Wednesday, 2 October 2013

River Gade - Apsley End

River Gade
The Gade flows south eastwards

This is still essentially a country area surrounded by woods and fields but along the valley of the Gade the parallel road and the Grand Union Canal once passed some of the mills of the Dickinson paper making empire, now largely replaced by big shed retail.

Post to the west Two Waters
Post to the south Nash Mills

Barnfield
Belswaines Primary School. This was a replacement for Apsley Manor School in 1949. What remains now is part of what was a much larger complex.

Belmont Road
Belmont Road Baptist Church. Founded in 1954 to ‘serve Bennetts End’.

Belswaines Lane
Belswaines House. This seems to have been on the site of the current Dell Meadow housing.
Belswaines Farm. A short length of wall parallel to Oliver Close remains from the farm. The farm was demolished for housing.
The canal crossed Belswains Lane near to Oliver Rise. It was realigned following legal action by John Dickinson

Belswains Playing Field.
This is close to the centre of Bennetts End and forms part of the open ridge feature of the area.

Ebberns Road
Part of the road is a trading and industrial area with engineering works, instrument makers, etc in the 1960s

Grand Union Canal
The canal’s original route was to the north of the present line. It ran from where Ebberns Road is now. John Dickinson got an injunction to divert the canal south because of water supply difficulties
Apsley Top Lock. 65
White building used as a lock cottage
Apsley Top Lock Bridge 153
Apsley Lock 66. Also known as Bawdy Lock – or Boardy Lock to estate agents.
British Waterways Apsley Depot. Carries out canal repair functions.
Apsley Lock Concrete Footbridge. There is a garden area between the canal and the Gade –the bridge covers both waterways and goes on to Sainsburys.
Sewage pumping station. This was present in the 1920s between the canal and the river

London Road
The Salmon .this pub was between the church and modern buildings. Salmon Meadow was used for local sports but was later bought by Dickinsons for factory expansion
St. Mary. The church was consecrated in 1871, and was funded by Charles Longman and other partners in Dickinson’s mills Longman had wanted to build a church as a memorial to his wife, Anna Maria, who had died in 1860. Built to inspire the workforce at the mills it is an important local landmark. Designed by Joseph Clark It is in the style of the geometrical architecture of the 13th built the tower uses a simpler and earlier style. The south wall has a facing of stock brick showing that the church was left unfinished. There is a wooden memorial to the fallen of the Great War moved here in 1971. Before the church was built this area was in the parish of Kings Langley and called Snatchups End, it was then transferred to Apsley, as Apsley End.
Nascent House, the drugs rehabilitation centre, was originally The Prince Albert Public House
Snatchup End Cottages. Built in 1898 and designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.
Apsley Mill. A mill is listed here as at Domesday.  It was used for grinding corn.  George Stafford made hand- made paper here, in the late 18th and it was bought as a going concern by John Dickinson in 1809. Dickinson was in partnership with George Longman, and installed his own version of the papermaking machine at Apsley which was very successful. In the late 1840s a machine to make envelopes was developed here.   By 1815 Apsley had three machines powered by steam. Apsley Mills grew considerably over the years and became part of a large site operated by Dickinsons in the Gade Valley – and Dickinson’s were to spread beyond Hertfordshire and to produce internationally recognized brands of stationary and a world leader.  They left Apsley in the late 1990s.
Sainsbury on the site of the Apsley Mills. This covers the northern end of what, by the 1970s, was the vast area of the Dickinson Mill. Buildings were numbered and by the cash point is a plaque with some of the original building identifiers.

Sources
Belmont Road Baptist Church. Website
Belswaines Primary School. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
CanalPlan. Web site
Evans. The Endless Web
Hertfordshire Churches
Hills. History of British Paper Making
Kings Langley History Society. Web site
Nash Mills Parish Council. Web site
Nobbs. A Walk Along the Towpath
St.Mary’s Church. Web site.

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