Monday, July 10, 2017

Northolt

This is the 46th station on the Central line that I have visited. The Underground station was opened here in 1948 when the Central line was extended.




The station consists of an island platform with the lines running on either side.













A recent addition to the platform is this shelter. No doubt very welcome in the wet weather.




Leaving the station I was surprised by the volume of traffic on the road outside. I had heard of Northolt village so had imagined a much quieter environment.



Almost next to the station is a leisure centre complex comprising of a gym, swimming pool, library, cafe and police station. Always useful places for a visitor when in need of toilet facilities.














I crossed the busy A312 and within five minutes I had found the village green with its well maintained grass and flower beds.
This section of the green is Mandeville Green.  The old village green is just a little further down the road. Mandeville Road was built in the 1930s to link Northolt village to the new Western Avenue. Where it joined the old Ealing Road a triangular space was created which became the Mandeville Green.
Dominating the green is the Clock Tower. Erected in 1937 to commemorate the coronation of King George VI.

It has a splendid copper weather vane on top of the clock tower but I couldn't find out why it was in the shape of a ship.


Walking on you arrive at the older part of the village green. A small stream meanders through the green which looks very picturesque until you get a bit closer and notice the litter that has just been casually thrown into it! Overlooking this part of the green is a group of older cottages.




 In the older part of the village is The Crown public house. There has been a drinking establishment on this site since the early 18th cent. The original building and stables were extended and modified during the Victorian and Edwardian periods.






Next to the pub is this K6 telephone box. Eight kiosk types were introduced by the GPO (General Post Office) between 1926 and 1983. The K6 was designed by Sir Giles Scott to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935. Some 60,000 were installed around Britain which is why this design has come to represent the red telephone box. Despite the decline in need for public telephone boxes  over 11,000 K6s still remain.


The centre of the old village is overlooked by the parish church. Northolt Village Green was designated a Conservation area in 1969.







St Mary's church and the Memorial Hall is reached from the green up a lime tree-lined path.

A church has been on this site since 1140. The present church is mainly from the fourteenth century but has remnants from the thirteenth century.


The door was firmly locked so I had to be content with admiring the outside of the church.




Surrounding the church is the graveyard with its assortment of aging gravestones. A pathway through the graveyard takes you out onto open parkland.


I followed the path through the countryside park to the back of the church and it led me to the site of an old moated manor house.




 There is nothing left of the manor house but its history. The manor of Northolt was given by William the Conqueror to Geoffrey de Mandeville after the conquest in 1066. A stone Manor house was built here in 1231. A moat was also dug and this survived as a feature long after the buildings had been pulled down. The land was purchased by Ealing Borough Council in 1928 from a developer who wanted to build over the moated site. Instead the council turned the land into a park. The site was excavated between 1950 and 1970 and the finds removed to a local museum.


There are markers laid out to show the plan of the medieval manor.




Next to the church is the Memorial Hall. There have been many buildings on this site including a half timbered building used as a poor house until the 1830s. It was replaced by a schoolhouse in 1840 and then rebuilt in 1868. The building became inadequate as a school and in 1907 a new Northolt primary school was built in West End Lane. Since 1927 the building has been used as the Memorial Hall, run by the Village Green Trust.


Walking back from the Church and the Hall I passed the Northolt Village rest garden


Beyond the garden you can see the Crown Public House. Looking in the opposite direction you see the Willow Cottages.


There used to be three cottages here but these two have been left as a reminder of the spartan living conditions of the agricultural labourers from the early 1800s, They were occupied until 1930. The cottages became run down and condemned for their lack of sanitary facilities but have been preserved as part of the rest garden. Eventually they will become an interpretation centre with displays relating to the local manor house site and other places of interest. The door was open so I had a peep inside. Currently they appear to be used to store the gardeners' tools.


The garden is well tended with a number of seats to enjoy the scents and sights of the flower beds. After a short rest I walked back into the village.

This is the Northolt Village Community Centre complete with its model railway track running through the grounds.

There was one more place I had heard about and wanted to visit and that was the Northala fields. Four large mounds, rising from the countryside park like ancient burial grounds can be seen at the other side of Western Avenue.
I crossed the very busy A40 (Western Avenue) to have a closer look at the mounds.
The four conical mounds were created from rubble from the original Wembley Stadium when it was demolished.They were built to help reduce visual and noise pollution from the A40.
The tallest mound has a spiral path leading to the top.
From here you have a panoramic view of the area as well as the tall iconic buildings of central London. Unfortunately there was also a lot of rubbish on the wall despite there being litter bins!!!!












Behind the mounds are six fishing lakes as well as a large children's playground and other facilities.















Bridges and subways took me back along the High Street to the station and home.


The modern side of the village

It was an interesting visit to Northolt to see the old and the newer parts of the village. The local council and Residents Association  seem to be doing an excellent job of maintaining the green areas and preserving what is left of the old village. It is a great pity that some sections of the community do not have the same respect for their area and are content to leave litter everywhere.




12 comments:

  1. That was quite a tour. You must have a good sense of direction or do you use a gps to find your way back to the starting point?

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  2. The train station looks very well kept and looked after and I'm loving the red telephone box, haven't seen one of those in years.

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  3. There is so much history in that little church that is still standing since 1100s.

    Worth a Thousand Words

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  4. That's an attractive village.

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  5. I had not heard of Northolt and you painted it very well. Litterers are evil.

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  6. The train system there is amazing! What a convenience! This was a pretty area

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  7. What a beautiful place to visit, the only thing I knew about Northolt was it had an RAF station there

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  8. Beautiful area! I'm glad they are preserving the old part ...shame about the litter ... that sadly is certainly a problem on this side of the pond as well... I smiled about the shelters coming in handy in wet weather...what? It rains in London :)).... (from my blog readers might think it never rained in Oregon either). Also interesting about the public building close to the station , handy if one needs to use the facilities.... older I get, the more important to know about....crossing that busy hwy looks scary.

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  9. This looks a great village with the green areas called village greens. That is so English. Shame about the litterbugs.

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  10. this is a beautiful place. i love the clock. this village looks quiet and busy at the same time.
    today I deside to visit london again - my daughter and I will visit a play - bought the tickets already - now there is no way back :))

    have a nice day
    gusta

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  11. Wow ,what a post! So many interesting things to see and read about. Had no idea that there were so many Polish pilots working in the Air Force during World War II! Great to give them credit for their sacrifices! Thank you for visiting my blog:):)

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