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When Eastcote or Ruislip was inhabited is undetermined, but there is no
evidence of occupation in prehistoric or Roman times and it is generally
considered that most of the heavy clay lands of Middlesex, once covered
with forest, were not inhabited until the seventh century.
Our journey starts on Cuckoo Hill which was possibly originally known as Mistletoe Hill (mylstye) meaning ‘the path to the mill’, there used to be a mill in Pinner Green. Going down the hill from Cuckoo Hill Farm, we leave Pinner Green behind us and travel in a southerly direction towards Eastcote, we pass Mistletoe Farm on the right. This magnificent 17th century farm house standing in beautiful secluded gardens is set back from the road and is partly hidden by tree's, located within the garden paths are three mill stones, indicating a possible bygone connection to the mill.
St Catherine’s Farm just in Catlins Lane was probably built in the late 16th Century, the original frontage of the farm extended for about 150 yards of the lanes total 590 yards according to the ordnance survey of 1864. The name possible derives from when the land and other land in the manor of Ruislip belonged to St Catherine’s Abbey of Rouen.
Ramin this house was an Inn with two attached cottages until around 1924 when it was converted into a single dwelling. Evidence from original wooden beams would suggest that this house dates from around the 15th Century. Deeds mention that in 1800 it was an inn occupied by two brothers. The origin of the name is unknown but would suggest that at one time it was the Ram Inn.
Mr Bertram Park a well known rose grower used to live in The Old Shooting Box, this house was composed originally of three small cottages, there was a further three in front, one being the Eastcote Post Office in the 1860-70’s. The title deeds of 1710 state that the copyholder had to go to the Ruislip Manor House, and pay a yearly rent of eighteen pence.
The long weatherboarded house is Eastcote Grange this building which used to be a separate house and barn dating back to the 16th Century. The two were joined in the 1920’s by Mr & Mrs C.N.G Dore. The barn at the end is now offices.
The Case is Altered inn was originally a farmhouse thought to have been built at the end of the 16th Century. Evidence of its age is found in its wooden oak beams made from ships timbers of Elizabeth 1st period. First mention of the inn being a beer house appears in the Uxbridge Licensing Records of 1828. The building was reconstructed in 1890 where further evidence of its age were identified by the timbers and bricks used in the stables and the threshing floor.
Haydon Hall (now demolished) can be traced back to the 15th Century when Haydon featured in the Manor Court Rolls. In 1614 in James 1st reign it is mentioned of a William Nicholas of Haydon’s acquiring land. Haydon Hall was built in 1630 by Lady Alice Dowager Countess of Derby. A noteworthy resident of Haydon Hall was Dr Adam Clarke from 1824 to 1832 he was the founder of Methodism in Eastcote. Mrs Bennett Edwards a later resident of Haydon Hall held annual summer treats for 500 children of the area. On 26th July 1893 she provided refreshments, games & amusements to the children of Pinner, Eastcote and Ruislip during the holidays. Haydon Lodge was designed in 1879 by George & Peto, and was built upon arches because of its close proximity to the river Pinn which was liable to flood. Special attention should be made to the wooden carvings on the vertical pillars on the porch. Allegedly these were all done in situ - some of them representing the constituent nations of the British Isles in national costume. The piper on the corner is fairly obviously Scottish, whilst the plump woman next to him singing is apparently Welsh, Ireland represented by a figure with a clay pipe.
Eastcote House (now demolished) was the home of the Hawtrey’s and their descendants from 1525. A Dovecot was built, without license, in the grounds of Eastcote House by John Hawtrey. Usually only Lords of the manor held the right to keep doves and pigeons for their meat – Ralph (1570-1638) was granted a license in 1601, an indication of his standing. The present Dovecot dates from the mid 1700’s and contains a potence, a stout post aiding the collection of eggs from the nesting niches. Within the grounds of Eastcote House stands a red brick and timber 17th Century Stable Block known locally as the Coach House a remnant of the service buildings which were grouped around the courtyard at the rear of the house.
