Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Thames Tributaries – the River Wandle - Beddington

Thames Tributaries – the River Wandle
The Wandle flows westwards


The Wandle emerges here and rapidly becomes a substantial stream between Wandle Park and its earliest appearance west of Beddington Mill. The area is bisected north:south by the traffic choked A23 with trading estates and big shed stores on either side. This was a busy industrial area with mills along the Wandle supplemented from the 1930s with units on what had been Waddon Marsh.

Post to the east West Croydon
Post to the west Beddington Park
Post to the north Ampere Way Waddon

Aldwick Road
Iron and Bronze Age finds here

Beddington Lane
Beddington Village Hall. Listed. A plaque says it was in memory of Magdalena Trollope in 1901.The site had originally been an ornamental garden and was bought and passed to the Rochester Diocese. There was local fund raising for the building which has been in use ever since and once included a library.
1-32 7-117 listed
Park and ornamental gardens between the Wandle and the Village Hall.
Park Farm
Harvest Home. Pub dates from 1895 but there was a pub on site in 1860. It includes a skittle alley.

Blandford Close.
Listed houses

Bridges Lane
Named after Henry Bridges and his son who was the local vicar. Lived here in Beddington House and did a lot of good works.
7-17, 6. Listed
Wandle Court. Listed flats. Wandle Court had been the home of Tritton family who owned the Ram Brewery in Wandsworth and promoted Surrey Iron Railway. The original house was demolished in 1930
1, 2, 3 Mount Pleasant, Listed. Supposed to have been built in 1884 for mill workers. The river runs in front of them and there are bridges over to them.

Bridle Path
Sluice over which water pours from the southern pond at 1.6 million gallons a day. A mill stream diverges to the south of the main river to meet again on west side of Hilliers Lane.
1-8 Riverside Mews. Listed.
1-31 2-32. Listed
Hereford House. Listed. Light industrial premises at the rear of the mill buildings

Commerce Way
Part of 1930s trading estate
Phillips Electronics factory. Philips are a Dutch multinational specialising in electrical and electronics devices who opened a factory designed by Wallis Gilbert here in 1956. Made colour TVs.

Hilliers Lane
Where the river crosses here was once a ford.
Old Ford House. Listed flats

Kingston Close
Listed buildings

Mill Lane
Waddon ponds. Opened as a park in 20th. There were once two ponds here said to be a source of the Wandle – although actually it is the just the first place where is surfaces and can be seen. They were the manorial millponds and extensive areas of water belonging to Waddon Court but only this, the southern pond remains. The Wandle has been damned to form a lake but in the 19th this was changed and the river diverted north and east, leaving land used for watercress culture. The area was owned partly by the owners of Waddon Lodge, and by Waddon Court and some of this was bought by Croydon Corporation in 1928.
The second pond was filled in when the river was culverted in 1964.
Waddon Court House stood at the southern end of the ponds
Waddon Mills. Site of the corn mill, which stood here until 1928. In 1789 it was redesigned by John Smeaton. In the 19th had four pairs of stone driven by three overshot wheels; there was eventually a railway connection to it which ran north to the Croydon/Wimbledon Line.
Modern factory buildings built over the north pond filled in 1964.
The Sutton/Croydon boundary is at the western end of Mill Lane. This boundary was once known as Mere Bank - a Saxon term for boundary.

Progress Way
Part of 1930s trading estate
16 Fleetline Accident Services
London Transport Food Production Centre. Bought by LT in 1948 and became Croydon Food Production Centre in 1950. Made vast quantities of stuff – meat, sausages, veg, etc as well as home sales and their own brands, like Griffin. They made wedding cakes etc.as special orders. It was an emergency feeding centre for disasters. The work later went to outside contractors.

Purley Way A23
Tunnel between the gas works and a print works on the other side of the road
Siding to Croydon Gas Works in 1920 which went both east and west of the line.

Richmond Green
Going to Brandy Bottle Hill. This area was watercress beds into the early 20th. It is now sheltered housing built in the early 1950s.
13 the river divides at this point and the millstream diverges to go under Beddington Mill.
1-23. Listed Petersham Terrace
23-50 listed

Richmond Road
1-71 2-52 listed

Trojan Way
Part of 1930s trading estate
Trojan Cars. The company moved here from Clapham in the early 1920s to produce cars but later moved to Kingston in a deal with Leyland. Trojan returned to Croydon in the 1930s where they made cars and vans, and then bombing accessories in the Second World War. Later they made scooters, bubble cars and racing cars.
PC World. First branch opened here in 1991.

Waddon
Means ‘Woad Hill or ‘Woden’.

Wandle Court Gardens
1-8 Wandle Lodge listed

Wandle Road
Mount Pleasant cottages
Beddington Mill. There is a tall Victorian mill building still on site and other associated workshops to the rear. This is a mill site dating back to Domesday, when two mills are listed. Earliest records describe a corn mill but after 1780 it was Lambert's snuff mill, although this eventually moved to Hackbridge. In 1878 it reverted to corn milling. The current building dates from 1891 for J. & H.T.Wallis as a flourmill and bakery until 1950. The water wheels were replaced by a Little Giant double turbine and a gas engine. It may be that another building on site is the remains of the snuff mill
Mill House. 18th but refaced and bay windows added


Sources
Chelsea Speleological Society. Newsletter
Field. London Place Names
GLIAS Newsletter
Grace's Guide. Web site
London Borough of Croydon. Web site
London Archaeologist
Pevsner and Cherry. Surrey
Stewart, Croydon History
Wandle Trail

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