River Crane - Cranford le Mote

River Crane
The Crane continues to flow south
 TQ 09983 78446

Cranford Park and church and much of the old village - trapped between the M4 and the airport. Some industrial buildings to the north

Post to the north Bulls Bridge
Post to the south Cranford

Carfax Road
Maurice Child Hall Memorial Hall. Maurice Child was rector of St. Dunstan’s in 1935.  He was known as the Playboy of the Western Church

Church Lane
The Hartlands. Travellers’ site. This was originally an itinerant site which was licensed in 1968 and had approximately twenty plots
1 The Old  Rectory. This is an 18th building with a 19th front in brick but with a timber-framed wing. . According to tradition it was once a farm-house. In 1939 the Air Ministry bought it for a proposed extension to Heston airport and in 1958 this land was acquired by the Ministry of Transport. The building is thus no longer within Cranford Park as it was cut off when the M4 was built. It is now in use as day nursery.

The name - fish were weighed by the cran and in the Kingston Zodiac Cranford is on Pisces

Cranford Park
Homestead Moat which was the site of the Manor of Cranford le Mote. It remains with the Berkeley family today. The site of the moats was however owned by Middlesex County Council and subsequently by the local authority.
St Dunstan's Church. Records of the church go back to the 1360s. However it is thought that a church has stood here from the 7th and it is mentioned that a Roman 'little chapel', of the type which stood at cross-roads stood here. The church is also mentioned at Doomsday Book. It was probably built in the 13th with a 15th tower. A fire in the nave led to its rebuilding in brick in 1710 by Elizabeth Dowager Countess of Berkeley. Restorations done in 1895 by J L Pearson and in 1935-6 by artist Martin Travers.  It is in flint, rubble and red brick. Inside it is rendered and painted white. The floor is flagged with grave slabs, and there is Jacobean black and white marble in the sanctuary. There is a medieval wall painting in the chancel, and a stone spiral staircase to the tower. there is a 20th gallery which is the ringing chamber for a peal of six bells one of which dates from 1380 cast by William Burford of Aldgate. The clock is by Gillet & Co, 1886. The area round the altar was made in the 1930s by Travers in wood which looks like draped tapestry. There is a sanctuary lamp by arts and crafts silversmith Omar Ramsden and a collection of stained glass with a window by Kempe, 1895. A Great War memorial in a window has a bi-plane and tank and another war memorial is made up of a statue. There are many important monuments inside the church. The vestry is from the 1950s and the church was still lit by gaslight in 1958. Outside a stone coat of arms of the Berkeley family is on the eastern end.
Churchyard. There is a timber lych gate in timber on a brick plinth and it is surrounded by brick walls. There are of specimen trees including a Wellingtonia, cedar, yew and lime. There is the gravestone of comedian Tony Hancock and his mother. South is a lime tree with mistletoe and an old sweet chestnut
Cranford House. This was connected to Cranford St. John manor, rather than with Cranford le Mote. This was held by the Templars who let it out as a farm. Houses near the church are mentioned from the 17th. Cranford House was on the site of a mansion-house of 1664 and was extensively rebuilt by James, Earl of Berkeley in the18th.  It was a three storey brick house used by the Berkeley family until the Great War.  It was demolished in the 1940s.
Cranford House Stables, these are 18th and consist of a rectangular building which was originally L-shaped. On the ground floor are ten semi-circular arches, eight of which are dummy.it has a central pediment with a clock and bell tower - The clockmaker L. Bradley made the Turret Clock in 1721 and it is said to have come from Hampton Court Palace. The bell is now at Berkeley Castle. A weather vane has disappeared. The rooms above were the living quarters for the stable hands. In the stables are the stalls, troughs, hayracks and tiling and also a birthing stall. Brown Longeared Bats use the roof space. This was the home of the Berkeley Hunt.
Wall. This is the curved remains of a crinkle-crankle wall from the 17th.
Driveway Meadow. This has flowers and thistles and dock
Kitchen garden walls which are buttressed around a garden area and long 18th ha-ha walls marking the boundary of a plantation. There is a bricked-up tunnel entrance in the walk that is rumoured to lead to the Cellar, St Dunstan’s Church and even the Bath Road
Mound of earth which covers the cellars of Cranford House. Built around 1720. They consist of a red brick barrel vaulted cellar wide with vaults springing from a Portland stone piers.  The cellar can only be accessed via a locked trap door.
Cranford Park Bridge. 18th brick and cement rendered bridge. One arch with piers on a semi-circular plinth designed to carry urns.
Watersplash Wood. this is bordered by Watersplash Lane. there are dense stands of Elm suckers along with ash and hawthorn
Northern Grassland.  This was traditionally used for recreation grassland and kept short.
Church Field. This area is used for the annual summer fair. Under the the centre is the cesspit for the park toilets. Trees include lime, false acacia and cherry trees and the public can plant trees for remembrance or commemoration. there are  six evergreen oaks planted in 1972 in memory of Arthur Skeffington, MP for Hayes and Harlington from 1953  to 1971 and who was also First President of the Aboricultural Association from 1964 to 1971
Church Wood. This has a mix of tree species - suckering elm, ash, willow, black poplar and hawthorn. There are holes in the ground which may have been a badger sett.

