One of the most important legacies left by John Innes, and a tribute to his vision and ideals, is Merton Park today. It was the forerunner of the garden suburb movement. Its avenues of trees, its variety of attractive buildings, its gardens with holly hedges, provide Merton Park with its distinctive charm. At its heart is the historic village Church of Merton and its nearby open spaces, giving the area a special "rural" character.
The John Innes Society was set up in 1971 as a voluntary amenity society and Registered Charity whose primary purpose is to preserve and enhance the special nature of the locality. It also seeks to foster social and community values among those fortunate to live in the neighbourhood.
Area of benefit
The John Innes (Merton Park) Conservation Area. This is the area just south of the Kingston Road that was developed towards the end of the 19th century and in the early years of the 20th century by John Innes and the Merton Park Estate company. It includes the 12th century Church of St. Mary the Virgin and other parts of the original village of Merton. In 1968 it was designated a Conservation Area in accordance with the Civic Amenities Act of 1967. The area has survived pressures for major redevelopment and proposals to bisect it with a by-pass of the Kingston Road. With only a few exceptions, it has remained virtually unchanged for 100 years.
The John Innes (Wilton Crescent) Conservation Area north of the Kingston Road, again developed under John Innes' influence and largely unchanged. It was designated a Conservation Area in 1984.
The Merton Hall Road Conservation Area north of the Kingston Road. This was developed by others. It includes the distinctive Victorian houses in Merton Hall Road, and two nearby fine buildings in the Kingston Road: the Leather Bottle Public House (from 1899) and Long Lodge (from about 1720). This area was designated a Conservation Area in 1987.
The southern part of Merton Park, bounded on the west by Cannon Hill Lane; on the south by Martin Way and Morden town centre; on the east by Morden Road and Dorset Road. This was part of John Innes' original land holding. Much of the area was not developed for housing until the coming of the Underground railway to Morden over 20 years after the death of John innes in 1904, although many of the roads were laid out, and street trees planted, in his time.
Both sides of the Kingston Road from Dorset Road as far eastwards as Brisbane Avenue. This part of the Kingston Road includes shops dating from John Innes' time, the former White Hart public house (the post war successor to an inn of historic importance in Merton), and several public buildings founded by John Innes.