The Facilities at Morden College
The John Morden Centre
Echoing the 1695 design of the original Quadrangle, The John Morden Centre was completed in 2021, designed to be a hub for beneficiaries’ social activities and health and wellbeing needs. The John Morden Centre is home to Café 19, Merchant’s Hall and resident arts and crafts facilities.
The John Morden Centre was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects’ RIBA London Award 2023, RIBA London Building of the Year 2023 and RIBA National Award 2023.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE JOHN MORDEN CENTRE
Club Lounges & Bar None
Both of our sites at Blackheath and Beckenham have a Club Lounge with bar. The Club Lounges are a primary venue for beneficiary-led social events and activities, be it bingo, race nights or quizzes. The Club Lounges are open all week for beneficiaries to take advantage of, to relax and socialise, with regular bar opening hours many evenings of the week. Bar None (pictured) is Blackheath’s bar, the name being the winner out of many suggested and voted on by beneficiaries.
Communal computer suites allow beneficiaries to access the internet and e-mail if they don’t have their own devices. IT support is also available via the Health and Wellbeing team via appointment or drop-in workshops and sessions.
The library was established thanks to Charles Kelsall’s bequest of £2,000 and his collection of books. Many other books have been purchased or donated since then. The library holds bound copies of the College magazine, 1695 and is a place for beneficiaries to read the newspapers or a journal whilst enjoying a tea or coffee.
Greenwich libraries visit every eight weeks to deposit titles which beneficiaries can borrow during library sessions. The librarian can assist with book requests, enquiries and research projects.
Beneficiaries may also visit the archives, which comprise records of the College, its beneficiaries, staff, buildings and estates. The archive includes documents, minute books, plans, photographs, paintings and objects such as Sir John Morden’s heraldic insignia.
Researchers wishing to access the collection should contact the Archivist/Librarian at email@example.com or on 020 8463 8323.
Substantial gardens make up much of the 11 acres at Blackheath, wrapping around the various buildings, instilling a relaxed and homely feel for the beneficiaries, staff and visitors alike.
The sheer size of the award-winning gardens, looked after by a small team of dedicated gardeners, allows for plenty of diverse interest. From the understated elegance of the cloistered Quadrangle with its quartered lawns, box topiary and lily ponds, leading through to the tranquillity of the Club Garden, where beneficiaries can sit with a cool drink on a hot day in the dappled shade of the Silver Birch or in the Box parterre. Nearby, there is a memorial garden dedicated to passed friends.
The College gardens at both Blackheath and Beckenham allow beneficiaries a wide range of leisure activities, whether that be sporting areas, rose gardens and sweeping lawns. There are plenty of places to relax and take in nature, including the Diamond Jubilee Fountain, opened in 2013 by our Patron, the sensory garden in the Care Home or the more wild Woodland Walk. Allotments allow beneficiaries to ‘keep a hand in’ by growing vegetables and soft fruit, and bee hives at Blackheath produce a small batch of Morden College honey. The grounds are home to a variety of birdlife, such as the visiting ducks and ducklings at Ralph Perring Court to fish in the ponds.
The variety in the gardens allows beneficiaries a wonderfully safe area that works positively toward their health and wellbeing.
Blackheath and Beckenham both have a fierce but friendly competitive spirit, regularly making use of the putting facilities and darts for home and away matches at each site. These regular matches are a great opportunity for the two sites to socialise, with most events accompanied by post-event drinks and food. Outside of competitions, regular friendly sporting activities are organised by each site’s Sports Captain, whether it be putting, darts, boules or snooker and the captains are always open to new suggestions.