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


Peter M said…
Queensmead Lake is a former gravel pit now a reservoir owned by Affinity Water who in 2016 refused to allow public access following a request by Wraysbury Parish Council. The Affinity Water Angling Club fish the water.
Peter M said…
The chain ferry to Church Island is still visible close to the entrance to The Lammas. It was made operational again some years ago, but is now again out of use, I think following damage in the 2014 floods.
Peter M said…
Swimming Pool:

I don't think there was ever a swimming pool, but there was a bathing area with a diving board on the bank of the Thames in the Lammas. The paved area is still there but there is just a gap where the diving board used to be. I learnt to swim here and there were a few youths in the water here last summer. A lttle further back were two paddling pools; one is now a 'splash pool' and the other a general play area with swings etc for young children.
Peter M said…
Ashby Recreation Ground
Earlier in the 19th century there were riots in Staines over enclosures and the enclosure of the Lammas Lands around 1885 caused considerable unrest - and eventually after many years was the reason for the land being given back as a park. There are buildings used by the Sea Cadets and the Staines Brass Band, a contest band and their community band, now called the Lammas Band. Sadly the railway has gone, the rain shelter is shuttered and the bandstand is very seldom used, but there is still a hut selling ice creams, teas etc, open daily in the Summer and on winter weekends.
Peter M said…
The London Stone has now been moved back close to its original position on the riverside by the old Staines Town Hall (now flats). The stone stands on two levels of plinth and I think one of these dates back to the nineteenth century but the others as you say are modern replicas.
Peter M said…
Church Lammas Lakes

On the north side of Wraysbury Road the former gravel pits and the area surrounding them are now open to the public with pleasant walks around the lakes, managed by Spelthorne Council. The County Ditch runs along the west edge of the area, and a aecond exit to the north end leads to public footpaths.

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