Monday, 22 August 2016

Riverside south bank, west of the Tower - Runnymede Magna Carta

Riverside south bank, west of the Tower -  Runnymede Magna Carta

Post to the east Runnymede Pleasure Grounds and Ankerwycke
Post to the north Old Windsor Beaumont and Wraysbury riverside

Cooper’s Hill Lane
Development site which was Brunel University. In the middle ages the site belonged to the Benedictine Nuns at the Priory of Ankerwyke. Henry VIII gave it to Andrew, Lord Windsor in 1539 and it continued in private hands until it was sold in the late 19th as Coopers Hill House. The estate was bought in 1870 for use as the Royal Indian Engineering College and it was converted under Matthew Digby Wyatt. In the college hall rooms were named for Indian Colonial administrators and the college opened in 1873. As well as engineering there were forestry courses – and the grounds contain botanical specimens bought back from all over the British Empire. In 1880 Alexander Taylor became Pr4eidnet and his statue was re-erected here from Delhi in 1960. The College closed in 1906 and in 1911 was sold to Baron Cheylesmore but in 1925 he died in a motor accident. In 1938 the London County Council bought the estate for use as a headquarters in case of war and work was transferred here from County Hall. In 1946 it became the Cooper's Hill Emergency Training College – training returned soldiers as handicraft teachers. This closed in 1951 and Shoreditch College of Education was relocated here. In time facilities here needed to be improved and new accommodation and workshop blocks were built. The college began to offer degree courses. Eventually it was decided to merge it with Brunel University – to specialise in Design and Technology. This proved popular and more accommodation was built as well as another lecture theatre. In 2007 the college site was sold to the Oracle Group who then went bankrupt. There are now new developers on site and plans for mixed use etc etc etc
Red Gables. Used as college accommodation. Now private housing.
Scrivens Memorial Garden. This is on the site of what was a bowling green and is a memorial to one of the Shoreditch College staff, A.G.Scrivens.


Cooper's Hill,
This is a wooded hillside rising up to the south of the Runneymede waterside sites. Various monuments are on this hillside. Coopers Hill was in the ownership of Egham Urban District Council and given by them to the National Trust in 1963


Magna Carta Island
This is a thickly wooded island on the reach above Bell Weir Lock. It is across the river from the water-meadows at Runnymede. It is one of several contenders for where, in 1215, King John sealed the Magna Carta. The island has been sold recently by Sotheby's International Realty.
Chapel. there is a seven bedroom house called ‘Chapel’ on the site where Magna Carta is said to have been signed.
Stone said to be that on which the parchment rested when the king and the barons affixed their signatures to it.  It says: Be it remembered that on this island 15 June 1215 John King of England signed Magna Carta and in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty four this building was erected in commemoration of that great and important event by George Simon Harcourt Esq Lord of this Manor and the High Sheriff of this county

Oak Lane
Runnymede Wood. This backs on to the Kennedy Memorial.
Tennis Courts. These belonged to Brunel University and are being replaced with a wetland.
Oak Lane Cottages, used as college staff accommodation. Now private houses.
Priest Hill Farm
Disused sewage works – shown on maps on the east side of the road as extant in the 1930s. Site now covered with a copse.
Golf course.  Disused and used as grazing.


Priest Hill
Beaumont farm – with a farm shop


Runneymede
American Bar Association Memorial. Erected in 1957, this is a small, Greek-style temple supported by columns, sheltering a granite stone inscribed 'To Commemorate Magna Carta - Symbol of Freedom under Law'.
Kennedy Memorial. This memorial has three parts - steps, memorial stone and seats. There are 50 steps representing the 50 American states which lead up through dense natural woodland – to show the vitality of nature. The seven-tonne stone slab is in an acre given to the Americans in memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, United States President from 1961 to 1963.  A quote from his inaugural address, is inscribed 'Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardships, support any friend or oppose any foe in order to ensure the survival and success of liberty.  A hawthorn bush symbolises his Catholicism and there is an American scarlet oak alongside. It was opened by the Queen in 1965.


Sources
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Brunel University. Web site
London Transport. Country walks, 
Parker. North Surrey
Penguin. Surrey
Pevsner. Surrey
Runneymede Council. Web site
Shoreditch College. Web site
Surrey Industrial Archaeology
Walford. Village London, 
Where Thames Smooth Waters Glide. Web site
Woodland Trust. Web site

No comments: