(Shadowtime Home)


Explore the author's map to discover strange stories from Mitcham and the surrounding areas.



Front Cover


Part 1 - Mitcham:

The Phantom Cyclist
of Mitcham Common
(update to Strange Mitcham)

A Dark Figure on Mitcham Common

Tales from the
Vestry Hall

'Calico Jack': The
Playful Ghost of
Lacks the Drapers

The Faces on the Walls:
Hancock's Cottages

The Haunted Cottages
in Tramway Path

The 'Haunting' of
Hall Place

The Spectral
Soldier of Graham

The Legend of
Mitcham Fair

Remember the Grotto

The Phantom of
the 'Folly'

An Apparition at
Woof & Sabine

Haunted Rooms at
Fry Metals

The Phantom Cat

Mitcham's (not so)
Haunted Mansion

The Kingston Zodiac

The 'Ghost Tree'

Ghostly Gardeners,
Medicinal Plants and
A Magical Tree

The 'Thing'

The Wrath of God

A Ghostly Experience
in Morden Road

Mitcham Clock Tower:
When Time Ran

The Rosier Family

The 'Ball of Fire'

UFO over Mitcham
Common, 2004

UFO over Tooting
  Bec Common, 1990

Part 2 - South of
Mitcham Common:

Carew Manor

The Ghosts of
Beddington Park

Beddington Parish
Church & Churchyard

The Figure in the

Under Beddington

A Spectral Cavalier

Other Information:

Author's website

'Haunted Mitcham' Facebook group:

Facebook group set up
by Geoff Mynn in
January 2015

Heritage maps

Thanks to the
Mitcham Society
and Merton Council
there are some very
nice heritage
maps of Mitcham

Download for free
via this link.

The Mitcham Ghost

Strange Mitcham
(2002): Errata


The Kingston Zodiac

The 1970s saw the first publication of a remarkable book. The Kingston Zodiac by Mary Caine purported to reveal the truth about the landscape around Kingston-upon-Thames in Surrey - that a set of ancient, magical images was outlined in the roads, paths and rivers surrounding that town. So large were these images, and so great their extent, that the edge of Caine's zodiac brushes right up against Mitcham.

This was not the first such attempt to divine mystical meaning from the English landscape. In 1935, Katharine Maltwood claimed to have (re)discovered a group of enormous drawings surrounding Glastonbury in Somerset. Because of their correspondence with the constellations, she referred to the group as 'The Temple of the Stars', and she believed that this was the original round table of Arthurian legend.

Caine was spurred into a similar study of Kingston's surroundings by a friend's comment that many of her local pubs had zodiacal names such as the Ram and the Bull. Drawing a circle around Kingston approximately 12 miles [19 kilometres] in diameter, she studied her maps and delved into legends, and images started to reveal themselves to her. First, she identified the representation of a lion, then of a pair of twins and gradually others followed.

In all, she discovered 13 images - the 12 signs of the zodiac and the additional image of a huge hound whose purpose, she said, was to guard the circle. To those who could understand these drawings, they revealed the astrological influences that various places were under.

Whitton and Hounslow, for example, are under the influence of Aries, which in turn is ruled by Mars, the god of war. This explains why armies have assembled in this area, and why the heath was such a magnet for highwaymen. Kingston is governed by Libra, the sign of justice, which is why Surrey's county law courts came to be sited there.

Scorpio: the Sign of Death

Mitcham itself lies mostly just outside the zodiac, but two signs do impinge upon its borders. The first of these is Scorpio, which Caine describes as the zodiac's death-sign. Its crooked tail hooks into Wandsworth (see my Haunted Wandsworth [2006] for more about this) and follows the River Wandle down into Merton, where the scorpion takes a bite out of the Colliers Wood area, encompassing the site of the old Merton Priory. One of its claws grasps the lower edge of Wimbledon Common, including 'Caesar's Camp', believed to be an Iron Age hill-fort. The other claw reaches down into Morden, whose name Caine likens to the Persian word 'mordad' meaning death.

Virgo: the 'White Goddess'

Nearby, Virgo - the 'White Goddess' - stretches from Beddington to Ewell, revealed in the enormous outline of a seated maid. The ragged hem of her dress is drawn by the meandering path of the River Wandle as it forms the border between Mitcham and Beddington to the east and St Helier and Carshalton to the west. Alluding to the Biblical nativity scene, Caine mentions the 'delightful coincidence' of Mitcham's Three Kings Road being close by, describing this as three kings coming 'to the feet of the Virgin'.

Above: Three Kings pond: Three Kings Road lies just on the other side of the
water. (James Clark, 2007)

She does not attach any great importance to this coincidence though. In any case, it should be noted that Three Kings Road is actually some three-quarters of a mile [just over one kilometre] from Virgo's feet.

A Magical Pattern

Comparisons of Caine's drawings with old maps of the area show that many of her lines do follow ancient roads and rivers. However, critics would point out that some of the features she uses to draw her signs were shaped relatively recently, such as Nonsuch Park's amphitheatre and irrigation ditches, which form, respectively, Virgo's ear-hole and facial profile.

Caine's answer to such objections is that these zodiacs are the result of natural laws and that where human beings have redefined the drawings it is because they are simply obeying these laws, however unconsciously. Thus new roads and developments may continually change the landscape but the Kingston Zodiac - its magical pattern imposed upon the land at the time of our planet's formation - will always be revealed to those who know how to see.

[Sources: Caine, Mary (2001) The Kingston Zodiac, Capall Bann Publishing, Berks.; Clark, James (2006) Haunted Wandsworth, The History Press.]

© James Clark. All rights reserved. Should you wish to refer to material presented here you are most welcome to quote a short excerpt (of no more than one or two paragraphs) provided you give full attribution and supply a link back to this website. Use of longer excerpts will require the author's prior written permission - by all means feel free to ask! But please DO NOT steal my work by copying great chunks and posting them in their entirety without permission. Thank you.

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