Sunday, 3 November 2013

River Chess. Loudwater

River Chess
The Chess flows south eastwards

Post to the west Solesbridge
Post to the south Masonic School for Girls

Loudwater Estate
The estate was developed from the 1920s with upmarket housing and private roads, which remain.

Loudwater Lane
Loudwater House. It is said that a Mr Milton built a mansion called “Beguines” here in the early 19th or that it was built by the son of John Wilson, a local farmer in 1805. The house is said to have been bought by Lord Misbourne in the 1820’s and, then by Elizabeth Morgan who called it Loudwater House. It had a number of owners during the 19th and it was rented out as investment property but was eventually unoccupied. In the 1920s it was sold and converted to flats possibly before the Second World War and the estate developed for upmarket housing.
Loudwater Farm. The farm is on the Croxley side of the river and probably dates from the 1400s. It is first documented in the 17th. The farm then included hop fields. There is a 17th barn with a timber frame on a brick base, and weather boarded.
Loudwater Mill was disused as a corn mill in the 15th and later became a fulling mill. The oldest part of the mill dates from some before 1676. Paper was made there from 1747 and it was in the same ownership as Solesbridge Mill. The mill changed hands several times over the next 150 years and with each sale; the new owners added extra buildings. In 1818   Thomas Weedon, leased a field across the river where he built new industrial buildings, 14 cottages for his workers and a house, later called Glenn Chess. In the mid-19th the paper mill used new technology developed by George Tidcombe at Watford. The mill was later bought by Herbert Ingram of the Illustrated London News and later sold to William McMurray of the Royal Paper Mills at Wandsworth. He replaced the original waterwheel with the turbine which is still in situ. The mill closed when McMurray died and in 1888 the entire plant was sold. It was later converted into housing. The Old Mill House remains; a 17th or 18th building. Near it is the 19th former wheelhouse with the River Chess running beneath it,
Chesswood Court, or Glen Chess. This was first built by miller,  Thomas Weedon or built in 1848 for Ingram of Loudwater Mill and 'Illustrated London News'. It is in yellow brick with a continuous veranda to ground floor with ornamental iron work and a coved roof.  It was supplied with electricity by the turbine at the mill. It is now eight flats

Sources
British History. Hertfordshire, Web site
Genealogy in Hertfordshire. Web site
Hertfordshire County Council. Web site
Loudwater. Wikipedia. Web site
Loudwater House. Web site
LRA online. Web site
Three Rivers Council. Web site

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