Groundwork London, assisted by Merton Priory Trust, worked with a team of volunteers throughout 2016 to create a short documentary about the historical importance and modern day transformations of the iconic Merton Priory Chapter House.
Volunteers were trained in audio-visual capture techniques, interview skills and recording oral histories, to lead on producing and directing the documentary about a national treasure that’s over 900 years old.
Merton Priory was one of the most influential centres of medieval Britain for culture, religion and politics and its archaeological relics and original foundations are preserved in a community museum cared for by the Merton Priory Trust.
The site had major access improvements and facility upgrades (2017-2018) funded through Living Wandle and the documentary aimed to capture footage and plans for the Chapter House prior to the transformations taking place.
Creating the documentary also involved historical research at local archive centres, conducting interviews with members of the public, professional architects and historians, along with detailed camera work, sound recording and professional editing of the footage to make the final piece.
The film was successfully launched in December 2016 and is proving an invaluable tool for celebrating and raising the profile of an often overlooked cultural treasure.
This project is part of the wider Living Wandle Landscape Partnership Scheme, supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.