Thursday, 18 October 2012

Edgware Brook Bentley Priory

Edgware Brook
The Edgware Brook rises in this area and flows east and south
TQ 15780 92321

Large area of open parkland on the site of the southern part of the Bentley Priory Estate with a lake, and other facilities.  Some housing to the south - laid out with lots of space, lawns and so on.

Post to the north Bentley Priory
Post to the east Great Stanmore
Post to the west Grimsdyke

Bentley Priory Nature Reserve
The nine acre nature reserve was established in 1975.  The area slopes southwards from the edge of the Stanmore Hill ridge. The lower part is London clay but in the north this is overlaid by the pebbly Claygate beds and further north with gravel – which supports heathland vegetation like gorse. It is here that springs emerge and form streams as they meet the clay.
Grassland.  The name Bentley is thought to derive from Anglo-Saxon words meaning coarse grass on cleared ground. Traditional grassland is still a feature of the reserve. It is “unimproved” and thus has many wild flowers. A herd of cows is pastured here in summer
Summerhouse Lake. The lake was formed by damming Edgeware Brook during Queen Adelaide’s time at Bentley Priory. It was named for Queen Adelaide’s lakeside gazebo. The summerhouse itself was burnt down by vandals, but it is said that it was where Sir Walter Scott wrote 'Marmion' in 1808.  There are substantial remains of 19th ornamental planting around the lake with laurel, yew and  rhododendron
Heriot’s Wood. This is ancient woodland. Many of the trees are hornbeam, which is characteristic of ancient woods. There are also vestiges of ornamental planting - cedars, a yew, and patches of laurel.
Oak.  To the west of Summerhouse Lake is the “Master”, an oak at least 500 years old and pollarded about 200 years ago. As a pollard it shows that much of the area was once pasture. It is said to be the oldest oak tree in Middlesex, with a trunk 9m in circumference.
Spring Meadow. This is a breeding area for many summer birds. Many other relatively uncommon birds can be seen here including buzzard, spotted flycatcher and bullfinch. In winter, large numbers arrive from mainland Europe and Scandinavia.
Footpath. The southern boundary is marked by a footpath which separates Bentley Wood High School from the reserve. On the north side of it are the remains of a linear earthwork consisting of a bank and ditch, possibly part of a medieval deer park boundary
Hermitage Cottages

Binyon Crescent
Bede Anandappa Centre. Previously this was the Woodlands Community Centre, renamed after Bede Anandappa treasurer of the Harrow Federation of Tenants' and Residents' Associations who died suddenly.
Bede Anandappa’s tree.

Clamp hill
Woodland Hall Nursing Home;
47 Hermitage Gate. Listed house. Originally a gate house of Bentley Priory
58 Brickfield Cottage. Listed house
Lower Priory Farm. Riding School
Priory House. Priory House. This is a 16th timbered farmhouse, using old materials from a medieval priory and may be standing on or near the site of the earlier building. 17th garden wall Priory. The original Priory was a cell Augustinian Friars believed to have been founded in 1170 by Ranulf de Glanville, a lawyer and Chief Justiciary of England. It has been thought that this was in the area of Priory House with the chapel standing on Harrow Weald Common surrounded by a small hamlet.  There are very few recorded references to it. Eventually in in 1766 the property was sold to James Duberley, an Army contractor who is thought to have pulled down the original Priory building

Masefield Avenue
Bentley Wood High School for Girls

Sources
Bentley Wood High School. Web site
Bentley Priory. Wikipedia web site
Harrow Tenants. Web site
Harrow Weald Heritage Trust web site
London Gardens.  On line web site
Middlesex County Council.  History of Middlesex
Smyth, Citywildspace
Walford, Village  London,

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