Sunday, 10 November 2013

River Colne Rickmansworth

River Colne
The Colne flows south westwards and is joined by the river Chess from the north

Post to the east Croxley Hall
Post to the north Croxley Green
Post to the south Batchworth
Post to the west Rickmansworth


Batchworth Lock
Around Batchworth are complex series watercourses at the confluences of rivers Colne, Gade and Chess together with a number of water-filled gravel pits.
Rickmansworth Waterways Trust at Batchworth Lock. Canalside buildings include a small museum, and a narrow boat moored alongside.  The Canal Centre was originally stables and a pub. These buildings were built in 1838, by Pickfords, then a major canal carrier but from the 1880s they were used by Fellows Morton & Clayton.
Lock cottage was replaced in the early 1970s,
Roger. Narrow boat restored by the Trust and moored by the museum. Roger was built by Bushell Brothers of Tring in 1936 for Aylesbury coal merchant Arthur Harvey-Taylor and was the last wooden motor boat trading on the canal.
Little Union Canal. This is next to the real Grand Union Canal and was built by volunteers in 2005/6 to show young people how a canal system works.

Church Street
Market Place – this traditionally stood on the junction with the High Street.
Church Street road name plate, dates from the 1900s
Corals. The building on the corner is late 19th and has a rounded corner and roof. Before 1910 the Post Office was here.
Eight Bells pub.  This was replaced by shops – the local church had eight bells.
7-9 House, now a shop and a restaurant. It is a 16th open hall house later extended and refronted. It has a timber frame and a brick front but there is a sham timber frame on 9.
10 Vicarage. This has the date of 1737 on it is actually thought to date from 1450 and may be the oldest in the county. It is a hall house rebuilt with other additions and extensions 
14-16 site of a forge extant in 1870. Previously there was a wheelwright’s workshop here. The forge included an ironmongery shop at the front.
15 Maurizio's Restaurant. This was once the Three Horseshoes Pub
21  Zaza Restaurant. This is a 16th open hall house altered and extended later with a timber frame and whitewashed brick. Said to have been built for John Fotherley
25 – 27 This is a 16th house now shops and offices. It was heated and extended in the 17th and later refronted and altered. It has a timber frame and a red brick front. Behind 25 is a 17th wing with an exposed timber frame
29 – 31 This is a 15th house now offices and refronted and altered. It was originally a timber framed open hall. Behind 29 is a tall 19th block
34 -36 The Feathers Pub. It is a 15th wing with a 16th hall rebuilt and cased in the 18th and with later additions.  It was once known as The Cock and claims to be the first pub in Rickmansworth which belonged to local brewer, Salter, in 1780.
38 The Priory. This is the old church house a 16th building converted to a house by the 18th and later altered. There are some outhouses where the original timber frame can be seen. The church house here belonged to the townspeople before the dissolution and was given to William Tipper and Robert Dawe in 1588.
44 Bridge Motors. Crenellated garage
53 -61 Terrace 19th cottages
99 this is a 19th house which was a shop and public house serving canal traffic. It overlooks the Chess at the rear.
Rickmansworth Church Street station.  This station was the terminus of the Watford and Rickmansworth Railway opened in 1862 as asked for by landowner Lord Ebury of Moor Park. It was at first a wooden building, replaced by one in brick in 1921.  The station was originally called Rickmansworth and was changed to Rickmansworth (Church Street) in 25 1950. Passenger services were withdrawn in 1952. It was completely closed. The track was removed and the platforms and station buildings were demolished. The station site became a printer’s workshop and was later demolished. The site is now covered by a builder’s merchant’s yard.
Goods Yard. The goods yard was to the north of the station, has three sidings and a goods shed and, from 1912 included a freight interchange siding with the Canal. Goods services continued until 1967 after which it was closed. The site is now housing.
St. Mary the Virgin.  Parish church which was twice rebuilt in the 19th century, but which still has 13th battlemented tower of flint with a clock and eight bells and a spire. It is a big rectangular structure of knapped flint in the Perpendicular style rebuilt in 1826 by William Atkinson, and again rebuilt in 1890 by Arthur Blomfield, at a cost of £5,500, which sum was raised by subscription. Brasses and monuments remain from the original building, the most important being the tomb chest containing both Robert Carey, the first Duke of Monmouth, and his son Henry,  the man who rode north to tell James I that he was king is buried there.   There are gargoyles on the tower and the east window with a Crucifixion by Burne-Jones in 1896
Telephone box K6 outside the church
War memorial. Erected in 1921 and designed by W. Reid Dick in ashlars. There are carved figures of Grief with the date 1914 and Victory with the date of 1918 which lean on the sides of pylon. The Names of the war are dead inscribed. It was moved here from the High Street in the 1960's and a bronze statue on it was moved elsewhere,
Batchworth House. This is the site of 58 The Batchworth Arms. This was previously called the Railway Arms at which opened opposite the station in 1866. It was built from three cottages knocked into one. The pub changed its name to that of the local area and was demolished in 1994. It has been replaced by flats
Site of a watermill said to be on 1871 map

