Thursday, 10 January 2013

River Brent Hanwell

River Brent
The Brent flows south and east

Post to the north Greenford Elthorne Heights
Post to the east Hanwell

Brent Lodge Park,
The Park is on the site of the 18th landscape park of Brent Lodge, George Henry Glasse; Rector of Hanwell bought Brent End in 1795 - called that because it was near the Brent End of Hanwell Park Estate.  He renamed the house Brent Lodge and landscaped the grounds. On his death more work was done on the property by successive owners which included a walled garden, stable block, greenhouses and outbuildings plus tree planting.  In 1931 it was sold to Ealing Borough Council, and it was opened to the public. In 1976 the park became part of the Brent River Park established in 1973.
Café.  This was built on the site of Brent Lodge house and is in a 1930s style.
Gate post and lamp from Brent Lodge near the café. There is also a cast iron water hydrant
Stable block. These are the only buildings from the 19th and are now the Environmental Centre.  It dates from around 1800 and had nine bays with a central pediment.  There are two carriage entrances in the centre block either side of a pedestrian entrance. Fragments of a 19th wall survive in the brick wall between the buildings. The walled garden lies behind this.
Nature reserve in the north-east corner of the park
Garden area with timber bridges over a rockery and a cascade between ponds,
Trees – there are some trees here that pre-date the 18th landscaping. These are oak, yew, London plane.  There are also Cedars and horse chestnut trees on the lawn
Pitch and putt course, bowling green and tennis courts
Millennium Maze opened in 2000 and with yew hedges and a central shelter. 2,000 yew trees were planted by local children. The council hopes to give the yew clippings to the pharmaceutical company which manufactures the anti-cancer drug Taxol
Ealing Art Collective. This is in the old toilets behind the café.  It is an art club for people with learning difficulties a studio and gallery where talented artists can create professional work.
Brent Lodge Animal Centre developed from aviaries built in the 1960s, in 1976 more animals were added and it has been extended subsequently. It is known locally as Bunny Park.

Brent Meadow
Area of grassland between the Wharncliffe Viaduct and the Uxbridge Road. Bought by Ealing Council in 1931.

Brent River
The River Brent was straightened in some places in the 1920’s. North of Hanwell church the ‘oxbow’ lake is a remnant of the old course. A green swathe follows the course of the river Brent. This was created by Ealing Council following proposals from the Brent River and Canal Group.
Bowles Bridge is thought to be named after John Bowles who owned Dormers Wells Manor in the 16th.

Brent Valley Golf Course
The Golf course was built over Boles Meadow and Boles Bridge where old hedgerows remain

Chestnut Path.
A tree lined path, known as Chestnut Path but replanted with occasional oaks. This is an ancient route and part of a footpath between Greenford and the River Thames
Gas lamp standards survive along the path with subsequent layers of alteration, including conversion to electricity sometime in the 1930s.

Church Road
The area around the Church is thought to be the site of the earliest settlement in the area – it is on higher ground above the River Brent;
Cast iron railings at the eastern boundary of the park, which survived the Second World War
Ice House. This is near the Church and in poor repair, dates from the early 19th
Lych Gate. This creates an entrance to Brent Lodge Park
Glebe stone alongside the road west of the Lych gate.
St Mary's Church.  A Gothic revival church on the site of a Pagan shrine. There was a church here in 958 and in the 12th it was thatched. It was rebuilt in 1782 with a cupola by Thomas Hardwick and in 1841 rebuilt by G.G. Scott, and there is a chancel of 1897. The Only bit of Georgian church left is the trapdoor to the vaults.  James Hanway is buried there. There are monuments in particular the Glasse monument
Rectory – this was demolished in the 1930s and replaced by the row of maisonettes in a polite 1930s style
Rectory Cottage. This was built as a school house by Rev. George Glasse who had used Hobbayne's charity to found a school in a house by the church. The school-house was blown down in a gale in 1800 and was rebuilt on the same site by the next rector. Following a lightning strike it was replaced in 1807 by a school elsewhere. It is in two -storeys with colourwashes plaster. The windows have leaded lights and pointed light mullion casements. There is a well in the garden and the remains of the ancient parish brew house.
99 Spring Cottage used to be the post Office
White Cottage. Built before 1865
204 The Hermitage. Gothic thatched cottage with two pointed windows, an ogee-arched door. Inside is an octagonal hall and reception room
Air raid shelters remain from the Second World War. One is on private land outside the Hermitage, but there are others on public land fronting the road.
Hanwell Springs.  This nature reserve, otherwise known as The Hermitage, consists of broadleaved woodland which is fed from a pure spring emerging from the wood. It was originally protected by the Selborne Society but management has now been undertaken by the London Wildlife Trust.  The spring-fed stream has moss and fern covered banks. There are 19th cascades fed by springs, and a stone-edged circular pool. A small grotto arch has the inscription "Dulcissimo sororum pari amoris ergo et hostii pos fonteis"; there are remains of paths with stone steps, and a boathouse. It is said there is a stone here which led to the name of Hanwell.  The Kingston Zodiac suggests that it was an old well for “pilgrims travelling down Capricorn’s front leg2. 

