Sunday, 27 April 2014

Colne Brook - Colnbrook

The Colne Brook flows south westwards
TQ 02480 77125

Very interesting stretch of the old Bath Road, now bypassed as the main road west. Busy local area with much linked to the airport

Post to the east Colnbrook Bypass
Post to the south Poyle Corner

Bridge Street
Colnbrook Bridge. With plain brick parapets and apparently old coping reused
Boundary Marker on the bridge. This is dated 1777. There are panels on each side of the bridge with the date and county line. Other adjacent stones are inscribed "Bucks" and "Middx". There is also a cast iron plaque with the City of London shield and "24 and 25 VictCap 42".
City of London coal post as a boundary marker at the south-east end of the bridge. This is a 19th cast iron bollard, with the City of London arms in a frieze and "24 and 25 Vict. Cap 42"
Bridge House
Old Village Hall. Known as the ‘Public Rooms’ until 1967. 19th painted brick crenulated building. A new village hall was built elsewhere by a developer in the 1990s.
Black Boys Cottage  - this name relates to a former pub, which presumably was in this building or adjacent.
Tarrant Cottage
White Cottage
Aberdeen House. 17th and 18th with a stucco ground floor including a modern shop and weather-boarded gable end.
Barn at the back of Aberdeen House. 18th red brick in an L-plan

Colnbrook by Pass
Opened in 1926 to bypass narrow main street of Colnbrook.  There is some mention of new facilities on the road in the 1920s – a greyhound stadium is marked on the map and alongside it a boat house by a lake. This area is now part of the landfill site.
Riverside café. Traditional transport café run by the same family since 1980.

High Street
Important change town for stagecoaches and some highway robbery and murders were noted. The town grew up around the function. Was incorporated in 1543, but the corporation and market no longer exist having been abolished in the 1832 Reform Act.
Festival Cottages. Presumably built in 1951
The Red Lion Pub. 17th timber framed building refronted in 18th. It has colour-washed brick. Now converted to housing
Royal Standard House. This was once a pub but the building is on the plan of a 3-bay medieval house with a central open hall. It was built in the early 16th and altered in the 17th and 19th. It has a plastered timber frame with pargetting on the front.  On the gable is ‘The Royal Standard’ and ‘William Wooburn Ales'. The medieval roof is intact with the hall bay heavily smoke-blackened.
Excelsior House.  18th red brick house with on the ground floor an 18th shop front.
Colnbrook and Poyle Methodist Church. Primitive Methodism here began as an outreach of the Reading Circuit, in 1839. The Colnbrook Primitive Methodist Society was established, with a Sunday School before 1856. A piece of land on the High Street was purchased in 1859 and a gothic chapel was opened the same year. After the Methodist Union was formed in 1932, the word “Primitive” was deleted from the tablet over the door.  In 1984, members of Poyle United Reform Church started to share worship here. It was decided to sell the Poyle, demolish the Methodist church with two adjacent houses and build a new church. Work began in 1989 and the church is now in use.
Milestone outside of Milestone Cottages, It is 18th but adjusted and turned in the 19th.  It has a face to the road saying. "London 17, Hounslow 7, Maidenhead 9", and a bench mark.
The Ostrich. Is said to be the 3rd oldest pub in England and that it was founded by Templars in 1106, for the salvation of travellers in this world and the next.  It is said that the first mention of Colnbrook is in relation to the Ostrich and speculated that ‘Ostrich’ is a corruption of ‘hospice’.  King John is said to have stopped while on his way to sign Magna Charta and Dick Turpin is said to have leapt from the window onto Black Bess' back. One of the innkeepers tipped guests out of bed into a boiling cauldron and was later caught in Winsor Park. And of course there are some ghosties. O  Is the Ostrich the Aquarian phoenix? It is a 16th building, timber-framed with plaster infilling.
Gas works. This stood at the back of the Ostrich and on part of the school site to the south of the High Street. It had no rail or canal links. This was a small non-statutory works set up in 1865 and owned by a Mr. R. H. Dyer. It was bought by an asset stripper, Mr. Darby, for £500 and sold to a new a company, the West Suburban Gas Light & Coke Co., for £11,000 which then began to sell shares. The Company became statutory in 1905 but the owners were later exposed at a Parliamentary Committee enquiry into the Uxbridge and Hillingdon Gas Company. As a result the works was sold by compulsion to the Uxbridge Company for £1,800 to huge losses by shareholders. Darby continued this tactic elsewhere and by 1909 was in jail. The Uxbridge Company ran the works until 1909 and it remained as a gasholder station until 1955 then under North Thames Gas ownership.
Colnbrook Church of England Primary School. The current school replaced the Church of England School near the church. There appears to have been an earlier, National, School at the west end of the High Street dating from 1833.
146 Park House and Ye Olde George Public House. This is a large 17th block refronted in 1800 and with a wide central coach entrance. It has colour-washed brick and there is a brick and timber rear part to Park House.  Elizabeth as a princess and a prisoner is said to have stayed the night here when visiting Mary 1558, at Hampton Court
Lodge - the lodge, attached to the side of the pub, was originally the lodge at the start of the drive to Richings Park.
Chapel of Ease. This was from here from Horton Parish and stood opposite The George from 1794, replacing a previous village chapel. Demolished by 1862
Telephone Exchange. This is on the corner of the High Street opposite the George. It is coded THCK
Baptist Chapel. In 1708 thirteen people were baptised in the Colne Brook and formed into a Particular Baptist Church practising Strict Communion. They used room over a shop in Bridge Street and in 1754 built chapel at the Swan Inn Orchard. The present chapel was built on the same site in 1871.  There are monuments in and outside of the chapel and two stones are laid each side of the front door, one listing the Trustees in 1871 and the other the foundation stone.

Horton Road
Horton Road here follows the line of Horton Brook coming southwest from Richings Park. The junction with London Road is known as The Splash and there was once a ford here.

London Road
This stretch is also referred to as Bath Road, and – on Google – as Horton Road
Playground and Recreation Ground
Golden Cross- the name is that of a garage not built adjacent to the site of a pub
Queens Arms.  This was previously called the Crown
Crown Meadow. Until the 1970s this was the site of a large hutted ’hostel’. It is assumed that this was Colnbrook National Service Hostel, set up to house war workers – many in this area were Irish.  It was still housing a large number of single working men when closure was announced in 1972.

MacArdle Way
This leads to the site of a group of companies working in construction and contracting. The company founder Jim McArdle bought the site from the owner of Tanhouse Farm and Slough Borough Council allowed him to extend his site over Green Belt land and to build this new road over farmland from the by-pass. The site was allowed a maximum of 6 lorry parking spaces, but 66 HGVs were stored here. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2012.

Mill Street
The street follows the line of the Colne Brook – and has now been extended to meet McCardle Way.
A flour-mill stood at the end of Mill Street in 1862, but was burnt down. A mill is first noted here in 1274 and in. The 16th and 17th there were two water-mills
Tan House Farm. Whitewashed brick timber framed house by the millstream. A tan-yard was recorded in 1791 and a tannery remained here until the late 19th
Barn at south-east of the farmhouse 16th, L-shaped and timber-framed with brick walls

Vicarage Way
The road is roughly on the line of the drive to Richings Park. The church and school were originally built near the then entrance to Richings Park and linked to the village by a lime avenue. 
Church of St Thomas. This was built 1849-52, by Benjamin Ferrey. It is in flint with stone dressings and has a small stone bellcote. There is s timber-framed open porch. Lychgate
Former Church of England School (now Colnbrook Youth Centre) built 1858 by G E Street. In brick with red brick dressings
Old School House – this was the old Master's House. Built in 1858 by G E Street in brick.
St Thomas's Vicarage.  Built 1853-4 by G E Street in brick
Stable Block to the vicarage
Village Hall. Built by a developer as part of a scheme involving planning consent elsewhere.


Sources
British History Online. Web site
British Listed Buildings.Web site
Caine. Kingston Zodiac
Clunn. The Face of the Home Counties
Colnbrook with Poyle Parish Council. Web site
Middlesex County Council. History of Middlesex
Pevsner and Cherry Surrey
Slough Borough Council. Web site
Stewart. Gas Works in the North Thames area
Stevenson. Middlesex
Walford. Village London

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