Tuesday, 31 December 2013

County Ditch - Lammas Lands

County Ditch
County Ditch flows southwards and into the Thames

This posting covers sites to the north of the river only. South of the river is Egham Hythe

Post to the north Yeoveney
Post to the east Staines and Egham/Staines The Hythe
Post to the west Egham

Church Island
The island is also known as Church Eyot. It has houses on it and is connected by a privately owned footbridge to Church Street.  It is near to St.Mary’s parish church, hence the name.  There was until the 1950s a chain ferry to the island from the riverside path allegedly used by the Ashby Brewery.

Queensmead Lake
Queensmead Lake is owned by the water supplier (currently Affinity) and is used for fishing by their staff. The area has been flooded since the 1970s.

Wraysbury Road
Ashby Recreation Ground or Lammas Recreation Ground. The park is named after the wealthy 18th family of brewers and bankers. They enclosed this area of common - Lammas land – in 1885. It was later given back to the people of Staines to be used for recreation. It is popularly known by its more ancient name of the 'Lammas' Anglo-Saxon 'loaf- mass’. On these fields grain was once harvested, to be baked into a loaf to be dedicated at the church on August 1st. Its current facilities include: mini golf, mini train, playground, skate park, spray ground and tennis. There are also sports facilities used by local clubs
Swimming pool- this was sited near the river
London Stone. The stone on display is a replica and the original is now in Staines library. The stone marks the most westerly point on the River Thames over which the City of London had jurisdiction and had had since the 12th. It was originally sited behind the Town Hall where a replica now stands. An inscription on the stone reads: 'God preserve ye citty of London AD 1285' . The ceremony of visits by the Lord Mayor  visits ended in 1857 when the city lost control of the river to the Thames Conservancy. 

British History. On line. Web site
Butterfield. They Walked this way
Church Island. Wikipedia. Web site
Spelthorne Council. Web site

Monday, 30 December 2013

River Colne Staines

River Colne
The Colne flows south eastwards and into the Thames. It is met by the Wraysbury River from the north west.
Sweeps Ditch flows south westwards

This posting covers only sites north of the river. South of the River is Egham/Staines The Hythe

Post to the north Staines Moor
Post to the west Lammas Lands and Egham Hythe
Post to the east Staines
Post to the south Thorpe Hay Meadow and Staines Penton Road

Bridge Street
When the street was built in 1832 it cut Church Street in half
Ashby House. This was built in 1989 as the headquarters of the Courage Brewery Company which became Scottish & Newcastle Brewery. Its clock tower is topped by a cockerel wind vane. It is likely to be replaced and/or refurbished to look like it’s been replaced,
Roman building. Evidence of this was found in 1986 along with a medieval ditch
Provident House. Built in the 1960s on the site of St.Mary’s Church Hall.  It was used as a Job Centre until 2009.
China Star. The red brick building across dates from the 1840s and was built as a public school for girls but and changed in 1886 when it was set up as a Sunday School with funds from a charity under the will of Martha Romaine. China Star opened in the early 1960s as Ting Ting but the building is still owned by the local Parish
Baptist chapel was built here in 1837, which replaced another in Church Street. Demolished 1989

Church Street
Staines seems to have once been two islands built on gravel. One was in the High Street/ Market Square area; the other to the west included Church Street. This was Binbury Island first mentioned in 1336 as the high ground round the church. The line of Church Street may be earlier as there is evidence of a church in 685 and earlier. It is thought that the Roman road may have gone along the line of Church Street to a Thames crossing.
1-8 early 19th terrace
14 The Hobgoblin Public House, formerly known as Duke of Clarence, a 19th pub. It became part of the Wychwood Brewery in 2003 and was then renamed. At one time the pub had frontages in both Clarence and Church Streets. The Clarence Street side of the pub became a private dwelling in 1851 and was known as Colne House. Once linked by a small courtyard to The Bush in Clarence Street
Goring’s Square. This was the site of a slaughterhouse owned by the Goring family; butchers here from pre-1790.
16 This shop lies alongside the Colne; there is a flood marker on the wall.
21-27 Terrace of shops from the 17th built as houses and under one roof
29 -31 Three-storey 19th houses
Bridge over the River Colne. The Colne and Wraysbury meet slightly to the north of the bridge here. The Colne was also joined here by the, now dried up, Sweeps Ditch.
43 Two Rivers Pub. This was called The Phoenix until 2010. The beer garden at the back is at the confluence of the Colne and Wraysbury and there are paths and bridges to both. As the Phoenix the pub was licensed in 1790, although the present building is 19th. The sign outside referred to the reign of Edward VI
45-55 curved terrace of two-storey 19th shops with brick arches filled with fish- scale tiling.
46 The Cock on a 15th site although this building dates from 1832.  A Stone and lead cornice runs along both frontages, with “The Cock Inn” in gold lettering on red background For many years the inn was owned by the Brandon Brewery of Putney and there are signs for their Fine Ales and Putney Stout signs outside. It was finally called “Jack Beard’s at The Cock” and closed in 2009. It is now offices.
57 Ashby Brewery site. The Brewery on was founded in 1796 by Quaker Thomas Ashby. It was incorporated in 1887 as Charles Ashby and Company Ltd and then in 1899 as Ashby's Staines Brewery Ltd.  They took over a number of other breweries and were themselves eventually acquired by H & G Simonds in 1931. Brewing ended here in the 1950s. It was taken over by Courage in the 1960s and they continued with bottling into the 1970s
57-59 built 1737 in buff brick with later additions in 1784 when Thomas Ashby II acquired it, and in 1811 in 1797 a room here was being used as the Ashby Family Bank which was to grow, issue notes and open branches in the locality to be taken over by Barclays in 1904. There is a malt house at the back of 57. The buildings have been extended at the back and are now used as offices.
Brewery tower. This dates from 1903. It is a six storey tower with decorated ironwork and a flag pole at the top. Converted to offices in the 1960s and housing in the early 1990s. The top two stories are all that remain original.
72 -74 19th brick built properties. 72 is slightly older than 74 which was a bakery and still has its 1850 shop front and oven intact as well as a carriage door. These houses were used as brewery offices were here.
75, 77, 79 19th houses painted white with a coaching entrance through an arch.
96-104 only the front parts of these two buildings are original – these were two brick houses of 1823 built as separate houses for members of the Ashby family who occupied them until the death of Henry Ashby in 1880, when they were sold. They have now been partly rebuilt as offices. The cast iron spearhead railings are original.
Staines Business Park. On the site Harry H. Gardam (Engineering) Co. Ltd. This was founded in the 1870s on Ashby family land and fronted onto the Thames. They dealt in second-hand heavy steam and gas engines, many for export. By the mid 20th they began to make smaller goods for the food and chemicals industry. In 1976 they moved to the Poyle Trading Estate as Gardam Machinery Ltd ‘
101 Stainton House.
103 Bosun's Hatch
. A small 18th red brick house.
111 - 113 The Beeches. Built in 1803 with later additions. It was owned by the Ashby family until 1952 and is now two houses.
114 18th house. The original interior was lost in 1990 during conversion to flats.
115 Corner Hall. This dates from 1620. It was owned by Quakers to Thomas and Sarah Finch and in 1772 it was bought by the first Thomas Ashby and remained in the family thenceforth. The wisteria which covers it was brought here from Japan in the 1870s.
124 The Bells. This pub was built in 1780 on the site of an older inn and some of the interior is 1630. It was once known as The Bell. It is now owned by Young’s Brewery. The stables are now in use as a function room. It claims to take its name from the bells of the nearby church.
127 Church Cottage. This was the verger’s house and could be 18th. This part of the road was called Binbury Row or Binbury Street from the 14th. In the 19th until the 1920s it was a private girls' school.
St Mary's Church. The high ground on which the present church stands is by tradition known as Nagen Stan, and as a druidal place of worship. Stan is Anglo-Saxon for ‘stone’. The first Christian church here was probably wattle and daub and a stone church said to have been built in 675 by St. Ermingeld, Abbess of Ely. Earliest written evidence for the present church is 1179.  The living of the church was originally owned by the Abbot of Westminster, and the Vicar has to provide two candles for Westminster to be lit on the eve of Epiphany. Since the reign reformation the living has been vested in the Lord Chancellor.  The church was rebuilt in 1828 after the collapse of the earlier building and subsequent blowing up of the remains. The new church was designed by J. B. Watson. The tower was built in 1631 and a plaque records that this has been attributed to Inigo Jones. The stone pinnacles were removed as unsafe in the 1940s.  One window was presented by Kaiser Wilhelm when he visited his grandmother Queen Victoria and commemorates Augusta Maria Byng, his children’s nanny.  The Trident Memorial Window commemorates the 1972 Staines Air Disaster in which 118 people died.
Churchyard. There is the chest tomb of George and Elizabeth Hawkins. He died in 1761 and the tomb carved fruit shield reliefs and memorial tablets with a skull with scythes. Lady Letitia Lade, who is said to have been the mistress of the Prince Regent, is buried here - she was also reputedly the mistress of highwayman. Jack Rann

