It was a particularly late Sunday afternoon for our first walk for quite some time. We had reached the quiet village of Ashford, no intrusive loud noises and very little traffic. Just beyond the small town centre, our stroll took us into the residential part of the town, which seemed even more peaceful 🙂 Just along the road we passed by a lovely brick built Church, known as St Hildas. Unfortunately I was only able to catch a glimpse of one of the stained glass windows and from I could see do look rather charming. The history of the church is available from their website at a small fee. We proceeded past St Hildas and down a maze of roads which eventually brought us out to a large “A” road. It was not fun walking alongside such a sizeable road, with the traffic being fast and noisy in comparison to where we had just walked! To make matters worse we were both caught up in a very heavy rain shower!
On the otherside of the road we saw that there was a very large embankment, which had signs all along saying ” Anger Eep Water”, which we interpreted to mean “Danger Deep Water”, I don’t think I could be angry at anything that was “Eep” (whatever “Eep” was :-)). The Deep waters that resided behind the huge hill actually belonged to the “Queen Mary Reservoir”. When we reached the corner of the road, we discovered the entrance to the reservoir and the signs for the “Queen Mary Sailing Club”, this would explain the large number of sailing vessels we had seen perched at the top of the slope! The club has the advantage of unobstructed wind as this stretch of water is 45ft (~13.71m) above neighbouring countryside! We did hope that there would have been a public footpath at this point for us to walk around the lake, but we could not see one 😦 , only the entrance the club, it was a shame as it would have been nice to walk around I am sure!
|From 2013 – 28.07.2013 – Ashford – Shepperton Walk|
Just past the entry point to the club, I spotted a lovely art deco gate, which was obviously a remanent of when the reservoir was originally built! These waters were officially opened in 1925 by his Majesty King George V and Queen Mary. Upon a one electric signal he put the pumps in action and admitted the water into the reservoir and officially named the lake “Queen Marys Reservoir”. It is still used today to feed water into the London water supply. Continuing along this quieter road alongside the reservoir, we reached “Charlton Village”. As we passed through this quaint hamlet, it was hard to imagine that it had been in existence since the the Domesday book in when it was entitled as ‘Cerdentone’. The village has been largely agricultural for most of its life, but this changed when the Reservoir was built as it unfortunately took away quite a lot of the land which was to the west of the Charlton. Despite this, it still has 2 working farms and is home to the “Harrow Inn”, a beautiful thatched building, built in the C15th and known to be the longest continuously inhabited building in the original county of Middlesex, although we did not stop for pint 😦
Walking past Charlton, we spotted where a giant boot sale would have been, we were were a day late unfortunately 😦 ! We past by a horse riding school that was at the bottom of the banks of the lake. It was then I spotted a huge sign in the distance for “Shepperton Studios”. We couldn’t see much as it was hidden behind new fences and high trees, but there did seem to be some activity behind them! Perhaps some sort of filming was taking place? Studios have not always stood here, the grounds was once home a mansion house. The original C17th house, which suffered at the hands of a fire in the late C19th, still stands today in the middle of the studios! It belonged to a local Nobleman and his established family lived in the estate for over 200 years, and even managed to entertain Royal visitors! It was not until the early C20th that the grounds and houses were bought out and put to use as a studio. The studios had a short break during the war when it was requisitioned by the ministry of defence as a storage location, but after the war it reopened for business. Since that time the studios is known to made some famous films such as “Alien” (1979), The African Queen (1952), The Guns of Navarone (1960) and Gladiator (2000).
|From 2013 – 28.07.2013 – Ashford – Shepperton Walk|
Turning away from the studios we discovered a small brick built church. Unfortunately we could not look inside but we did manage to walk around the outside it was was a nice little church and we would have sat and pondered for a while. I will say it’s view was a little odd as it looked straight into the sound stages of Shepperton Studios! I suppose the church is used to having the studios being firmly established, particularly as it has been used for filming, it was used in the Dad’s Army Film! 🙂 As we wandered along the road I spotted a great footpath but I was unsure where it may lead! There were no public footpath signs or any information notices! There was a huge gate. From what I have discovered I presume that these would have belonged the large manor house that resides int the middle of the studios. from the size of the gates the house must be very grand :). We decided to continue along the pavement, which carried on over a rather lovely bridge. The design reminded me somewhat of the bridge we had seen on the Hampstead Heath with its lovely small white columns. Its view was not a grand house or heath, just a river. In fact this was the river Ash, where the small town of Ashford, where we had walked from had derived it name from, as the town grew up on the banks of this waterway.
Just past the river, we found a small green area to sit in and eat lunch. This was the Littleton Recreation Ground. It backed onto the River Ash, which looked very jungle like through the trees. It was really peaceful here, but unfortunately we could not sit here for a long time as we were chased away by a wasp who decided our lunch was very tasty LOL. We had to move rapidly to the other end of the recreation ground to finish our lunch! Once we had rested, we carried on our walk on to Shepperton Green. This tiny hamlet had been welcoming visitors since Saxon times apparently! How friendly of them 🙂
We finally reached Shepperton Village, where we finished our walk for the day. For all the walks photos, please feel free to browse through them here –
|2013 – 28.07.2013 – Ashford – Shepperton Walk|