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Wey Bridge. The
older bridge with cast-iron arches dates from 1865. Plates on the spans bear
the inscription 'Jennet, Spink and Else, Bridgewater' but this only identifies the firm
which made the castings. Some of the engineering bricks are impressed with
'Joseph Hamblet, Oldbury, Birmingham, 1865' but this is probably the name of
the brick maker. The bridge was designed by C H Howell, the County Surveyor and
built by Henry Bond, of 19 Great George Street. It replaced an earlier one
which was made of timber and had 13 arches. Before that there is said to have
been a bridge 240 feet long but only wide enough for horses Replaced in 1808 and present
bridge 1865. Iron balustrade and stone footings, six rib iron structure. 25 tiers
with blue engineering brick. Tie irons front.
made of concrete, replaced a brick bridge in 1956 in preparation for the
extraction of gravel from the fields between the Navigation and the river. The 'new' bridge with its associated wider and
straighter road linking Weybridge and Addlestone was begun in 1939 but not completed until after
World War II.
ultrasonic gauging station Below the bridge on the towpath side and it registers the state of
the river and relays the information to the water authority. A brick cabin on
the downstream side of the bridge abutment houses the transmitter.
Lowest Lock on the Wey. Designed to
raise the water level to give 3ft clearance. This lock, rebuilt from time to
time, is said to incorporate some Tudor bricks from the demolished Oatlands
Palace. One report says these are in one or both cills. If so they will be visible only on
those rare occasions when the lock is drained for some major maintenance work.
The tumbling bay at Weybridge Town Lock is unusual, being L-shaped. This allows for
longer 'steps' and directs the tumbling water against itself to some extent,
thus reducing the force of the overflow.
Oatland Park Hotel Zola lived there for a while, wrote
Spinney Hall . Zola
The Wharf. On the non-towpath
side of the river, between the two bridges, is a 1990s residential development.
The site had been, for many years, the wharf and depot of the builders'
merchants, Eastwoods. For a time barge-loads of bricks were brought up the Thames and
off-loaded here. The records show, from 1900 to 1920 at least, Eastwoods &
Co. had their own barges, Landrail and Surrey, bringing cargoes of up to 55
tons of bricks or 60 tons of cement. Between 30 June and 6 September 1920, 19
cargoes of aeroplanes totalling 165 tons were loaded 'at Weybridge' to go
downstream. They were almost certainly surplus production from Brooklands where
a number of firms had built aircraft during World War I and may have been put
on barges at Weybridge Town Lock or possibly, by arrangement with Eastwoods, at
their wharf. The following year, from 7 June to 19 July a further 18 cargoes of
aeroplanes totalling 171'/a tons were loaded here to go downstream. Where they
went has not been established. They were carried on barges, some belonging to A
J Harmsworth, who was based on the Basingstoke Canal, and some belonging to
bargemaster E Smith.
Penfolds Boat-house. On the towpath side between the two bridges there was, for many
years, a boat-house. In about 1920 Mr Butler moved here from his site some
650 yards upstream on the opposite bank. Though skiffs and punts were no longer
hired out, boats were still repaired and moored here into the 1980s. Riverside
residences now occupy the site.
Hamm Moor Lane
Gravel Pit alongside
canal. Extraction of gravel from 1956. The gravel pit became a lake but has
been backfilled and the land returned to agriculture.
Round House. 1800 connected to a cottage and probably for the lock.
Coxe's Lock. Water mill. New mill through new and old
site. 1862 iron mills. 1777 Raby, Rogers and later Bunn. Silk and then
corn. Raby had a hammer hear called
‘hackering Jack’ which delivered 2,700 blows an hour. Until 1980s corn by barge. Beside the Allied Mills – nothing left of the
old water mill. Office block dates from 18th and turbine building is
older. Over the railway bridge we
come to 'one of the best pieces of industrial architecture in Surrey'. The main block is six storeys high. What is so startling is the windowless wall
facing us which extends fully to the roof. Began in the late eighteenth century
as an iron foundry and mill, the water-race operating the machinery and a
forging hammer. The earliest buildings are those beside the weir. It was not
until the 1830s that it became a flour mill in which capacity it continued to
operate until early 1983 when it was closed by Allied Mills. Until 1969 the
grain was delivered to the mill by barge, and there was a brief revival of this
method in 1981 before the final closure. Grade II listing. The highest buildings were constructed
between 1901 and 1906. The silos, however, are post-war.
