Friday, 17 March 2017

Acton Central


Post to the north Acton Main Line, North Acton


Acacia Road
Acacia Club tennis courts. This was present on the north side of the road until the 1950s. There is now housing on the site – more modern than the rest of the road.

Acton Park
Acton Park.  This was created in 1888. In the middle ages this had partly been a common field, Church Field. In 1886-88 land was purchased by Acton Local Board from various owners, including the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's, a market garden, and the Perryn Charity but mainly from the Goldsmiths' Company.  Lane in the south of the park had been used in part for brick-earth extraction in the 1870s and the ground remains uneven. It was opened to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The northern boundary changed in the Second World War and became allotments and in 1945 prefabs were built here. A bank along the northern edge was removed when these prefabs were removed. At the same time an entrance was created as a result of a flying bomb demolishing houses in East Churchfields Road.
The Layout.  This includes mature trees some of which may predate the formation of the park and may be hedgerow trees. Some plane trees may have been planted to provide a view from the Goldsmiths' Almshouses. The municipal layout has radiating avenues of mature trees with large grassed open spaces, and there are views to the east. There are planted clumps and lined walks of beech, hornbeam, horse chestnuts and lime. There is a sunken garden laid out with rhododendrons and other shrubs.
Twilight Tree. This is a tree which died of Dutch Elm Disease near the main entrance carved into a 28-foot statue.
Wildlife site. In the south of the park is a hedge, a pond and wildflower meadow area. This was developed in .2001 by Ealing's Parks Service with the Friends of Acton Park.
Obelisk.  This is a memorial to James Radcliffe, Earl of Derwentwater who was one of the leaders of the 1715 Rebellion, imprisoned after the Battle of Preston, and beheaded on Tower Hill in 1716. It was originally in the grounds of Derwentwater House, Horn Lane and was given to Acton Council by the owners of the house in 1904.
Bandstand. This staged popular concerts in the early 20th. The site of it is now a circular bed with ornamental planting.
Pavilion and cafe. These were installed in the 1930s
Acton Park Lodge. It is now the East Ranger Base

Alfred Road
C.J. Jordan Monumental Masons were at Zero from the early 20th until around 2014. The site is now being developed for housing and Jordans are elsewhere in the Borough

Baldwyn Gardens
There is said to be a manhole cover here for Acton Council Electricity Supply

Berrymead Gardens
2 United Services Club. This was Liberty Hall an Evangelistic Mission, set up by undesignated Christians in 1908. The United Services Club were using the building by 1933 and remain as a Clubs and Institutes Union Working Men’s club.,
5 Presbytery for Our Lady of Lourdes which is round the corner in the High Road.

Birkbeck Road
4 Probation Service Office. The site was previously a nursery – and there may have been other nurseries opposite.

Chaucer Road
Roman Pottery found here by Pitt Rivers, 1869when the houses were built
Railings - early 18th railings, gate piers, and garden walls remain in back gardens in the street as relics of the grant houses which once stood in the area.


Church Road
16 Ruskin Hall. Ealing Labour Party
Hope Centre Baptist church. The Baptist church in Acton originated in 1856, and a church was established here in 1864. In 1894 the church split and some members built a rival chapel. In 1977 this church rejoined the Church Road Baptists. It was designed by in 1864 by W Mumford with a classical frontage and stained glass windows with idiosyncratic lamp brackets along the frontage


Churchfield Road
This is on the line of an ancient track across the Church Field from Acton to East Acton Lane, and it remained unpaved until 1860. Between Churchfield and East Churchfield Roads.
Level Crossing for the railway
2 Albion Pub. This closed 2008 and is now a beauty shop. It dated from the 1880s.
11-13 The Rocket. Originally this was The Station Hotel and was built in 1871
Darton Court. This is the site of Acton Congregational Chapel. This opened in 1871 and eventually became United Reform in 1972. It closed in 1976 and there is now a block of sheltered housing flats on site. Churchfield Hall was attached to the church and used by various religious and other groups for meetings, including use by local schools.
89 This was taken over in 1941 by the laundry operating at the rear in Grove Place. It was demolished in 1991 and replaced with flats.
115 The Mechanics Arms. This was later known as Foleys and then Lynch’s Inn. It closed in 2011. It dated from the 1880s
St Mary’s Burial Ground. This was opened in 1863 on land purchased by the Acton Vestry. It had been part of Conduit Close where springs, providing the village with water. By 1929 it was almost full. In 1979 it was turned into a public garden with a paved area, planters and headstones were set against the perimeter walls. It is bounded by iron railings with an iron entrance gate from Churchfield Road


Cromwell Close
This is on the site of what was Acton Technical College and itself on the site of Grove House. There are now flats on the site of the house and the college.
Grove House. This was built in the 19th as a gentleman’s country house and then demolished in the 1920s. It had previously been Acton Commercial College, a boys' boarding school from 1896, run by a trustee of Acton Methodist church. It provided preparatory classes for young boys and courses for careers in business, the civil service, and engineering. It moved to Ealing in 1925 and House was sold to Acton Urban District Council.
Acton Technical College. This was built on the site of Grove House and opened in 1928 with access via Locarno Road. Some sectors of the College moved out to eventually become Brunel University. The original College also moved and this building was demolished.


