Monday, 26 September 2016

Riverside north of the river and west of the Tower. Sunbury Rivermead

This post shows sites north of the river only.  South is Apps Court

Post to the easy West Molesey
Post to the west Sunbury Riverside and Walton at Sunbury Lock
Post to the north Sunbury Kempton Park

French Street
The road name is said to relate to the settlement of French refugees here.
116 Beauclerc Infant and Nursery School. The current school is a local authority school federated with Chennistone school.
Beauclerc School. This was a private school present in 1906which appears to have been a girl’s boarding school in a ‘big’ house called Rippledene which was later demolished.  It appears to still be shown on maps into the late 1960s.  In the 1930s it seems to have been called Rippledene Girls School.


Old Rope Walk
This footpath runs from The Avenue diagonally to French Street, and follows the line of a brick wall. It is though rope making was an important industry here up until the mid 20th.

Rivermead Island
This publicly owned island is made up of meadow with trees, scrub, and reeds. There is a bridge to the main land and a fordable backwater separating it from the land. Swan's Rest to the north was originally a separate island but is now joined to Rivermead. The Island is now used by ‘wild’ swimmers.
Swimming pool. This was built by Sunbury Urban District Council in 1935.  This could not be heated and was demolished in the 1990s.


Swans Rest Island
Now part of Rivermead Island

Thames Street
Riverside Arts Centre. In the mid 19th this site was an orchard and in 1856 a building was erected for a local draper. It was later became a bank called Ashby Thomas and Co.  and in 1892 it was sold by its then owner, George Gurney, when it was Sunbury Bank.  In 1893 what was then no 59 was converted into The Assembly Rooms which included a small theatre.  There was also space for meetings and dances. It was also later used for auctions. In 1912 it had been converted into a cinema - Sunbury Picture Theatre. Fromm 1916 it was a printing works and then also as The Ewell Manufacturing Company which made metal foil laminated onto paper and used for packing tea and tobacco. In the Second World War the company made radar decoy strips which were designed to confuse radar signals. The company continued to use aluminium foil for packing after the War. In 1973 the widow of the remaining partner sold the premises to Sunbury Urban District Council and Sunbury and Shepperton Arts Association with the Shepperton Players applied to Spelthorne Council to take over the building. The first event was a Christmas Concert in 1977 and work progressed into turning the building into a fully functioning arts centre.
Berkeley Mews. This is on the site of Pomfret House. This is said to have been the home of Lord Pomfret – although the title died out in 1867. It appears latterly to be used for offices
George Wilson. Boat yard and boat hire
Monksbridge. This was previously called Thamesbank House. -Late 18th house with later extensions. It is in brown brick with pebbledash cladding and a three storey river front. It was built in 1760 and was later home to English painter Edwin Edwards who entertained artistic friends here. In the 1920s, the Prince of Wales reputedly visited the house frequently for a pre-Mrs Simpson girl friend.  In the 1950s it was Le Club de Clio frequented by the likes of Diana Dors. It was latterly the home of Dave Gilmour from Pink Floyd. The garden is described as ‘Sunbury’s premier’.
Castle Pub. This has ‘1640’ on the frontage, which may, or may not, be the date the pub was established. It was in pub use by 1759. It closed in 1956 and the premises are now an Indian restaurant.


Sources
Beauclerc and Chenniston Schools. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Francis Frith. Web site
Lower Sunbury Residents Association. Web site
Pub History. Web site
Riverside Arts Centre.  Web site
Sunbury Village Matters. Web site
Wikipedia. Rivermead Island, Web site

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