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1 Malden Road

Whitehall was built around 1500 when Cheam was a rural community of about 300 people, centred around Park Lane and Park Road. The only similar building to date from this time is the Old Cottage, which once stood near the junction of Ewell Road and the Broadway.

Visitors coming to modern Cheam are attracted by the striking appearance of the row of weatherboarded houses in Malden Road. The first and most imposing of these is Whitehall. With its projecting upper storey, sloping porch and long stretch of weatherboarding pierced by lattice windows, Whitehall is a landmark in Cheam Village Conservation Area. Since it was built in the early sixteenth century, Whitehall and its residents have played an important part in local life.

Tradition holds that Whitehall was built as a yeoman farmer's house and farmers did live in Whitehall in later years, but some non-domestic use cannot be ruled out. A previous structure on the site had collapsed or had been demolished when Whitehall was built.

Whitehall was constructed as a two-storey continuous jetty building with a deep overhang at the front and back. Alterations made by successive owners have contributed to its architectural interest. It is listed Grade II by the Department of the Environment as a building of outstanding architectural and historic importance and is thus protected from unsuitable changes.

The fabric of the building with its timbers of local oak and elm, dating from c. 1500, is revealed inside. The wood was used unseasoned and untreated, often within a few months of felling. It was later blackened when the contrast of black and white became fashionable.

The frame of the house would have been prefabricated at a carpenters' yard. Each timber was jointed, assembled into a frame and marked, before it was dismantled ready for removal to the building site.

Assembling the frame on site was a comparatively simple procedure, as the timbers already bore the carpenter's marks (a form of adapted Roman numerals) and mortise and tenon joints. Such buildings could also be dismantled fairly easily. It is interesting to note that the Old Cottage in Cheam, which is of a similar date to Whitehall, was dismantled and moved to its present site in 1922.

Whitehall is now a museum situated in a conservation area and is a shining example of a joint community project, for whilst the building is owned, maintained and managed by the London Borough of Sutton, through the Museum and Heritage Division, it opens to the public with the help of The Friends of Whitehall, a voluntary organisation which makes an annual financial contribution towards the cost of the House and has funded numerous purchases within the House as well as supplying willing hands for stewarding, baking cakes, serving teas and maintaining the gardens.

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Travelling by Bus:

213 Kingston - New Malden - Worcester Park - North Cheam - Cheam - Sutton, 151 Worcester Park Station - North Cheam -Cheam - Sutton
470 Epsom - Ewell - Cheam - Sutton - Morden - Colliers Wood
X26 Heathrow - Hatton Cross - Teddington - Kingston - New Malden - Worcester Park - North Cheam - Cheam - Sutton - Carshalton - Wallington Green - East Croydon - West Croydon. (Limited stopping service - stops only as shown)
Alight at the Cheam Village bus stop.

Travelling by Train:

Victoria - Clapham Junction - Balham - Mitcham Junction - Hackbridge - Carshalton - Cheam -Ewell East - Epsom

Travelling by Car:
Pay and Display car park is situated behind the library opposite Whitehall.

Whitehall Postcode for SatNav: SM3 8QD


020 8643 1236

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