M25 Byfleet Wey Navigation
Post to the south Byfleet West Hall
Post to the north New Haw
Trading estate and industrial area. This was developed as an industrial area post-Second World War. Industries include: Brewhurst Health Food Supplies, Acoustic Engineering Services, Newman Turner Publications, Electron Beam Processes, Metal Pretreatments, Henshalls Air Aviation, Southborough Ironworks, etc etc
The Basingstoke Canal dates from 1794, built to connect Basingstoke with the Thames, to which end it joins the Wey Navigation at Byfleet – in the square to the north. This stretch goes through the boggy valley of the Rive ditch. It was never a commercial success and from 1950 became derelict. From 1977 it was restored for leisure users and reopened from the Wey to the Greywell Tunnel in 1991.
Woodham Bottom lock. This is the first lock on the canal from the junction with the Wey Navigation. It was unworkable from 1968 until repaired in 1987.
New housing – built since 2012 – on site shown as ‘engineering works’ in the 1970s. Later use for the motor trade.
Site of the Britax works.
The Canada Road area had been the site of a local road building gravel pit in the 18th. The site was purchased by B. W. Fromson, in 1952 He had come from Canada and built aircraft hangars for the Admiralty in the Second World War. He set up a works here for fabricating steelwork and gradually developed surrounding agricultural land into an industrial estate. Many firms moved here – including the office copier company, Gestetner, Cooper Cars and many others. The original 1950s and ‘60s buildings have now all been replaced and many new firms moved in.
Byfleet Technical Centre
Sir Hans Sloane. This company says it makes ‘posh’ drinking chocolate and have named themselves after 17th Sloane who, they say, developed an early recipe.
Panther Westwinds., This car company’s original factory was here. It had been started in 1972 by Bob Jankel and built unusual cars. It was bought from the receivers in late 1980 by Jindo Industries and became the Panther Car Company. In 1983 the company moved its production facilities to a new location inside the Brooklands circuit but kept the Canada Road site for its service department. In 1988 they moved to Harlow.
Supercraft. This is a ‘Make to Print’ supplier to the Aerospace and Defence Equipment industries.
Access Business Park. This was built in 2007 replacing older trading units.
British Bakeries. They were on the site which is now the Access Business Park. They are the bread making arm of Rank Hovis McDougall and are part of Premier Foods.
APT Electronic Industries Ltd. they were established here and moving in 1960. They were an enlargement of All Power Transformers Ltd, who manufactured transformers for other manufacturers in the 1940s-50s. They made valves and transistors from about 1957 and were on the site now the Access Business Park.
59 Kings Head Pub. Demolished in 2010. Dated from the 1920s. It is said to have been of particular interest because This pub was of huge historic interest because it was where many of the early aviators at Brooklands - A.V.Roe, and Tom Sopwith - met in the evenings. The site is now housing.
French’s Farm, this farm appears to have survived into the 20th and was sold by auction in 1913. By 1940 it was the Tudor Works, where Ebenezer Mears was supplying furniture. Mears appears to have moved and it was taken over by Cycle Master in 1950 that produced a German invented engine fixed to a bicycle wheel. Other manufacturers here included the Piatti scooter. In 1960 Cyclemaster were taken over by Britax who made seat belts including the inertia reel. The works name was changed to Proctor Works after a new managing director. The site is now housing.
Tarrant site – this appears to be south of French’s Farm. Walter George Tarrant was a builder who lived nearby in Lake House. In 1895, aged 20, he set up his own building company, W G Tarrant Ltd, in Byfleet and built extensively nearby. By 1911 his premises in Byfleet covered over five acres and included workshops for joinery, wrought iron and leaded lights, a stonemason’s yard, and a timber mill with drying sheds employing 5,000 people.. He also owned nurseries and brickfields. He developed some of the major posh estates including St. George’s Hill. In the Great War the company manufactured large numbers of prefabricated wooden huts for military use and also built the Tarrant Tabor a six-engined triplane bomber - briefly the World's largest aeroplane. After the war the company continued to built with council and other contracts.
Dartnell Park Road
Dartnell Park was developed from 1887 as a private residential estate. A few of the original houses remain but others have been replaced with small estates or more modest houses.
Dartnell Park House. This was a residential property sold in 1929. The house stood until the late 1960s in which time it was in institutional use. It appears to have been a ‘Fellowship House’ –from contemporary reports of Royal visitors.. There were several of these houses in the Byfleet area, centering on Clock House in central Byfleet and which provide housing for the elderly. Dartnell Park is however not mentioned in their literature. There are now other houses on the site.
Heathervale Recreation Ground
Local authority sports and amenity space. The site borders on the Basingstoke canal and appears to have been laid out pre-Second World War. It was previously woodland.
The section of High Street in this square is a slip off Parvis Road – which continues as the main road into Byfleet.
2 Queens Head. Large pub and hotel which appears to date from the mid 19th. It is said to have originally been called The Leather Bottle.
