Sunday, 8 January 2012

Cornmill Stream - Waltham Abbey

Cornmill Stream
The Cornmill Stream flows south.

Post to the West - Royal Gunpowder Works
Post to the south Waltham Abbey
Post to the east Paternoster Hill

Cornmill Meadows
Cornmill stream is manmade and may have been built pre-Conquest to power monastic mills in the area. It supports an ‘outstanding’ group of dragonflies with eighteen species recorded. It also has a range of freshwater snails and other invertebrates including rare flies,
Veresmead - name for the outer close of the Abbey which included the fishponds and dovecotes.
Abbey Fishponds - to supply fish for the canons to eat. These ponds were specially excavated, lined with clay and fed from the Cornmill Stream. The ponds are now usually dry but would have been filled via sluices from the Cornmill Stream.  Hollows indicate their sites.
Dovecotes. Excavations in the 1970s found the sites of two medieval dovecotes. One was circular dovecote with a flint wall and was thought to be 11th. The other, which replaced it on the same site, was square and of brick, built in the 15th.
Bakers Close – one of the areas of the Abbey Grange, north of the bypass road. On its northern boundary runs a bank which was the boundary wall of the Grange.
Cock field - one of the areas of the Abbey Grange, north of the bypass road
Water meadows, which served the abbey beyond the corn mill stream through a system of sluices and conduits  
Dragonfly Sanctuary. Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Meridian Walk - The Greenwich meridian passes right up the centre of the site and there is a path marking it. At either end is a carved granite monument made of stone taken from the base of Rennie’s London Bridge and decorated around the base by local school children. They are called Travel and Discovery, one featuring a world map carved with 0° line of longitude and the other with a strange human form. The uncarved blocks were here from 1982 and in 1993 Paula Haughney was asked to carve them. They were taken to Abbey Gardens to be worked, and reinstalled in 1994. The carving was suggested by the Meridian’s association with time and distance. Carvings of navigational instruments on a tomb in the Abbey Church also contributed.
A Tree Park, once the Greater London Council’s Arboretum. Lee Valley Park took this over. There are rows of potential street and parkland trees. Hedgerows around the site had elms growing which were killed by Dutch elm disease. Willows west of the stream were planted in 1979 and were planned to be sold to cricket bat makers.
Dock – it is thought there was a dock on the Cornmill Stream immediately north of the bypass road.

Crooked Mile
It is previously recorded in 1414 as Trikerslane or in 1516 as Crykettslane. To the west were the grounds of the Abbey and to the east the area of the Royal Park.
First World War gun emplacement – to the east of the road, between it and the north site of the Royal Gunpowder Works.
Lee Valley Plant Centre
Wheatsheaf Pub, dating to the mid 19th.
Mile Nursery and Metal Works.

No comments: