Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Riverside south of the river and west of the Tower. Walton Bridge

Riverside south of the river and west of the Tower. Walton Bridge

This post covers sites to the south of the river only. North of the river is Walton Bridge Road

Post to the north Lower Halliford
Post to the west Desborough Island and Lower Halliford

Ashley Park Avenue
The area and its name relate to Ashley Park, which would have been in the square to the east. It was built in 1602-7 and the estate occupied the land west of the High Street. In 1923 the house and estate were sold for development. This road is a gated private road for most of its length
Wardens Lodge
197 Ashley Park Pavilion, Walton Cricket Club. This was established in 1898 and based at Ashley Park.
Ashley Park. Green space to the west of the Cricket Club


Berkeley Gardens
Private gated close off Manor Road. The road is named for Lady Jane Berkeley for whom Ashley Park was built in 1602.


Bishops Hill
Bradshaw House. Local authority sheltered housing

Bridge Street
There have been recent changes to the road layout following construction of the new Walton Bridge in 2013
30 The Bear Inn. This has been trading since at least 1729 and was rebuilt form around 1915
34 Park House. 18th house now used as offices
45 The Old Cottage. 17th house and shop
124 George Inn. This is a Shepheard Neame Pub. There is signage outside saying it was built in 1888 when the brewers were Lascalles, Tickner & Co. Entire.
Bridge House. Two office blocks. IBM Recovery Centre
The Croft. This is said to have been a 19th house which was used as a convent. It was bought by Hepworth and used as studio offices. It stood on the bend in Bridge Street – to the side of what is now Orchard Court.
HWM Jeep. Art deco garage owned by sports car dealership. Hersham and Walton Motors was founded in 1948 by racing drivers, George Abecassis and John Heath. The company built the Alta-engined sports car, known as the HW Alta, followed by an open-wheeler which could be raced. In 1950, Heath founded a team that could make money from races on the Continent. They had a team of drivers including twenty-year-old Stirling Moss.
Mount Felix Gate Posts.  The 1870 gate posts for the original driveway to the estate remain.  They bear the coat-of-arms of the Ingram family who bought the estate in 1868. 
The Duke’s Head was built around 1790 (now demolished) possibly on the site of an earlier inn. This pub was established by 1792. It closed in 1966 and was demolished in 1970. A replacement as built at Hepworth Way, and this in turn closed in 2005 and was demolished soon after.
Coal post. This is south east of the river on the north east side of the bridge. It is Cast iron post with the City of London shield marking the area in which the coal and wine dues could be levied.


Bridge Close
Gated housing area off Bridge Street

Cowey Sale
This was a riverside marshy area, now landscaped as a park and for parking. The county boundary here follows the Engine River rather than the Thames and thus this area was in Shepperton and in Middlesex. In the 17th Elias Ashmole associated the cutting off of Cowey from Middlesex with the destruction of 'a church', presumably that of Shepperton, which he told John Aubrey had been swallowed by the waves.
A pipeline that runs the length of Cowey Sale was moved as part of the programme for the new bridge.
Cowey Sale viaduct built 1864. This resulted from the rebuilding of Walton Bridge in 1864. A replacement brick arched viaduct was constructed across the Cowey Sale at about the same time, responsibility for maintenance led to the County boundary being amended so that Surrey maintained the Cowey Sale viaduct while maintained the bridge. Later Local Government re-organisation led to all the crossing being in Surrey.
Walton Bridge - The sixth bridge opened in 2013.  Work included installation of accommodation bridges in the Cowey Sale
Cafe and toilets – provided as part of the bridge scheme. Cheaply built with lots of problems, long time before they opened.


Engine River
This may be an earlier channel of the Thames and the old county boundary follows it rather than the actual river.  It runs partly from Broad Water and from another source to the north west. It is parallel to the Thames and flows into what was the Back Water, now a marina run by Tingdene Marinas Ltd.

