Conservation in Eastcote

Contacts:

Eastcote Conservation Panel – Contact Lesley Crowcroft – 020 8866 8436 – lesley.crowcroft@gmail.com
Friends of Eastcote House Gardens

Eastcote is most fortunate in having extensive parks and green spaces, woodland areas, a large number of historic buildings, Conservation Areas and a number of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC).

The late Sheila Liberty former Conservation Panel Chairman, planting a tree in Long Meadow

Under the heading of Conservation in Eastcote are a whole range of activities connected with the protection and enhancement of our local environment. Local members who are involved in Conservation are drawn from all areas of the Community with diverse interests in local history, plants and trees, preservation of buildings. Through members of the Residents Association, members of the Conservation Panel and Friends groups we help to look after and monitor activity in the following:-

  • Four Parks :-
    Eastcote House Gardens:

    Walled Garden – Winter 2010

    Stables
    Warrender Park: Haydon Hall Park:

    Warrender Park – Green Flag Award

    Haydon Hall Park- Haydon Hall Lodge:
    Bessingby/Cavendish Parks: which includes a Site of Nature Conservation
    Bessingby Park

     

    Cavendish Pavillion:
  • Four other Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation, ( SINC)

River Pinn Corridor through Long Meadow, Cheney Field, and Forge Green Part of the Celandine Route

Haydon Hall Meadows: which is also Green Belt Land. spring flowers
  • Highgrove Woods
  • Yeading Brook River Corridor at Whitby Road to Field End Road

Three Conservation Areas (see the Conservation Appraisals at Conservation-areas-in-Hillingdon )

1. Eastcote Village Conservation Area:

Fig 1 Forge Green Sign

 

  • Fig 2 Land Next To Black Horse Pub 1960. A ‘still picture’ from the film ‘Ruislip – Northwood U.D.C short film of a car journey, showing old houses and newer developments’ from londonarchives.com

    2. Morford Way Conservation Area 

Fig 1 Courtesy of picturesofengland.com. ‘….There were also rows of Tudor-style shops. Along the line in ‘the Cityman’s ideal suburb’ at Eastcote the potential purchaser could ‘embrace the opportunity … to secure [his] ideal home amid surroundings of unsurpassed natural beauty’. On the Eastcote End Park Estate a residence cost £975! The vast estate built by T.F. Nash at Ruislip Manor developed from about 1932 onwards and was in the form of Tudor-style and ‘suntrap’ houses in terraces, sometimes in semi- detached pairs….’ p.22 Metro memories : an armchair odyssey through the countryside served by the Metropolitan Railway by Edwards, Dennis F.
3. Eastcote Park Estate Conservation Area

Fig 1 Click on this photo of Eastcote Park Estate to reach londonsscreenarchives for a Hillingdon Local Studies, Archives and Museum Service a VHS Film; ‘An Area of Special Character’

30 Grade II Listed Buildings

22 Locally listed buildings and artefacts.

The Conservation Panel or to give it its full title the Eastcote Village Conservation Area Advisory Panel through representatives is allowed to speak at North Planning Committee meetings, when applications are submitted which might affect Conservation Areas; both built environment and green spaces.

For three of the Parks local residents have formed up groups to help to look after the parks. These are:-

The Friends of Eastcote House Gardens Management Advisory Group, with members from the Conservation panel. The aim of the “Friends” is to secure the future of the Stables, Dovecote and Garden Wall, which are all on the English Heritage “Buildings at Risk Register”. In addition “The Friends” gardeners have worked tirelessly to improve the gardens.

Cavendish & Bessingby Management Advisory Group who’s aim is to improve these parks and arrange activities in the parks

Representatives of the Panel attend the meetings of Friends of Warrender Park and Highgrove Management Advisory Group, Bessingby/ Cavendish Management Advisory Group and the Yeading Valley Working Group.

For the Contacts with each of these organisations please see above

In the book – The Development of the English Semi-detached House: 1750-1950 By PAMELA B LOFTHOUSE 2012 it says ‘the Housing Act 1923 offered some subsidies and incentives to speculative builders to build new estates. And as Alan Jackson (1991) describes in his book about suburban London, the massive expansion of the tram, railway and underground networks made it possible to live in a suburb and commute to work in the city. Suburbs of semis which were accessible by the London Metropolitan trains were known as Metroland (Figure 1).

