Thursday, 1 September 2016

Riverside, north bank, west of the Tower. Dorney Lake

Riverside, north bank, west of the Tower. Dorney Lake

Post to the south Bray Studios and Dorney riverside
Post to the west Monkey Island Lane and Eton Rowing Lake North End



Dornay Lake.
This square covers an area which appears to have been almost empty until the 1990s. There is a very short length of riverbank covered in the square.  The Eton Rowing Lake is so vast that although much of it is contained in this square much more is in the surrounding squares. The lake approximately 2.5 kms long and about 1 km wide, There is a main rowing lake which is 110 metres wide with a The slightly shorter and narrower “warm up” (or Return) channel . A road runs through the north side of the site and is bordered by a series of small Arboretums and lots of grassy space; there is also anither small lake
Dorney Lake – this is also called Eton College Rowing Centre and it was built as a venue for the 2012 London Olympic Games.  It was however originally conceived by Eton College rowing teachers in the 1960s. They felt it important to construct a still water, all year round rowing course, with greater safety than the River Thames, with its fast currents, varying widths and increasing traffic. The lake is in an area of gravel extraction – it is surrounded by pits - and the site was set up for gravel extraction which could be sold to offset costs with local aggregates firm Summerleaze as a lead partner. It is privately owned and financed by Eton College, who spent £17 million on it with another £500,000, from various sporting organisations for the lake's finish tower. It took ten years to build. It is mainly used by Eton School but is also hired out for rowing, etc.  Building began in 2009, following investigations by Oxford Archaeology, - who uncovered evidence of the earliest known bridges from the middle Bronze Age and Iron Ages as well as much more information valued by archaeologists. This includes a former channel of the Thames where several Bronze Age and Iron Age bridges were found preserved in the wet silts. One of the bridges was dated to 1520 BC, the earliest bridge on the Thames with timbers preserved in the waterlogged silt. The design of Dornay Lake included a cut-through between the competition lake and the return lane, a new bridge and an upgraded access road, which were funded by the Olympic Delivery Authority. As well as the water sports themselves, the grounds of the lake are open for cyclists, joggers and walkers.
Park and Arboretum have been developed with an ever-growing array of flora and fauna. On the south side between the south shore of the return lake and the Thames is a designated nature conservation area.  Tghere is open rough ground amd a a purpose built scrape for waders and wildfowl (see photos) and another pool that dries out as summer progresses.
Mock Bronze Age Barrow
Armillary Sphere within a henge. Presented to Eton College by the gravel extracting consortium to celebrate ten years of work at the site

Sources
Bucks Bird Club. Web site
Dornay Lake. Web site
Summerleaze. Web site
Wikipedia. Dornay Lake. Web site
Windsor and Maidenhead Council. Web site

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