Grand Union Canal
In the 18th this was the adjusted route of the Grand Junction Canal that carried cargo between West London and the Midlands.
Pillbox. Second World War Defence structure on the banks of the Canal in a garden area. This is Type 24 and part of the Outer London Stop Line.
Batchworth Lock Weir entrance
Batchworth Lock. Said to date from 1895
Batchworth Junction. This is where the main line of the Grand Junction Canal meets the Rickmansworth branch
London Road Bridge
The Island – this is a piece of land lying between the Canal and the Chess

High Street
Brewery. This dated from at least 1805 and was probably much earlier. It continued in use into the 1970s and was replaced by offices used by Maxell Europe Ltd. Recording tape manufacturers. The brewery had started under Samuel Salter across the road in the Coach and Horses in the mid 18th.  His son Stephen began to acquire tied houses in the town and beyond. He died in 1800 and the brewery, with 18 tied houses, passed to his son, another Samuel.  In 1804 a cut was made from the canal to facilitate transport of barrels and in 1827, when Samuel died, the brewery was managed by Job Woodman. By 1837 Salter and Woodman’s brewery had 76 tied houses. In 1887, as  the Metropolitan Railway was built alongside Salter's erected a new plant, to the design of brewery architect William Bradford. This was for a five-storey tower brewery, with a boiler house and a chimney plus a maltings across the road. There were also stables for twenty horses, and a food store with a cupola and clock tower. Brewery House was adjacent. It had become one of the biggest breweries in Hertfordshire producing East India Pale Ale and XXXX strong ale plus bottled pale ale and double stout.  In 1924 the brewery was sold to the Cannon Brewery Company and the site was bought by a Walkers boat builders. The Picture House cinema opened in part of the brewery buildings and other parts of the site used by a tennis racquet maker and a fertiliser firm. In 1972 the brewery buildings were demolished and the Maxell offices built on the site
St. Joan of Arc's Convent High School. The school was originally opened by French nuns, the Filles de Jesus, in 1904. The local Roman Catholic priest bought 11 High Street, called Englefield’ and now the Sixth Form Centre. This was the first school premises. In 1922 "The Elms" was added and this is now the main front of the school. The Elms, built in 1722, has eleven and half acres of land and in 1728, belonged to George Eliot, the novelist who wrote Daniel Deronda there. The school became a School in 1951 and comprehensive in 1975 when boys were also admitted to the school
Statue. The statue of St. Joan of Arc in front of the main building was designed by Joan Jackson, Head Girl in 1939.
Site of malthouse.  This was part of the Cannon Brewery and was site in 1838. Demolished
20 house from the 17th later extended. It has a timber frame with red brick nogging
22 Coach and Horses Pub. This is a 16th building later extended and refronted. At the back is a long red brick and weather boarded timber framed outbuilding. As a pub it was in existence by 1722 and was been taken over by Samuel Salter in 1741, in what appears to have been his first venture in the brewery trade. By 1762 it may have been the Brewery Tap. When the Cannon Brewery bought Salters’s the pub passed to them and then to Taylor Walker when they took over Cannon in 1930. In 1959 Ind Coope acquired Taylor Walker sold it with others to Wells and Winch, of Biggleswade and they then became part of Greene King of Bury St Edmunds.
Town Hall – the first first Town Hall was built in 1869 by the Rickmansworth Town Hall Company on the old Market Hall site. This was used solely for social events. Between 1912 and 1927, it was a cinema. the Gothic  frontage has now been removed and replaced by shops but the remainder of the building is behind now used as offices
Gable House. This was the National School which was built in front of the old workhouse. Rickmansworth Charity School had been set up in 1711. In 1836 it was moved to the current site as a national school. It closed in 1936
Rickmansworth Poor House. The building probably dated from the mid 18th, following 1722 Poor Law measures. Changes in legislation in 1834 led to its inclusion in the Watford Union. It was sold and became the new home of the National School.
Baptist church. The church opened in 1833 an in 1843 they acquired the land where the church now stands. They bought Gable House in 1938.
59/61 Senior PLC. Senior began in the 1930s as a rival to and with staff from Greens Economisers. They make high tech metal components for a wide range of applications internationally.
Library. Run by Hertfordshire County Council and on the site of the Bell Inn.
32 The Hour House. This is an 18th house, now offices. On the first floor is a central blind window with a sundial.
Basing House. From 1672-7 this was William Penn's home in Rickmansworth. He was here for the four years between his marriage in 1672 to his first wife, Gulielma Springett and his departure for America. It was purchased by the Urban District Council in 1930 as offices following the death of a local doctor who lived there. It is a large timber framed 17th house remodelled 1850-60 and later extended in red brick. It has a timber frame.  Inside is the Council Chamber. It is currently in use for Three Rivers Museum, which is volunteer run.
97 Odeon Cinema. This was built and operated by Oscar Deutsch’s Odeon Theatres Ltd. Chain and opened in 1936. The cinema had a brick facade with a brick tower. It closed in 1957. The site was bought by the local Council for a public hall and swimming pool but remained vacant until the cinema was demolished in 1965. It then became a car park, Union Carbide House offices on part of the site. It is now a dentist.
Odeon Parade of shops and flats still exists. This was built in 1936 as part of the cinema complex and remained when it was demolished

London Road
Road bridge over the canal. This dates from 1973, and incorporates the old turnpike road to London: A shop which served canal users was demolished in the process. On the abutment is the design of a mule drawn canal boat
A toll gate stood in this area for the turnpike road.

