Merton Priory should try and win a place alongside the Bayeaux tapestry in a heritage hall of fame, campaigners have been told.

Artefacts linked to the historic site in Colliers Wood, which is only occasionally opened to the public, include the statute of Merton - a document signed at the priory in 1236 which laid the foundations for legal systems in Britain and around the world.

Campaigners hoping to regenerate the site have been advised by experts to apply to join the United Nation's memory of the world register, which protects documents of global importance, as their bid for UN world heritage status did not win Government backing.

They also want the remains to form the centrepiece of a Wandle valley regional park linking green spaces through south London.

Councillor Richard Chellew said: “This is not just about our heritage or a park; it is about regenerating an area.

"It is about improving the lives of tens of thousands of people who live in Merton and south west London by bringing together two of our most precious assets - our heritage and the Wandle valley regional park.”

For more on the historical and cultural significance of Merton Priory, read Councillor Chellew's letter here.


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