Monday, 9 December 2013

River Pinn - Grimsdyke

River Pinn
The Pinn rises from a number of places in this area and flows south westwards.


Post to the west Grimsdyke
Post to the north Harrow Weald
Post to the east Bentley Priory
Post to the south Harrow Weald

Brookshill Drive
The Drive is on the line of a field boundary.
1 Bridle Cottage.  Built for workers at Copse Farm 1890 by Charles Blackwell. They were built from Blackwell Kiln brick by bricklayer’s apprentices, to show off their skills.
2 Bridle Cottage.  Single-storey cottage built in 1890.  Built by Charles Blackwell
Copse Farm. This was Weald Copse Farm, 17th, and developed from cleared coppiced woodland. Rebuilt by Charles Blackwell
Copse Farm Barn and adjoining stables. Built by Charles Blackwell. The barn is 18th three bay with a timber-frame
Dairy Cottage. Built by Charles Blackwell
Farm Cottage. Built by Charles Blackwell
Portman Hall. Built on the site of Brookshill House
Brookshill. This was a large 19th house built by Thomas Blackwell (of the preserved food firm). A red brick wall remains and includes an angled gothic gateway with stone surround and a panelled wooden door.  It had been a farm originally which Blackwell rebuilt adding to it gradually over the years until his death in 1879, by which time it was a sizable country house with a small-scale landscaped garden. It later became Hertfordshire and Middlesex Country Club. 
Brickfield – brick making was carried on the east side of the road from the 17th.  Some belonged to the owners of Brookshill and they were initially built and run by the Bodimeade family but taken over by the Blackwells in the 18th.
Hillside. ‘Hillside’ was designed and built in 1868 by Robert Louis Roumieu for Thomas Blackwell (of Crosse & Blackwell). It had “…diaper-patterned brickwork and a mixed Gothic composition with French style turreted corner and Anglo-Dutch gables’. It remained in family ownership until 1955. It was sold in 1958 and then suffered severe fire damage and remained in ruins.  The stark Gothic shell of the house is overgrown within the remains of 19th planting
Hillside Coach house and stables. Built 1868 by RL Roumieu. They are in red brick with blue brick banding arranged round two sides of a yard. They comprise a coach house and with a coachman's accommodation above and a stable block of looseboxes. There are also a cart house and storage plus a barn. They are now housing.
The Hare. 19th pub with stable block.  In 1706 Thomas Clutterbuck, a brewer from Stanmore, leased a cottage to convert into a Public House – which has now become The Hare.
Sarson stone. In the north east corner of The Hare,
Whyteways. Accommodation for the elderly and a resource centre. Previously a care home for the elderly.

Clamp Hill
Fairfields. This was the home of Edmunde Crosse who started the food company with Thomas Blackwell. It was on the site of Brookshill Avenue.
Shaw Trust Horticulture was established in 1989 and is a social enterprise training and alternative to day care. It provides activities for adults with learning difficulties and people within the autistic spectrum
Scout hut. 1st Harrow Weald Scouts founded in 1910.

Common Road
The Kiln. This is a 17th house with some 18th walls. It is in red brick. It was once part of a brick making complex owned originally by the Bodymeade family, into which Thomas Blackwell married. There were three kilns 1795-1895. 
Kiln. The remains of one kiln survives in a ruinous state
North Lodge. This was staff accommodation for Grimsdyke
Squires Nursery. Opened as Kiln Nurseries founded in the 1950s.
Old Barn. The 17th timber frame was removed from near Worcester in 1915, and had been part of a barn.  Large with impressive chimneys.

Footpath to Copse Farm from Old Redding
This is a single track which was once a field boundary and which is rough and potholed between two fields with timber fencing on either side.
Harrow Weald Common
Harrow Weald Common is part of the remains of the Forest of Middlesex which once covered the area, Weald being an old word for 'forest'. By 1759 the extent of the common land had shrunk. Following Enclosure Acts, gravel extraction became one of the common rights of Harrow parishioners here, and in the 19th took place on a large scale leaving woods with an undulating floor. In 1886 a movement grew, supported locally by W.S.Gilbert, to prevent the land being sold off once gravel extraction ceased.  In 1899 the Metropolitan Commons (Harrow Weald) Supplemental Act was passed, revoking commoners' rights and setting up a Board of Conservators as a management body. Oak and hornbeam coppice remains from the ancient woodland. An avenue of trees planted by Leonard Renery, Keeper of the Common from 1961-96, is named 'Len's Avenue' in his memory. There is a mix of heath land, wet flushes and woodland.   Purple moor grass with ling suggests the type of heath this was before birch began to colonise.
Grim’s Ditch. The purpose of the ditch is unknown, as is its age. A fire hearth from the 1st has been found in the bank. This would date to a time when the Catuvellauni Tribe, from Verulamum were expanding their territory and opposed Roman rule.  The Ditch may have been a boundary marker

