Saturday, 27 August 2016

Riverside west of the Tower, south bank. Windsor, riverside and castle

Riverside west of the Tower, south bank. Windsor, riverside and castle

This post relates to sites south of the river only. North of the river is Eton

Post to the east Windsor sport and the castle and Datchet Mead
Post to the west Clewer and Eton Cuckoo Weir

Alexandra Gardens.
Alexandra Gardens. Plans for a riverside garden were initiated from 1893 and land bought in 1875 and in 1902 a tree was planted to mark the coronation of Edward VII. The gardens were opened soon after and named for the new Queen, Alexandra. Early facilities included a bandstand and a pond which leaked and became a flower bed.  Windsor Lawn Tennis Club played here having been set up in 1913 and they hired courts here. In the 1930s a field gun stood by the gates but was removed at the start of the Second World War.  The bandstand was removed in the 1950s and a new one has been installed in 2015 with steel artwork on each the sides to episodes with the armed forces in each decade of the Queen’s reign. In 1954 a shelter was built round the ‘Coronation Tree but was quickly vandalised but not finally cleared until 2005. There are a number of profit making commercial features now - a Kiddies Corner Children's Fun Fair, skate & cycle hire, an 8 hole adventure golf course, bungee and trampoline. There is also ice skating in the winter.
Dyson Memorial, this was originally in Barry Avenue. It is a drinking fountain, to commemorate Thomas Dyson, piano dealer and mayor.


Barry Avenue
The Promenade was first created in the early 1890s, before it was originally just a sloping bank to the river. It was named for Francis Tress Barry, MP for Windsor, 1890-1906.
Browns Pub. This was previously the Fort & Firkin, and the Old Trout and originally the Thames Hotel. The extensions along Barry Avenue are a new frontage on what a half timbered hall – used for gigs – including a jazz club - and dances. It was used by the ARP in the Second World War. An earlier pub here was the Anglers Rest.
French Brothers wharf and embarkation point for boat trips
War memorial to the Berkshire Yeomanry. This is a granite cross showing the names of the men from A Squadron, who died in the Great War.
Memorial of a replica Hawker Hurricane aircraft.  This is in memory of its designer, Sir Sydney Camm and was installed in 2012


Cutlers Ait
Cutlers Ait. This small island is a tree-covered strip between the north bank of the river and the weir.


Datchet Road
Windsor and Eton Riverside Station. This station is a terminus, the previous station is Datchet and it is run by South West Trains. The station was built for the Windsor, Staines and South Western Railway and the building was designed by William Tite as a royal station. The main booking hall is now a wine bar. The wall along Datchet Road is a long curve, parallel with the platform, containing a series of arches and links the station with the Royal Waiting Room. The route to Windsor from Staines reached Datchet in 1848 but the line was opposed by Windsor Castle and Eton College which delayed the opening of this station for a year. The railway had to get to Datchet by a long deviation to avoid the royal Home Park.  By the time the station opened the line was part of the London and South Western Railway which ran it until grouping in 1923 when it became part of the Southern Railway. The line was electrified on the third rail system in 1930 and on nationalisation in 1948 it became part of Southern Region of British Railways and privatised it passed to Stagecoach. The ticket hall is now The Old Ticket Hall Wine Bar and Music Venue
Royal Waiting Room. This was built for Queen Victoria and is a separate building on the south side of the station with a main room and ante rooms crowned by a turret and spire – from which a look out could monitor the Queen’s arrival.  It is now let as offices. In the 1950s it appears to have been a Christian Science hall
Town Gate to the Home Park. Lodge and Gate Piers. Built around 1820-30 probably by Jeffrey Wyatville. There is a single storey lodge in Portland stone. The gate piers are surmounted by lamps.
9 Royal Oak. It is said that used to be called the Railway Hotel and was a Courage House.  However a pub called the Royal Oak was here in the 1830s or earlier.  It was the Royal Oak Hotel in the 1930s when it was demolished and replaced with the current building. (This building is numbered at 9 and the building to the north of it is 7 – but Mango Lounge, across the street is also 9!)
1 Bel and the Dragon Tea Room and Restaurant. This was the South Western Hotel from 1891 until the 1930s and before that the William IV. On a corner site it is also 62 Thames Street. The building is l7th altered in 18th and 19th. Timber framed encased in roughcast facing. It is also now used as staff accommodation for the Sir Christopher Wren Hotel.
St George’s School. This is a coeducational ‘preparatory’ school founded to provide six choirboys for St George's Chapel. It had provided these boys to the Chapel since 1352. Seventeen full choristers live at the school, with about seven day pupil 'probationers'. They attend lessons and rehearse each day in the Song School by the Chapel. They sing seven services each week. These boys have school fees paid by the church authorities at Windsor. The school takes about 30 boarders. Children leave the school at the age of 13 but most will have a strong musical education there. There are spacious playing fields next door to the school within private grounds of the castle. The school building dates from 1803 and has two 2 storeys in London Stock brick. There is a central Greek Doric loggia of stone columns. There is an inscription ‘Founded by - Travers Esq Erected MDCCCIII.’ There is a large walled garden with fine trees. The building was originally Travers College set up by the Naval Knights of Windsor who were established under the will of Samuel Travers the Surveyor General for Greenwich Hospital  for seamen and was a retirement home for unmarried and needy naval lieutenants.