East Churchfield Road
Goldsmiths' Company almshouses. Overlooking the park this was built in 1811 by Charles Beazley. In 1808 a scheme was developed to build almshouses on Goldsmiths' Company property here. The freehold land had been left to the Goldsmiths by John Perryn. Twelve almshouses were built in 1811 and another eight added in 1838. Almspeople were chosen from the Settled Pension List. Rules were stringent and it was compulsory to attend church twice on Sundays. It is a yellow brick building with two wings. At the ends and the centre are stuccoed feature buildings. The forecourt gardens are laid out with a lawn and, originally, two Lebanon cedars. It is surrounded by railings on a low brick wall with central gates. Behind the buildings is a walled garden and allotment garden with service yard, with two old water pumps and a chapel. In 2011 they were converted into 20 homes by Charterhouse Standard Holdings.
Maples Children’s Centre and Nursery School.
Acton Central Station.  Opened in 1853 this now lies between Willesden Junction and South Acton on the North London Line. Originally North and South West Junction Railway were authorised to build a line between two other railway junctions to join the London North West Railway from near Kensal Green to the London South West Railway’s line near Kew. Passenger services over it were run by the North London on what was a single track with no stops.  In 1853 this station was opened and called ‘Acton’ and said to the result of action by the Goldsmiths’ Company. It was then called ‘Acton Churchfield Road’ until 1925 when it became ‘Acton Central’.  The Italianate station was very grand in pale brick with yellow London stock detail and is now partly a pub.  Between 1875 and 1902 it was connected with St.Pancras via the Dudding Hill Line.In 2011, the platforms were lengthened to allow longer trains. This is where trains change power supply from overhead line equipment to third rail
The Station House Pub. This is in the part of the station building which was the postal sorting office.
Manor Farmhouse. This was on the corner with East Acton Lane. There are now flats on the site.


Friars Place Lane
St Dunstan. This church was built in 1879 following a request from the Goldsmith’s Company who endowed it.  . It was designed by the architect R Hesketh with red brickwork and a 140 foot high landmark tower

Goldsmiths Close
A development by John Grey and Partners for Peabody1956

Grove Place
2 -2a this was a laundry before 1871. In 1887 it was the Sussex Laundry and in 1941 extended to a shop front in Churchfield Road