Churchfields Recreation Ground

Churchfields is an enclosure of Glebe lands and common land, most of which has never been built on. They were church fields in 1898 which were sold by Sir Montagu to Hanwell Urban District Council who opened Churchfields Recreation Ground as a public park.
A path cuts diagonally across the recreation grounds linking the Church to Alwyne Road. This is an ancient route and was the way from Greenford to the Thames
Wharncliffe viaduct.  Built by Isambard Brunel for the Great Western Railway. The Viaduct is built of engineering brick, 65 high and 900 ft long with eight semi-elliptical arches. it was the first railway viaduct to be built with hollow piers, which now house a very very large colony of bats.  The contractor was Grissell and Peto. It was the First viaduct to carry telegraph cables, and  eventually to carry one of the trunk routes for the transatlantic cables, and more fibre-optic cables. The Wharncliffe arms are on the viaduct -  Wharncliffe was Chair of the Lords' Committee which passed the Great Western Railway Bill.  It is said that Queen Victoria crossed slowly so she could see Hanwell church and viaduct.
Glebe stones boundary markers protected by a wire cage on the fields which show the remnants of carving. Which reads as “glebe land belongs”.
Scout War Memorial on the western side of the recreation ground. The inscription says "These trees were planted by the Scouts of Ealing and Hanwell To the glory of God and in proud memory of their brother Scouts who fell in the Great War1914-1918 The lower plaque reads: Also in memory of the Scouts who fell in the 1939-1945 War”.

Greenford Road
Greenford Hotel. Large ‘half timbered’ roadhouse style pub. Called the Pig and Whistle and Barbarella’s  latterly.  Closed and in use as a fast food bar.
West Middlesex Golf Club. The club was founded in 1891 in the grounds of Twyford Abbey when it was called Ealing Golf Club. In 1893 the Club moved here. It is on what was Boles Meadow and there are old hedgerows and a hollow way leads north from Church Road with oak boundary trees on it.
Hanwell Cricket Club. Hanwell Cricket Club was first established in 1851 and reconstituted in 1912.
Windmill. This may have been in the same ownership as the water mill to the south and was a corn mill.
Watermill – this dated from at least the late 16th. In the early 18th it was a corn mill. It was an overshot mill, with a mill, house, millpond, and land, and although a miller is mentioned in 1866 by 1900 it was Mill Farm. The wheelhouse and some mill-stones survived in the 1920s when part of the premises was a baker's shop. It is now part of the buildings associated with the golf course
Pond on west side of the road was the millpond

Hanwell
The name means is said to mean ‘ice age boulder’ or refers to a stream or well. There is said to be a stone near the Hanwell Spring.

Uxbridge Road:
Southall Bus Garage. Originally Hanwell Garage. This dated from 1925 and replaced Acton garage. It operated Cambrian Buses which were a sub company of London and General Omnibus Co. Early oil engined buses ran from here in the 1930s and the first trials of a disguised RT ran from here in 1938.  It was enlarged in 1931 and renamed Southall in 1950.
Ealing Hospital. Ealing District Hospital was opened in 1979 in some of the grounds of St. Bernard's Hospital. It has since split off the mental health services and is an independent trust
St Bernard's Hospital. The square covers the northern part only of this complex. This was the Middlesex County Asylum opened in May, 1831 to accommodate 500 patients. In 1889 the LCC took over and it was renamed the London County Asylum, Hanwell. In 1937 its name changed again, to St Bernard's Hospital, Southall. It joined the NHS in 1948. The eastern part of the site, previously used as a recreational ground and cycle track was sold for redevelopment.  It now exists as an independent trust - part of the West London Mental Health (NHS) Trust.   Much of the Hospital land has been sold for redevelopment as private housing.  The formal entrance archway, made of gault clay brick remains on the Uxbridge Road. The chapel built in 1881 can be seen through the archway. A high wall surrounds the entire site and this can be seen in the Uxbridge Road
Iron Bridge. The bridge has given the name of Iron Bridge to the surrounding area. It was originally built by Isambard Brunel to carry the Great Western Railway over the Uxbridge Road and was the first bridge on which he used cast-iron girders. One beam broke during construction in June 1837 and another in March 1839, a year after the railway opened. A considerable amount of testing resulted and Brunel lightened the bridge by replacing some part them with timber. in 1847, the timber deck caught fire and the bridge was irreparably damaged.  Brunel rebuilt the bridge using the wrought iron. There have been a number of subsequent line widenings and the current structure probably dates from the early 20th and there is a bench mark on the south side
Metropolitan Electric substation. This was alongside the bridge but has now been removed
Triangle industrial units – on the site of a gravel pit

Sources
Closed Pubs. Web site
Field. London place names
Glazier. London Transport Garages
Hanwell Cricket Club. Web site
Kent, London
Kingston Zodiac
London Borough of Ealing. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
London Gardens Online. Web site.
London Night and Day,
London Transport Industrial archaeology
Lost Hospitals of London
Middlesex Churches,
Middlesex County Council. History of Middlesex
Nairn, Nairn’s London
New Civil Engineer web site
Pevsner and Cherry.  North West London
Stevenson, Middlesex
Thames Basin Archaeological Group report.
Walford.  Village London
West Middlesex Golf Club. Web site
Wilson, London’s industrial archaeology

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