Clarence Street
Named for Duke of Clarence who laid the foundation stone in 1828 and returned in 1832 as William IV to open it. Most of the buildings were built as private houses but most are shops with flats or offices above.
Thames Edge Court. On the site of the Regal Cinema
Cinema. This was built on the site of Bridge House and operated by Associated British Cinemas but called the Regal, opening in 1939. It was designed by W.R. Glen with a plain brick facade. It closed in 1970 and reopened a year later as two screens re-named ABC 1&2. It was Taken over by the EMI Group in 1979, and by the Cannon Group in 1986, and re-named Cannon and then re-named MGM. Following a management buy-out in 1998, it became the ABC again. Taken over by Odeon Theatres Ltd, it closed in 2001 and demolished
Bridge House. This was built 1832 on land remaining from the building of the Bridge and had gardens backing onto the Thames. In 1898 it was bought by Tom Taylor, a local boat-builder, who converted it to the Bridge House Hotel one of the first buildings in Staines with electricity. The hotel had open air dances and concerts in the riverside gardens. Taylor also built a boathouse here.  The hotel closed in 1937 and was demolished and replaced by the Regal Cinema. The boatyard continued in business
Colne Lodge. This was across the Colne from Bridge House. It was built in 1868 and demolished in 1966. The replacement office block is also named Colne Lodge and houses a Pizza Express
Bridge over River Colne This was built in 1832 probably by John and George Rennie. It has since been widened. Circa 1832.It is in Brick and granite with cast-iron sections in the parapet
41 dates from 1835 and built as the Literary and Scientific Institution by William Mulling Higgins. From 1950-79 it was the town Library, and later occupied by the Showmen’s' Guild.
Bush Pub. This was once part of the Clarence Pub (now the Hobgoblin in Church Street) but by 1850 it was Colne House, and then a greengrocer's shop.
Footpath back to the Thames along the Colne,

Drake Avenue
Light industry and trading. Plastics, rope, etc
Boden Sheet Metal. After the Second World War there was an increased demand for metal repairs to vehicle.   David Boden began to make pressings and installed presses at his factory in Staines

Edgell Road
35 Beehive Inn
Emsleigh Road
Emsleigh Centre. Shopping Mall, Opened in 1980 on a Spelthorne Council owned site,
Old Telephone Exchange. Nightclub in telephone exchange built 1929

Factory Path
Redevelopment has turned this into part of Mustard Mill Road

Fairfield Avenue
BT Telephone Exchange
Statue - The Swan Upper, which relates to the tradition of swan upping on the Thames

Friends Walk
Spelthorne Library and Museum. Opened here in a new building in 2006

Hale Street
Hale Mill.  This mill was on the Colne and existed in the 13th, owned by John le Hale and Westminster Abbey. By 1755 it was owned by John Finch and remained in his family until 1868.  Finch made mustard there but from 1826 it was occupied by a papier-mâché company.
Fibrous Slab Co. This and Charles Bielefeld’s paper mache works were at Hale Mill from 1826.  This produced architectural decorative items and also building materials made of pulped and pressed fibres. 
McDonalds. On the site of Hale Mill
Staines Lino. Linoleum was invented by Fredrick Walton a professional inventor, in 1855. He had become interested in devising a way of using the skin off paint. Following experiments he came up with an idea for what was then called floor cloth and set up a factory in Chiswick. The success of this led to a need for a larger works and in 1864 he established the Linoleum Manufacturing Company at Hale Mustard Mill in Staines.  He later parted from the Staines works and set up a larger works in Greenwich for inlaid and patterned lino, although the basic lino continued to be made in Staines. By 1930 the factory covered an area of 45 acres on land which is now Two Rivers Shopping Centre and the Moormede Estate. It closed in 1970.
22, 24 & 26 Hale Cottage. A red brick house which backs onto the River Colne. It dates from 1835 and was once the home of the manager of the lino factory. It is now divided into three houses
Old School House.  A British School for boys was founded in 1808. This may have been the building used as the Hale Street Mission Room. A British school for girls, was also here by 1831,
Baptist Church.  This is next to the Wraysbury River and was opened in 1880, although the building is more modern. It is now Staines Baptist Fellowship
The Old Bakehouse.  Behind the Baptist church, on the opposite side of the river,
Wraysbury River bridge. There is mention of a bridge over the more westerly of the two mill streams in 1503, named Moor Bridge. There are also sluices on the Colne and Wraysbury rivers.
Island Close
Housing on part of the site of the Gardam Machinery Works and wharf.

Kingston Road
5 Shops in a building from 1882 with a central moulded tablet of a relief of a swan, this was the Staines depot of Stannsfield and Co. of the Swan Brewery, Fulham.

Laleham Road
St Peters Church. Riverside Anglican church with a church hall alongside.  It was built in 1894 to meet the demands of an increasing population. It replaced a succession of mission chapels. The eventual church was endowed by Sir Edward Clarke, and church designed by G. H. Fellowes Prynne in red brick with a crenellated tower with set-back spire.
6 Staines Riverside Club. This was previously Staines ex-Servicemen’s Club
Queen Victoria Jubilee Gardens.  The gardens were opened in 1897 to commemorate the Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Lamp Post – this is cast iron with a ladder rest and barley sugar twist, on a stone base with inscription, which says– “This ground was purchased out of public subscriptions raised by the Staines Committee for the Commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. June 1897”. There are also benches made by the local Johnson & Sharp Foundry.
Railway Bridge.   The bridge was built in 1856 on the London and Windsor Railway.  There are three vertical rollers on the riverside face of the abutments. These are to prevent barge from fraying and damaging the bridge.

London Road
2 old Police Station. This is a 19th building opened officially in 1876.  It has “Police” on a frieze above the door and a cast iron gutter with lions’ masks – this is said to be a common feature of Metropolitan Police Stations of that date.
Roman Frieze. Sculpture by Jeff Salter. Inspiration for this was taken from artwork decorating Roman pottery which was found locally.
Roman Horse. Sculpture by Belinda Rush Jansen.  This is a bronze relief carving of a Roman horse and acknowledges Roman remains here,

Market Square
The weekly market has been held here since 1218 at least, when the Sheriff of Middlesex granted a Charter.  When the current Town Hall was built the street was widened following demolitions and the need to realign the civic buildings with the new bridge which was upriver of its predecessor.
Staines Conservative Club. It was opened in 1887 as the Staines & Egham Constitutional Club. A plaque on its front says: “This Stone to commemorate the opening of the Staines and Egham Hythe Constitutional Club on 19th May 1887 was laid by Mrs Dixon Hartland and Mrs Hankey the wives of the members of Divisions of Uxbridge & Chertsey.” It is a brick building in vernacular style. The upper room is known as Victoria Hall.
5 - 7  19th building
War Memorial. This commemorates the dead of the Great War with corner statues -n– a soldier in field kit with a rifle; a sailor in day rig with signal flags; an airman in flying rig, and a marine in field kit with rifle stand on arms. There is also a statue of winged victory with a torch and wreath. It was relocated to here from Memorial Gardens in 2002. A plate listing those killed in the Second World War was added in 2003. There is also a water feature at its base named “Reflections”.
2 Cygnet House. This is now offices. It was built 1830 and was a shop selling hay and flour. Behind it in the early 20th was the Staines Printing Works with the offices of the Middlesex Chronicle.
Staines Town Hall. This was designed by John Johnson, architect and District Surveyor of East Hackney, and was built in a Flemish Renaissance style from 1880 modelled on a building in Ipswich. It has a clock with the Roman numerals for eleven in the place of nine. The Magistrates Court was based her between from 1967 to 1976.  It opened as an Arts Centre in 1993 but in 2004 it became a pub and it is now once again under consideration
Trafalgar Way Plaque. On the side of the Town Hall is a plaque which commemorate the 271 mile route taken by post-chaise  by Ltnt John Richards Lapenotiere in 1805 from Falmouth to the Admiralty carrying the news of the Battle of Trafalgar. He took 37 hours and made 21 stops to change horses; the 20th stop being at the Bush Inn at Staines - behind the current Town Hall
The Blue Anchor Pub. The pub was in existence before 1700 but it is an 18th town house with a Chequered front in red and blue vitrified bricks. The pub front is 19th in wood with a cast iron balcony. There are the five false windows bricked up, it is said, to avoid Window Tax. In 1957 George III coins were found and floorboards marked ‘1498’. The pub closed in 2006 and became The Boundary – a wine bar. It is now a restaurant
Telephone boxes. K6 Designed 1935 by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott
The Old Fire Engine Shed, at the back of the Town Hall was built 1880 and housed the Spelthorne’s museum from 1980 to 2003.  It is in  yellow brick with two archways inscribed "Fire Escape" and "Fire Engine". Painted terracotta bands and Doulton pottery ornamentation,

