Friday, 4 March 2011

Thames Tributary River Mole - Sandown

Thames Tributary River Mole
The Mole now flows north but for much of this stretch there is an artifical channel taking most of the flow, while the natural course of the river leaves it, meanders to the east, and returns.


Post to the north Esher Sewage Works
Post to the south Esher

Douglas Road
Esher Mill.
The Mill lay immediately north of where the railway line crosses the Mole in an island between two branches of the river - the eastern branch, which worked the wheels, has silted up. The Mill stands downstream from what was the Manor House of Esher. A Domesday mill site was probably nearby. In the 13th century the manor passed to the See of Winchester and enlarged to include The Mill and later the mill cannot be traced. By the early 17th it was owned by the Drake family who developed some sort of commercial enterprise here. In about 1649 Jacob Momma and Daniel Demetrius began to make brass wire here, using rose copper from Sweden and also ground corn as required. Momma seems it have made a lot of money. In 1691 the Esher Mill was leased by a new joint stock Company headed by William Dockwra. He had floated a joint stock company to exploit a patent granted to Thomas Meale, for making brass wire. The Company took over the Esher premises, erected buildings, hired Dutch workmen and used up all their cash. They also smelted English copper and made about 80 tons of brass annually, about half the total English production. It produced brass wire and pins, - pin-makers claimed to be able to make 24,000 pins a day. They then became embroiled in litigation. Under union with the Bristol Company the mill flourished until the 1740s. In 1750 it was leased to a Joseph Biddle. And thereafter until 1784 he used the Mill for corn grinding. In 1847 William McMurray, cleared the site and erected a substantial paper mill. He installed thirteen pulp beating machines and machinery for tearing rags. He enlarged the water head by converting the former 'Pond Garden' into a reservoir. This became one of the largest paper mills in Surrey, but in 1853 it was burnt down. The name, 'Royal Mills' dates from this time. About 1860 the premises were leased for the manufacture of linoleum and again burnt down. In 1872, the patent Cotton Gunpowder Company applied for a licence but following objections it was dropped. The premises were then taken by Messrs. Wells & La Motte of Camberwell to make linoleum and burnt down in the late 1890s. In 1902, the premises were bought by bookbinder James Burn. They had a factory, eight cottages, a gate-keepers lodge, a manager's house and 12 acres. The factory itself had a steam engine, boiler and shafting and an undershot water wheel. They survived a fire in 1908 but got into industrial problems in 1913 brought to an end by war in 1914. In 1940, James Burn made aircraft parts which continued until 1946. The Mill premises are now subject to re-development and remaining mid 19th buildings have been cleared
'Pond Garden' reservoir was infilled after the floods in 1968. It was south of the railway bridge over the Mole.
Lower Green Roadw
Coal duty post. South side of the road opposite Lower Green Open space and the bridge to Douglas Road
Council housing built in the 1920s for Sewage Plant workers and Council employees

Mill Road
Council Depot now Sandown Industrial Park

More Lane
Esher CofE High School. Secondary school, used to be called Trinity School

Sandown Park Racecourse
Sandon – the name probably relates to the sandy soil on which much of this area stands. The Kingston Zodiac however relates it to ‘Sun down’ - the going down of the dying sun god.
Sandon. The Priory stood on the lower part of the racecourse near the river and where there was a pond. This area near the river was known as the 'cranmere' and provided fish. This is near the current water jump. From the 12th the priory had a small hospital. In 1349 all the inmates died of the plague, and in the mid 15th, it was suppressed and its property passed to St. Thomas' Southwark. In 1740 the remaining buildings were derelict and five families living there were moved to a workhouse on Esher Green. Sandon remained as the name of a farm until it was taken over in 1875 for Sandown Park Racing Club.
Sandown Park racecourse is sited on the side of a hill. It opened in 1875 as one of the first to require all visitors to pay an entrance fee. It hosts the Eclipse Stakes and other racing as well as non racing events. The site includes a karting track, golf course and gym. In the Second World War it was an overspill training area for the Guards Training Battalion

Wayneflete tower. Originally part of an 11th manorial complex, sited on the banks of the River Mole. A fortified brick gatehouse it is the only surviving part of a mansion house built about 1480 by William of Waynflete, bishop of Winchester. The four storey gatehouse, which remains, with its semi-octagonal turrets was once linked by a curtain wall to a brick keep, with octagonal turrets on the angles. Cardinal Wolsey retired here after his fall from grace in 1529. In the 17th the keep, the great hall, the curtain wall and other buildings were demolished, down to the foundations. The Gothick doorway and windows were inserted by William Kent early in the 18th for Henry Pelham

Sources
Osborne, Defending London

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