Fig 1 (Interwar semis in Metroland) © Copyright Stephen McKay and licensed for reuse under creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0. ‘….‘Safeguard your dependants… it costs no more,’ recommended the advertisements for the £1,075 houses on the Towers Estate by Howell & Burgess, off Bridle Road. Rotherham Estates and the General Housing Company were other Eastcote builders. The final completion of the shops and the unfinished estates had to wait until the 1950s….’ p.69 London’s underground suburbs by Edwards, Dennis F p.69 ‘….Buying a house was easy. For example a Rotherham Estate house at Eastcote cost £675 in 1934. You paid £45 down and then about 18s a week for the next twenty years. Some builders even paid moving expenses. Season tickets were cheap, too. A monthly ticket from Eastcote to Liverpool Street was £2 16s, and that was First Class!….’

This combination of factors was a catalyst for a building boom which created countless new English interwar suburbs surrounding the cities and towns. Activity reached a peak during the late 1920s and early 1930s, a period when the speculative builders undertook every aspect of suburban estate development, “from the initial purchase and layout of the land, to marketing the houses and encouraging the maximum number of potential buyers” (Barrett and Phillips 1987, 20). Of the four million houses built during the interwar period, almost three quarters were constructed by private builders, with around 400,000 of those attracting a state subsidy (Jensen 2007, 150). Of the 2.9 million privately-built dwellings, 2.5 million were semis (Clapson 2008, 155).’

Further reading around this subject can also be found at Alan Crisp M.Litt Oxford Thesis 1998

Fig 2 Typical Construction of Housing in the Area. ‘….T. F. Nash was busy with superior-type houses east of Field End Road towards Eastcote village’ and Comben & Wakeling’s large neo-Tudor houses were in an attractive setting at the Eastcote Park Estate, which overlooked the green meadows beside the river Pinn….’ p.66 London’s underground suburbs by Edwards, Dennis F
Fig 3 Ruislip-Northwood  U.D.C. Short Film circa 1960s. See londonsscreenarchives.org.uk
Fig 4 Ruislip-Northwood borough in 1961 By NotscottOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

⇐Before the formation of the London Borough of Hillingdon, the area was made up of several districts one of which was the Ruislip-Northwood  U.D.C (Urban District Council). For a circa 1960s short film of a car journey through the RNUDC area, showing old houses and new developments see Fig 3.

⇒Ruislip-Northwood was an urban district in west Middlesex, England, from 1904 to 1965. Fig 4 shows the extent. The district formation and abolition in 1965 is described at wikipedia RN UDC

 

Fig 5 Ruislip Northwood Coat-of-Arms. Note; the woods, the star and rye. © Hillingdon Council 2020

 

⇐ The district Coat-of-Arms was granted in 1937 The Ruislip and Northwood Urban District Council (RNUDC) Coat-of-Arms is shown in Fig 5 is explained at civicheraldry.co.uk

 

Fig 6 The bridge over the River Pinn at Fore St Eastcote with stone slab inset

⇒The RNUDC exists now only in documention but there is a physical trace still remaining. A bridge over the River Pinn at Fore St Eastcote has a rectangular bordered stone slab inset into the wall brickwork on both sides shown in Fig 6. On researching LBHillingdon’s Archives, there is  a photo with description ‘…. Black and white photograph of the Ruislip and Northwood Urban District Council coat of arms on the bridge over the River Pinn in Fore Street, Eastcote The photograph shows a coat of arms on a concrete block set into the brickwork of a bridge.Object number EAS&P 133 .’  This is shown in Fig 7. The shape and outline of the arms of the photo in Fig 7 can just be made out match the artwork in Fig 5. edithsstreets.blogspot reviews the river-pinn-eastcote and also edithsstreets.blogspot reviews eastcote further south.

 

Fig 7 LBHillingdon’s Archives;  coat of arms on the bridge over the River Pinn in Fore Street, Eastcote Design & Attrib. LBHillingdon Archives. © Hillingdon Council 2020

 Are there any clues or coincidences for a Coat-of-Arms for this location? 

It is hard to see in the black and white photo but we know from Fig 5 that the upper part of shield in the RNUDC Coat-of-Arms has 2 Fleur-De-Lys and these originate from the Medieval Landlords of this area.   Wiki Heraldry Marshalling explains where  two or more coats of arms is to combine them in one shield in order to express inheritance or claims to property with wiki dividing the field in this case party per fess (the shield halved horizontally).

 

 

 

One Fleur de Lys refers to THE ABBEY OF BEC. ( refs;  google books The History of the Royal Abbey of Bec: By Jean Bourget in 1764) ‘THE monastery of Le Bec Hel- louin, or Helium, situate in Le Roumois, between Lieuvain and the plain of Neufmoury, nine leagues (lieue in French and could be any one of according to wiki Units_of_measurement_before_the_French_Revolution lieue des Postes/lieue de 25 au degré/lieue tarifaire but most likely the lieue de Paris and 25.5 imperial miles or 41.1 metric kilometres by foot) from the capital of Normandy, may justly be considered as one of the most considerable in the kingdom’. 