Memorial Gardens
Riverside gardens
Dove of Peace at the Methodist Church. A relief carving of the dove that symbolises peace.
The Origami Swans by Tom Brown in stainless steel. The swan is used because it appears in the Borough coat of arms.
The Swan Arches by Antony and Simon Robinson. Relief images on the legs of the arches were designed by children from Kingscroft Primary School and show local heritage Images.
Dancing Fountains with Five Swimmers. This sculpture is by David Wynne from 1980, and originally used as the centre-piece to the Elmsleigh Shopping Centre. There were complaints about the naked figures in and it was removed and later put here following some changes.
Methodist Church. The first chapel was erected in 1854 and the congregation moved to the present building in 1987

Moor Lane
Once led across Staines Moor to Colnbrook, but was closed off when the M25 was constructed.
Staines West Station.  This building was originally Moor House, built in 1820 for Charles Finch, mustard maker, and owner of Pound Mill, which adjoined. In 1885 it was converted to railway station by the Staines and West Drayton Railway who wanted to save money.  The front gardens of the house were at what is now the back of the building and provided space for tracks and a platform. This was a single line to join LSWR at Staines but it was taken over by GWR who insisted on single terminus.  Financed by the town's business men, it provided a link between the main GWR line to Paddington, and the L. &SWR line to Waterloo. It had a long single platform with a canopy plus a loading dock, a run round road. It was renamed Staines West in 1949 and was closed in 1965. The line was removed in 1981 because of the M25. The station has since become offices. The station wall stands with the sign “Staines West”. There is also part of the platform and a section of rail embedded in the car park floor. Two of the cast iron supports for the canopy support car park lights and a buffer is against a wall next to the pavement.
A line was built across the river in to the works of the Staines Linoleum Company in 1887.

Mustard Mill Road
Mustard Mill Road. There are four roads going off the roundabout, all are named Mustard Mill Road. Up to the 1990s Mustard Mill Road was a loop around the Staines Central Industrial Estate but it is now a through road through the industrial and trading area.
Remains of the mill race for Pound Mill where mustard was processed.

Packhorse Path.
This ran from Station Path to Thames Street opposite the Packhorse Hotel but was stopped up in 1972 and is now under South Street.
Rhodes Hall built for the Scouts opposite the Packhorse Hotel. It was to be the group H.Q. for the next 50 years

Prospect Place
1–4 House built 1860 in red brick.

Richmond Road
33-39 typical Edwardian house
38 Hazlewood House. House built 1860. This was the home of Lepar, the organ builder. His workshop is still in the garden.

Slipway. Horses towing barges were detached from them here and led to Staines Bridge in order to cross sides.
London Stone. This stone on the riverside is a replica. The original stone stood near here from 1285 marking the Corporation of the City of London’s limit of jurisdiction on the Thames. These rights were inaugurated in 1197 and held them until the Thames Conservancy was set up in 1857 as the highest point at which a tide could be detected. In the 18th the stone was to Lammas Park, and then replaced by a replica in 1986.  In 2012 the replica was moved here which is nearer the original site. The original stone is in Spelthorne Museum. The is a stack of six layers of stones of varying dates with on the top the words “God preserve ye City of London AD 1285””
Staines Town Pier. This opened in 2002 and is used to moor boats for river cruises.
Footbridge over River Colne mouth.  This was built in the 1980s to take the Thames Path over the mouth of the Colne
Heron carved from Portland Limestone by Simon Buchanan and called ‘The River Guardian”.

South Street
South Street. The road was built in the late 1970s as part of the development of the Elmsleigh Centre and provides a bypass around the south eastern edge of the town.  It parallels in part the disused railway line which ran from Staines High Street Station to the line to Egham.
The West Curve – this is also called the ‘railway chord’. It ran from what was Staines High Street Station to join the line to Egham. After passenger services no longer ran on it remained in use for freight until the mid-1960s after which the embankment was removed. There is a large car park on much of it.
Bus Station. Set up as part of the Emsleigh development.
Staines and District Synagogue. Many Jewish families were evacuated to Staines in the Second World War and Services were held in their houses. In 1952 the foundation stone was laid for a synagogue but in it was compulsorily purchased to allow for the development of the Elmsleigh Shopping Centre. A synagogue on a new site was consecrated in 1976.
Sweeps Ditch goes underground in a pipe across South Street. It then goes in a straight line for 300m under the south side of South Street to feed an older channel between the Elmsleigh Shopping Centre car park and the railway.

Staines Bridge
From Roman times until about 1410, Staines had what was probably the only bridge above London - both Saxons and Normans built bridges here and the earliest reference is in 1228.  It is the only point above London on which there is a suitable stable soil on which to place a bridge. Until the 19th bridges crossed the river behind the old Town Hall.   In the Civil War the bridge was cut, and replaced by a ferry but it was rebuilt in 1683 and a three span stone bridge was opened in 1797, which collapsed within a month because of poor foundations. In 1802 a cast iron single span bridge was opened following a display in Hyde Park - it had been designed by Thomas Wilson and developed cracks in the radial members.  It re-opened in 1807, heavily supported by a wooden framework and steel plates. It was decided to build the next new bridge near the confluence with the Colne.  It was designed by John and George Rennie and built in Aberdeen granite by Joliffe and Banks. It was opened by William IV and Queen Adelaide in 1832.  Tolls were charged until 1871 –in the Middle Ages river boats had also been charged. . It was widened 1958 by removing stone parapets and there is now a modern reinforced concrete footpath with metal railings over the parapets. 

Staines High Street
The High Street it lies directly on top of the Roman Road. Excavations since the 1960's have added to knowledge about the Roman Garrison at the bridge about 70 AD. It extended on either side of the High Street extending as far as South Street. Evidence has been found of trade with Europe. Until the 20th fairs were held here and in the Middle Ages, an Annual horse and cattle Fair was held in May from 1228, and later, Fairs took in July and September. ‘Middle Row'- At the widest part of the road, opposite Debenhams, there was, until 1802, a row of cottages down the centre of the street. These cottages marked the site of ancient market-stalls.
2-8 The George owned by Wetherspoons and opened in 1996. It is named after the Old George Inn which traded her from at least the 15th to the late 18th. Tesco occupied this site in the 1930s and after the Second World War opened Staines’ first supermarket here in 1957. In 1995, before the site was redeveloped, evidence was found of Iron Age and early Roman occupation, plus a 13th chalk lined well and at least three medieval hearths
24-26 Baroosh – this was the Angel Hotel on the site of one of the earliest inns here. A plaque dates it to the 16th but it is thought to date from 1309. The front is modern. It has a coach entrance but was remodelled in the 1920s with false timber framing
58-62 three storey block of shops with living accommodation over built 1889 in “Commercial Jacobethan”, Built on the site of Westbourne House owned by a member of the Ashby family.
65-67 Nat West Bank. A purpose built bank premises of 1920/30’s with a posh ground floor
71 Barclays Bank has since been rebuilt, but still occupies its original site.  
116 The Garibaldi Public House. “Tudorbethan” pastiche. Originally a timber built beer house in a row of cottages. These were demolished and replaced by brick buildings. Closed in 2010
118 Originally 16th but altered in the 18th and 20th. Remains of 16th gable at rear of shop and there is a well inside at the back. Building work has revealed a possibly 16th chimney and oven.
Johnson Johnson & Sharp’s Iron Foundry was east of the Blue Anchor. This began in a small ironmongers founded by the Ashby Family in 1790. In 1869, it was bought by Jesse Collins who had a number of managers and from 1889 the business was Johnson & Company although this name changed over the years. They produced street furniture.
Statue of two workmen carrying a roll of lino. This is by David Annad and is called Roll Out The Lino. There is a poem on the steel rod by Richard Price and Leona Medlin - Release Every Pattern - “Roll out the lino from Staines to the world! Release every pattern from chessboard to twirl! In every hopeful kitchen let life unfurl, bathrooms are artrooms from soapsuds to swirl! Roll out the lino from Staines to the world!”
Bush Inn. A bush was the medieval 'sign' of a tavern. It was an important staging inn with good accommodation and stabling. The Middlesex Militia had a permanent billet in the stable block. It was demolished to make way for Clarence Street, and the name was transferred to a new building linked by a small courtyard to the Clarence in Church Street.
Metropolitan Drinking Fountain.  This is a 19th stone drinking fountain which was moved here from Moor Lane in 2002 but until the 1950s had been in the Market Square. Originally it was a granite fountain, with a dog trough and cattle trough Bough through local subscription and transferred to Staines UDC in 1898. The dog trough has gone
Mosaic – the Borough Arms by Gary Drostle The coat of arms of the Borough is surrounded by a Roman guilloche pattern
Mosaics - By Gary Drostle. These are on Gateways at either end of the street and on four lamp-posts outside Elmsleigh Shopping Centre and feature mosaic panels illustrating local history.
Majestic Cinema. This was the second of an independent chain. It had a ‘Venetian scheme of decoration’ by W. E. Greenwood. The architect was S.B. Pritlove. It was taken over by County Cinemas in 1932 and by Odeon Theatres in 1939. It closed in 1961 and was demolished
New Empire Cinema. This opened in 1912 and was still extant in 1940 but had closed by 1944. The original decorative ceiling was revealed when the building was demolished in 1997
Staines High Street Station. This was opened in 1884 by the London & South Western Railway and closed in 1916. It was at the western end of a double-track triangle with Staines Junction station at its one end and the line to Egham at the other. It was on an embankment and had wooden platforms on wooden stilts with Steps from Mill Mead on one side and Factory Path on the other.
The Iron Bridge.  20th railway bridge plated and riveted construction of simple design, The Original bridge of 1848 was of arched cast iron and the stone wall plates are still visible under the present box bridge.
White Lion Inn. The name is a reference to the badge of Edward IV. This pub stood where the one way system goes into South Street and was demolished in 1956. It had been used as a court house and included a couple of cells
Friends Meeting House. This stood behind shops on the south side of the street and west of the Masonic Hall into the 1970s.