Moor Lane
Hampton Hall Farm. This includes the site of Hampton Hall which may also be the site of the medieval manor of Blatchworth. It is named for a 14th lord of the manor, William Hampton. The manor house is mentioned in 1520 and may have been extant until 1839. The farm stands in what was its garden area and was built in the 1840s

Norfolk Road
Terraces built in the 19th called ‘Riverside’

Northway
Police Station
Council Offices

Park Road
Our Lady Help of Christians R.C. The Catholic Mission which became the parish of Rickmansworth was founded in 1886 by the Rev. Henry Hardy, a secular priest.  He used a corrugated iron chapel in the High Street. The Augustinians of the Assumption took over the parish in 1904 and they bought land from the Salter Brewery Company. They converted the buildings St Augustine's Priory and Hall, and built Our Lady Help of Christians which opened in 1909, with a Lady Chapel added in 1935. In 1979 the parish was transferred to the Verona Fathers - "The Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus". They left in 1985 and the parish became part of the Westminster Diocese, the buildings at the rear are partly on the site of a malt house in blue and red brick which is probably 19th. A blocked up window and window arch at base of building may be the remains of the original maltings
Housing on the site of Wright’s Garage, which was originally the Rickmansworth and District Omnibus Company’s bus garage built in 1922
Fortune Common
Rickmansworth Park Junior Mixed and Infants  School

River Chess
Salter’s Cut is a Canal branch which was part of the River Chess which in 1804 served Salters Brewery. It ran for 540 yards from the brewery, though Chess Lock adjacent to Batchworth Lock where it joins the canal. It allowed barrels of beer to be sent to Uxbridge and back. The cut also served Town Wharf, the Rickmansworth gas works and Sabey’s Pool. The Salter family had been brewers since the 17th Century. They paid for River Chess to be made navigable from their brewery and maltings.
Chess Lock. Built in 1804
A pedestrian bridge across the River Chess leading to further up the Canal towpath. This is concrete with a brick retaining wall along the ramped sections, and black and white iron railings on the bridge.
Timber footbridge across the River Chess sluice, which leads to a riverside footpath with fishing platforms and eventually the Ebury Way.
Rickmansworth Draw Bridge. A rare wide beam lift bridge
Rickmansworth Basin
Rickmansworth Basin Footbridge
Sabeys Wharf. Sabey being the gravel extraction company
Town Wharf. Served by Salters Cut
Sabeys Pool. A gravel extraction site
Side Lock built 1903
Lock

Skidmore Way
Skidmore Way Clinic

Taylors Cut
A canal branch which was next to St. Mary's Church went 300 yards through Bury Grounds to deliver flour to John Taylor’s bake house. It ran from below Batchworth Bridge to a wharf in the grounds of ‘The Bury’.

The Alders
Pillbox. Remains of Second World War defence structure. Type 24 and part of the Outer London Stop Line.

Town Ditch
On the line of an old drainage channel which was covered over in the 1960s to prevent floods

Wharf Lane
Gas Works. Site of Rickmansworth Gas Light and Coke Company works, completed 1853 and became a statutory company in 1885. In 1902 the company was incorporated as the Rickmansworth Gas Company and a year later Rickmansworth Urban District Council bought the works.  By 1917 high demand led to a supplementary supply from Watford works and from 1924 all gas cane from them. In 1934 the Watford & St Albans Gas Company bought the works from Rickmansworth Council and on nationalisation it became part of the Watford Group of the Watford Division of the Eastern Gas Board. Two holders remain on site subject to demolition.

Sources
Brewery History Society. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Disused Stations. Web site
Hertfordshire Churches
Hertfordshire County Council. Web site
National Archive Web site
Our Lady Help of Christians. Web site
Pub History. Web site
Rickmansworth Baptist Church. Web site
Rickmansworth Historical Society. Web site
Rickmansworth Primary Schools. Wikipedia. Web site.
Rickmansworth Waterways Trust Web site
St Joan of Arc School. Web site
The Grand Junction Canal. A Highway Laid with Water.  Web site
Three Rivers Council. Web site
Three Rivers Museum. Web site
Watford Observer. Web site.
Wessex Archaeology. Web site
Watersmeet. Web site
Whitelaw. Hidden Hertfordshire

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