Deadwater Ait
Deadwater Ait. This is an uninhabited tree-covered island close to the Windsor bank of the river and upstream of Romney Lock. It has also been called Baths Island. It carries the central part of Windsor Railway Bridge across the river. Public Baths were here in the 19th - in a portion covered by the square to the west.



Duke Street
Windsor and Eton Brewery. These beers were launched on St George's Day 2010. Guardsman Bitter was the first new brew in Windsor for 80 years, and it was followed by Windsor Knot


Farm Yard
Windsor Glass – this firm was based here from 1952 but is now on the Vansittart Trading Estate

Ferry
Windsor Ferry. This was a punt which left from the Barry Avenue area and lasted until the 1950s


Firework Ait
Firework Ait. This is an uninhabited tree-covered island close to the Windsor bank of the river and upstream of Romney Lock.


Goswell Road
The Goswells. The Goswells the name derives from 'goose fields' It was part of Clewer Common Fields, part enclosed 1776, It was bought in 1910 by public subscription, and given to the National Trust. It was then placed in the care of Windsor Corporation.  It has recreational facilities. A fountain marks the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Windsor and Eton Bowling Club.  The club is in Goswell Meadow which is owned and managed by The National Trust. The club dates from 1921 when the National Trust agreed to lease the meadow. It was decided to use Cumberland Turf for the green and Windsor Town Council and the Trust gave permission for the Club to erect a thatched pavilion which was renewed in 1990 with slates because of cost.


Jacobs Island
Jacobs Island. This was used by Arthur Jacobs’s boat builders and hirers and had previously belonged to a firm called Boddy. It had then been known as Corporation Island. The 'New Windsor Castle' steamer was built here in the 1920s for Jacobs by Summers and was launched stern first from the slipway which was built facing upstream because the area downstream of the island was used for mooring and letting small craft.  The slipway was in use up to the 1960's. The boathouses had gone by the 1960s.
Eastern Baths - a men's bathing area was moved here away from the railway line.

Lock Cut
The Lock Cut runs from the upstream lock gates at Romney Lock, running down between Romney Island and the Windsor bank of the river until it reaches the end of the Island


Riverside
This side street continues past flats and offices into a vast car park in what was the station goods yards. It continues past them to become a pathway going to Romney Locks and the Castle Water Works.

River Street
An earlier name for the road was Bier Lane
St Saviour’s church. Built in 1875–6 from the designs of Stephen Wyborn to cater for a poor riverside population. It was demolished in the 1920s. Its lych gate was re-erected at the Clewer Memorial Grounds
St Marys School marked on 19th maps at the river end of the road.
The car park is now privately run. It dates from 1928 when housing and the church were cleared to make room for it.
Toilets. Amazing double decker toilet block. This dates from the opening of the car park in 1928 and in the 1950s had hot baths installed
Jennings Yard and Jennings Buildings were cleared in the 1980s for the present car park. Archaeologists found a possible medieval merchant’s house, moat and revetted causeway recorded in the 1980s.  These industrial buildings had been behind Jenning's riverside wharf which was owned by Courage in the 1930s and later cleared.
1 Jennings Buildings Specfield instrument makers.
2 Jennings Buildings. National Foundation for Educational Research. printer and publisher here in the 1970s
Bonded Warehouse. Thus is said to have had a wooden customs office adjacent which may have been a dancing school in the 1950s.
Red Lion. This stood on the corner with Thames Street. The site is now vacant but with some planting.


Romney Island
Romney Island connects to Romney Lock. It is long and thin with trees and is a popular coarse fishing venue controlled by Old Windsor Angling Club until 2011 and now Eton Fisheries.
The Cobbler. This was a protrusion at the Windsor end of the island removed in the 1980s... It was originally built to allow horses to haul barges towards Windsor Bridge from Romney Lock Cut. The horses were then said to be required to swim across the river to Thameside before continuing to haul the barges up stream through Windsor Bridge itself.