Hepworth Way
Named for Cecil Hepworth who built the film studios.
This road was built in the in the 1960s across the site of the Nettlefold Film Studios. These had previously been the Hepworth Film Studios
The Hepworth Film Studios. Cecil Hepworth rented a small house in Hurst Grove in 1899 and made films in the garden.  He built the first studio later on the corner of Bridge Street and Hurst Grove.  The studios were purchased by Archibald Nettlefold Productions in the 1920s and films and television programmes were made here until 1961. When Vickers-Armstrong aircraft factory at Kingston was bombed part of their operations moved here. They built two new hangars which were used for filming after the war.
Waitrose. This shop is described as ‘Duke’s Head’ and presumably relates to the Duke’s Head pub which was relocated here from Bridge Street in the early 1970s and closed in 2005


Hillrise
A group of three 1970s flat blocks set within a landscaped communal garden which sits between Manor Road and the River Thames

Hurst Grove
Cecil Hepworth Playhouse. This was built as a studio in 1920 by film director Cecil Hepworth. It originally formed part of the Hepworth Film Studios and was turned into a theatre in 1924 after the studios closed.  Hepworth bequeathed it to local dramatic societies.


Manor Road
50 Swan Hotel. This pub was established by 1767 and was rebuilt around 1879. It is a Young’s house.
113 The Old Manor Inn. This pub was established by 1767 and was rebuilt around 1879.
Old Manor House. This is a 15th/16th timber-framed building close to the site of what was a ferry over the River. It was the manor house of Walton Leigh and eventually became a farmhouse.
New Farm. This farm appears to have fronted onto Manor Road roughly at the current site of the Toad Hall Nursery
Manor Road. Toad Hall Day Nursery
Barn Community Arts Studio. This opened in 1993. It was an a former threshing barn which formed part of New Farm , which had fallen into disrepair and used by Elmbridge Council as a store for parks maintenance equipment. In 1985, a group of local residents set up the Walton-on-Thames Community Trust to manage the process, of acquire the building, as a small arts theatre.


Mayo Road
This was previously Vicarage Walk

Mount Felix
Mount Felix. Was really Walton House demolished 1967.  1740 remodelled by Barry for the Earl of Tankerville. The mansion occupied the area of high ground on side of Walton Bridge.  It began as a house built around 1715 as the home of Samuel Dicker, who financed the first Walton Bridge. The house was rebuilt on a monumental scale in 1837-40 for the Earl of Tankerville as a large Italianate villa in extensive grounds. It had a large reception hall, dining and drawing rooms, and morning, writing and billiard rooms.  There were 29 bed and dressing rooms and 6 bathrooms.  The out-buildings included consisted of a laundry, a dairy farm, a gardener's house, a coach house, a garage and stabling for 21 horses.  It had two carriage drives with three lodges.  It was later bought by a syndicate for conversion into a club but was taken over by the Government at the start of the Great War and used as a hospital. In 1965 the estate, which was owned by the council, was sold for housing development.  A fire in 1966 badly damaged the house and it had to be demolished. The only surviving estate buildings are the clock tower, the brew house and laundry, which later became a coach house, and the stables, which had been converted into six houses in 1929. 
No. 2 New Zealand General Hospital. At the start of the Great War the New Zealand High Commissioner in London was instrumental in the formation of the New Zealand War Contingent Association. Following the Gallipoli campaign, it was thought advisable to establish a hospital for New Zealand casualties. The War Office had requisitioned the Mount Felix estate to house troops in 1914 and 1,200 soldiers were billeted there. In 1915, the War Office offered the estate to the New Zealand Association as a military hospital.  Lady Islington undertook its conversion into a 350-bedded hospital plus a large operating theatre. The Hospital was opened in 1915 by the High Commissioner and within two days the first patients arrived from Gallipoli.  The King and Queen, with the Prince of Wales, visited and the first death was of a soldier who was buried in Walton cemetery with full military honours.   In 1916 five large timber and asbestos huts were named Anzac Mount and built between Oatlands Drive and the River Thames and linked to the main buildings by a covered walkway and a footbridge.  Following the Battle of the Somme in 1916 more huts were built giving 500 extra beds, and a hotel at Oatlands Park was used where Workshops and educational classes were established for amputees. The number of patients gradually decreased and the Hospital closed in 1920
Clock House.  Wacker Chemicals bought the clock tower and coach house in 1979 for use as a local base.  A replacement bell was cast at the original foundry and rehung in the tower.
Old house. There is a surviving old house at the east end of Mount Felix
A footpath from the foreshore river may be include some of the original wall of the estate

New Zealand Avenue
This road was developed as a bypass across the northern part of the Ashley Park Estate after it had been sold for development in the 1920s. It is named for the New Zealand Military Hospital which was a Mount Felix during the Great War.
Homebase. This is the site of Walton Town Hall which was built in 1963 of concrete construction.  A plaque in commemoration of the New Zealanders was rescued from the Mount Felix and placed in the Town Hall when it was new.  It read: "This tablet is erected AD 1921 by the inhabitants of Walton-upon-Thames to commemorate their 27,000 fellow subjects from the Dominion of New Zealand who wounded or disabled in the Great War 1915-1918 were cared for in the military hospitals at Mount Felix and Oatlands Park.  Seventeen of these men lie buried in Walton cemetery.  Their bodies are buried in peace but their name liveth for evermore".  When the Town Hall was demolished, the plaque was donated to Elmbridge Museum.

