Friday, 29 July 2016

The London/Surrey boundary - Thames Ditton

The London/Surrey boundary - Thames Ditton

The London/Surrey boundary goes along the middle of the river, passing on the north side of Thames Ditton Island.

This post shows only sites south of the river on this square. North is Hampton Court Park

Post to the west Thames Ditton and Hampton Court Park
Post to the east Seething Wells and Hampton Court Palace Golf Clubhouse

South Bank - sites in London, Richmond

Boyle Farm Road
Home of Compassion. This was originally was Boyle Farm, probably Georgian and facing the river. 19th stables and chapel built in 1925. Closed. The house was built on the site of Forde's Farm by Charlotte Boyle Walsingham in the late 18th century. Some farm buildings and outhouses remain. There were many alterations done by later owners and much of the grounds were sold for building. In 1906 it was bought by an Anglican religious order and used as a nursing home. There is said to be a tunnel under the road going to the Home Farm.

Church Walk
St. Nicholas Church. A church has been here since the 12th but has had many alterations; it is now wider than it is long. It did not become a parish church until 1769 and had previously been part of Kingston parish. The squat 13th tower has a 15th supporting arch and a timber-boarded bell-chamber with a spire – an important example of Surrey woodwork. There is a Norman font with crude carvings, including one of a goat, upside down – this may be zodiacal or Gnostical signs from local Templars. On a roof beam are panels showing part of a painting of the Day of Judgement. There is an Easter Sepulchre, in the form of a six poster bed with crenulations. Above it a small, and very old window. A mausoleum for the Hatton family was built in 1676 but has been used as a vestry since 1781. Monuments: Erasmus Forde’s canopied tomb of 1533 is older than that date and may have been a chantry tomb or confessional from a destroyed church. There are also 16th brasses and monuments to Sidney Godolphin, Robert Smythe, and John Cheke...
Churchyard: Cast bronze scroll on gravestones to the foreman moulder in the foundry. Cast iron grave marker with lead lettering inserts Church used by Lamb. Poet in the gravestones.
War memorial. Made of bronze.
National School here from 1840 and rebuilt in 1860...

Ferry Road
Long Ditton Ferry.
The Ferry – now a gastro pub

High Street
The old Slaughter House. Timber building listed Grade II, used as a picture gallery. This is a late 16th barn which was used in the 19th by Richard Porter, who kept a herd of deer in local fields.
Swan Inn. Overlooking the river - was called 'Swan of the Thames’. Originating in a row of cottages it has been a pub since 16th. Claims to have been approved of by Henry VIII. Has its own jetty.
George and Dragon. Retains a village local atmosphere
Church Cottage. On the site of a Tudor House
Horse trough and drinking fountain. Presented in 1870 by the Lord of the Manor and erected on the site of the parish stocks, but now the roundabout at the junction with St. Leonard’s Road.
56 Picton House. Cesar Picton was an 18th Senegalese slave who become a wealthy businessman based in Kingston, but bought this house in 1816 for £4000.
Ferry Works. Built 1880 by Willans and Robinson to make high speed engines for launches. It had been rebuilt after a fire in 1888. They moved to Rugby in 1890 and eventually became part of GEC. The factory had the earliest known example of a saw tooth north light roof in 1911.
AC Motors – Autocarriers Ltd. – moved to Ferry Works in 1907. The company made the AC Tricar, a three wheeler, and had been started by John Weller in Norwood. Throughout the First World War the factory made shells, and a four wheeled car was brought out in 1918. In 1919 the produced an engine, which remained in production until 1963. The firm had a relationship with the Brooklands Race Track, breaking many records. On the wall of the factory was painted ‘Amazing Cars’. An AC was the first British car to run in a Monte Carlo Rally in 1925. The company was restructured several times and by 1930 Ferry Works was closed and the production continued in the High Street. New cars were brought out and the slogan was ‘the Saville Row of Motordom’. In the Second World War the works again went over to wartime motor and aircraft production but cars were being made again by 1947. They also made invalid carriages, the trains which ran on Southend Pier and diesel railcars for BR. In 1954 they launched the AC Ace which won many prizes as a racing car and other racing models followed. The company had major financial problems through the 1970s and left Thames Ditton.
Rola Celestion at Ferry Works where they made the 'Ditton' Range of loudspeakers.

Portsmouth Road
Filter beds – built by the Lambeth Water Company and an extension of the water works north east of here.
City Arms Pub

Thames Ditton
The village is first mentioned in a charter of 983. In Saxon times it was part of Kingston Hundred and is in the Domesday Book as Ditone and Ditune. After the Conquest, it was owned by Merton Priory.

The Rythe
The Rythe is the boundary between Kingston and Thames Ditton. The river rises near Oxshott and follows the Portsmouth Road in its final stretches.

Riverside path
Houses with private gardens to the rivers edge

St Leonard Road,
On Kingston Zodiac this, obviously, is on the Lion.

Summer Road
An old water tower on the wall of a private house opposite The Swan
Thames Ditton statue foundry... Demolished. The hand operated travelling gantry crane for all major lifting work, was an integral part of the building it was rescued and stored. The foundry was founded in 1874 by Cox and Sons, to cast statues in bronze, and produced many major castings. It became Drew and Co in 1880, then Moore and Co in 1883, and then A B Burton in 1902. In 1933. The business was closed and sold the foundry in 1939 and was used by London Metal Warehouses for industrial castings, and then as a metal warehouse and demolished in 1976. Eros was cast here as well as the Quadriga on the Wellington Arch, and much else.
Thames Ditton Ferry. The ferry was still operational in the 1950s.


Sites in the River Thames

Boyle Farm Island
This is in Surrey and has one house on it.

Swan Island
The only building was a watchman’s hut.

Thames Ditton Island,
Suspension bridge to it from the shore, 1939.
Flat, with bungalows

This page, like others, has been compiled over many years and from many sources. I would however like to particularly mention The Industrial Archaeology of Elmbridge, and other works by the Surrey Industrial History Group and also Gordon Knowles’s book on the Motor in Surrey.

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