Wednesday, 20 February 2013

River Crane - Cranford

River Crane
The Crane continues to flow south
TQ 10977 77779

Parkland and facilities around the old Bath Road and the village of Cranford


Post to the north Cranford le Mote
Post to the south Cranford

Avenue Park
The park was part of the grounds of Avenue House.  It is on the other side of the River Crane from Cranford Park. The area was requisitioned in the Second World War and was subsequently handed to Heston and Isleworth Borough Council which laid it out as a public park in 1952, with a rest garden and children's playground. In the north is a wooded area, with trees bordering the river.  There was once an avenue of oak trees, some of which were grown from acorns taken from the crops of pheasants shot by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Three of these oak trees remained in 1952. A plaque about this was on an arch in the grounds, which was demolished.
Avenue House. This was an 18th house demolished in 1949. It was home to John Graham, a barrister friend of artist George Morland and the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan.
The local authority opened its first Sports Arena here. Closed in 1972.

Bath Road
Cranford Bridge is on the site of the ford over the Crane that gave Cranford its name. There was a bridge here by 1274, and the current bridge dates from 1915
Mound. This is possibly a motte and is 80yds north-north-east of the bridge. It is circular and enclosed by a ditch. A wartime block house and was built on it. 

Brunel Close
Built in the grounds of Isambard Brunel’s house

Crane Lodge Road
The British Airways Concorde Club. Sports and extensive social facilities. This was originally the Speedbird Club on the west side of what was Heston Airport.

Cranford Lane, Harlington
Bridge over the Crane where Cranford Lane, Harlington, becomes Park Lane, Cranford. It is a hump-backed bridge

Cranford Lane, Heston
Redwood Estate. Local authority housing built in the early 1960s

Cranford Park
Frogs Ditch – this provides the boundary at the southern edge of the park
Grassland. This is the main open area of the Park and is mown and used for activities like the flying of model planes. There is a very large Sweet Chestnut near the Ha-Ha.
Drain. This is a ditch which runs parallel with the canalised stretch of the Crane. There are pipes at either end which suggest that it was dug to carry water.  An extension at its end carries trees and scrub.
Southern meadow. Since 1991 this area of grassland has been allowed to develop into a wildflower meadow. Before the Second World War it was traditional pasture.
Lawns. A lawn area lies beyond the car park. It includes some large oaks which attract birds like nuthatches. There is a big lime tree with bunches of mistletoe. There is the stone base of an old sundial
Cranford Wood. This is an area of old woodland with many native and exotic trees. In the spring there is bluebells with chestnut trees in flower. There are nest boxes for birds and hibernaculum for bats.
Ice house. This is square area with trees, almost surrounded by a ditch.
Wetland. This area originally was made up of hollows and channels flooded during the winter. It is now two ponds and marshland linked by ditches. There are common newts and water voles on the river Crane use this wetland as a winter refuge. Further south is another wetland area. Which is a ditch and marsh ending at Frogs Ditch by Cranford Lane. There are two small pools and another small pond in the marshy area a sluice/dam has been put at the southern end of the ditch.

Firs Drive
The road was designed by D. A. Adam as part of The Firs Estate by John Laing and Sons Ltd.

High Street
This was once called Tently Lane.
The village lock-up. This round house is in brick with a conical roof. It dates from 1838 and was used to imprison wrongdoers.
Holy Angels Church. The present church is the third. The first was built by Maurice Child in 1935 in the Bath Road. This was an iron church and was burnt down in 1941 and replaced and was again burnt down in 1965. The current church was built around 1970. It was designed by the Norman Haines Partnership in brick.
St Mary and St.Christopher.  The parish was founded in 1967. The church was built in 1970 and consecrated in 1979. It was designed by Gerald Goalen in white brick in a very unusual polygonal form.
39 Cranford Memorial Hall. Charity run hall used for dance classes, etc.
40 Stable Cottage. 18th brown brick house set back from road
42 Stanfield House. May have been where Isambard Brunel lived. It is a large 18th brick house set back from the road.
53 Calvary Baptist church
123 Queen's Head Pub. Says it was built in 1604 bit largely rebuilt in 1940. Two old fireplaces remain.
Cranford Social Centre. Founded in 1944 and in 1945 became Cranford Community Association.
Cottage Homes. Provide housing for old age pensioners who are long standing residents of Cranford
Springfield. Warren de la Rue built a round house observatory here in 1857 for his 13-inch reflecting telescope. H experimented in solar and lunar photography, but in 1874 gave it to Oxford University
The Cedars Primary School. This is a special school run by London Borough of Hounslow.
The Cedars, was a Georgian House. It is said that Isambard Brunel lived there, but probably didn’t. Now gone
Sheepcote House was a Georgian House. Now gone.
Cranford Community College. This was originally Woodfield Secondary School opened in 1954 in the Great south West Road. In 1975 the present school building was opened and the school transferred to the new site on High Street.
Stagecoach Theatre Arts. This is located in Cranford Community School
Jolly Gardeners Pub. A hanging sign on the end wall says 'Taylor Walker' the brewery's cannon sign above

River Crane
The River Crane is on the east side of Cranford Park and is the boundary between the London Boroughs of Hillingdon and Hounslow. North of the Park the river’s name changes to the Yeading Brook. In Cranford Park the natural section of the River Crane includes only the western riverbank from Cranford Lane. The rest of the river is canalised from south of the footbridge to Avenue Park, to the end of Cranford Park. This was straightened and widened for the M4 motorway. Before this there was an ornamental lake running north and south of the Driveway Bridge built between 1720 and 1754 and was fed by the river.

Sources
British History Oneline. Cranford
Holy Angels. Web site.
London Borough of Hillingdon. Web site
London Borough of Hounslow. Web site
Middlesex county council; . History of  Middlesex
Osborne. Defending London.
Pastscape. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry.  London North West
Queens Head. Web site
Stevenson. Middlesex
St.Mary and St.Christopher. Web site
Walford .Village London,

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