High Street
1 Railway Tavern. This pub has had a series of name changes – on 2006 it was the Captain Cook, and later Libertaire. Euphoriom, Frankie's; Hollywood Greats. It dates from the 1860s
Dominion Cinema. This opened in 1937. It was belonged to the Bacal & Lee Circuit, and was designed by Frank Ernest Bromige in streamlined Art Deco. Inside the circle was cafe in a sunken floor area. It was taken over by the Granada Circuit in 1946 and re-named Granada Theatre. It closed in 1972 and was became the Gala Bingo Club which closed in 2014. It was then sold to the Destiny Christian Centre who have now left it.
Town Hall. The original Town Hall building fronts onto Winchester Street. This is the 1938 extension. It continues along Winchester Street but faces onto the High Street.
Inside it is dominated by the main marble staircase. There is an Assembly hall, with a stage and dressing rooms a reception room, panelled in sycamore and called the Sycamore Room. Committee rooms on the first floor later used as offices. It was by Robert Atkinson who used good materials in a, Scandinavian-inspired fashion.
Acton Baths. These have now been rebuilt with an entrance from the High Street which opened in 2014.
50 Windmill Pub, Late 19th corner building with a tower and some pargetting.
Acton Library. This is in red-brick with an ornate fa├žade. It was designed by Maurice Bingham Adams and constructed in 1898-1900. It is no longer in use as a library. It was originally funded by Passmore Edwards
Our Lady of Lourdes. This is an Italian Romanesque church built in 2002 from designs by Edward Goldie including some use of concrete. The interior marble furnishings date from the 1950s. In the early 19th there was a small base of local Catholic activity and in 1882 a corrugated iron church was opened in South Acton and in 1902 the current church was built. Various extensions and fittings have been added since.
191 Crown Cinema. This opened in 1911 it built by. Field and Son. From 1913 it was named the Crown Kinema and closed around 1946. By then the auditorium was a snooker club. Part of the building was demolished in 2003 and flats built on the site. The original facade and foyer is a Chinese take-a-way and a dentist in above.
145 Elephant and Castle now called Foleys. Pub, also called The Clare Inn. This dates from the 1880s and may, or may not, still be open.
183  George and the Dragon. An 18th building with an Edwardian pub front. Inside is a list of landlords since 1759. There is also attached a micro brewery called the Dragonfly. There are also two large statues of nymphs.
Barclays Bank. Originally built for the London and South West Bank  in 1884
The Old Fire Station. The Acton Local Board bought a manual fire engine and escape following fires in the 1860s. A volunteer Fire Brigade was also formed and equipment was housed in a shed behind the church. A new Fire Station was opened in 1899 designed by D J Ebbetts, the Acton Surveyor. It included a tower to dry hose and act as a lookout. There was a flat for the engineer and a panelled room for drill. There was also a mortuary and an ambulance. It remained in use until 1939 and then became a civil defence post. It is now a church.
St.Mary's Church. This is the parish church. A church dedicated to St Mary of the Visitation’ has been on this site since at least 1231. In 1642 it was damaged by Roundhead soldiers. Under the present floor are the remains of the church rebuilt in 1834 and demolished except for the tower, in 1865. The tower was replaced in 1876. The church contains art works and monuments – including a wooden font carved by Maoris for the Wembley Exhibition of 1924-1925. The clock in the tower dates from 1876 and there are eight bells, two dated 1637.
Graveyard. This was replaced for burials by the Churchfield Road Burial Ground.
Pump. The Acton Pump is by the north-west door of St. Mary's. It was originally in the High Street replacing an earlier conduit. It was restored by Dorothea and placed here. It is inscribed "1819 t. Freethy, maker, Acton, erected by the Rev Wm. Antrobus"
Mile post. This is opposite the pump but originally stood in the High Street. As a turnpike that was the Uxbridge Road and distances were measured from Tyburn.

Hoopers Mews
Acton Poultry Club. Club House and offices in the 1940s and 1950s.

Horn Lane
This is an old lane now cut in two with part as a main road and part as a small scale shopping street. It was once called Stone Lane.
Stream called the Warple ran, or runs, from here to Ravenscourt Park. It flowed down along the road
10 Rex Cinema. This opened as the Acton Cinematograph Theatre in 1909. It had two projectors, a small orchestra, a piano and an organ. Seating was on a single floor. By 1913 it was the Acton Kinema Theatre, and then Kinema until 1930 when it was wired for sound and re-named Carlton Cinema. In 1937 it was re-named Rex Cinema and was closed in around 1943. The building was used as offices for Barrett Maintenance Services Ltd until it was demolished in 2007, and replaced with housing.
Man hole cover. This is said to represent St Helen's Cable Co. for Acton Urban District Council.
Artillery House Territorial Army. In 1938, RHQ, 154 and 155 Batteries had moved from Chelsea to here After the Second World War it was used by one of the City of London Field Regiments. The site is no longer in use by the TA. Engineer House was demolished in 2001 and there are now flats on site.
35 Hawkco House. Offices for tool hire company and training establishments. The building is named for F.Hawkins and Co. who moved the offices for their grocery business here in 1932. They went out of business in 1977
Springfield Gardens. The site was part of the estate of Springfields House, named for a spring here, part of the land was bought by Acton Urban District Council in 1920 in order to deposit excavated material from sewage works construction. In 1933 it was decided to turn it into ornamental public gardens. It opened in 1935 when it had 'trim lawns, flower-beds, rockeries, meandering gravel paths and summer houses' .Tennis courts, putting greens and bowling greens and a children's playground were provided and the park had a path 'in the form of a loop for gentle exercise'. An open-air theatre was later demolished.
Baptist chapel. This was on the corner of Faraday Road. It had originated in Hope Baptist church which moved here in 1904. It closed in 1934 and was renamed Faraday Hall and was subsequently used by Acton Liberal Association and later by the Labour Party.  The site is now flats.
Springfield Works. Described as ‘hearing aid works’ in the 1950s this seems to be a branch of Ardente Acoustics founded by a Mr. Dent. They had a head office in Oxford Street and a factory in Guildford and elsewhere, including Park Royal, and specialised in acoustic equipment of many sorts. Springfield Works itself was built on the site of an old gravel pit, one of several in the area
Derwentwater House. Built by historian Nicholas Selby in 1804 after the Earl of Derwentwater. Demolished 1909.
Rectory. This was built here in 1725 and demolished in 1925

Market Place
This was part of Horn Lane, renamed in the mid 19th when shops were built here. There are also market stalls in other parts of the adjacent area. There has been a market in Acton since the middle ages.
Sheepwalk Tavern. This pub closed in 2012 it may, or may not, be open. It’s a 19th pub originally called William IV.

