The remains of the 900-year-old medieval Merton Priory are set to be transformed into a purpose-built museum and public space that has been years in the making.

New light is being cast on the scheduled ancient monument Merton Priory Chapter House, an archaeological treasurem after resting for decades underneath the A24 (Mernatun Way) and next to a Sainsbury’s car park.

Phase One began in November 2017 that will improve the visibility and accessibility to the Chapter House, with the demolition of the site’s boundary wall to make way for an inviting glass fronted entrance into the community museum.

The Chapter House is set to re-open after its renovations in early summer.

The scheme will transform the interior space housing the remains of the 12th century cultural treasure and upgrade its facilities enabling the Chapter House to be opened more regularly.

Phase Two planned to take place in the next few years will create a fully equipped museum, educational centre, performance space and an on-trend physic garden on the site of the Priory’s infirmary.

The project is co-funded by Merton Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Living Wandle Landscape Partnership.

Vice chairman of the Merton Priory Trust, John Hawks, said: “We’re very excited by the scheme after nearly thirty years of doing so many events and open days on a shoestring, the Chapter House will at last be getting what it deserves as a priceless piece of local heritage, a place with real 'wow factor'.”

Merton Council's cabinet member for community and culture, councillor Nick Draper said: “We are proud to be part of this very exciting venture. Merton is home to a fascinating and hugely significant part of the nation’s history and it will be wonderful to see the Chapter House transformed into a historic site which people from across London and the UK will want to visit and admire.

“Thousands of people go about their daily business not knowing they are just metres away from such a historic destination. Once the new exhibition space is developed, visitors from far and wide will come to visit the chapter house.”