Abbey House: Norman Arch revealed during demolition
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|Notes / History
|Abbey House (also known as Gatehouse) was built in the early 18th century on the site of Merton Priory on the south side of Merton High Street. The house was owned by Rear-Admiral Isaac Smith, who sailed with Captain Cook on the Endeavour in 1768. His cousin Elizabeth, the widow of Captain Cook, lived here with the Smith family for some years. In 1808 the Smith family also gave hospitality to Emma Hamilton while Merton Place, Nelson's home, was being sold off.
A Norman arch, thought to have been the gateway to the priory, was found while the house was being demolished in 1914, and now stands in the churchyard of St, Mary the Virgin Church in Merton.