Saturday, 31 October 2009

The London/Hertfordshire border - Harefield

The London, Hillingdon/ Hertfordshire boundary goes northwards along the River Colne

River Colne
The Colne flows southwards

Post to the south Black Jack's Mill
Post to the north Springwell
Post to the west West Hyde

Sites on the London, Hillingdon side of the border


Grand Union Canal
1-4 Riverside Cottages. 19th listed.
White cottage, 19th listed. originally for canal workers.
Water from the canal is diverted through the mill before Coppermill lock.
Milestone, showing that it is 77 miles to Braunston
Bridge over a spillway which carries excess water from the canal to the River Colne,
Bridge over the entrance to a moorings basin.
Pipe bridges, the second of which has a water depth gauge on the far side to regulate water in watercress beds.
Watercress beds there were many miles of beds alongside the canal, although most are now disused.

Coppermill Lane
Royal Quay. Mill area and ancillary building converted to housing and light industry. 1990s reworking of the industrial buildings.
Electricity sub-station, a brick building like a small chapel with a big window and a transformer- sitting inside.
Mill. This had a 1930s style bell tower and, in the 1980s, wrought iron gates painted in turquoise "Bell Works" and "The Harefield Rubber Company". Some parts of the site were. The Mills are mentioned in the Domesday Book and in 1674 was working as a corn mill and in 1683 a paper mill. In 1781 the mills were they were leased to the Mines Royal Company together with the Manor House and in 1802 copper was processed there. Copper came from Glamorgan and was rolled for use on the bottom of the ships in the Napoleonic Wars. It is said that the copper on the dome of St.Paul’s came from here. In 1803 production was 3.0 tons of copper a week but by the mid 1850s less wooden ships were being built and, since Harefield was a long way from the source of copper, it was closed. By 1863 the Mines Royal Company had gone out of business and the mills were taken over by Thomas Newell to use for the production of Paper Mill. In 1882 they were leased by the United Asbestos Company which became Bells Asbestos Company and throughout the First World War many women, some from the north of England, worked there. In 1929 the company was sold to Turner & Newell who later moved to Erith. In 1935 the mills was used by Rubberier Limited who also traded as the Harefield Rubber Company and this closed in 1978 because of the growing use of plastic.
Long Building, 19th building of the Mines Royal Company. Long, undivided range with regular window openings.
Dutch Gable Building. 19th at end of “Long” Building. Curved brick corner.
Manor House. Used as a head office by Harefield Rubber Company. Listed Grade II

Coppermill Lock
Lock House
Dates next to the lock gates are when renovations were carried out – 1884 and 1914 for the bottom gates and 1870 for the top gates.
Distance marker – the boat which reaches this marker first, is first in the queue for the lock

Hill End Road
Old Weybeards Farm

Old Park Wood
Shown as ‘Harefield Park’ on the Ordnance Survey map of 1822. In 1680 it was ‘Harvill Park’ from Middle English’ parke’.
Nature reserve with a great deal of variety and streams down steep hillside, Gravel on the top with birch, oak and bracken, ‘finest remaining wood in Middlesex’. Huge stands of bluebells.

Summerhouse Lane
Light industrial units
Parkwood Farm Kennels
Coles Shadbolt and Co. Cement Works here in 1866 with a brickfield beside the Canal. The works was backed by a pit with 50' white chalk and flint; above this were Reading Beds of coloured clays and below a bed of sand. They had 12 chamber kilns there and the cement was taken to their depot on the Caledonian Road by canal

Weybeards pit – now site of several roads of new housing

Sources
Banbury. Ship Builders of the Thames and Medway
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Canal Plan. Web site
Francis. Cement Industry
GLIAS Newsletter
Herts Wildlife Trust. Web site
London Borough of Hillingdon. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. London North West

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