P.118 books.google or p.118 ebooks.google says  ‘The other two seals had Herlvinvs abbas: reverse the figure of a religious with a pastoral staff and book ; and on his right hand a fleur de lis, the arms of France’

Fig 8 Abbaye du Bec-Hellouin – Tour Saint-Nicolas – face occidentale, à gauche, l’ancienne porterie et, à droite, le logis abbatial. licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Attrib Roland Brierre Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Abbey Of Bec is of significance to England as wiki Bec_Abbey explains; the followers of William the Conqueror supported the abbey, enriching it with extensive properties in England. St Neots Priory, Goldcliff Priory in Monmouthshire, the village of Tooting Bec (now a London suburb) so named because the abbey owned the land. Persons of interest included and who both became Archbishop of Canterbury were Lanfranc (1070) and Anselm (1093). Prior Lanfranc as heritage-history explains was busy in Rome, striving for a more favourable verdict from the reigning Pope concerning the marriage of Duke William and Matilda. William gave Ducal protection to nobal families says at Abbey of Le Becs (11th–13th Centuries) edited by Pohl/Gathagan and Ernulf de Hesdin says at rnelhs ManorFarmTimeline the manor of RUISLIP was c. 1087 granted it to the Abbot and Convent of the Benedictine Abbey of Bec in Normandy. Bec enjoyed possession until 1211 when King John sequestrated as british-history middx explains. Whilst under the then Abbot Anselm, Bec became the foremost seat of learning in Europe and the fame of the monastery grew from his intellectual achievements. Research material and notes are located at the rnelhs Medieval Bibliography.

Whilst wiki Bec_Abbey points out that “Bec” is the name of the stream running through the abbey.

The other Fleur de Lys of the RNUDC Coat-of-Arms can be seen in the Arms of Cambridge College at Wiki CollegeCambridge. The source kings.cam.ac.uk/archive-centre confirms that rectorial manors came with chancel repair liability and BritishHistory Ruislip goes onto explains that ‘….the bridge, responsibility for which had been transferred to the lord of the manor, was again ruinous….A brick and timber structure, maintained at the expense of King’s College, Cambridge as lords of the manor, …The college was also responsible for the upkeep of Cannons’ Bridge and Parson’s Bridge in Bury Street and a wooden bridge at White Butts … responsibility for Clack Bridge across the Pinn at the west end of Clack Lane near the western boundary….All these were cart bridges, the parish being responsible for repairs to numerous foot bridges’. Here at kings.cam.ac.uk is the oldest known complete manorial court roll in existence and  includes Tooting, Surrey and Ruislip. Kings College also holds a  Middlesex 6″ Ordnance Survey Map of the Ruislip Manor Estate showing property owned by the College in 1894.

Fore Street bridge may have been present in 1841 by inspection of the map at this archive; Middlesex X.NW Nat. Lib. Scotland

rnelhs The ManorFarmTimeline explains that Fore Street (taking its name from its position in front of the park) is in the Domesday Book . 

The stream at the Abbey of Bec Normandy and the bridge maintenance of Kings College Cambridge is hence apt that a coat of arms be on a bridge over the Pinn river. 

The abolition of RNUDC in 1965 perhaps initiated the removal the Coat-of-Arms and its deux fleurs from Fore St bridge and perhaps removes a link to this fair land and 800 years of history including one Abbey, two Archbishops, a Conqueror and their English land expropriations and England’s King’s College Cambridge as lords of the manor from 1611 to c. 1758.

Local people do remember. ‘…there was a plaque on the Fore Street bridge which I recall seeing many years ago. You can still see where it used to be….

Fig 9 LBHillingdon Coat-of-Arms © Hillingdon Council 2020. One flower and the rye slips and North Star of the RNUDC Arms along with the Urban District Councils were marshalled into the LBHillingdon Coat-of-arms shown. The RNELHS make four Heraldry references (viewable at St Martin’s Church Ruislip) in rnelhs On-lineJournals 80/3, 81/2, 92/1 and one reference at 96/6. All articles from RNELHS journals apart from the most recent years, have been digitised and are available at  www.rnelhs.org.uk and click on Journals.