South Hill Farm an attractive Queen Anne house of red brick built around 1714 in South Hill Lane. This charming lane was originally known by the locals as Maggots Lane, and the farm was noted as South End Farm in the 1851 Cencus and the farmer being George White. The original farm was of around 55 acres and occupied the full length of the lane.
Joel St Farm originally belonged to a John Humphrey babb in the early 19 century. It has also been associated with Alfred John Clark who farmed it in 1874 & 1884, then Edward Wiles lived here from 1906 to 1926. The farm was well know under the name of J.M.Robarts & Son and was a dairy farm of 81 acres. Today the fields and farm building still exist and are used for grazing horses, while the buildings are now a veterinary business.
The Woodman started life in the 1600’s as a small cottage. From 1866 it was occupied by the Nash family, Tom Nash being registered as a beer seller. In the 1900’s it became a beer house, today it still remains a picturesque public house.
The High road from the junction of Fore Street to Field End Road previously Chapel Hill has always been known as the village. The Old Barn House was at the centre, the village inn being the Black Horse, the smithy, carpenter and wheelwright were on the opposite side of the road. The Old Barn House dates back to mediaeval times when it was possibly an old barn. During the Olympic games of July 1908, the marathon 13th milepost was opposite, and runners stopped outside for refreshments.
New Cottages designed in 1879 by George & Peto in Eastcote High Road belonged to Eastcote Lodge and are located opposite the small garden named Pretty Corner previously known as Gutt’s Pond. Close by stood a house named Spring Cottage. During the First World War the occupant erected a flag mast in the garden and it was known as Flag Cottage. Today the cottage still retains the name Flag Cottage. In 1920 the voters list shows the occupiers as being Alfred & Mabel Lucy-Smith.
Park Farm in Field End Rd would appear to have been where bricks were made by Thomas Wetherlye’s at his ‘brick place’ in 1565. In the 19th Century it was the home farm of the Eastcote House Estate, this was a large farm of around 130 acres extending to Cheney Street. In 1832 it is recorded that Richard Eales was the tenant of the farm and also in 1851. Kelly's Directory of 1884 records James Foxlee and Son as farmers of Park farm, In the Ruislip Parish magazine of 1892 it states James Foxlee of Park farm was buried aged 72 on 22nd Jan 1892.
Daniel Long's Farm in Cheney Street was known as Cheney Street Farm and was some 55 acres in size. The old wing of the farm house dates back to around 1658 and is possibly even older as this was the date taken from a wooden beam in one of the old barns. Daniel Long was the farmer from around 1832 and employed two labourers. In 1884 he was recorded as a farmer and surveyor, he died aged 79 and was buried 13th August 1892. Today the old farmhouse has been restored and adapted for modern day living.
The river Pinn once ran through the grounds of the Grove, which about a century ago was one of the few buildings of any great standing along Marsh Road. Today all that exists is the Grove Lodge which stands as a reminder of the opulent past. Past residents of the Grove were the Milman family in the early part of the 19th century. The first was Sir Francis Milman physician to Queen Charlotte. One of his sons became Dean of St Paul's in London. The name of Sir Francis Milman occurs on a deed for diverting the road which ran alongside the Pinn from Marsh Road to the Hunsdon Bridge.Cannon Lane has had a succession of bridges over the river Pinn for many hundreds of years.
The Hunsdon Bridge by Hereford Gardens was rebuilt in 1728 at the expense of the owner, Lady Grace Hunsdon, who as a girl lived at Pinner Hill. Today the stone tablet now barely readable was remounted in 1938 on the wall at pavement level facing onto the street. The tablet reads: "This Bridge was rebuilt from the foundation att the Voluntary and sole cost of the R Honble Grace, Lady Hunsdon in the Month of Sept. Anno Dni 1728" (Sic).
This page is only part completed, further photo's and information to be added.
Source's of information: WAG Kemp 'The History of Eastcote', Walter Druett 'Ruislip Northwood through the Ages', Eileen M Bowlt 'Ruislip Past',
'Victoria History for the County of Middlesex', London Metropolitan Archives.