Station Path

Sweeps Ditch
This is a man-made stream which at one time was the western and northern boundary of Town Island. When the Elmsleigh Centre was built in the 1970s it could no longer receive water from the Colne and so in 1982 a pump house was installed but the stream now goes below ground.

Thames Street
Sweeps Ditch goes underground in a pipe across Thames Street
Railway obelisk 1856. Marker for the Coal and Wine Tax boundaries. In Cast-iron.
Congregational Church.  Built in 1830 and now demolished
Staines Community Centre
Masonic Hall. Staines Masonic Hall was established in 1927 60 Lodges and Orders who use the centre and its facilities.
Thames Lodge Hotel 19th buildings abutting highway. It was known for some time as the Pack Horse Inn.
42 – 44 now part of the hotel complex and formerly known as “Hook On” and “Shoot Off” cottages. Hook On' and ‘Shoot Off.  Two small cottages - The towpath terminated here so horses had to be unhitched, and walked around over Staines Bridge. The barges were tied up the cottages. And then hauled up river by a team of men and re-hitched to the horses.
Tilly's Lane
Water Nymphs, Sculpture by Mrs C Bigger.  A stainless steel sculpture of two water nymphs said to bring wealth and prosperity to the area.
Brick carving by Mr McKenna. Two ladies as the Colne and Wraysbury Rivers and a man who is Old Father Thames plus The Staines civic coat of arms represented by a swan.

Two Rivers Centre
The Two Rivers Shopping and Leisure Centre dates opened in 2002. It has shops, cafés, restaurants, a multiplex cinema and a health club, with large open air car parks. Mustard Mill Road divides it in two, the River Colne flows through it and the Wraysbury River flows around its boundaries. It stands on the site of much of the shopping centre The Staines Linoleum Factory
Brick carving. This shows two 2 boats coming together as the Two Rivers.
Time Continuum by David Backhouse. A sculpture which symbolises the life of Staines from Roman times to 2000. It is a simple sundial with figures which cast shadows at midday.
Water Sprites by David Backhouse. Sculpture of two river sprites for waterways which converge on the site.
Sweeps ditch stone – this and 15 plaques shoe the route of Sweeps ditch

Waters Drive
Gardens with memorial to the 1972 air crash where 118 people died

Wraysbury Road
Malthouse The redbrick building which is a 19th malt house which once formed part of the Ashby Brewery. It has five small windows and two doors to the front. Now used as offices.
Mill Cottages five cottages built 1880. They take their name from Pound mill
Pound Mill Sculpture in front of the Old Station placed here in 2006. It is by John Atkin.
Pound Mill. On the Wraysbury River existed in 1682, and in 1747 acquired by John Finch.  The name came from the nearby parish pound By the early 19th Pound Mill was a flour mill but mustard was the main business and this continued as Finch, Rickman & Company. Pound Mill Was sold in 1900, but continued to work until 1912 having been sold to Coleman’s of Norwich. In 1916 part of the machinery was dated 1712.
The pound was sold in 1824 with the workhouse,
Footbridge over the Wraysbury River. Under it is a weir on the site of the waterwheel for Pound Mill.

Art Journal
Brewery History. Web site
British History on Line. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Disused Stations. Web site
London County Council. Sewage leaflet
London Transport. Country Walks
Middlesex Churches
Middlesex County Council. History of Middlesex
National Archives. Web site
Penguin. Surrey
Pevsner and Cherry. Surrey
Robbins. Middlesex
Spelthorne Access. Web site
Spelthorne Council. Web site
Staines Historical Walks. Web site.
Staines Masonic Centre. Web site
Staines Town Society. Staines Town Trail.
Stevenson. Middlesex
Surrey Industrial Archaeology
Walford. Village London.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Wraysbury River - Yeoveney

Wraysbury River
The Wraysbury River flows south and south west
The County Ditch passes southwest wards through the area on the County boundary

Post to the east Staines Moor
Post to the north M25
Post to the south Lammas Lands and Egham Hythe
Post to the west Wraysbury and Runneymede, Bell Weir

The aqueduct was completed around 1900 to take water from the River Thames, to the two Staines Reservoirs

Junction 13. The section of motorway between here and Junction 14 is one of the busiest in Europe.  This junction is part of the Runneymede interchange where the M25 crosses the Thames and also carries the Staines bypass.
Lakes alongside M25 and Staines by pass. Gravel extraction sites, extracted by Hall & Co.

Moor Lane
Church Lammas Lands. Registered under the Land Registration Acts 1925 and 1936 with rights to graze a horse or cows between 1st August and 12th March. There was a long history of disputes over commoners' rights and enclosure on Staines Moor throughout the 18th and 19th. Eventually in 1870 by an Act of Parliament Westminster Abbey had powers to sell the freeholds and some was sold to Yeoveney Farm and some, including the Manor of Yeoveney, to the Ashby family – but commoners rights remained.  Ashby erected a fence along the road and a dispute ensued. The land was guarded by soldiers and one elderly parishioner. Thomas Wooster, was sent to jail for removing the fence.  A crowd met Wooster on his release from jail and burnt an effigy of Ashby. However Ashby continued to only allow access to those with permission and the fences remained.
Wraysbury River. Off-take flow control structure which enables flood water to by-pass the downstream section of the river
Swan Inn. Pub now closed and converted to housing.
Moor Cottage. Plain rendered 2 storey 17th cottage
Moor Farm
Smallholder’s cottage. This was acquired by Middlesex County Council under their Act of 1892, which allowed them to buy large plots of land and sell off in parcels to small holders

Railway Line
The West Drayton and Staines Railway ran between the Wraysbury and Colne rivers and then bridged the Windsor line and ran south east parallel to it. A curve built in 1940 to link the West Drayton and Staines line from a point south of Yeoveney Station to the Southern Railway Windsor Branch at Staines Moor Junction.  Removed, more or less unused, in 1947.

Wraysbury Road
Coal post on the north side and east of the County Ditch, which is the boundary between Berkshire, and Surrey, 50 yards east of Lammas Drive. This is on the county boundary but is not shown on old maps. It is speculated that this may be the post which was removed when Wraysbury Reservoir was built and which would now be underwater.
Obelisk. This Coal Tax marker was put here in 1979 from its place near Wraysbury railway station. On one side is the inscription:- This City of London Coal Duty Post originally erected in the mid 19th century near Wyrardisbury Station was re-erected here in 1979 by Meadhurst Club and Wraysbury History Group". On the other side the inscription reads:- "14&15 VICT CAP. 146." which refers to the enabling Act. Although this post has been moved it is near the County Ditch which is the boundary between Berkshire, and Surrey.
Greyhound Stadium. The track had a grandstand on the east side, and kennels. It also hosted stock car racing and speedway. This dated from around 1927 and had opened as Bell Weir Park. Site is now Queensmead Lake under water south of Wraysbury road and west of Lammas Drive.  Queensmead Lake is owned by the water supplier (currently Affinity) and is used for fishing by their staff.
68 Kotan Lodge. Half timbered building which is shown as a lodge to the park which, presumably, preceded the greyhound track.

