Thursday, 26 November 2009

The London/Hertfordshire/Essex border - Ramney Marsh



TQ 37 99
The London/ Enfield/Hertfordshire boundary goes east along the M25 with a dip south at the New River and return north. At the River Lea it meets the Essex boundary.
The London/ Enfield/Essex boundary turns south taking a wiggley course to the east of the pumping station and then follows the River Lea.

The Lee Navigation, the Small River Lee and the Flood Relief Channel all flow southwards. The Flood Relief Channel is met by the Black Ditch and Cobbins Brook both flowing from the west.
Cobbins Brook flows westwards and joins the Flood Relief Channel
The Black Ditch flows westwards and joins the Flood Relief Channel
Post to the west Waltham Cross
Post to the south Enfield Lock
Post to the north Waltham Cross
Post to the east Waltham Abbey

Sites on the Essex side of the border

Aqueduct
Made up of Cattlegate Flood Relief Channel and Ramney Marsh Flood Relief Channel

Cobbins Brook
Said that Boadicea poisoned herself with hemlock gathered from the banks of Cobbins Brook

Fleming Way
George Lovell Drive
New housing on the northern most tip of the Small Arms Factory. Beyond the tip is still undeveloped apart from pylons... George Lovell was an employee at the Ordnance Works and later Inspector for Enfield dedicated himself to bringing the percussion system to the British military, perfecting the Brunswick Rifle.
Gunpowder Park. Government Research Establishment. This was the South Site of the Waltham Abbey complex... A guncotton factory was built in 1885 on land previously that of Quinton Hill Farm. It has a clear east-west production line with boilers for steam and an electricity supply was installed. There was an acid separating house. Buildings were in buff brick with light metal roofs with floors in acid resistant brick or concrete. Women were employed here on teasing cotton – the only women at Waltham Abbey then. There was a dipping room and fume towers supported on a timber lattice work. There was also a single storey vat house where the cotton was boiled for days and a covered way to pulping and moulding rooms as well as ancillary buildings. In 1890 south of this was built a self contained cordite factory on the Nobel pattern. It had four brick traverses and wooden process buildings containing an acid separating house, two nitrating houses and a washing house, there were also nitroglycerine stores. There was a major explosion in 1894 and it was reported that whole site was too close together. The plant was rebuilt using the natural fall in the land as part of the process. However the factory was soon used only as a reserve. It is now Gunpowder Park. Based on the South Site of Waltham Abbey.

Lower Island
Developed as part of the Gunpowder Mills from the start. Cleared but there are some remains
In the early 1980s the last surviving traverses for the construction of the M25
Canal - this lay south of the M25 but penetrated into the northern section

Sewardstone Way
South Way

Sites on the London, Enfield, side of the boundary

Lea Navigation
The navigation south of Ramney Marsh Lock divides with a channel west of the old small arms factory site and one into it – thus making the majority of the site, now housing, into an island. This leat was built as part of the original plans for the factory. An arm to the west feeds into the parallel aqueduct.
Enfield Cut. Dates from 1764. Which follows the line of the earlier Enfield Millstream 1864
Ramney Marsh Lock. Once known as Terry’s or Torry’s Lock. Originally built 1768 to the north nearer to Cobbins Brook. It was rebuilt 1864 and 1902 in brick and stone, recycled from the recently demolished Westminster Bridge and called Want’s Lock. The stone from the bridge is still in place. The chamber also still has its Victorian granite coping stones and cast iron lock furniture. The 1835 bridge across the tail meant that the gates could not be fitted with balance beams. For many years it was the last lock on the Lee to be operated by ropes. The gates were changed to hydraulic operation in 1995
Lock house 1877 but since replaced by a modern bungalow.
Footbridge reused cast-iron beam, across the lock 1835.
Pumping Station
Tumbling Bay into the Weir Pool
Newman’s Weir. Also called Sothebys Upper Weir. The navigation cuts from the weir date from the 1760s. Sotheby had operated a fishery here in the late 18th . Wooden sluice gates and cast iron guide frames 1907 reconstructed in succession to a series of timber weirs.
Weir Keepers House
Meridian Business Park

Rammey Marsh
'Island of dry ground in marsh where rams are pastured', from Old English or it was a Mill site owned by Thomas Ramme who ran a fulling mill there in the 15th.

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