Dog Kennel Covert
This was where the Berkeley family had their dog kennels – presumably hounds used for hunting. The River Crane meandered through this woodland before it was straightened but there is little evidence of the original path,. There are several ditches supporting plants gipsywort and meadowsweet. In the woods are suckering elms, amongst other trees species and scrub. Some coppicing has been undertaken. There is a nature trail which accesses the west bank of the Crane. It runs parallel to the river. There are muntjac and bats

Hayes Road
Western International Market. Local authority owned air freight produce market opened in 1974. Now demolished
New Western International Market. Opened 2009
Drinking Fountain. It dates from 1877 in granite, cast iron railings and lamp standards. It has an octagonal spire with bowls to each side. The lamps are inscribed Geo Smith & Co Sun Foundry Glasgow. The east niche has an inscription: 'the gift of Mrs Wheeler the widow of Samuel Wheeler Esq formerly of Barrow Hills Chertsey Surrey and Brunswick Terrace Brighton 1877 erected by the Drinking Fountain & Cattle Trough Association. It originally stood in Brentford Market but was originally designed for the embankment. It was moved to the Western Market in 1974 and now relocated to the new market

Built in 1964, cutting through much of Cranford and isolating some of it.
The road here is on a reinforced concrete viaduct of 1964 built by Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners
Moat House Covert
The north part is the site of the manor house of Cranford-le-Mote. This was a secondary manor that formed part of Cranford Park along with Cranford St. John owned by Berkeley family. The Manor House stood in a moated area but the building was pulled down in 1780. Some remnants of the moat still exist  The southern boundary of the covert is marked with yews at regular intervals along a ditch. When the M4 was built a large orchard, dovecote and an ornamental lake were lost to construction. The woodland is dominated by suckering elm but there are number of other mature trees here especially ash and oak. Bluebells are numerous as is red campion and impenetrable bramble.

North Hyde Road
North Hyde Electricity Sub Station. Vast brick building.
7 The Crane. Pub

The Parkway
Moat House – the site of the original manor lie under the road

Watersplash Lane
There was a ford on the river here. The road is however closed through woodland and only exists at its north and south ends.

British History Online. Cranford. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Kingston Zodiac
London Borough of Hillingdon. Web site
London Borough of Hounslow. Web site
London Gardens online. Web site
Middlesex Churches,
Middlesex County Council.  History of Middlesex
Osborne. Defending London
Pevsner and Cherry. North West London
St.Dunstan’s Church. Web site.
Stevenson. Middlesex
Walford. Village London,


Anonymous said…
The Old Rectory, Church Road, Cranford is no longer a nursery school.

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