War Memorial, This is a brick cenotaph with a stone capstone. It has an inscription as follows: 1914 1918 This Memorial was erected to the Glory of God and in grateful memory of the men of the Parish of Byfleet who gave their lives in the Great War not grudgingly or of necessity but that truth and justice might prevail (list of names) we gratefully honour and remember these names. 1939 - 1945 (list of names) The men of the British Empire who were killed in action or died of wounds during the Great War numbered 908,371”
Pound – the War Memorial is on the site of the village pound
Up to the 1930 a pond, or lake stood on the north side of the road.
Kings Head Lane
Byfleet Primary School, The school here dates from the early 1950s.
This is on the site of Lake House, and the lake. This was the home of Walter Tarrant, local developer and builder of sectional buildings and aircraft.
Old Parvis Road
This is the line of the old main road into Byfleet from the west. In the 1970s the road was diverted to provide a new bridge over the Wey Navigation.
Parvis Bridge – this carries Old Parvis Road over the Wey Navigation. This was rebuilt in 1760 in brick and timber. It is at present single span winged brick with a modern looking iron bridge.
Parvis House - Byfleet Boat Club. the original Byfleet Boat was built on the west bank of the Wey Navigation by Frederick Stoop. He was a Dutch entrepreneur who had married the heiress to the West Hall estate. He was thus building a social club for the estate being developed on his wife’s land. It had a first floor clubroom with a wide balcony with stairs at each end leading down to the boat house beneath and the boat deck in front. After the Second World War things changed and it was eventually converted into a house known as Parvis House, which has since been replaced.
Byfleet Boat House. Stoop had an arrangement with Hugh Locke-King, the owner of the Brooklands estate and built a boat house on his land on the east bank in 1911. The Club’s Boat Steward and most of the boats were moved there. After the First World War Stoop decided to start a boat club for the less well off villagers and this was set up as a a trust which included himself, two elected representatives of the Parish Council and two Stoop appointees. It was called the was Byfleet Village Boat Club. It was given craft no longer required by Byfleet Boat Club members and the working class boat club members could share the Boat House with the steward. In 1933 Stoop died and also Byfleet Parish Council became part of Woking Urban District Stoop had left the boat house to the Parish Council and it was not until 1941 that it passed to the Urban District. In 1949, the Council tried to re-open it and hire out boats but the costs were too high. A new youth club began to use the building and then some boaters asked to use it for repairs. The two merged and Byfleet & District Boat Club was set up – but the two incompatible elements came to blows at committee meetings, So the youth club left and the boat club has continued since
Parvis Wharf. There was a wharf here from at least 1775. It seems to have been used by Byfleet Mill, to the east on the natural river, During the Great War barge-loads of sectional buildings were sent downstream by Tarrants. When the war was over the cargo was aeroplanes.
Parvis Wharf Barn. This is a timber-framed barn on a brick plinth, with weatherboard and corrugated iron cladding. It is thought to be a later 19th structure.
The Grist Mill. This is a storehouse with brick lower storey and weatherboard cladding. There are the remains of an iron hoist. Tyhe structure is noted in 1807 and James Yeowell, grocer, mealman and coal merchant used this in the early 19th. It has been called 'Grist Mill' and this may relate to use of a horse mill. Iin 1932 the premises were occupied by Surrey Grist Mills Ltd
This is said to be ancient woodland
Oldwood Pond. This is thought to be an ornamental pond dating from the early 19th and part of the West Hall estate. May have been used to provide ice for the ice house.
Icehouse. This was for the West Hall estate. It is circular and domed on a mound totally above ground level. A corridor and steps go high up the side of the chamber.
The north end of Oyster Lane is heavly commercial. In 2017 these are mainly upmarket car dealers – the road runs along the western banking of the Brooklands circuit. There are also some storage companies and builders and in others in the past..
123 Cawkwell precision engineering
Brummer Stoppings. This was a factory making wood fillings
Cressite Works – they made various rubber mouldings,
The old bridge over the Navigation has been replaced with a bridge which also crosses the M25.
St. Mary’s School. This was the original school, the successor to which is now in Hart Road
St. Mary’s Centre for the Community. Facilities in the old school buildings.
Walnut Tree Lane
Scout Hut. This was built in 1955 and is now being replaced with a facility elsewhere.
Stringham’s Farm. This was alongside the Navigation on its east side near Oldwood on the west.
Beamon and Roaf. The Icehouses of Britain
Byfleet Boat Club. Web site
Byfleet Heritage. Web site
Canal Plan Gazetteer. Web site
Eggerdon-Holland. Web site
Imperial War Museum. Web site
Knowles. Surrey and the Motor.
Panther Car Club. Web site
Runneymede Council. Web site
Sir Hans Sloane. Web site
Vine. London’s Lost Route to Basingstoke
Wardle. The Wey Navigations
Wikipedia as appropriate
Woking History and Heritage. Web site