River Mount
Gated housing

Riverside
The straight section of the river known as the ‘Walton Mile’ was used from 1862 until the First World War for the annual boating regatta. In its heyday this event was supposed to have rivalled Henley
Wharf, this was near the present site of the Swan Inn from at least 1485.  In the early 20th barges loaded and unloaded coal here; for the gas works.
Ferry. The Walton-Halliford Ferry ran between 1700-1750 from the Wharf near Manor Road
Anglers Hotel. 19th riverside pub. The Broadway composer Jerome Kern married the landlord's daughter, Eva Leale. Outside the pub to the west are cast concrete markers for the oil pipe line
Back water. This was a stretch of water into which the Engine River ran. It is now a marina.
Walton Marine Chandlery Fence. Thames Conservatory boundary marker
Walton Bridge. The current bridge dates from 2013. The first bridge was near the ancient ford when in 1747 Samuel Dicker a local landowner built a wooden toll bridge here. This followed a petition in 1747. Dicker built this at his own expense having obtained a Parliamentary act despite objections from the ferry owners. It was, designed by William Etheridge and built by White of Weybridge as a ‘mathematical bridge’ "timbers tangent to a circle of 100 feet diameter" and was built so that a single timber could be extracted and repaired without disturbing the rest of the bridge. In 1778 it was badly decayed and was demolished in 1783. The second bridge was in stone and internally of brick. It was designed by James Paine and opened in 1788. This partly collapsed in 1859 and the ferry was reopened until 1864. The third bridge was an iron girder lattice bridge on stone piers with a brick viaduct was constructed over the flood plain to the south. It was freed of tolls in about 1870. It was damaged during the Second World War and a fourth temporary bridge was built for the heavy traffic. It was demolished in 1985. The fourth bridge was built in 1953 downstream of the old bridge, using a construction called a Callender Hamilton bridge and keeping the old third bridge for cyclists and pedestrians.  Another temporary bridge was built in 1999 a fifth bridge, on the site of the original bridges and this quickly developed problems. The sixth bridge was opened in 2013. It has no piers in the river, thus improving navigation. It is a tied arch bridge and it is the first single-span bridge heading up the Thames.
Walton Slipway. Down river of the bridge. Now used by JGF Passenger Boats
Military Hospital.  In 1916 timber huts, asbestos huts and a cook-house were constructed on land south of Bridge Street, between Oatlands Drive and the River Thames to provide additional wards
Cowey Stakes. Mysterious stakes found in the river they were probably not defence against Julius Caesar and the Romans. It is thought they war fish weirs or something

Sullivan’s Reach
The Walton & Weybridge Gas Company. The works was established in 1869 with access from the end of Annett Road (in the square to the east).  When the gas industry was nationalised in 1949 the production plant here was dismantled, but the gas holders and stores survived until the early 1970s.  The Company was one of the largest users of the ancient wharf in Manor Road whose coal supplies were unloaded here. Much of their site would have been included in what is now Sullivan’s Reach
Riverhouse gardens. This is a riverside park.
River house. This was built around 1860 and was at times the focus for regattas on the river .It was the home of the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan for four years.

Thames Street
Thames Cottage. 17th house which is thought to have been the base for the Walton-Halliford Ferry which operated between 1700 and 1750 when the first Walton Bridge was opened

Walton Lane
Coal post. This one is said to be, missing. It is supposed to be 500 yards west of Walton Bridge

Sources
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Elmbridge Councl. Web site
HWM Web site.
Industrial Archaeology of Elmbridge
Kingston Zodiac
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Parker, North Surrey,
Pevsner, Surrey
Pub History. Web site
Stevenson. Surrey
Surrey County Archaeological Unit. Web site
Surrey County Council. Web site
Victoria County History of Surrey
Walford. Village London
Where Thames Smooth Waters Glide. Web site

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