Chapel – this was attached to Staines church. The site appears to lie under the Wraysbury Reservoir.
Yeoveney Manor Lodge with coach house and pineapple capped gate piers. 19th house with stucco exterior.

British Listed Buildings. Web site
Butterfield. They walked this way
Coal and Wine posts in London. Web site
Common Rights Assertion. Web site
Disused Stations. Web site
Hall & Co. A Century and a Quarter
Industrial Archaeology of Surrey
Middlesex County Council. History of Middlesex
Pastscape. Web site
Spelthorne Council. Web site
Surrey County Council. Web site
Wraysbury Parish Council. Web site

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Wraysbury River - M25

Wraysbury River

The Wraysbury River flows southwards
The County Ditch passes southwestwards (obviously) on the County boundary

Post to the east Staines Moor
Post to the south Yeoveney
Post to the west Wraysbury Lakes
Post to the north Wraysbury Reservoir

In this section the M25 runs partly on the line of the West Drayton to Staines railway.

Moor Lane
Runneymede Farm
Willow Farm
Yeoveney Station. This lay to the east of Moor Lane and accessed by a footpath. It was opened in 1892 for the rifle range.  It had a simple timber platform with a seat, a lamp and a back fence. At the rifle company’s request it was later called ‘Runneymede Range’ and then in 1934 changed to ‘Runneymede’ and then in 1935 to ‘Yeoveney’ . Trains only stopped when people asked, and not always then. Closed 1962.
The Metropolitan Rifle Range Company.  They built ranges for volunteers who did not want to go to Bisley and the ranges on Wimbledon Common had been closed. They came to Staines Moor with the connivance of the railway company. The ranges lay to the west of what is now the M25 and south and probably partly under the Wraysbury Reservoir.
Rifle Range Cottage. Built 1890. with Arts and Crafts influence.

Wraysbury Reservoir
The reservoir was opened in 1970 and is owned by Thames Water

Disused Stations Web site
Industrial Archaeology of Surrey
Spelthorne Council. Web site

River Colne - - Staines Moor

River Colne
The Colne flows south and is met by the Bonehead Ditch from the north. The River Ash leaves it to the east.
The Bonehead Ditch flows south and meets the Colne
The River Ash flows eastwards
The Wraysbury River flows south and east

Post to the north Staines Moor
Post to the west Yeoveney
Post to the south Staines and Egham/Staines The Hythe

The aqueduct was completed around 1900 to take water from the River Thames, to the two Staines Reservoirs. The river Colne passes over it in its own aqueduct.

Bonehead Ditch

King George IV Reservoir
The Reservoir was opened in 1947 and named after the then reigning monarch King George VI. It is owned by Thames Water.  It is entirely man-made, and Thames Water maintains a commercial flock of sheep on the reservoir banks to keep the grass on the reservoir banks close-cropped. The reservoir forms part of the Staines Moor Site of Special Scientific Interest and has wintering populations of wildfowl

Moor Lane
From Moor Lane a footpath runs north to give pedestrian and cattle access to the common. It passes over a number of features. A twin arch yellow brick brige crosses over the Wraysbury River, this is followed by a single arch red brick 1848 over the Windsor Railway line and a steel plate girder of 1885 over the now defunct Great Western Railway branch line
Staines West Station. Goods yard. There were two sidings, cattle pens and an engine shed and dock in an area with a separate entrance from Moor Lane.  There was also a water tower and a well with a signal box between the running lines and the goods area.  After closure the goods yard at Staines West was demolished and a rail accessed oil storage depot built in its place. The oil depot and siding processed oil from Purfleet owned by Cory/Shell.  When the line north of the station was severed by the M25 1981, a new rail connection to laid to serve the oil depot but it closed in 1991.
Moor Lodge. This was the Moor Keepers Cottage. There is a plaque which says  “1900 Herdsman’s Cottage erected by the Committee of Commoners out of funds received for the extinguishments of Certain Common Rights. Chas F Leake, Chairman”. The house is still owned by the Commoners Committee.

River Ash
The Ash is a distributary of the Colne but has been moved and altered in recent years. In the early 1960s its outflow from the Colne was moved south and east to make way for the Staines Bypass

Staines By Pass
Opened in 1961

Staines Moor
Designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, undisturbed by man for at least 1000 years. Local people have commons rights of Turbary

Vicarage Lane
Duncroft House.  The original house here is thought to have been Saxon and the site has signs of Bronze Age and Roman occupation. It is claimed that this is where King John, or someone, slept the night after he had signed Magna Charta at Runneymede – although the exact site of such a building is not clear. The current house was built in 1631 but the building now appears to be early 18th, enlarged 1893 in Jacobean style.  The rainwater head is dated 1621. Tudor style porch probably of the 1920s. Inside the panelled stair-hall seems 1770s. The Duncroft Approved School was here under Home Office control as a school 'for disturbed' girls, and later was under local authority control in the 1970s as a 'Community Home School', and was later taken over by Barnardo's.  The site has now been redeveloped for housing with flats in the main house

A30 Roaders Digest, Web site
Metropolitan Water Board. History
River Ash. Wikipedia. Web site.
Smith. London and the Thames Valley

River Colne Staines Moor

River Colne
The Colne flows southwards and is met by two tributaries from the west. The Bone Head Stream joins it on the east side and lies southwards

Post to the north Stanwellmoor
Post to the south Staines Moor
Post to the west M25

Bonehead Ditch
There is woodland along the ditch with willow and sycamore

Drainage Ditches
Lined with crack willow and hawthorn

King George VI Reservoir

Moor Lane
Yeoveney Farm - the site of the farm now lies under the Wraysbury Reservoir.. This was the site of Yeoveney manorial buildings have. In the 14th century the buildings included a hall and gatehouse as well as two granges, a byre, a cowhouse, and other farm buildings. The house was rebuilt in the first half of the 18th. In the 1950s it was described as L-shaped and had two storeys in red brick. Large timber-framed barns to the north, which were covered with corrugated iron, were thought to date from the 17th.

Staines Moor
Staines Moor represents the largest area of alluvial meadows in Surrey and supports a rich flora while the reservoirs hold important populations of wintering wildfowl. It also has the oldest known anthills of Lasius flavus in Britain; some of which are thought to be 180 years old. The Moor is a small remaining part of the old Manor of Staines. Originally a clearing in the forest it had not been ploughed for over 1,000 years and has been common land since 1065. Commoners, must live in the old parish of Staines, and can graze a horse or two cattle here. The grazing is managed by Moormasters, elected by the commoners.
Butts – remains of a rifle range opened in 1862 and closed in the 1890s following representations from the railway.

British History Online. Staines
Colne Valley Regional Park. Web site
Natural England. Web site

River Colne Stanwellmoor

River Colne
The River Colne flows south westward
Wraysbury River flows southwards

Post to the east Stanwell
Post to the north Poyle
Post to the south Staines Moor
Post to the west Wraysbury Reservoir

Cheltenham Villas
Houses built in 1934
It is said that from 1790 the parish owned five cottages used as poor-houses here. It is presumed any such workhouse was sold after the parish became part of Staines union in 1836 and was demolished shortly before the villas were built in 1934.

Farm Way
Lower Mill Farm. Part of this area once used for mineral extraction.
Mill. By 1791, this was a gunpowder mill owned by Curtis and Harvey 1832-1844. By 1896 it was a snuff mill. Soon afterwards it became a corn mill until it was burnt down in 1925

Hithermoor Quarry has a history of sand and gravel aggregate extraction and land fill from the mid 1950s. Part of the site has been used for landfill of domestic waste.
Hithermoor Lake. Former gravel extraction site used by anglers

Hithermoor Road
This road was a cart track in 1920 and was called Stream Lane. There were ditches in either side and cottage had planks across them for access. The road was upgraded in 1964.
Moor Stud Farm.  Riding School.  This farm has had a number of names over the past 100 years.
Stevens Fun Fair

Leylands Lane
Road alignments have changed since the 1890s when Horton Road and Hithermoor Lane met Leylands Lane at the Colne.
Lower Mill. In the 18th Lower Mill stood where Leylands Lane crossed the Colne. It was used as a corn mill, but demolished at the end of the 19th. There is said to be a section of old wall on the site which was probably part of the building.  The site is now Ponderosa Mobile Home Park..

