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Around and about Pinner, this tour of old and interesting buildings are outside of the central ‘Pinner Village’ area, but in days gone past were all within the boundaries of the local parish’s of Pinner & Ruislip. In the past, much of Pinner and the surrounding area were very rural and predominated by farms and farm labourers, with a small minority of landed gentry. The small body of gentry owned large estates, farms, smallholdings and a few craftsmen shopkeepers.
Today there is much evidence of the various types of farm cottages and associated building’s. Today some of these are now lovely family homes, or public houses. The majority of large private mansions and estates have now all but gone. Pinner Hill House being one of the exceptions and is now home to Pinner Hill Golf Course. Some other private estates are now open spaces for the public to enjoy as we move south into the district of Eastcote.
The name of Eastcote is fairly simple in origin being east of the old parish of Ruislip. It has been variously spelt Ascot, and Ascott in the past as our ancestors were not noted for their consistency in spelling. In early days the district came within the full scope of the feudal system administrative centre close to the present site of the Manor Farm at Ruislip. The earliest know lord of the manor was Ulward Wit who forfeited his land at the Norman Conquest, when it was granted to Ernulf de Hesdin.
Eastcote grew from a few scattered dwelling's found at the northern end of Field End Road around the Bourne "Grange" at the present junction of Field End Road and Bridle Road, plus Cuckoo Hill, Cheney Street, Wiltshire Lane and Fore Street. The first significant development in Eastcote took place in 1527 when Ralph Hawtrey created a home at Eastcote House. This was the beginning of the great houses in the district in the early 17th century. Alice Dowager Countess of Derby built a house on the site of Haydon hall. The 17th & 18th centuries saw development of High Grove as the third of the great houses.
Although the establishment of these families and their house increased the number of dwellers in Eastcote Village and the surrounds, major change did not take place until the coming of the railway in 1906 and then not until after the First World War.This Photo Tour 2 of buildings starts in the North of the region travelling South towards Eastcote.
Pinner Hill House, Three generations of the Clitherows lived at Pinner Hill. Sir Christopher the first to live there was the son of a wealthy city merchant of the Iron Mongers Company. He was admitted to the East India Company in 1601 and became governor in 1638. Over a large number of years there have been many high profile people who have lived there including. 1658 Sir Bartholomew Shower, in 1755 it was purchased for Lady Jane Bridges by the Marquis of Caernarvon, a relative of the 1st Duke of Chandos. In 1801 Sir Albert Pell lived there followed by Arthur W Tooke in 1845 who built Woodhall Towers and Pinner Hill Farm & Clock Tower. It was one of the best society houses in Pinner, it is now home to Pinner Hill Golf Club
Coal Tax Post's were marker posts, about 250 in number, first erected in 1851 and forming a rough circle about twenty miles from the centre of London, to mark the points where taxes on coal and wine due to the Corporation of London had to be paid. The Location is East side of Potter Street Hill, at junction with Oxhey Drive, Sandy Lane and South View Road. Map Ref TQ 092 921.
Arthur Tooke of the philanthropic Victorian family created three ornamental towers in Pinner, the only one that remains is the clock tower on Pinner Hill Farm built about 1862. To this day it still retains a low enclosing wall made from original stone sleepers used in the building of the London and Birmingham Railway’s line through Harrow in 1837. These were discarded in favour of wooden sleepers being more efficient.
Pinnerwood is still a small hamlet to the north of Pinner, which is situated in the North West corner of Harrow Parish. The area is traced back to a survey of 1285 and is believed to have been part of the area known as ‘Old Field’. Pinnerwood House is the only remaining building from the 16th century although it was altered and extended in the 18th &19th century. Pinnerwood House is historically interesting as it was once the home of the author, poet and politician Lord Edward Bulwer-Lytton who moved to the house in 1831. It is said that in 1835 he wrote his novel Eugene Aram in the room above the hallway and began his political novel, Godolphin. At the same time he began his political career, and became a member of parliament for St. Ives. He remained at the house for only two years.
Pinnerwood Cottage followed this period as it is a mid 18th century residence and is said to have replaced an earlier building destroyed by fire. The cottage was also later altered in the 19th century and demonstrates additions from this time. Pinnerwood Farm House nearby dates to the latter part of the 19th century and was built by Arthur Tooke. The Farm is currently a livery and stud farm, and has been since at least 1964. Pinnerwood Lodge dates to around 1900 and was built as an entrance lodge to Woodhall Road.
Hatch End Station is a very attractive and compact neo-Georgian building designed for the London & North Western Railway in 1911, as shown by the carved tablet on the front of the building. The contrasting colour’s of the bricks and dressings, and the round headed windows are typical of the period. The first station was opened here in 1844 where it was named ‘Pinner Station’.
The Hall was once the home of Jessie Bird who married Nelson Ward, grandson of the great navel hero Admiral Lord Nelson. The Hall was built by John Gibson in around 1664. The Hall Lodge is the only surviving part of the Hall estate in Old Hall Drive.
The Starling PH now renamed Sync (2011) possibly started life as a small house selling beer from the front room, the Beerhouse Act of 1830 encouraged people to relax and go down the pub, by 1870 the Starling was one of a few public houses or beershop's in Pinner, others being Hand in Hand, The Victory, Odd Fellows to name a few. By 1907 all were owned by the big breweries.
About 1840 the brick cottage with two rooms on each floor had become quite common. Tom Read the chimney sweep built 7-8 Camden Row in Pinner Green, which he named Caroline Cottages after his wife, while he lived more cheaply in an old timber house in Chapel Lane.
As we journey up to the brow of Cuckoo Hill on the right we find a small thatched cottage, and then some 30yards on is Cuckoo Hill Farm, this building has been modernised over the years and its age is deceiving. Recorded occupants being Charles Lavender farmer in 1874, Bert Nichols in the 1880's, and Squire Ralph Deane in 1886.
Source's of information: WAG Kemp 'The History of Eastcote', Walter Druett 'Pinner through the Ages', Eileen M Bowlt 'Ruislip Past',
'Victoria History for the County of Middlesex', London Metropolitan Archives.