Romney Lock
Romney Lock. This is on the Windsor side of the river next to a boatyard and adjoins Romney Island. The first lock here was built by the Thames Navigation Commission in 1798. A pound lock had been proposed in 1774 to be sited at Firework Ait. It was rebuilt by Thames Conservancy in 1869 and again in 1979/80.
Castle Water Works and water tower. This water works was set up to supply water to Windsor Castle. The site here had originally been a mill which was replaced by The Kings Engine in 1681. It originally was powered by a large water wheel which was replaced when the works was refurbished in 1912.  It was surveyed by John Rennie in 1794. The current site consists of a pump house building said to contain an old water wheel and an octagonal water tower.


Romney Lock Road
Level Crossing. Until In 1974 there was a level crossing at the London end of in the station giving access to Romney Lock, Thus was replaced a by a footbridge.


Romney Weir
Romney Weir is upstream of the lock at the end of Romney Island and runs across the river to Cutlers Ait. It was built a year after the lock when it was seen to be necessary. It was rebuilt further upstream at the beginning of the 20th. A 200kW hydro electric generation station was installed in 2011 to supply electricity to Windsor Castle.


Thames Avenue
Two Thames Avenue. Concrete framed office block built in the 1960s as offices and now converted to flats.


Thames side
Jennings' Yard. Courage’s' bonded warehouse. The wharf was handed over to Windsor Borough Council in the 1930s for the construction of the riverside walk and the steps up to Windsor Bridge
10 Boatman pub. In 2005 this pub changed its name from The Donkey House to The River House Restaurant and Bar.  Before that it was apparently The Kings Arms which dated from at least the 1830s.
Bakery– part of a development of the site between 1947 and 1949. This was used by Denney’s Bakery.
Mercer House, developed between 1970 and 1990
Berkshire House developed between 1970 and 1990.


Thames Street
28 Dated as built in 1903. Painted brick in Jacobeathan style. At one time it had a marble faced butcher's shop on ground floor and a fascia with Royal Arms by "appointment" on it. Plaque on thru side records a house on this site was the birthplace of the founder of the Massachusetts Militia
29 Adam and Eve Pub. Closed as a pub and is now a restaurant.
Theatre Royal. There is a glazed canopy on cast iron columns over the pavement. A theatre in this site was opened in 1815 and continued until it was burnt out in 1908. The theatre was owned by William Shipley and he rebuilt it to be completed in 1910. It then passed to a Mr Gladwin who converted it into a cinema showing low rated films. John Counsell managed it and formed a repertory company here in 1938. Since then the theatre has seen many changes and improvements to the interior structure and amenities have led to the present decor, designed by Carl Toms in 1965 and refurbished in 1973 and 1994. The theatre continues to be a success.
Hundred Steps Lodge. Castellated stone lodge like a squat tower built in 1840-50. Part of Wyattville's work on the Castle and the steps go up from the street to the Castle. The steps were a short cut up to the castle they are now unused but visible.
Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein Monument. This is a bronze figure, in captain's uniform, by W Goscombe John, 1903. The Prince died in 1900.
Brewery. Nevile Reid acquired the Windsor Brewery from Baverstock and Ramsbottom in about 1810 .they were acquired by Noakes and Co Ltd, 1918 who were in turn taken over by Courage. Brewing ceased in 1930.
Old Bank House. Built in 1758 for a brewer, Henry Isherwood. It later became Ramsbottom's Windsor Bank. It was then Reids, and then Courage’s Brewery Office which closed in 1962. Now in use by St. George’s School
King George V Memorial. This dates from 1936 and is by Edwin Lutyens.  It is in Portland stone with a pedestal bearing crown, orb and sceptres on a cushion. In front is a pool with fountains
49 The Swan Public House. 16th or possibly earlier origin, refronted in the early 19th. Public house front with carriageway which reveals a timber frame. . This is now a restaurant.
Wrens Club – which is the spa attached to the Sir Christopher Wren Hotel. There is signage over what was the carriage entrance to the Swan Inn,
62 Bel and the Dragon – this also fronts onto Datchet Road as no.1
59-60 Playhouse Cinema, This was built as a cinema for the Lou Morris chain and opened in 1928. It was equipped with a Compton 2Manual/5Ranks organ with had an illuminated console on a life in the centre of the orchestra pit. In 1930 it was taken over by the Southan Morris chain and by the Union Cinemas chain in 1935, which were themselves taken over by the Associated British Cinemas chain in October 1937. It was re-named ABC in 1961, and in 1971, became a ‘Luxury Lounge’, using only the stalls. It was closed in 1982. It re-opened as the Carousel Cinema in 1983 but was closed later that year. The building was sold and demolished in 1984. There is now an office block on the site.
52- 56 Sir Christopher Wren. The hotel covers a number of buildings at the riverside end of the street. The riverside corner building dates from around 1820-40. A painted inscription dates building as being 1676 and records the history of Wren and the building – it is however very unlikely he lived there and the house was probably built 27 years after his death. Christopher Wren, who was born in 1632, probably grew up in Windsor as his father was Dean of Windsor from 1635. The family were most likely living in church owned accommodation, possibly in the castle. The hotel records that the Main House of the Hotel was owned by the Cheshire family in the 18th but later belonged to Mr More, a local barge master and coal merchant. By the 1920s it was the Riverholme Restaurant and Guest House and it was later extended and the present restaurant built. It was further extended in the 1940s and 1950s and was the Old House Hotel. . It was then called Wren’s House and was listed. It passed through a number of owners and is now owned by Sarova Hotels