The road covers the line of the trackbed of the Staines and West Drayton Railway on this stretch

British History Online. Stanwellmoor. Web site
Crocker.  Gunpowder Mills Gazetteer
Spelthorne Council. Web site
Stanwellmoor Residents Association. Web site
Surrey County Council. Web site

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

River Pinn Pield Heath

River Pinn
The Pinn flows south eastwards

Post to the west Cowley Peachey
Post to the north Brunel University

Apple Tree Avenue
One of a group of tree and flower names given to roads in the neighbourhood of Hillingdon Hospital.

Park View Road
Stockley Academy.  A co-educational secondary academy school in an aspirational school building around a central atrium.

Royal Lane
Hillingdon Hospital. Stretches down Royal Lane on the east side continuing from the area to the north
Meadow High School. Meadow High was until September 2007 a school and sixth form for pupils with moderate learning difficulties. It now accepts pupils and students with complex difficulties and autistic spectrum disorders.
Baitl Aman Mosque, a place of worship for the minority Ahmadiyya Islamic Community.  The building was previously the Irish Club.

Violet Avenue
Violet Farm Estate between the wars council housing.

Field. London Place Names,
London Encyclopaedia
Middlesex Churches,
Middlesex County Council. History of Middlesex
Stockley Academy. Web site
Walford. Village London

River Pinn Brunel University

River Pinn
The Pinn flows southwards
TQ 06025 82683

Area to the east of Uxbridge with University, hospital, schools and other useful institutions

Post to the west Cowley
Post to the north RAF Uxbridge
Post to the south Pield Heath

Church Road
Robbie Bell Bridge over the Pinn. Robbie Bell was a young boy killed by a car near here in the 1990s. A plaque on the bridge read: “COUNTY OF MIDDLESEX. TAKE NOTICE that this bridge (which is a county bridge) is insufficient to carry weights beyond the ordinary traffic of the district and that owners and persons in charge of locomotive traction engines and heavily laden carriages are warned against using the bridge for the passage of any such engines or carriages. Richard Nicholson. Clerk of the Peace. It is said that this plaque has been removed before it is stolen.

Colham Road
1 Merchison House. A local authority behavioural and day opportunity assessment service run by the Positive Behaviour Support Team in Hayes.
3 a purpose built residential building managed by the London Borough of Hillingdon

Coney Green
Bought by the council in 1926. An ancient and unidentified earthwork was uncovered here which lie near the eastern boundary of churchyard cross.  The site may have been a rabbit warren in the 16th. It was part of a large parcel of land owned by the Bishops of Worcester and gradually surrendered until the Rectory house, the last item, was sold in the early 20th.
Hillingdon Manor Cricket Club

Hillingdon Hill
This is the Oxford Road which divided the parish in two – most of the farms and cultivated land were south of it.
Vine Inn. Built in 1933 and with some original features
Hillingdon and Uxbridge Cemetery. This opened in 1856 which is an early date for a municipal cemetery. The main entrance is on Hillingdon Hill with the original gatehouse and entrance arch. There are two Early English style chapels, Church of England and Non-conformist, by Benjamin Ferrey. The cemetery has fine trees, including ornamental conifers, Wellingtonias, cypresses, cedars and araucaria. As well as an old oak pollard from the pre-cemetery use.

Ivybridge Close
Housing on the site of St. John’s Hospital, built by Berkeley Homes in 1991.

Kingston Lane
Isolation hospital. St John's Hospital. Uxbridge Isolation Hospital opened in 1894 with a single ward. Later more ward blocks were built so that patients with different illnesses could be nursed separately.  In 1948 the Hospital joined the NHS and was renamed St John's Hospital. Some of the older ward blocks were then used as offices and by 1950 were used for elderly chronically sick women and eventually day rooms were added for them. At the same time the hospital also took infectious cases.  In 1974 it became a long-stay hospital together with the headquarters of the District Health Authority. It closed in 1986. The buildings have been demolished and the site is now all housing but some old walls may remain.
Brunel University. Established here in 1967 having been originally founded as Brunel College of Advanced Technology, It is named from Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the engineer responsible for the Great Western Railway which went through Acton. It moved to this area of former farmland in the 1960s, getting a charter as a University in 1966.  It is made up of a number of other constituent bodies. One is Borough Road College originally Joseph Lancaster’s school in Southwark which moved to Osterley in 1889. Maria Grey College began in Bishopsgate as a teacher training college and moved to Twickenham in 1969. Shoreditch College of Education had moved to Englefield Green in 1951.  Acton Technical College was founded in 1910 and in 1957
became Brunel College of Technology.  Brunel College moved to a 170-acre plot in Uxbridge, which had previously been the Lowe and Shawyer nursery and market garden plus much of the old railway line which run into Vine Street.  The first students move to what was then Brunel University in 1967.  By 1980 the other colleges had become part of the University on other campuses and had been joined by a Research Centre at Hillingdon Hospital and a Science Park was set up at Uxbridge. By 2006 departments on other campuses had moved to Uxbridge.  It is now had eight constituent academic schools and 10 research institutes. The original Uxbridge campus buildings are by Richard Sheppard, Robson & Partners, Architects with a basic brutalist design. It is currently ranked 44 in the world list of top university
Laboratory Buildings. This includes the Physics, Mathematical Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry and Engineering Buildings by Stillman and Eastwick-Fields, 1969-71. They form a massive square with projecting upper floors, open to a central courtyard around which is an L-shaped group with four towers cantilevered out over lower buildings all in shuttered concrete
Corner beams cutting into the building, simply arranged
Library by Richard Sheppard, 1966-8, a simply arranged building with horizontal concrete panels
Brunel University Indoor Athletics Centre.  The shape of the centre is defined by the volumetric needs of the sport. The roof is an arch on wishbone steels halving the foundations needed. It was designed by David Morley in 2006.
Brunel University Playing fields and sports centre.
The Barn. 19th farm building now used as a hall available for parties and events.
Uxbridge Pentecostal Church. Part of the Assembly of God and the Evangelical Alliance
Uxbridge Mortuary and Coroner’s Office

Pield Heath Road
Hillingdon Garden Centre. This was previously Hutchings Nurseries run by Milton Hutchings and specialising in seasonal bedding and vegetables.
Hillingdon Workhouse. In 1744, the Hillingdon Vestry resolved to 'pull down the Parish Houses next to St. John's Churchyard; to use the materials to build a Workhouse’. This was ready by 1747, the new building with 9 rooms, a kitchen, hospital room, brewhouse and other buildings and in 1758 it was, contracted out. By 1768, room for spinning had been set up and by 1810, a schoolroom had been added. Uxbridge Poor Law Union was set up in 1836 with an elected Board of 20 Guardians. They bought the Hillingdon parish workhouse site for and built a new workhouse designed by William Thorold. Part of the old workhouse was converted into an infirmary and a chapel was added in 1875. In 1930, control of the workhouse passed to Middlesex County Council who began to develop it as Hillingdon County Hospital and Infirmary.
Hillingdon Hospital. In 1838 the Uxbridge Poor Law Union built a new workhouse on the site of the existing Hillingdon workhouse, and added an infirmity   In 1929 the workhouse and its infirmary came under the control of the Middlesex County Council who began to develop it as a county hospital and this included beds for the chronically sick and acutely ill mental patients.  The casual wards were still in use and all patients were admitted on the direction of the Relieving Officer. There was no Out-Patients Department and, there were no laboratory or pathology staff.   The floor of the operating theatre was of uncovered floorboards, which could not support a modern operating table. Gradually improved facilities were provided including in 1931 a portable X-ray apparatus. Accommodation for nurses was limited and rooms had to be rented outside.  The Second World War stalled plans for a new hospital. In 1940 temporary hutted wards had been built on the south side of Pield Heath Road - - near The Furze while coping with both military and civilian casualties.  In 1948 the Hospital joined the NHS. It then consisted of two parts, divided by a busy road and approval was given by the Ministry of Health for the Hospital to be rebuilt on The Furze. Gradually things began to change and throughout the 1950s and 1960s the hospital grew and modernised and stage one of a new hospital opened in 1966.  However the project then stalled although in the early 1970s the old workhouse buildings were demolished and the site sold although the water tower and boiler house remain.  New buildings and extensions continued to open an in 2011 the Hospital became an independent NHS Foundation Trust and the hospital continues to change and expand. The Trust is planning to replace all the buildings, including those dating from the 1960s, and create a 21st century hospital. 
Chantry Park private housing on the site of old hospital buildings
Kings Place private housing on the site of old hospital buildings
The Furze. Early 19th country house with a cement front used as nurses home, and other uses.
Pield Heath House School. Roman Catholic school for special needs pupils. The school was founded by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus of Mary. All Souls School opened in 1902 as a residential school for mentally defective girls. By 1963 basic education and domestic training were being given. The school is based around Pield Heath House which is a late 19th house. There is also an 18th stable building of painted brick. There is also an attached Convent, a Nursing home and a church