Business Park Offices. Alongside
the old bridge there was once a blacksmith's cottage - Abbis' Forge. This site
later became an Esso petrol depot, then an oil distribution depot and is now
Trading Estate. In
1843 a Mr Thomas Liberty bought land upstream of the forge, on the same side of
the Navigation, and started a sawmill. It was powered by water drawn from the
Navigation and discharged into the Bourne Stream. The following year he was
complaining of a shortage of water caused by the bargemen letting it through
Weybridge Town Lock in order to get sufficient depth for themselves in the
reach beyond, where the Flocktons were taking a great deal of water to work
their mill. Later owners of Liberty's sawmill were Gridleys and Brewsters,
familiar names in the timber business locally well into the 20th century. The
area continued to be associated with woodworking when it became the site of the
Airscrew works, making wooden propellers, and then of Weyroc who made
chipboard. Now a rebuilt industrial/commercial trading estate, it has a variety
of occupiers. Lang's Propeller Works.
Pelican. The Pelican public house is not
shown on the Jago map of 1823 but had been licensed as a beer house some time
before 1869. It was still licensed to sell only beer for consumption on and off
the premises when a return was compiled in 1892. The present 20th
century building is fully licensed.
Railway. The iron bridge
over the canal carries the Weybridge-Chertsey railway line which opened in
1848. Later the line was extended to Virginia
Water where it connected with lines to Staines, Ascot, Wokingham and
Thames Lock . Ham Haw Mill or Weybridge Mill at junction of Wey and Wey navigation. Wherever a lock was built a
head of water was created, so establishing a new site where water power was
available. Thames Lock has a fall of some 8ft 6in
and, within 40 years of its construction
a mill had been built on the bank of the cut just above the lock. It was known
as Ham Haw Mill, later as Ham Mills. From 1817 to 1842 the mill was closed. It
had been first a paper mill and later a corn mill and an iron works. Little is
known about the early occupiers or their activities. A weir and channel bear
Coulson's name. John Bunn was a London iron merchant who set up a works here
and at Coxes Lock, which is also on the Wey Navigation. He is known chiefly for
the trade tokens he issued when coinage was scarce. They bear his name and
portray an industrial building. 'Bunn Pennies' and the even rarer shillings are
much prized. The arrival of Walter Flockton and his brother Thomas Medcalf
Flockton in 1841, intent on building a new mill to extract oil from seed by
crushing, was the start of a dispute between them and the proprietors of the
Navigation which went on for several years. Letters and other documents of the
time which have survived in the archives of the Navigation provide a lively
picture of events. Determined - not to say unscrupulous - businessmen, the Flocktons claimed rights
over land and use of water. They defied a weak and distant Navigation
management whose local man, doing his best to defend his employers' interests,
suffered much abuse and harassment. The matter went to Guildford Assizes on 7
and 8 August 1846,4 resulting in a Deed of Arrangement in 1849, but the dispute
was still rumbling on in the 1880s and 90s. Among the works carried out by the
Flocktons was the installation of a second waterwheel to provide more power.
This required another sluice to draw more water from the Navigation and they
don't seem to have been too particular about asking for permission to do this.
With two wheels in use all day and sometimes all night there was often not
enough water left in the Navigation for
the barges. When vessels grounded the bargemasters, crews and Navigation
proprietors were not amused. Oil extraction from linseed, cottonseed and
rapeseed continued under various proprietors, Nias and Whittett among them,
until the 1960s. The product - oil for floor covering (linoleum), for paint and
for food, with the residue compressed into oil-cake for animal feed - is highly
combustible. There have been at least two spectacular fires. On one occasion the
river was said to be alight with burning oil on the surface. Following the last
fire the buildings and plant gradually disintegrated and disappeared.
Woburn farm. Near Weybridge was site of garden built by
Philip Southcote 1753 now gone William Kent, described by Horace Walpole; 1735
improved by William Kent