Wednesday, 24 July 2013

River Bulbourne - Gossoms

River Bulbourne
The Bulbourne flows south eastwards

Post to the west Northchurch
Post to the east Berkhamsted

Belton Road
Until the mid 1920’s the area was rough pasture and marsh.  The ground along the stream has been made up with household rubbish, probably in the 1930s. It was built on with housing and warehousing post-Second World War.

Billet Lane
Ford – this preceded the bridge over the stream, but the flow was much greater before the mid-2oth
Bulbourne Bridge
Bridge over the Grand Union Canal
Railway Bridge
Gas works   Built in 1906 replacing a works to the east.  Gas production at the works ceased in 1955. One holder remained into the 1980s but has now gone
Gas Works railway.    An extemsion to the rail line ran from the station good yard to the gasworks coal traffic.  It arrived at a small staithe where coal was transhipped into narrow gauge wagons for carryage it to the gasworks. The line to the works went through a small tunnel in the main line embankment to arrive at the works. The gauge was 18½in and the trains were worked by a horse called Ruby. The tunnel is still there but disused. Some rails remained.
River Park Industrial estate on the gas works site
Approximate site of the old Northchurch workhouse, Billet Lane. It was demolished between 1830 and 1834.

Bridgewater Road
A possible Romano- British pottery kiln, dating from the 3rd/4th century AD was discovered in a builder’s trench in 1956. A medieval ditch was also found which was thought to be a possible boundary ditch associated with the Old Park

Bridle Way
Bridgwater Middle School. The school dates from 1972
Archaeological excavations at Bridgewater School found four shaft furnaces from the 1st as well as two lengths of Iron Age ditch and four pits containing bits of pottery. It is possible that this is part of a large ironworking site. There is also a medieval ditch in the grounds of the School

Brook Lane
The Bulbourne can be seen here flowing between two blocks of housing. It has the same depth as upstream - a narrow stream with a vigorous flow rate and has a well scoured gravel bed

Canal Field Park
The area is thought to have been agricultural before the 20th.  Watercress was grown here in the late 19th until the mid-20th
Open-air swimming pool built in the 1920s and since demolished.
Millennium Garden. This was planted in 2000 but has since been moved to a different location. It is intended as a quiet area.
Berkhamsted Sports Ground Charitable Association Ltd, owners of the football ground
Lawn Tennis and Squash Rackets Club.  The Berkhamsted Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club was established in 1897, which amalgamated with the Berkhamsted Hard Court club in 1963. A Squash section was set up in 1973, and the club renamed as the “Berkhamsted Lawn Tennis and Squash Rackets Club” in 1974. Facilities have been improved and extended since
Berkhamsted Town Football Club, The club was set up in 1919 as Berkhamsted Comrades by ex-servicemen and in 1922 changed its name to Berkhamsted Town FC. In they moved to the Broadwater ground on Lower Kings Road.  The club was wound up in 2009 through debt. It is now Berkhamsted Football Club
Berkhamsted Bowls Club. The bowling green and surrounding area is leased to the Club which dates from 1985
Subway from South Park Gardens under the railway into the park – this is separate from the old gas works subway

Gossoms End
64 19th house in red brick
62 – 63 17th house with timber frame and timbers exposed on the back gable.
60 Gossom's Cottage. 17th with a stucco front. Said to date to 1691
59 Gossoms Lodge, 16th or 17th building with a front inC18 Gothic style. Windows on the first floor with pointed arched glazing bars.
Scout Hut. 1st Gossoms End Scout Group
Lagley House. Sheltered housing on the site of a previous ‘big’ house
Crooked Billet. This is now an off licence. The pub dates to at least the 1750s. The present building is north of the original site and dates to 1962
50 Rose and Crown. Pub now closed following a licence review.

Grand Union Canal
Northchurch Bridge No.140.  This is the bridge which takes Billet Lane over the canal
Northchurch Pipe Bridge. Alongside the Billet Lane bridge.
Northchurch Lock No 51. Also known as: Old Ned's Lock or, Gas Lock No 1
Northchurch Lock No.52. Also known as Gas Lock No.2.
Park Street footbridge
Pedestrian footbridge.

High Street
289 Quaker Meeting House. This is a brick building with an Inscription 'Erected 1818" on the front wall. A porch was added in 1964, but the building remains set well back from the street behind its burial ground, which is kept as a lawn.
St. James Church. It is thought that the first church in Berkhamsted was St. James’s, and that it may have been founded in the 11th or 12th. It may have been in the north side of the High Street at the junction with St. John’s Well Lane. This area was once called Oldeburh. It seems to have been a parish church with a graveyard. It may have become the chapel for the Hospital of St. John
Hospital of St. John the Baptist. This seems to have been on the site of St. James church. It was founded by Geoffrey Fitz Piers in 1216-17, and endowed with land by Queen Isabella.
National School. In 1834, the Countess of Bridgewater gave land at the corner of Cross Oak Road for a national and infant school based on the principles of the Church of England. The school, was demolished by 1972 and replaced by a garage
East’s Timber Yard.  In 1840 and moved to the corner with Gossoms End, in 1888. The company, produced wooden tools and furniture am did particularly well out of the Crimean War. The factory was demolished in the 1980s. The site may have been an area of Romano-British occupation
Kitsbury Parade. Built on the site of the Berkhamsted Workhouse. In 1831 the Berkhamsted parish built a workhouse on what was an existing workhouse called Ragged Row. Using a bequest from a local clergyman. After 1834 this wad managed by the Berkhampstead Poor Law Union and dealt with clients from the surrounding area of Hertford. There was no school and children attended the local National School. The system ended in 1930 but the building, called Nugent House continued until 1935 and the site sold in 1937.
346 Methodist Church. Primitive Methodism reached Berkhamsted in the 1860s and the chapel was built in 1867. In 1974 the Methodists decided to join with the Anglican parish church of All Saints, and to use that church and thus the chapel was sold. The building was converted to offices in the late 1970s. In 2004, the ground floor became a fast food ship and the first floor converted to two flats. The interior of the roof of the chapel was preserved in the ceilings of the flats.

North Bridge Road
Industrial and trading area

Park Street
Footbridge over the Canal
Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church 

Railway
The North Western main line runs on an embankment and the goods-yard (now a car park) was on the east side

River Bulbourne
The chalk stream was straightened through this area. Near of St. John’s Well Lane it has been artificially widened to form a lake – thought to be connected to watercress production

Riverside Gardens
Development of Council flats

St. Johns Well Lane
St. John’s Well, was fed by a natural spring that flowed here.  It was a place of pagan rites until the 12th even in the 19th it was reputed to cure sore eyes. The water ran to the river until it dried up in the 1930s. It has also been known as St. James’s Well – relating to the old parish church
Telephone Exchange. This dates from the mid-1960s and replaced an earlier manual facility.

Stag Lane
The culverted Bulbourne has been exposed by demolishing the concrete floors of warehouses
Lane's Nurseries, Between here and St. John’s Well Lane were Lane’s Nurseries, founded in 1777 and they grew apples, pears, plums and cherries
Saw mill 1879

Victory Road
Gossoms Ryde Community Hospital
Elderly Care Unit.
Toad Hall Nursery
Gossoms End Intermediate Care Unit
Physiotherapy Unit
 

Sources
Archaeology Data Services. Web site
Berkhamsted Lawn Tennis and Squash Rackets Club. Web site
Berkhampstead Lib-Dem. web site
Bridgewater School. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Canalplan. Web site
Dacorum Council. Web site
My Primitive Methodist. Web site
Workhouses. Web site

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