. Mary Overy in Mitcham was known as the manor of Mitcham Canons, so the possible derivation of the name of the house becomes more apparent.
The Canons was associated with the Cranmer family for nearly three centuries – though probably not, as some people think, the family of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. Robert Cranmer, whose claim to be related to Thomas was proved to be a fabrication, was a merchant trading with the East India Company, who bought the land in 1656.
The Cranmers and their descendants, the Simpsons, were a significant dynasty in the Mitcham area, who sold The Canons to the council in 1939.
Local groups such as FROC (Friends of the Canons) and Mitcham Cricket Green Community and Heritage have made a successful lottery bid and some of the funds will be used to open up The Canons. At present, on selected days, guided tours are available if booked beforehand.