Fig 10. The four Coat-of-Arms (all images © Hillingdon Council) contributing to the LBHillingdon Arms. Kay Holmes of the RNELHS gives a full account at p.19 rnelhs 2001/Searchable_Journal The Hayes&Harlington shield described at wiki_HayesHarlingtonUDC portrays runways and wings referring London Airport, cog-wheels stood for industry in general and the lightning flashes to the electrical industries in particular. Using the language of Heraldry, wiki_YiewsleyWestDraytonUDC says; ‘Per chevron enarched or and vert in chief two cartwheels sable and in base an eagle displayed argent a chief gules thereon on a mount vert a representation of the Gatehouse at West Drayton proper. Crest: On a wreath of the colours between two eagle’s wings or charged with a cross gules a Tudor rose proper’. Whilst noblecompany.org/heraldry_basics explains the Heraldic framework, heraldry-wiki Uxbridge_(England) explains the Uxbridge content of the crest, shield and supporters. Hayes & Harlington had the seaxe and Saxon crown, Uxbridge the demi-Lion Gules supporting a Seax blade both from the arms of Middlesex

 

Fig 11 shows an archive picture (digitally altered) from the RNELHS published book: ‘Eastcote – A Pictorial History’ available from rnelhs.org.uk/publications , abebooks.com or auction websites. The view of Pretty Corner is coincidentally only a few paces south of the the slab insets of Fore St bridge. Click on the Fig.10 to see the pond in 1841 by inspection of the map. Eastcote: . p64. The romance of Metro-land : a further armchair odyssey through the countryside served by the old Metropolitan Railway by Edwards, Dennis F has a photograph of ‘…..A Tudor home in Metro-land Entrance to the St Lawrence Drive estate at Eastcote village, October 1933. Messrs Comben and Wakeling built high-class neo-Tudor houses like this in many parts of Metro- land. This estate was built on the site of ‘The Sigers,’ once the house of a Bank of England Governor. Apparently the Eastcote children had a wonderful time building castles with the bricks or risking their lives ‘mountaineering’ on the wooden scaffolding round the unfinished houses. Yet down the road to the left there were still part- ridges in the coverts and woods along the banks of the River Pinn. The cart in this picture is probably one of William Clarke’s, the Ruislip hauler. He carried builders’ supplies from Eastcote and Ruislip sidings to estates all over the area….’

 

Fig 12 Pretty Corner Eastcote today with green and hedged amenity space and pond digitally reinstated. ‘….Eastcote and Field End Road are full of secluded houses, well kept, in a tree-lined setting. There are a number of wood barns in good preservation, and the few modern houses in this area are in ‘Georgian’ style, and do not assault the eye. Not all of the go listed in the inventory are still standing, but enough remain to make Eastcote the best preserved section of eighteenth-century Middlesex….’ p.122 (c) Bruce Stevenson Middlesex 1972 Pub T Batsford. As well Middlesex by Robbins, Michael 2003 p.398 says ‘…has still 25 buildings recorded by the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments as earlier than 1714, a remarkable number for a Middlesex hamlet. Eastcote House, NW. of the station, is a mansion of about 1600, with 17th-century stables, refaced in the 18th century, with additions; Park Farm and Sigers House, to the SE., are both 17th- century houses; Haydon Hall farm, in Joel Street, was built c.1700. Field End farm, with its dovecote and 16th- century barn of unusual height, is a fine example of the old comfortable Middlesex house….’ 

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Eastcote Village today ©Google 2021 location. Compare with the figure above concerning the ‘Land Next To Black Horse Pub 1960’. A car journey going Eastwards would now go via new houses, new developments and the modern village shopping parade then past the Black Horse pub and Pretty Corner (out of shot).

Parks And Green Spaces in South Eastcote

Figure journeys from Bessingby to Cavendish Park and Colombia Ave, Woodlands Ave Green Spaces.  archive.hillingdon.gov.uk states that there are three adjoining green spaces: Bessingby Park, Pine Gardens and Cavendish Park and have numerous sports facilities including 5 tennis courts, 7 football pitches, 2 bowls greens, 1 grass cricket square and 1 multi-games ball wall supported by 2 bowls clubs, 1 cricket pavilion and 1 football pavilion. There is also a restored cycle training track. There are two playgrounds; one traditional at Pine Gardens and one modern ‘playbuilder’ style in Bessingby Park. The parks are supported by an active ‘Friends of’ group (Friends of Bessingby and Cavendish Parks) who host quarterly litter picks, an Easter Egg Hunt, and other one-off events. archive.hillingdon.gov.uk HillingdonGreen_Spaces_listing states that Columbia Ave has 11,460m² of green space. Woodlands Ave has 5, 930m² and is adjacent to Roxbourne Park over the border in Harrow Borough. More recreation is available at the British Legion Club on Southbourne Gardens and hillingdon.gov.uk allotments shows on the map the Southbourne Gardens Main entrance sited in a public car park off Oak Grove.