Old Redding
This was once called Wealdwood Road as an alternative to Old Redding. It may be named after Thomas Redding of Pinner or ‘Redding means a clearing in a wood.
The Case is Altered. Country inn c.1800. It has also been called The Cathedral.
The City. This was a group of semi-detached cottages built for brick factory workers in the 19th. In 1831 there were fourteen cottages inhabited by 120 people, but all that remains is what was 3-4 turned into one house. This is now also an area of open space
Grimsdyke Point, view and car park
South Lodge to Grimsdyke.  Built 1871 by R Norman Shaw in red brick. It marks the estate entrance; through an elaborately decorated cast iron gate with brick piers. It leads to a path lined with rhododendrons, creating a tunnelling effect.
Grim's Dyke House.  Built in 1872, by Richard Norman Shaw for Frederick Goodall RA, and designed for entertaining and as a studio built on the ground floor on a north-south axis to catch the light. It is a large, irregular house in modified Tudor style - a bit traditional English, a bit gothic and vaguely Victorian. Inside is an elaborate alabaster chimney piece by Ernest George.  Goodall sold it in 1880 to Robert Herriot of Hambros Bank who added a billiard room.   It then became the home of librettist W S Gilbert in 1890. Gilbert did not allow shooting on the estate and he had a fund to patrol the Weald.  He was a magistrate and Deputy Lieut of Middlesex. Lady Gilbert lived there until 1936. The house was purchased a year later by the London Borough of Harrow for a TB hospital which remained although used for secret work in the Second World War.. It is now a hotel but remains in the ownership of Harrow Council. There are plaques on the house to both Goodall, and Gilbert 1976.
Stable block in red brick. Now staff accommodation but had previously been turned into garages by Gilbert for his collection of motors.
North Lodge and the Bothy.  Now staff accommodation
Gardens. Before Grims Dyke was built Goodall had begun work on the gardens. He planted nurseries of conifers and shrubs such as rhododendrons and azaleas. Along the garden edge was a long narrow canal created by damming a brook running at the bottom of the ditch. The gardens were terraced, with a tennis court east of the lawns. The Gilberts created a sunken rose garden above the canal. There were dovecotes on the east lawn and beehives in the kitchen garden which was north of the earthworks and had an orchard and vineries as well as greenhouses where peaches, grapes, melons, nectarines and bananas were grown. A croquet lawn was installed created outside the library. Today there are formal gardens and specimen trees. The walled garden now houses the hotel annexe, Grim's Dyke Lodge, planted with laurel, rhododendron, and two Wellingtonias. Nearby are the remains of the vegetable garden and greenhouses. To the ornamental woodland contains ponds and the lake there is rhododendron under storey, bamboo, lime trees, holly and oak plus a plantation of beech and oak.
Canal and Dyke. When Goodall decided to build Grimsdyke he first laid out the estate. He left the area next to the Grim’s Ditch linear earthwork unplanted. The gravel pits near it were reused as small lakes, and a moat was built along the line of the Ditch. Parallel to the dyke Goodall designed a canal and Shaw built two stone bridges, which incorporated flints from the ruined church at Stanmore. These remain retaining the ornamental rockwork below which is a gothic niche inscribed with the date 1875
Lake – Gilbert created a lake to the south of the house in c.1900. It had a central island, a promontory with rockwork cascade, a boathouse and a changing hut.  It was here that he died trying to help Ruby Preece who was in difficulties swimming.  (She of course became Patricia Preece and the downfall of Stanley Spencer). This remains although partly drained under Lady Gilbert. There are the remains of the boathouse and artificial rockwork cascade with pipe work still intact.
Charles II statue by Cibber in 1681 stood in Soho Square. In 1875it was removed by T. Blackwell who gave it to, Goodall who out it on an island in a lake at Grim's Dyke. Lady Gilbert left it to be returned, to Soho Square in 1938 where it is now.
Boundary ditch and bank built by Gilbert
Model Farm – only a wall of this farm, built by Gilbert remains and the area is used as a car park
Post Office tower with radar, etc.


Sources
Behind the Blue Plaques
Blue Plaque Guide
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Citywildspace
English Heritage. Web site
Grimsdyke. Wikipedia. Web site
Harrow Weald Country Park
Histories of Harrow Weald Highway. Web site
GLIAS Newsletter
London Borough of Harrow Web site
London Encyclopaedia
London Gardens Online. Web site
Nairn. Nairn’s London
Pevsner and Cherry. North West London
Shaw Trust. Web site
Stevenson. Middlesex
Thames Basin Archaeology of Industry Group. Report
The Case is Altered. Web site
The Hare. Web site
Walford. Village London

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