Vansittart Estate
Light industry and trading estate


Windsor Bridge
Windsor Bridge. The first bridge here may have been was built in the 12th when there is a record of tolls levied on vessels passing under it. In the mid 13th a wooden bridge was built here and by 1819 it was felt wooden bridges here were no longer viable. A granite and cast iron bridge, which remains, was opened in 1824. It has three arches with two mid-stream granite piers.  There is a cast iron trellis balustrade, and the original lampposts remain. It was originally tolled but tolls were abolished following legal action in 1897. In 1970, it was closed to motor vehicles following the discovery of cracks in the structure. It was repaired in 2002 but remains pedestrianised.

Windsor Castle
This square covers the north western portion of the castle. The rest is in squares to the south and east
St. George’s Chapel. The chapel is in the Lower Ward and is the responsibility of the religious College of St George. The Society of the Friends of St George's and Descendants of the Knights of the Garter, was established in 1931 to assist the College in maintaining the chapel. It was founded in 1348 by Edward III and was attached to the Chapel of St Edward the Confessor which had been built under Henry III in the early 13th. It was then rededicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Edward the Confessor and St George the Martyr. It then became the Mother Church of the Order of the Garter, and a special service is held in every year for members of the order. Between 1475 and 1528 The Chapel was expanded greatly under Richard Beauchamp, Bishop of Salisbury, and the master mason Henry Janyns. It became a destination for pilgrims with several relics.  During the Civil War Parliamentary forces plundered the chapel and treasury and later the chapter house was destroyed. This was repaired at the Restoration. In the 19th there was some rebuilding and reordering. On the pinnacles of the chapel roof are seventy-six statues representing the Queen's Beasts. They were restored here in 1925. The chapel is an important survival of a medieval chantry and its status as a royal foundation saved it from the Dissolution.
Curfew Tower. This is a 13th building. Below it is a sally-port – this is an underground exit from a castle with disguised entrances at both ends to be used in of siege. It is in good condition, walled and roofed in stone, pierced with four shafts.
Military Knights of St. George. These are retired army officers living in homes in part of the lower ward. They caim to be the oldest military establishment in the Army and were Formed by Edward III after the Battle of CreƧy to help knights who had taken their armies to France, been captured and had to sell everything to pay the ransom. Clearly there have been many changes since.

Windsor Railway Bridge and viaduct
This wrought iron bowstring bridge was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and carries what was the Great Western Railway line to Slough crossing the Thames to the west central Windsor.  It is the oldest wrought iron railway bridge in regular service. It was opened in 1849 having been delayed because of objects from Eton College. However they managed to open shortly before the London and South West Railway here which was also delayed. There was originally a wooden viaduct but this was replaced by the current bridge structure in 1861-65 .The upstream track was removed in the 1960 and the trackbed now carries a water pipe


Sources
British History online. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Chelsea Speleological Society. Web site
Cinema Treasures. Web site
College of St. George. Web site
Gas Journal
National Archive. Web site
Royal Oak. Web site
St. George’s School. Web site
Thamesweb. Web site
Theatre Royal, Windsor. Web site
The Royal Windsor Forum. Web site
Transport Heritage. Web site
Wikipedia As appropriate
Windsor and Eton Bowling Club. Web site
Windsor Lawn Tennis Club, Web site
Windsor Pubs. Web site
Windsor Through Time

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