Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Coppermill Stream - Coppermills

Copper Mill Stream
The Copper Mill Stream and the Flood Relief Channel flow southwards. The Dagenham Brook also flows through the area.

The Great Eastern Railway from Liverpool Street to Chingford
The rail line running north from Clapton Station continues to run north westwards

TQ 36161 88764

Lane leading down to the Lea surrounded by reservoirs, marsh and works, with the 18th coppermill just about visible  

Post to the north Blackhorse Lane
Post to the west Markfield
Post to the east Low Hall
Post to the south Walthamstow Marshes

Coppermill Lane
In the 18th a track called Marsh Lane roughly followed the line of Coppermill Lane and led from Walthamstow Village to Walthamstow Marsh and the Lea.
Copper mill. This was built in the early 19th and is used as a store. There was a mill here at Domesday. In the 14th it was a corn mill century, in 1670 it was used for gunpowder, in 1690 for rolling paper, and in 1712 it was a leather mill with French management. Later it became an oil mill grinding linseed. In 1806 the buildings were bought and used as a copper mill by the Welsh-based British Copper Company. They smelted copper ore at Landore bringing it here by barge. At the mill they rolled Copper ingots which were stamped to produce for penny and halfpenny tokens. Machinery was installed by Lloyd and Ostell in 1809 including an undershot wheel of 18ft in diameter. It was taken over by Williams Foster & Co., who produced bar and sheet copper until 1857 when the machinery was taken to Swansea. The mill was bought by the East London Waterworks Company, who in 1861 adapted it to pump water for during reservoir construction. They added the engine tower in 1864 for use with a Cornish Bull engine. An old crane with a wooden jib remains.
Coppermills Water Treatment Works. This Thames Water facility was completed in 1969 with the filter beds on the site of the Racecourse Reservoir. It has an output of 108m million gallons a day. It used water from the River Lea previously stored in the Lea Valley reservoirs. The 24 primary filters are automatically controlled and there are 34 slow sand beds. A large concrete contact and balancing tank is partly underground and holds 25 million gallons. Eight low lift pumps lift water from the Coppermill Stream to the primary filters and ten high lift pumps lift water from the contact tank into the mains. In 2005 it was linked to the London ring main via the Northern Extension tunnel. Two mains run south to connect with mains at Lea Bridge and a tunnel runs east to Whipps Cross and Knotts Green. The main building is in blue modernist style. There is an observation tower type structure looking over the filter beds. There is a statue of a reclining figure with an urn from which water flows. This was commissioned by the East London Waterworks Company in 1809 and placed at Old Ford works and then moved to Lee Bridge Works, the sculptor was Joseph Theakston. The Intake had been moved from Lea Bridge to Copper Mills in 1854. 
Racecourse reservoir. One of the earliest built by the East London Water Company and which had been enlarged in the 1890s. The site has been used for the Coppermills Works by Thames Water.
Flood Relief Channel. Built after the Second World War to take away flood water from this low-lying area.
Reservoir No.3.  This holds 25,000,000 gallons and was built by the East London Water Co in 1863. It has 2 islands and is a low level reservoir joined to Reservoir No 2 by a narrow strait.  Trees have been planted on it to break up the force of water in the wind.
Reservoir No 5.  Built by the East London Water Co in 1866 2 islands. It has two islands, holds, 170,000,000 gallons and covers 41 acres.  .
Ring Main Shaft.  The London water ring main passes under this site at about 45 metres underground. Construction site and access shaft. The ring main connects to these shafts at a depth of 40m
Aqueduct.  One of the main contributors to environmental change in the area was the East London Waterworks Company. In 1853 the Company obtained an Act to sanction the building of an aqueduct to carry water across the marsh from the Coppermill Stream to the Company's filter beds on Lea Bridge Road. And so in May 1854, a meeting was held at the Ferry Boat Inn between the Company and the Committee appointed to represent the Commoners. The outcome of the meeting was a payment of £529. 6s. 3d. Compensation for the extinction of "Lammas, Commonable, and other rights whatsoever" on the 36 strips of marshland affected. This agreement was the first of many before the reservoirs north of the Coppermills were completed.
Railway. The main railway line along the Lee Valley opened in 1840, and a second line across was added in October 1870 by the Great Eastern Railway Company. There were some construction problems due to the marshy land of the area.
The Coppermill. Pub
The Elms. 18th house demolished in 1968. William Raikes nephew of the founder of the Sunday School movement, lived there and he was probably responsible for starting the Walthamstow Sunday School in 1789. It stood on the north side of the lane by the east corner of Reservoir No.5

Coppermill Stream
Coppermill Stream.  In the past this has had other names, including Paper Mill River
Bridge. In the Second World War a rocket fell close to the bridge over the Stream. It destroyed a boathouse, killed a watchman and demolished the wooden bridge. A concrete and iron bridge replaced it in 1948

Edward Road
Road on the Warner Estate named after Edward Warner, Courtney’s Warner’s son
Coppermill Primary School. On the site of Beaconsfield School. This was Coppermill Board School infants until 1963. It was built in 1897 by the Walthamstow School Board. There was a surviving school bell

Elmfield Road
Named for The Elms House

North Access Road
Low Hall Sports Ground
Low Hall Wood – nature conservation area. The Dagenham Brook flows through it
Staff Houses

Sources

Coppermill walk, leaflet
Field. Place Names of London,
Gunpowder Mills Gazetteer,
London’s Water. Metropolitan Water Board
Pevsner. Essex
Plummer. Courtney Warner and the Warner Estate
Records of the Walthamstow Antiquarian Society.
Thames Basin Archaeology Group Newsletter.
Thames Water.  A description of the Undertaking
Victoria County History of Essex
Walthamstow. Marshes, leaflets

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