Saturday, 2 October 2010

Thames Tributaries – the River Wandle - Beddington Corner

Thames Tributaries – the River Wandle
The Wandle continues to flow north west

TQ 28301 66592

An area now relatively obscure but through which what was a main road to Carshalton runs north:south and which was on the route of one of the earliest mechanised distance transit systems in the Surrey Iron Railway. The railway served the mills on the Wandle which flows to the west of this square. The industrial area however also covered the main road and the marshes to the east of it. There were however aromatics factories here and later electronics and electrical goods. This is still an areas with many works and depots. On the London Road is Bedzed, a pioneering eco-village.

Post to the west St.Helier
Post to the south Hackbridge

Beddington Corner
Beddington Corner, this appears as a hamlet on the Ordnance Survey map of 1819.
The Surrey Iron Railway Route – running north came to the Goat at Beddington Corner alongside what is now the London Road.

Culvers Avenue
Recreation Ground

Eindhoven Close
Built on part of the site of the Mullard works. Eindhoven is the home town of the Phillips Company which owned Mullards from the1920s.

Elm Road
The Surrey Iron Railway Route, Hackbridge Branch. This followed London Road and crossed Elm Road before meeting Hackbridge Road.

Hackbridge Road
The Surrey Iron Railway Route met Hackbridge Road having followed London Road.
Hackbridge Park
Kelvin House. Office block on the corner of London Road, demolished.

Helios Close
Bedzed. Beddington Zero Emissions housing project for Peabody Trust. Roman and prehistoric material on site. Set up with the BioRegional Development Council. 82 homes and 20 businesses in part of area where Sports pitches and landfill have been turned into parks. Roofs with photovoltaic cells and cowls.

London Road
The Surrey Iron Railway Route followed London Road from the Goat at Beddington and then swung right before Longfield Avenue, then crossed Elm Road to meet Hackbridge Road
Skinners Arms. Closed. The pub was named after a skinning mill on Goat Bridge and may have included bits of older buildings. Demolished now but for a while it was called Hungry Horse.
Hackbridge Hall, currently a Spiritualist church
All Saints Church built 1931 by H.P.Downing. Church of England
Lower Farm stood opposite site of All Saints church with a path which led to Irrigation Bridge.
Site of Beddington Corner Girls Schools built 1843 on the east side of the road. They were also used as a chapel and closed in 1912. The buildings were then used as a snuff mill by Lamberts and later as the Permoid Glue factory, which closed in 1926. Buildings demolished 1934

Medland Close
The Lodge to Reynolds’ Culvers Estate.
Primary school

Mile Road
Fenced off, gated and completely closed. Once called New Road it ran from Model Dairy Farm on the London road.
The area around Mile road is part of the Beddington Sewage works to the east. Originally set up in the 1860s this was farmland where sewage was spread on fields and effluent discharged into the Wandle. Use of the fields increased leading to a large area of wet meadows and delighted the bird watchers who started up a local ringing station. In 1969 a new works was built to discharge effluent into the Wandle and thus not flood the fields, which dried out. The birds left and sludge was dumped in excavated areas. The trees all died too. Sludge beds and dewatering beds were dug and gradually the landscape got wetter again and the birds came back. A lake was built in the 1990s and also gravel extraction was allowed. Eventually the bird watchers were thrown out – and only 25 allowed back in. Mile Road Bridge

Mill Green
The stream which crosses the green is the outfall of Beddington Sewer Works

Mill Green Road
The Surrey Iron Railway crossed the green to the left of London Road on a low embankment
Millers’ Peppermint Distillery was between Mill Green Road and Wood Street. They used water from an eastern branch of the Wandle, which can be seen in the driveway. In 1871 George Miller rented Batts Farm which was used to grow lavender and peppermint. Miller bought up Potter and Moore’s distillery business in 1886 and used some of their old equipment which they re-erected in Wood Street. The family lived at Gordon Villa, Mill Green Road. By 1907, the firm had 12,000 acres and were the largest growers of white peppermint in Great Britain.. At one time the Miller family had three farms in Kent growing peppermint and lavender. Eventually the distillery was taken over by Holland's who concentrated on purifying imported oils. The last crops were cut in 1932 and the business closed.
Crieff Villas. Three double fronted houses of about 1840, supposed to have been bought or built by William McRae the occupier of the skinning mill, and named after his home town.
Queen's Head. The pub was there at time of Surrey Iron Railway, although it has since been rebuilt

Mullard Close
Built on the site of the Mullard works.

Phillips Close
Built on part of the site of the Mullard works. The Phillips Company owned Mullards from the1920s.

Wood Street
37-39 Holland’s Distillery (Essential Oils) Ltd. Distilled aromatic oils at the rear of old Miller site. The wheel and much of the original machinery lasted until 1965. Small building still on site looks out of use.


Sources
Bayliss. The Surrey Iron Railway
Grace's Guide. Web site.
London Encyclopaedia
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Smyth. Citywildspace
Thames Basin Archaeology of Industry. Report
Wandle Industrial Museum. The Wandle at Work
Wandle trail

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