Saturday, 4 January 2014

Sweeps Ditch Penton Hook


This posting relates to sites north of the River only. south of the river is Penton Hook Marina


Sweeps Ditch
Sweeps Ditch flows south and into the Thames


Post to the north Staines
Post to the south Laleham Burway and Laleham Thameside
Post to the west Truss Island and Staines Penton Avenue and Field

Laleham Raw Water intake
The intake was planned by the Metropolitan Water Board in the early 20th as part of works to improve supply to north London and thus to supply two new reservoirs.  The water was to be taken from the Thames to fill two new reservoirs. Thames Conservancy granted permission for the intake in 1913. The contractors were Dick Kerr and Co, but progress was held up by the Great War and eventually the effect of Government orders were decided in the High Court and the House of Lords. Work recommenced in the 1920s with Pearsons as the contractor.  The reservoirs were inaugurated in 1925 and now 200 million gallons of Thames water is pumped daily along the intake channel to the Queen Mary Reservoir.
On the river side of the intake is a plaque which must refer to its construction by the Metropolitan Water Board in 1924.

Penton Hook
The Hook is a loop in the Thames. In the 1700s, there was no lock here. When the river was flowing high and fast, the water rushing against the outside of the river bend sometimes burst its banks. The narrow neck of the island was broken through by flood waters so regularly that barges used it as a 'short cut'.  A lock was suggested here in 1809, and an enabling act passed in 1814. The first lock was built here in 1815 because of this. The Kingston Zodiac describes this as being ‘On the dog’s collar’.
Penton Hook island - this is managed by the Environment Agency and fees like a nature reserve. It was built up with spoil from dredging. It has a fish spawning channel and there is a picnic area.
Penton Hook Lock.  Highest of the Corporation of City of London locks and built by them in 1815.  At first it was a timber pound lock here and in 1909 it was rebuilt and then in 1965 replaced with a hydraulic operation and hen the heavy manual oak beams were removed. At over 266 ft it is the third longest lock on the river.
Lock keepers cottage. Built in 1814 it has the Corporation of the City of London’s arms on it since they contracted it and the lock as at that time they had responsibility for the river
Penton Lock Weir Entrance. This weir was built later than the lock and links across to Penton Hook Island and has a wide footpath to the island.
Penton Lock Weir Exit. This weir goes from the island across the old course of the Abbey River on the south bank. The footpath across it is closed.  A weir was built in 1846 was positioned below the river outfall for the benefit of the miller. This caused problems of too strong a stream and it had to be relocated above the outfall.


Penton Hook Road
Penton Hook Farm. Farm house and fields, some near the river. It is used as a pre-training stables.

Staines Road
Anglers Retreat Pub


Sources
Caine. The Kingston Zodiac
Canal Plan. Web site
Metropolitan Water Board. 40 Years Review 1903-1953
Penton Hook Lock. Wikipedia. Web page
River Thames Co. Web site

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