Robinwood Grove
The Grove. This is a triangular-shaped reserve with ponds and mixed woodland.   It was once part of the grounds of Hillingdon Grove, demolished in the 1970s.   It is managed by The Hillingdon Group of the London Wildlife Trust.  There are both native and exotic trees - false acacia and horse chestnut occur alongside oaks, ash and silver birch. Remnants of the old grounds include yew and holly hedges with rhododendron and cherry laurel. The grasses include meadow foxtail and false oat together with lady's bedstraw, St John's wort and meadowsweet. There are ponds with two ponds with a continuous trickle of running water yellow flag irises, rushes and sedges and a marsh area... the site is good for dead-wood resulting in a variety of beetles including Stag beetles. All three species of woodpeckers have been present

Royal Lane
St. John the Baptist.  This is the parish church of Hillingdon built of flint and on the hill top.  The earliest reference to church here is 1100. The earliest part of the present building however is the chancel arch, from 1270. The tower was built in 1629 and replaces an earlier one. It is embattled with an oak cupola plus ten bells and a weather vane. In the 1840s George Gilbert Scott, was asked to recommend works to expand the church and as a result an extension was built 1848-49. More work has been undertaken since. There is a war manorial dedicating the Lady Chapel and saying TO THE GLORY OF GOD/ THE LADY CHAPEL WAS RESTORED IN MEMORY OF THE MEN OF THIS PARISH WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918. The church has a number of brasses, including the Le Strange Brass, from 1509. 
Churchyard. The churchyard has been expanded several times and has been closed for burials since 1948.
Red Lion Inn. This has a 16th core and is said to have been visited by Charles I in 1646 when he fled Oxford. It is timber-framed and refronted around 1800. There is a stable extension at the back.
A W Smith & Sons, monumental mason. The site also once included a cafe. 16th building with 18th and 19th front and extension.
The Red Lion Hotel. This was the Cottage Hotel, and is divided from the pub by a monumental mason’s works. It is a 16th building
K6 Telephone box outside the Red Lion
Elm Tree Cottage. Large 19th house.
National School for Girls was opened here in 1903. It later became used as a church hall.  The site has now been sold for housing.
Bishopshalt School. Grammar School. Bishopshalt opened in 1907 when Middlesex County Council established Uxbridge County School here. The school occupies the site and grounds of a 19th house and its name was taken from the Rectory house owned by the Bishops of Worcester and where they rested while making trips to and from London.  It was the last remaining part of what had been substantial land holdings by the Bishops since the middle ages.  The school dates from 1907, when it was set up Uxbridge County School in the Greenway Middlesex Education Committee bought the present site in 1925 and moved the school there and it was officially opened by John Reith, Director-General of the BBC. The school name was changed to Bishophalt School in 1930.  The original house is now the north wing built in 1858 as a red brick Tudor style building with extensions. Inside is a stained glass window with the initials of the owner, Stephen Martin, of Day and Martin's blacking warehouse."
Grove Lodge. Lodge to Hillingdon Grove, mansion which once stood in this area

Bishopshalt School. Web site
Bishopshalt School. Wikipedia. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Brunel University. Web site
Clunn. Face of London
Hillingdon Garden Centre. Web site
London Borough of Hillingdon. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
London Gardens Online. Web site.
London Wildlife Trust. Wildlife sites
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Middlesex Churches
Middlesex County Council. History of Middlesex
Pield Heath School. Web site
Smyth. Citywildspace
Stevenson. Middlesex
St. John the Baptist. Web site
Uxbridge High School. Web site
Walford. Village London
Workhouses. Web site

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

River Pinn RAF Uxbridge

River Pinn
The Pinn flows southwards

Post to the west Uxbridge
Post to the north Uxbridge Common
Post to the south Brunel University

Dorset Way
Hillingdon Golf Course. The club was founded by Charles E Stevens in 1892.  Harry Woods, the then groundsman of the cricket club, constructed the course. The clubhouse was a disused lambing shed and there were only 35 members. In 1895 the members raised £30 to build a timber clubhouse. In the early 20th several acres of land were added to the course but when the Hillingdon House Estate was sold for housing it was thought the Club would close. However when war broke out the land was compulsorily purchased and the club was kept open. Negotiation with RAF resulted in the club being called the Royal Airforce and Hillingdon Golf Club until 1928. A local builder Robert Warren donated the land and the current clubhouse.  In 1950 16 Dorset Way was added as staff accommodation.

Hillingdon Hill
Stratford Bridge.  This was carrying the Oxford Road across the Pinn by 1410 and was a brick bridge by 1726.  The name means the ford by which the street, or main road, crosses the river.

Hillingdon Road
9 Chip shop which was the Green Man Pub
RAFA Battle of Britain Club
5 & 6 there is the date of 1826, on a stone plaque with name: PLEASANT PLACE.  A brick house with flat arches to the windows
11-12-13-14-20-21-22-23 18th houses in pairs 
15 19th building of yellow brick
16- 19 19th brick terrace divided by a carriageway under a central arch.
32-34 19th 2-storey villa
Hillingdon House. Part of the estate built as a hunting lodge in 1717 by the Duke of Schomberg. The Marchioness of Rockingham bought the house in 1786. In 1810 the estate was sold to Richard Cox, grandson of the founder of Cox & Co. Cox provided banking services for many regiments of the British Army in the 18th. The house was rebuilt after a fire in 1844. In 1907 the gardens covered 47 acres and contained a five-acre lake formed by a dam in the River Pinn.  The house is to become a central part of the redeveloped site as a restaurant and offices
St.Andrew’s Gate – the original entrance to Hillingdon House was here. It was opened as a ceremonial entrance in 1957
RAF Uxbridge was in the Hillingdon House estate which the British government had bought in 1915 for a prisoner of war camp but following local protests it became the Canadian Convalescent Hospital. This was joined in 1917 by the Royal Flying Corps Armament School who established firing ranges one of which remains today. The hospital closed in 1917. In 1918, the Uxbridge site came under control of the Royal Air Force, on the day it was formed. The station itself was designated RAF Central Depot, Uxbridge and split into two stations, RAF Hillingdon and RAF Uxbridge. The RAF School of Music moved here in 1919 followed by other departments. Ten barrack blocks designed by A. Gilpin were built around the parade ground in 1925, plus the RAF officers' hospital and the original Operations Room.  In 1936, No. 11 Group RAF was headquartered at RAF Uxbridge although fighter aircraft went to RAF Bentley Priory. RAF Bomber Command was based in Hillingdon House. In the Second World War the station dispatched people to and from units in Northern France. It housed the RAF Uxbridge Language School, British Expeditionary Force troops returning from Dunkirk were processed here.  During the Battle of Britain, in 1940, RAF Fighter Command at Bentley Priory received air threat warnings, filtered them and forwarded them to RAF Uxbridge, which allocated appropriate defence resources.  The RAF officers' hospital was converted to the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) hospital. The station served as an athlete's village for the male competitors in the 1948 Summer Olympics.   Control of RAF Hillingdon passed to Technical Training Command in 1957 that year and the entire site became known as RAF Uxbridge.  In 2008 the station became part of RAF Northolt in preparation for closure bad is now being redeveloped for housing as St Andrews Park
Battle of Britain Bunker. Planning for the No. 11 Group Operations Room began in August 1937. Problems with London Clay meant it was eventually built by Sir Robert McAlpine at 60 feet and able to withstand being hit by a 500-pound bomb. It was designed by Bob Creer of the Air Ministry. It was finished ten days before the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1975, the Operations Room was restored by No. 9 Signals Unit. The original map was repaired and returned to the table by the RAF Cartography unit, and a board detailing the readiness and activities of each sector squadron was rebuilt to resemble it as it was in September 1940. In 1985 a museum was created here and the site opened for group visits. A small surface blockhouse stands at the top of a stair which leads to an intermediate landing for the air conditioning and generating plant. Below, in the centre of the main room, is the plotting table with the WRAG plotting positions around the edge.  Above is a gallery with cantilevered glass windows for the Controller and his assistants.   The wall has an automatic 'Tote' board, showing the status of each airfield in the Group. The site is now a museum open to the public.
St Luke’s. The station church dated from 1933 and was built of wood and eventually the floor rose by 4 inches and was structurally unsound. In 1993 the church moved into a new permanent home, Building 231
Cinema. A building designed by Lieutenant J.G.N. Clift of the Royal Engineers became a lecture hall and later was the camp cinema, also open to the public until the Second World War. The outside is painted ironite and there are squash courts behind.
A memorial to the personnel of No. 11 Group, in the form of an obelisk made of Cornish granite, was placed above the Operations Room in 1957.