Oldham Road
2-5 Acton Mosque and Muslim Welfare Association. Acton Mosque is the town's main mosque: daily prayers, Friday prayers, Islamic talks and children’s' classes.

Salisbury Street
Acton Baths – the public baths have now been replaced on the same site but with an entrance from the High Street
Public baths Acton Baths, opened in 1904, with changing rooms are located around the outside of the pool. There were two Swimming Baths and slipper baths supplemented in 1926 by the King's Rooms fronting the High Street. This meant there was a Grand Entrance Hall when the baths were floored over for a dance or concert. On the first floor was a restaurant with elaborate plaster of ship's prows. Restored in 1989-1990 and since demolished and replaced
King George V Garden. This was opened on Coronation Day 1911 and was eventually covered by extensions to the baths and the 1930s Town Hall. It was taken over for Army offices during the Great War and later used as offices by the Council.

Shaa Road
Road built up on Goldsmiths’ Company land in the late 19th

Shakespeare Road
This was built up in the 1860s and named for Shakespeare House which it replaced.
89- 91 Acton Conservative Club and Headquarters. In 1871 this was Acton’s first baths – a private baths, double fronted with imposing stairs. In 1903 it became a laundry, and in 1927 became a billiard saloon. It is said there is an underground stream and artesian well beneath it, and also a ghost. This has now been demolished and replaced with housing.
Derwentwater Primary school. This was built in 1905 as the Acton Central Schools, on part of the grounds of Derwentwater House.  It was a classic "three decker", with Infant, Junior and Senior schools in the three separate levels of the building. It was the first building in Acton to be lit by electric light from the Council's works in Wales Farm Road. The school had a commercial bias with French, typing and science included. It had a Manual Centre, and a Cookery School. It is now a Primary School and nursery

St.Dunstan's Avenue
There are several green spaces down the west side of the road. Many sadly fenced off.

Steyne Road
51-53 London Star Hotel
86 Duke of York Public House. Early 20th corner pub of three storeys in red brick with pepper pot turret with copper cladding.

The Vale
195 Kiss Gyms
272-282 Bryant Court Sheltered Housing
Access Storage Solutions. This is what was the Wallis Gilbert building of Napier’s engineering works as modified in the 1970s. David Napier came to Soho later moving to Lambeth, D Napier & Sons was set up in 1848 and was taken over by grandson M. S. Napier in 1895 working on internal combustion engines and motor carriages. They moved to Acton Vale in 1903, and by 1906 were making 200 cars a year plus motor boat engines. In the Great War they made aircraft engines under government contract including the “Lion”. This led to the construction of the extant building. During the Second World War, production of aircraft engines was increased. The company was taken over by English Electric Company in 1942, and became part of the GEC group. The Acton sites continued to develop products, but closed in 1965.
Park Lodge
Horse trough outside the Lodge
220 Seaton House and Grafton House. Marked from 1950s as ‘nurses homes’
St John's Ambulance. First Aid Dressing Station. Present in the 1950s
273 art deco garage building.
St Barnabas church. Built in 1890 as an iron mission church. Closed and the site sold by 1919 when the building became a club.

Vyner Road
Named after another goldsmith, Thomas Vyner

Winchester Street
Acton Town Hall and Municipal Buildings. Acton Public office and Town Hall were built in 1909-10 on a site then already crowded by public baths, a police court and a public library. They were designed by Raffles & Gridley who came second in a competition assessed by. Norman Shaw. The building is modest because of finance but embodied a degree of civic pride. Inside is a staircase leading to the council chamber, committee room and councillors' retiring-room on the first floor and expansion of office space was allowed for. In 1939 a new town hall was built for the Borough of Acton which fronts onto the High Street.
Magistrates Court. Now housing

Sources
Action W3. Web site
Acton Masjid. Web site
Barton. Lost Rivers of London
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Cinema Treasures. Web site.
C.J.Jordan and Sons. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London
Field. London Place Names,
Grace’s Guide. Web sites
Harper Smith. Soapsud Island
Haverhill Whitings. Web site
Hearing Aid Museum. Web site
Historic England. Web site
Knights. Electricity in Acton
London Borough of Ealing. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
London Gardens Online. Web site
London Metropolitan Archive. Web site
Lost Pubs Project. Web site
Meulankamp and Wheatley. Follies,
Middlesex Churches,
Middlesex County Council. History of Middlesex
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Pastscape. Web site
Pub History. Web site
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Rocket. Web site
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St Mary’s. Web site
Taking Stock. Web site

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