Victorian London - Publications - History - The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896 - Defoe's House at Mitcham

Defoe's House at Mitcham - photograph


What is known as Defoe's house at Mitcham is a charming old place on the high road between Tooting and Sutton. On the front gate are inscribed the words, in old English characters, "Defoe lived here in 1688." There is no reason for doubting this assertion, although it may be difficult of proof. It is certain that the author of the immortal "Robinson Crusoe" was minister for a time at a meeting-house still to be seen in the main street of Tooting; and it may have been his brief experience at this place which suggested his lines, "Wherever God erects a house of prayer, The Devil always builds a chapel there." The house at Mitcham has been a great deal altered since Defoe's time.