The Greenway
School buildings. Uxbridge County School was founded in the Greenway in 1907. The School moved in 1928 and the buildings became Greenway County Secondary School. These buildings are now part of Uxbridge High School which has a more recently built site to the west along Greenway.

Vine Lane
Hillingdon Court. Banker Charles Mills, of Glyn, Mills & Co., bought two houses here 1825 which he had demolished.  He used both sites as the site of a new house Designed by Philip Hardwick, in 1858. His son consolidated and enlarged the estate using it for shooting. The estate was sold in 1919 and in 1928 Uxbridge Urban District bought some land which became Hillingdon Court Park. The Roman Catholic order of the Sacred Heart bought the house itself in 1920 as a nursing home for the elderly and after the Second World War was used as a girls' convent school. In 1978 it was sold to ACS International Schools who added buildings as well as restoring the original house. However, several original outbuildings had already been demolished– stables, aviary, laundry and others including it is said a tunnel through which tradesmen could arrive at the house unseen.
ACS are private schools founded in London, in 1967 by Gordon E Speed and Emmanuel J Poularas to serve the needs of international families with three schools in London and one in Doha, Qatar
RAF sports ground and cricket pitch. It is seen as the ‘home’ of RAF cricket. This site has been a sports ground since 1923 and has been owned by the RAF Sports Board since 1949.  The earliest recorded cricket march there was in 1939. The playing surface is matched by a pavilion that is the envy of the Services.  The ground has hosted matches at county and test level.
Cedar House.  This was originally a cottage of 1560 remodelled in the 18th. The house was occupied during the early 18th by Samuel Reynardson the botanist who is said to have planted the cedar tree outside in 1742 and which has named the house. The current tree is a replacement. In the 1950s it was Rutland House private school. Following refurbishment by Peter Bond & Partners for civil engineers Shephard Hill it is in use as offices.

ACS International Schools. Web site
British History online. Hillingdon. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Clunn. Face of London
Hillingdon Golf Club. Web site.
London Borough of Hillingdon. Web site
Hillingdon Court. Wikipedia. Web site
London Drinker
London Encyclopaedia
Middlesex County Council. History of Middlesex
Mills. Dictionary of London Place Names

Osborne. Defending London
Pastscape. Web site
RAF Cricket Association. Web site.
RAF Uxbridge. Wikipedia. Web site
Stevenson. Middlesex
Walford. Village London

Monday, 23 December 2013

River Pinn Uxbridge Common

River Pinn
The Pinn flows south and south-westwards

Post to the west Uxbridge
Post to the north Swakleys Roundabout
Post to the south RAF Uxbridge

Blossom Lane
16 Court Farmhouse

Celandine Route
Walking route along the River Pinn

Dowding Road
Defence personnel housing managed by Annington Properties.

Gatting Way,
Middlesex Showground – site for County shows, and other major events
Uxbridge Lido. Built in 1935 in a nautical moderne style with a unique 12-sided "star" shaped pool. It has two fountains in a line, north and south of the pool.  A grandstand on the eastern side is built of reinforced concrete with three levels including the open flat roofed viewing terrace. The architect was G. Percy Trentham.  Hillingdon Council closed the pool in 1982 season and it was then reopened by Uxbridge Pool Action Group in 1984. They installed solar heating panels and a water slide. The Council took the pool back in 1989.
New sports complex opened 2010 includes: Astroturf pitches for 5 a side football; running track. There is a 400m running track with 8 lanes and a 10 lane home straight. It has hurdles and a steeplechase pit; Exercise Studios with semi-sprung floors; conference suite overlooking the stadium track; cafe; gym with cardiovascular machines, resistance machines and weights and stretching areas; indoor basketball courts; Indoor cycling studio; petanque terrain with five pistes; an indoor Olympic sized 50 metre pool and an outdoor Olympic sized 50metre pool; long jump pit; badminton courts
Hillingdon House athletics grounds. As part of the new development, the track was refurbished as part of the new complex
Artificial ski slope this dry ski slope closed in 2002 following a fire and is now derelict.

Hercies Road
The origins of Hercies Manor are obscure. It is first mentioned in 1386 and in the same ownership as Swakeleys, with which it remained.

Honeycroft Hill
Hillingdon House Farm, in the 1930s this was at the junction with Hercies Road
Chestnuts. Humanist Housing Association. The house was rebuilt in the early 1980's because of the state of decay of the original house, which was replaced with an exact replica of the original. William Wilberforce lived here from 1824 to 1826 after he retired from Parliament and was waiting for his new house at Mill Hill to be ready.
Territorial army 47 (Middlesex Yeomanry) Signal Squadron (Uxbridge)

Park Road
Uxbridge College. The College dates to 1935 when Uxbridge Urban District Council called for a technical school. Approval was given by Middlesex County Council in 1937 for land at Hillingdon Farm Estate to be used for a Technical Institute. This was however held up by the Second World War and the land was used for growing vegetables. Uxbridge Technical College was on the reserve list for the Ministry of Education’s 1952/53 building programme and work eventually began in 1961 to be opened in 1966, In 2006 The Mall opens at the Uxbridge Campus and 10,000 students were enrolled on courses there and at a site in Hayes. Expansion continued with new sports areas.
57 Uxbridge Early Years Centre
Park Road Ponds.  This consists of three ponds two of which are managed by London Wildlife Trust.  The main pond is surrounded by crack, goat and grey willows young oaks and alder. It has water invertebrates - snails, snails, pond skaters, whirligig beetles, damsel and dragonflies. Together with Uxbridge College Pond and the other pond it is managed for populations of amphibians, including great crested newts.
Cottage Hospital. Laura Cox, daughter of a local banker and landowner, campaigned for the establishment of a hospital for Uxbridge. In 1869 her family donated two cottages in Park Road for a Cottage Hospital. In 1879 the Hospital moved to larger premises in Park Road and in 1914 it moved to Harefield Road.  Red Leys housing is now on the site.
119 Gardeners Arms. This was a Courage Pub but is now owned by Enterprise Inns.
Housing on the east side behind walls is (or was) Ministry of Defence housing managed by Annington Properties

St Andrews Road
RAF Sports stadium and athletics track, within the Ministry of Defence Estate.  The stadium was set up in the 1920s when the RAF took over the site and was used by Uxbridge Football Club and open to the public. It was closed at the outbreak of the Second World War.

Sweetcroft Lane
Private building here from the time of the A40 opening in the 1920s.
Hercies Farm stood near the junction with Sweetcroft Lane. In 1922 it was acquired by the local authority.
117 Perseverance Scout Hut. Now used as a day nursery and as the guide headquarters

Uxbridge Common
Uxbridge Common. What remains are five-acres. It was part of Northolt and Uxbridge Common.  The Enclosure of Hillingdon Parish in 1819 had reduced the Common, which had been 4 miles in circumference and covered both sides of Park Road. In 1898 the land was transferred to Uxbridge District Council from Ralf Leycester and this was 5 acres and it was to remain as unenclosed public open space. It is an important wildlife area dominated by Gorse and other heath land species.  There are beetles, flies, moths and butterflies and many birds are found there. There is a pond with Great Crested Newts,

British History. Online. Uxbridge
English Heritage. Web site
Fusion. Hillingdon Sports Centre Complex. Web site
Hillingdon Sports Centre. Wikipedia. Web site
Humanist Housing Association. Web site
Lidos in London. Web site
London Borough of Hillingdon. Web site
London Wildlife Trust Website
Lost Hospitals of London. Web sit
Middlesex Show Ground. Web site
Middlesex Yeomanry. Web site
Uxbridge College. Web site

Sunday, 22 December 2013

River Pinns Swakeleys Roundabout

River  Pinn
The Pinn flows southwards

Post to the west Willowbank
Post to the east Swakeleys
Post to the south Uxbridge Common

Major route from London to Oxford

Celandine Route
Walk along the Pinn

Common Plantation
Area of woodland dominated by pedunculate oak, sycamore and ash. Damp areas support grey, crack and goat willows and the woodland floors are dominated by bramble.

Park Wood
This lies to the east of the River Pinn and is believed to be a remnant of ancient woodland. The canopy is fairly open and unusually, dominated by ash and wych elm. The River Pinn flows through the wood and dense shade has limited the aquatic flora.

Swakeleys Road
Swakeleys Roundabout

Warren Road
Vyners School. This opened as Vyners Grammar School in 1960, later becoming a comprehensive. It is named after Sir Robert Vyner, a former Lord Mayor of London who lived at Swakeleys House at one time

Water Tower Close
A water tower .built in 1906, resembling a church tower,

Weatherleys Covert
Open fields

Department of Transport Web site
London Borough of Hillingdon. Web site
SABRE Roaders Digest. Web site
Vyners School. Web site.